After the launch of my latest company, ( PRÊTE, a membership to blowouts) I've become more acutely aware of companies who have changed products and services specifically for women. I typically hate the term " female founder" or "female CEO," but today, when there is so much change happening for womens rights and equality, I want to call attention to some incredible founders who have changed their industries for the better.

They are all women and they are all fearless; however, not all are startups. I want to shine a light on these women as they will teach our future generations (and current aspiring startup founders) to be that much stronger, innovate more freely and think outside of the box because #thefutureisfemale!

Health & Wellness

1. LOLA

The feminine hygiene space has always been a bit taboo, especially in mainstream media, but LOLA, the tampon subscription service changed that. The beautifully designed feminine care startup got the attention of major VC's raising over $11M in funding last year. HBO's Girls stars, Lena Dunham & Allison Williams are also investors.

2. Sakara Life

Using the power of social media, Sakara Life skyrocketed to success with their organic meal delivery and healthy lifestyle coaching service. Founders Whitney Tingle & Danielle DuBoise profiles on Instagram created the baseline for their very loyal female following and by the looks of it, it's only getting stronger.

3. Flex

Similar to LOLA, Flex provides an alternative to tampons which can be quite unhealthy. The "Sex Tech" company graduated from Y Combinator and attracted investments from heavy hitters like Ellen Pao.

Beauty

1. BeautyCon

According to founder and CEO Moj Mahdara, "Beautycon Media is THE global community of content creators, celebrities, fans, and brands that come together to celebrate all things fashion, beauty, style and the passion points of the Gen Z and Millennial lifestyle." The company recently launched a subscription box and from the looks of it, their growth will not be slowing down any time soon.

2. Glossier

The Millennial beauty company by Emily Weiss came second to her incredibly successful media company, Into The Gloss where beauty editors would review beauty trends and report on products they love. Glossier uses their deep connection with customer insights to design their products which is what has made them such an unstoppable force in cosmetics.

3. SHHHOWERCAP

For the blowout fanatic (ahem, like yours truly) SHHHOWERCAP is your best friend. The SHHHOWERCAP is a uniquely designed waterproof cap that looks like something you'd wear outside - and not just in the shower. The line went viral in 2016 which led to the company selling out product multiple times. I'm sure the marketing genius came from their founder who was an advertising executive in another life.

Apparel

1. THINX

The line of menstruation underwear made big waves this year garnering the attention of celebrities and major news outlets alike. The conversation about womens health is only growing, and these founders gave talking about "period panties" the spark it needed to be discussed openly.

2. Spanx

A personal inspiration to many women, founder Sara Blakely launched this line for womens shapewear catapulting her to becoming one of the youngest self-made billionaires. Blakely not only runs Spanx, she also gives back to aspiring female entrepreneurs with grants and investments.

3. Yasmin Joseph

Like Spanx, Yasmin Joseph is a collection of lingerie specifically for busy and active women. Ask any woman if she likes wearing a bra, and I'll bet at least 90% say no. Founder Yasmin Wong - coming from a family of lingerie manufacturers - launched this line of comfortable (yes, REALLY comfortable) bras that women don't feel like burning at the end of every day. While it may not sound that innovative to some, it's because they haven't tried it.

Services & SaaS

1. Kango*

Because Children & Uber aren't exactly a match made in heaven (especially now), and kids of working parents need to get to after-school activities, this SF founder launched Kango, a care and ride service for kids. Their CEO, Sara Schaer is a mother herself, so safety is a huge focus. Kango has the most heavily vetted caregivers and drivers in their space, and are the only ride service for kids able to drive kids under the age of 6. Expect to see Kango make major strides in the coming year.

2. Celmatix

This SaaS company helps doctors (Ob/Gyn specifically) determine whether a pregnancy is possible, and if so, when the right time would be for their patient. Celmatix recently announced their ability to provide genetic testing to continue building on their proactive approach to fertility management.

*Kango is a company represented by The Avenue West where I currently serve as strategic advisor; however, their inclusion is based purely on merit.

Published on: Mar 8, 2017