The Bay Area is shaping a new generation of audacious, self confident, forward-thinking, and business-wise women entrepreneurs that are providing the Golden State with disruptive ideas. We found four that are turning the tech industry on its head in various e-sectors, including journalism, charity, health, and commerce—industries that are growing fast in Silicon Valley. Here are the ones truly shaking things up.
Brit Morin, Founder and CEO, Brit + Co
The online lifestyle site and marketplace provides tutorials for the younger Martha Stewart set, from how to make traditional crafts to high-tech manufacturing—the perfect intersection between technology and DIY. The platform continues to grow (last investment funds were about $6.3 million), with Brit + Co enabling designers, jewelers, and artists to make and sell their own products, capitalizing on the continuing ecommerce boom—the US Census Bureau News recently reported that US retail ecommerce sales of the third quarter of 2014 was $78.1 billion. Cha-ching.
Rose Broome, Co-founder, HandUp
Philanthropy is on the minds of many reaping the rewards from the tech industry, which could mean a promising era for social good entrepreneurs aimed to solve the world’s problems. HandUp aims to make giving back easier for those people by building a bridge between the tech and nonprofit worlds. Based on the direct donation system, and benefitting homeless and people in need, it let’s you donate to a specific person through web or text messages, providing a trusted, original, useful, and simple way for people to help. “Humanitarian non-profit organizations aren’t tech savvy, so we’ve built a software that helps people to easily meet those organizations with generous individuals that can donate their money to fulfill homeless needs.” It’s like the Uber of giving, with 100% of donations reaching members for basic needs like food, medical care, shelter, and technology. Sweet charity, indeed.
Photo: © Lisa Wiseman
Grace Garey, Marketing Director, Watsi
According to Startuphealth.com, an online platform catering to thousands of healthcare entrepreneurs, digital health investment has nearly doubled, gaining $5 billion in funding as of the third quarter of 2014. Taking advantage of the dollars on the table is Watsi, a crowdsourcing platform that connects patients from 19 countries who can't afford the medical procedures they need with donors. The funds collected go entirely to the patients, as the organization's own costs are covered separately, representing the next generation of charitable healthcare where the worldwide community is involved. “There are a billion people in the world who can't afford healthcare. At Watsi, we're connecting people to fund life-changing healthcare around the world,” says Garey. Earlier this month, they introduced the Universal Fund, a new way to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. 685 people have signed up, and they've already passed $20,000 in monthly recurring donations.
Jessica E. Lessin, Founder and Editor in Chief, The Information
The Pew Research Center recently reported in “The Growth of Digital Reporting” that “many of the smaller digital news organizations are focusing on filling reporting gaps in local news, international coverage, and investigative journalism.” The shift is clear: readers are looking for quality rather than quantity. The Information delivers with tech news targeted towards industry insiders with just two articles per day, offering high-quality, deep, and sophisticated coverage. “We want to be indispensable to a specific niche and certain type of people, offering them a profound understanding of technology, rather than publishing many articles that any news organization can publish,” says Lessin. She’s banking on success, forgoing the freebie model with a mandatory yearly ($399) or monthly ($39) subscription fee. Only time will tell if it pays off.