There's been plenty of commentary about the support that Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders seem to have among women, and underlying much of it is speculation that women just don't care that much about another "first" -- the first female candidate to be nominated for U.S. president by a major political party.
Don't try that rationale on women entrepreneurs. In an admittedly unscientific survey of women who are doing the ridiculously hard work of founding, funding, and building companies, pro-Hillary sentiments rang out loud, clear, and consistently.
"As a female CEO in the male-dominated tech industry, I admire Hillary's willingness to defy the often unspoken rules about how women should act, how we should think and what we should accomplish," says Limor Elbaz, the founder of Peerlyst, a networking site for security professionals, in San Francisco. Elbaz is originally from Israel, and says that to her, it's extremely important that the next president understand the value that immigrants bring to the country. Says Elbaz: "If we're to succeed, we need to embrace diversity and innovation, so I'm with her."
Susan Scrupski, the founder of Big Mountain Data, a startup in Lake Mary, Florida, that uses big data to prevent domestic violence, says the "woman" argument hadn't been particularly persuasive to her during the primaries. "[Clinton's] gender did not factor into my interest in her as a candidate," says Scrupski. "That all changed last night. When I watched the footage from the opening video, and then saw her speak at Brooklyn Yard, the significance of what was happening moved me to tears."
Others spoke of the impact they expect Clinton's nomination to have on the generations to come after them. "Seeing this empowers me, my seven-year old daughter, and women everywhere," says Kendrick Shope, the founder of Authentic Selling, a sales training company in Bentonville, Arkansas.
Nikki Lawrence, founder of New York-based Gleem & Co, a secondary market for fine jewelry and watches, is also thinking about young people. "It's about the generation coming of age now, who, from this point forward, will see a black man as president, or a woman as the Democratic presumptive candidate for president, as completely normal. That is huge."
Even some women founders who say they are Republicans or Libertarians are inspired by Clinton becoming the first female presumptive nominee for president from a major U.S. political party, and say they would at least consider voting for her in the general election.
Shope, for example, despite saying Clinton's victory is empowering, describes herself as a lifelong Republican, and says she's still trying to figure out whether or not she will support Clinton in the general election.
Melinda Byerly, founder of San Francisco-based TimeshareCMO, which provides digital marketing services, was a Republican until just this year, when she voted for Clinton in the Democratic primary. "Her nomination brought tears to my eyes," she says. "As a little girl I wanted to be the first woman president of the United States, and I believe Hillary Clinton is the right woman to carry that title." Like others, she also points out that Clinton has been steadfast in her support for women's rights.
Felena Hanson, founder of Hera Hub, which runs co-working spaces for women in San Diego and Washington, D.C., has been a registered Libertarian for 10 years. Yet she says she is "energized" by having a woman as a presumptive nominee, and that "given a choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton I will indeed lean left."
Then there are those who are pro-Hillary, full out, and yes, they care about the groundbreaking nature of her nomination. Chia-Lin Simmons is a former Google exec who is now the co-founder of Oakland, Calif.-based RedHelicopter, an internet-of-things company for family wellness and health. Yes, she thinks Clinton's economic agenda is sound. But Simmons' own experience as an entrepreneur plays a big part, too. "I think the lack of funding for women is directly correlated to women not being in positions of leadership in our government or corporations," she says. "It's fashionable to talk about supporting women in leadership, but it's quite another to actually make it happen." On Tuesday, she says, "I believe we saw the tipping point."