22 Young Women Entrepreneurs and Their Companies to Watch

by / ⠀Entrepreneur Interviews Startup Advice / February 21, 2013

Jennifer Carter Fleiss

Jennifer Carter FleissCompany: Rent the Runway

Age: 28

The numbers: $50 million funding with over 3 million members

Rent the Runway is a membership-based website that rents high-end designer apparel and accessories on a 4- or 8-day basis. The company was founded by two Harvard Business School graduates, Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Carter Fleiss. Launched in November 2009, the website now offers over 35,000 dresses and accessories from over 170 designers such as Badgley Mischka, Vera Wang, and Calvin Klein.

Susan Gregg Koger

susan_kogerCompany: Modcloth

Age: 27

The numbers: $44.8 million in funding

ModCloth was launched as a website in 2002 by Susan Gregg-Koger with the help of her then-boyfriend, now-husband Eric Koger. ModCloth.com is an online clothing, accessories, and decor retailer with a focus on independent and vintage-inspired fashion. Modcloth is expanding with more than 300 employees and more coming on board.

Hayley Barna & Katia Beauchamp

Hayley Barna & Katia BeauchampCompany:  Birchbox

Age: 28, 29

The numbers: $11.9 million in funding

BirchBox is a monthly subscription service that delivers beauty product samples to users on a monthly basis. The site offers relevant editorial content and a e-commerce site. With $11.9 million in funding and over 100,000 users since their launch in Sept. 2010.  Birchbox also went global in 2012 when they purchased Paris based competitor Joliebox.

Alexa von Tobel

alexa-von-tobelCompany: LearnVest

Age: 28

The numbers: $24.5 million in funding

Alexa started her career at Morgan Stanley but left the job and invested $75,000 into her company LearnVest. LearnVest quickly recruited advisors like the former CEO of the Huffington Post and former COO of DailyCandy. After securing $1.1 million in funding in 2009 the site launched and has signed up over 100,000 members.

LearnVest focuses on helping young women develop good financial habits early on in life. Today, the company has raised over $24.5 million in funding and has over 90 employees.

Amy Jain & Daniella Yacobovsky

amy-jian-daniella-yacobovCompany: Baublebar

Age: 29, 29

The numbers: $11 million in revenue

An online jewelry retailer that sources pieces directly from designers and sells them at a discount under the BaubleBar label. The company was founded in 2011 by two Harvard grads who decided the world of finance wasn’t for them. Baublebar has since raised $5.6 million in funding and has 25 full-time employees.

Jessica Scorpio

jessica-scorpioCompany: GetAround

Age: 25

The numbers: $19 million in funding

Getaround was founded in the summer of 2009 by Sam Zaid, Jessica Scorpio, and Elliot Kroo. Getaround provides a peer-to-peer carsharing marketplace that enables car owners to rent their cars – from Priuses to Teslas – to a community of trusted drivers by hour, day, or week using just their smartphones. CEO Sam Zaid says that about 95 percent of cars go unused 22 hours a day, and the startup’s goal is to make them available to users who need a car but don’t have one.

Juliette Brindak

juliette-brindakCompany: MissOandFriends.com

Age: 23

The numbers: $15 million valuation

Meet Juliette who released her first book at the age of 16 which has gone on to sell over 100,000 copies. Juliette came up with the idea for Miss O and Friends at the age of 10 and by 19 the company was worth over $15 million. Today, the site sees over 10 million monthly visits.

The company focuses on the “tween” market and prides itself on being for girls built by girls. Juliette prides the company on helping build self-esteem in young girls and developing who they are.

Kathryn Minshew & Alexandra Cavoulacos & Melissa McCreery

Kathryn-Minshew-Melissa-McCreery-and-Alexandra-CavoulacosCompanies: The Daily Muse

Age: 27, 27, 27

The numbers: 3 million members & $1.2 million in funding

The Daily Muse is visually engaging job search and related career resources. The site offers in-depth multimedia profiles of a variety of companies who are hiring, combined with career content and professional development. In February 2012, they launched company profiles: job boards and listings that are more visual and engaging than typical career sites.

The Muse’s seed funding comes from investors including 500 Startups, Great Oaks Ventures, Eric Ries, Gordon Crawford, Cathie Black and Thomas Lehrman.

Maddie Bradshaw

Maddie-BradshawCompany: M3 Girl Designs

Age: 17

The numbers: $5 million+ in sales

Maddie Bradshaw is the founder of the $5 million a year company, M3 Girl Designs. What started as simple locker decorations has turned into a thriving company for young girls.  The companies necklaces and designs are sold throughout the U.S. and they sell over 50,000 necklaces a month.

Maddie has plans to expand the company into other accessories beyond just necklaces in the near future. You may recognize her from the show Shark Tank where she landed $300K from Lori Greiner, Mark Cuban and Robert Herjavec.

Brittany Hodak & Kim Kaupe

Brittany Hodak & Kim KaupeAge: 28, 26

Company: ZinePak

The numbers: $2 million revenues

ZinePak (pronounced ZEEN-pack) was founded in January 2011 by entertainment junkies Brittany Hodak and Kim Kaupe. The company’s products blur the lines between CD and DVD releases, special-edition fan magazines, and artist-branded merchandise. Each ZinePak is comprised of a small-format magazine with up to 100 pages of engaging, original content, a CD or DVD and one or more exclusive, collectible merchandise items. We’ve sold 600,00 ‘ZinePaks at Walmart for superstars ranging from Justin Bieber to the Beach Boys and brands including Dr Pepper, KIDZ BOP, and the Academy of Country Music – with 2012 revenues topping $2 million.

Lily Liu

LilyLiu_PhotoAge: 29

Company: PublicStuff

The numbers: 50,000 completed requests

PublicStuff is an innovative CRM software company that helps local governments get stuff fixed! Using both mobile and web platforms, we have created a comprehensive backend CRM system that allows municipalities to receive service requests from their residents and customers in real time. How it works is citizens are easily able to submit public service requests directly to the correct city department (via mobile applications, SMS text messaging, web, and our toll free number) in our covered cities .City staff has access to review submissions, organize the workflow, communicate back to residents, and swiftly administer services to repair the issue, which as of August 2012, has helped 150 cities complete 50,000+ service requests.

Shama Kabani

ShamaK-7Company: The Marketing Zen Group

Age: 27

The numbers: Revenue in the millions

In 2009, at 24, Kabani founded The Marketing Zen Group, a social media marketing firm in Dallas. The company, which she launched with $1,500 of her own money, specializes in all aspects of web marketing for clients–from Facebook and Twitter to blogs and video.

Shama hosts a web TV show about technology. Her 2010 book, The Zen of Social Media Marketing: An Easier Way to Build Credibility, Generate Buzz and Increase Revenue, is the No. 4 seller about web marketing on Amazon.com.

Olga Vidisheva

Olga VidishevaCompany: Shoptiques

Age: 28

The numbers: Y-Combinator graduate + seed funding

A Y-Combinator and Harvard Business School alum, Vidisheva launched Shoptiques as a new way to shop online. While boutiques offer fashion to locals and tourists, many don’t have an ecommerce presence, making it hard to nab threads from local designers. Currently, shoptiques has 180 boutiques on its site, arranged by city. Shoptiques has also raised seed funding from Andreessen Horowitz, Benchmark Capital, Greylock Partners, and SV Angel, among others.

Alex Tryon

Alex TryonCompany:  Artsicle

Age: 27

The numbers: $390,000 in funding

Tryon co-founded art rental company Artsicle in 2010. The site lets users rent art by emerging artists, enabling customers to dabble and discover their taste and preferences. In the early days, the company shipped about 30 works a month. That number is closer to 100 today, as business clients have signed on.

Caroline Ghosn & Amanda Pouchot

Levo League FoundersCompany: Levo League

Age: 26, 27

The numbers: $1 million in funding

The Levo League is a career community for Gen Y women.Levo, the Latin root for “elevate,” meets the pressing need for resources enabling women to successfully navigate the first ten years of their careers. The Levo League has already attracted the support of leading women including Susan Lyne, Chairman of Gilt Groupe, Gina Bianchini, CEO of Mightybell, and Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook

Jesse Draper

jesse-draperCompany: Valley Girl, Inc

Age: 27

The numbers: Over 150 interviews

The Valley Girl Show” is a fun talk show featuring interviews with some of the biggest names in business and technology. It’s like ‘Ellen’ but with guests you’d only see on Charlie Rose or MSNBC.  The Valley Girl Show features interviews with big-name business and tech personalities, such as Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, Foursquare’s Dennis Crowley, Ted Turner, Mark Cuban, and more.

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