For women founders looking to take their companies to the next level, there's no place like San Francisco.
The reality is that, although tales of sexist behavior run rampant in Silicon Valley, the nearby access to high-profile venture capital firms and top tech talent makes it a good place for new firms--no matter if they're led by men or women. According to CrunchBase, 16 percent of startups in San Francisco that received venture capital funding over the past five years were led by women.
In this highly competitive startup scene, here are the top 10 women-led companies, per this year's Inc. 5000.
CEO: Kristen Goldstein
Inc. 5000 Rank: 716
2014 Revenue: $4.5 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 628 percent
A software company, Scalus's products focus on automating collaboration and workflow services, providing a real-time link between external client management and internal workflow.
9. Tasman Consulting
CEO: Shari Yocum
Inc. 5000 Rank: 692
2014 Revenue: $2.8 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 654 percent
Tasman Consulting specializes in consulting for HR mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, and restructuring, focusing on the human capital integration challenges that may arise from such transactions. Co-founders Shari Yocum and Niki Lee left behind executive positions at Cisco to start their company, which now lists American Express, Lenovo, and Salesforce as current or former clients.
CEO: Nicole Daedone
Inc. 5000 Rank: 537
2014 Revenue: $6.5 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 865 percent
A meditation center, OneTaste's specialty--orgasmic meditation--makes for a very different relaxation experience. The company's various locations teach a practice centered on clitoral stimulation for the purpose of enhancing energy, focus, libido, and connection to others.
7. Sway Group
CEO: Danielle Wiley
Inc. 5000 Rank: 466
2014 Revenue: $4.3 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 993 Percent
Content marketing firm Sway Group, founded in 2011, specializes in providing clients with customized content across a variety of social media platforms, relying on a network of 90,000 "influencers."
CEO: Sally Thornton
Inc. 5000 Rank: 290
2014 Revenue: $2.9 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 1,567 percent
Five-year-old recruiting firm Forshay provides short-term project consultants as well as full-time employees for companies ranging from startups to established brands, and includes Cisco, Airbnb, and eBay among its clients.
5. The Good Bean
CEO: Sarah Wallace
Inc. 5000 Rank: 182
2014 Revenue: $4.0 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 2,260 percent
Founded in 2010 by Sarah Wallace, a former marketer for health food companies, and Suzanne Slatcher, a former Pixar employee, the Good Bean produces a line of snack foods featuring bean protein, fruits, and nuts.
CEO: Jessica Mah
Inc. 5000 Rank: 146
2014 Revenue: $2.9 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 2,686 percent
A Y Combinator graduate, inDinero knows what it's like to overcome odds. Co-founders Jessica Mah and Andy Su resorted to couples therapy to bring their once-thriving software company back from the edge of disaster. That dedication paid off. Mah graced the cover this year's Inc. 5000 (September) issue, and inDinero, which enables small businesses to automate accounting, tax, and payroll functions, went from having only $150,000 left in the bank a year after its founding to generating $2.9 million in revenue in 2014.
3. Love With Food
CEO: Aihui Ong
Inc. 5000 Rank: 129
2014 Revenue: $3.0 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 2,859 percent
CEO Aihui Ong founded Love With Food after a friend's all-natural stir-fry sauce company went under, she told Inc. To help artisinal producers get more name-recognition, Love With Food sells customers subscriptions to a delivery service that sends them boxes with a variety of natural snack foods once a month.
CEO: Victoria Tsai
Inc. 5000 Rank: 21
2014 Revenue: $12.0 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 10,996 percent
Inspired by the beauty rituals of geishas, Tatcha produces a luxury skincare line that is sold in Barney's and has been featured on QVC. CEO Victoria Tsai, a Harvard Business School graduate, told Inc.'s Burt Helm that to create Tatcha's skincare line, she hired a full-time researcher and translator to copy down, word-for-word, a 200-year-old book of geisha beauty rituals.
CEO: Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan
Inc. 5000 Rank: 6
2014 Revenue: $3.3 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 23,844 percent
Not only the fastest-growing female-led company in the San Francisco metro area, Drawbridge is also the fastest-growing company led by a woman on this year's Inc. 5000 list. CEO Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan, a former Google employee, founded Drawbridge to help brands better understand how customers interact with their online ads, through the use of various in-house algorithms.