PURSE STRINGS: THE HOT LIST
THE HOT LIST!
By Camille Sarabia
They’re smart, they’re savvy and they’re changing the landscape of the notorious “boys’ club” of technology into a level playing field. In this year’s installment of our annual HOT LIST, Wiles is proud to salute 10 of the tech world’s brightest female stars.
SARAH PENNA, Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Big Frame LA
Television is an arena quite familiar to Sarah Penna. Prior to co-founding Big Frame LA, she worked with industry giants such as: Discovery, Oxygen, HBO and Bravo. But her to transition to the internet – specifically, the world of YouTube, is what has proven to be a game-changer. Founded in 2012, Penna’s Big Frame LA is a talent management company that pairs up-and-coming YouTube artists with advertisers in an effort to help drive traffic to the artists’ channels.
DR. VIVIENNE MING
Drs. Vivienne and Norma Ming have developed a way for university professors to customize their teaching methods to meet the specific needs of each student in real time. The technology analyzes key data from each student, and then builds a teaching model based on that conceptual knowledge which enables instructors to provide a personalized and enriched learning experience for each student.
POORNIMA VIJAYASHANKER, Founder & CEO of BizeeBee and Femgineer
Poornima Vijayashanker, formerly of Mint.com, is the founder of BizeeBee – a marketing firm that helps fitness and membership-based businesses manage their customer relationships effectively and efficiently. From tracking attendance to streamlined billing processes, Bizeebee helps its clients keep costs low and customers coming back. Her latest venture, Femgineer, is a campaign designed to encourage women to pursue career success in the science and technology fields.
ALEXA VON TOBEL, Founder & CEO of LearnVest.com
Alexa von Tobel invested $75,000 of her own money to found LearnVest.com – a company committed to helping young women manage their assets for an affordable rate. LearnVest.com connects their male and female customers with in-house Certified Financial Planners to help organize, focus, plan, protect, build, maximize and refresh their money.
LEAH BUSQUE, Founder and CEO of TaskRabbit
Working women everywhere can relate to the challenge of needing something done, but not having the time or the motivation necessary to get it done. Enter Leah Busque’s TaskRabbit. From errands, fixing appliances, cleaning homes, this wonder-app connects users with practitioners like college students, stay-at-home moms and retirees who have the time and the skill to meet the need. In just five short years, TaskRabbit has grown to boast 35 employees and revenue of $4 million a month. Busque is also noted for coining the phrase “service networking,” which describes TaskRabbit perfectly.
ORY OKOLLOH, Co-Founder and Former Executive Director of Ushahidi
Don’t wait to talk to someone about the news or wait until its broadcast on the local station; Ushahidi lets you be the journalist. Ushahidi was originally established in 2008 by Ory Okolloh as a way to map reports of violence in the African nation of Kenya. Any bystanders of violence were able to report violence or peace via mobile devices at any place, at any time. Since 2008, this non-profit tech company has grown to developing free software towards information collection, visualization and interactive mapping. Okolloh left Ushahidi in 2010 and now works with Google as the policy manager for Africa.
DI-ANN EISNOR, VP Platforms and Partnerships,Community Geographer - Waze.com
Waze is the new app that is an updated version of the traffic report on the local radio station. Waze works by connecting drivers to one another. The app stays open as the driver inputs their destination and drives and the driver can contribute or receive a driving report of what’s to come their way. They can be warned about a traffic jam, an accident on the freeway, a police car stalking a certain street or an alternate route to take. In addition, the driver can also share driving advice to other drivers. VP Di-Ann Eisnor knows all there is about maps, the key source of Waze. She has contributed to Waze by her knowledge and passion for community development, urban exploration and social mapping. Waze and VP Di-Ann Eisnor have developed a way to mend the driving community that not only allows you to share the road, but to share useful information as well.
KALIYA HAMLIN, Founder of She’s Geeky
Kaliya Hamlin has started She’s Geeky, a system that brings women together, share their life experiences and of course, bond over their geeky-ness. She’s Geeky works with existing organizations and invites women around the world to take part in an UnConference that allows women in tech communities or careers to interact educate and speak with women like themselves. Hamlin a sense created a space that creates a female “geek” community. Hamlin, herself, is one of the world’s leading experts in the emerging personal data eco-system and building a digital identity. She has constructed over 150 UnConferences for clients around the world.
SOLEIL MOONFRYE AND KARA NORTMAN, Founders of Moonfrye
Moonfrye was founded as an online hub to learn, share with others and to celebrate the joys of being a parent. It introduces creative crafts and fun activities through which founders Soleil Moon Frye and Kara Nortman dish out their aspects of parenthood. Soleil Moon Frye is an American actress who has previously contributed to The Little Seed, the first eco-friendly baby store in LA and has developed a product line for Target, for which she is now their “Mommy Ambassador.” Kara Norman, on the other hand, deals with the digital media and technology aspect and has overseen the success of companies such as Urbanspoon, Citysearch and Insider Pages. Together this duo has cultivated the success of Moonfrye including their 1.5 million Twitter followers and 500,000 Facebook fans.
TRACY DINUNZIO, Founder of Tradesy
Tradesy is the key to every woman’s “I have nothing to wear today” dilemma. According to founder Tracy Dinunzio, who is also known for Recycled Bride (a different business with the same meaning), she was inspired by the $6,000 an average women spends on clothing products annually and the slim 20% worn. Tradesy provides buy, sell and trade options and also provides women with access to designer luxury brands at a significant difference from the retail price. Tracy Dinunzio is also a wedding and fashion expert who loves to share about weddings, fashion, technology, entrepreneurship and sustainable living.