Teach-Now Graduate School of Education
Dr. Emily Feistritzer
She’s making it easier to be a better teacher.
Emily Feistritzer, a 78-year-old former nun, learned as far back as the 1970s that she didn’t like traditional teaching methods, like talking at students as if she were the expert, and organizing learning around planned lessons. A more collaborative approach, she came to believe, was far better. She founded two education foundations that sought to conduct and distribute the most up-to-date research in the field, and, in 2011, she founded Teach-Now, which trains and certifies teachers online. “We focus on preparing tomorrow's teachers for tomorrow's learning world,” she says. “so that the program will never be old.” This year the Washington, D.C.-based Teach-Now started offering master's certifications targeted at programs that are growing quickly, such as early childhood, multilingual, and special needs education. Since its founding, Teach-Now has enrolled 4,000 aspiring teachers in 125 countries. “I owe everything to my mother,” says Feistritzer. But of course she does: “She was a teacher.” --Anna Meyer
Her health-technology platform puts mothers first.
“When I was younger, I swore that I was never going to work in this field,” says Melissa Hanna. “I didn’t want to work in my mother’s shadow.” That’s understandable: Linda Hanna pioneered the world-class maternity programs at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and Kaiser Permanente. But once there was an opportunity to “digitize her work,” says Hanna, they knew they could fundamentally change the structure of health care in this country. Mahmee, recently backed by Mark Cuban and Serena Williams, describes itself as a "data-driven maternal and infant health tech company”; it pulls a mother and her baby’s health records together so the burden isn’t on them to keep physicians on the same page about their care. Families get a personalized dashboard, and physicians can identify critical-care issues like post-partum depression sooner. Says Hanna: “We become that trusted resource where moms can let us know what’s going on.” --Jill Krasny
She's one of the few female founders in tech who's taken her company public.
Julia Hartz has had a rollercoaster ride of a year. In September 2018, the co-founder and CEO of ticketing platform Eventbrite took her company public in a wildly successful IPO that raised more than $240 million and valued her company at $1.75 billion. Last year, the company helped about 800,000 creators produce nearly four million events across 170 countries. Its market cap had soared to more than $2.4 billion when its momentum abruptly halted in March: Eventbrite missed Wall Street’s earnings estimate in its first quarterly report. “That’s a straightforward thing for the company to understand,” says a matter-of-fact Hartz. For her and her company, being public means getting back to basics. “We’ve almost rediscovered our founding DNA,” she says. “That’s been a great springboard for us.” --Guadalupe Gonzalez
Whitney Wolfe Herd
Her ladies-first dating app expanded into networking and now has more than 65 million users.
When Whitney Wolfe Herd launched Bumble in 2014, she aimed to invert social mores: her dating app requires women to start conversations with men. That platform has since swelled to more than 65 million users--including networking and friendship niches--with around $200 million in revenue and a reported $1 billion valuation. This year, Wolfe Herd convinced Serena Williams to join her venture arm, the Bumble Fund, as an investor and adviser; the tennis icon also starred in Bumble’s 2019 Super Bowl commercial. Wolfe Herd is trying not to be distracted by recent reports detailing sexual harassment at Bumble’s parent company, Badoo. “We assure you that we would never conduct business in a manner contradictory to our values,” she insists. In the spring, Wolfe Herd helped introduce a bill to the Texas state legislature criminalizing the transmission of sexually explicit photographs if the person receiving it has not given consent (it passed in May.) “This was an issue that many of the women on our team have dealt with firsthand,” the founder explains, “and seeing it go from concept to law [is] the moment I’m most proud of this year." --Zoë Henry
She's helping thousands of customers avoid mundane household tasks.
In 2014, the founders of Hello Alfred won the TechCrunch Disrupt SF pitch competition--becoming the first all-female founder team to do so--after wowing judges with its vision of an on-demand concierge service that connects customers with a professionally trained home manager to complete workaday household errands like cleaning, laundry, and pet care. Since then, Hello Alfred has raised $52.2 million. This March, the company launched its new platform, Powered by Alfred, a more gently priced service, and in May, it landed a partnership with Greystar, the nation’s largest apartment property manager, to provide its concierge services for Greystar’s nearly half a million units. Also this year, Hello Alfred expanded its reach to 22 cities (it started the year at 12). “I’d like for us to be one of the generation-defining companies. I don’t think there’s been one since Uber or Airbnb,” Sapone says. “And there’s never been one run by women.” --Emily Canal