Founder Profile

Sevetri Wilson

Resilia

She's bringing automated consulting services to U.S. non-profits

Sevetri Wilson’s first company, a consulting agency for nonprofits, faced a serious challenge: Plenty of nonprofits needed help, but not many could afford it. Her second company, New Orleans-based Resilia, is an attempt to solve that problem. It’s a software management platform that attempts to make nonprofit consulting faster, cheaper, and more reliable by automating it. Originally, Resilia focused largely on filing for incorporation and tax-exempt status: fill out the forms and Resilia would spit out the documents you needed, ready to file. In February, the company expanded to help existing nonprofits, private foundations, and city governments with services like budget tracking, training new hires, and grant management. Wilson estimates that the move will triple the company’s growth by the end of 2019, which will let her end the year with $5 million to $7 million in revenue. Resilia is also expanding geographically, opening a New York City office in October. And you might recognize the name of its biggest client, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. “We’re still here,” says Wilson, a solo founder operating outside of America’s startup hotspots. “So we must be doing something right.” --Cameron Albert-Deitch

Industry
Software
Year Founded
2015
Location
New Orleans, Louisiana
Industry
The Platform Economy
Twitter
Data as of Publication on Sep 16, 2019
Inc. Honors
Inc. Female Founders
2019

Sevetri Wilson’s first company, a consulting agency for nonprofits, faced a serious challenge: Plenty of nonprofits needed help, but not many could afford it. Her second company, New Orleans-based Resilia, is an attempt to solve that problem. It’s a software management platform that attempts to make nonprofit consulting faster, cheaper, and more reliable by automating it. Originally, Resilia focused largely on filing for incorporation and tax-exempt status: fill out the forms and Resilia would spit out the documents you needed, ready to file. In February, the company expanded to help existing nonprofits, private foundations, and city governments with services like budget tracking, training new hires, and grant management. Wilson estimates that the move will triple the company’s growth by the end of 2019, which will let her end the year with $5 million to $7 million in revenue. Resilia is also expanding geographically, opening a New York City office in October. And you might recognize the name of its biggest client, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. “We’re still here,” says Wilson, a solo founder operating outside of America’s startup hotspots. “So we must be doing something right.” --Cameron Albert-Deitch

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Serena Williams

S by Serena

The spoils of her $225 million tennis empire fund female CEOs.

Serena Williams. Getty Images

With 23 Grand Slam titles and an estimated $225 million fortune, Serena Williams has dominated the tennis world for some time. Lately, she’s been working on ways to parlay her brand--and her 30-odd million social media followers--into new wins. In 2018, she launched fashion line S by Serena and patented cosmetics brand Aneres. Perhaps most impressively, the sports icon has quietly scattered an estimated $6 million in investments across more than 30 startups over the past five years. Five of her investments are reportedly up at least five-fold, and the value of her portfolio has reportedly doubled to more than $10 million. In April, Williams and former JPMorgan asset manager Alison Rapaport announced the launch of her eponymous fund, Serena Ventures. The vision: to support (and generate returns from) startups run by women and people of color. Its portfolio includes women’s co-working space the Wing, sculptwear startup Honeylove, and kids clothing site Rockets of Awesome. --Zoë Henry

Industry
DEI Advocacy
Year Founded
2014
Industry
Fashion Forward
Data as of Publication on Sep 16, 2019
Inc. Honors
Inc. Female Founders
2019

With 23 Grand Slam titles and an estimated $225 million fortune, Serena Williams has dominated the tennis world for some time. Lately, she’s been working on ways to parlay her brand--and her 30-odd million social media followers--into new wins. In 2018, she launched fashion line S by Serena and patented cosmetics brand Aneres. Perhaps most impressively, the sports icon has quietly scattered an estimated $6 million in investments across more than 30 startups over the past five years. Five of her investments are reportedly up at least five-fold, and the value of her portfolio has reportedly doubled to more than $10 million. In April, Williams and former JPMorgan asset manager Alison Rapaport announced the launch of her eponymous fund, Serena Ventures. The vision: to support (and generate returns from) startups run by women and people of color. Its portfolio includes women’s co-working space the Wing, sculptwear startup Honeylove, and kids clothing site Rockets of Awesome. --Zoë Henry

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Melonee Wise

Fetch Robotics

She’s making robots to tackle the tedious warehouse jobs that humans don’t want to do.

From manufacturing to delivering a product to a shopper’s doorstep, the race for ever more efficiency is fierce. Melonee Wise’s autonomous, mobile robots make it easier to find, track, and move items in warehouses and factories. When they’re hauling things, the robots also gather useful data about everything around them. “We use that data to tell people about the inside of their facilities,” Wise explains. Understanding where there’s congestion, for instance, is powerful information for a warehouse manager. A mechanical-engineering PhD and founder of a previous robotics company, Wise has led San Jose, California-based Fetch Robotics since shortly after its founding in 2014. In July, Fetch raised $46 million in venture capital, bringing its total funding to $94 million. This year, it also landed a major new client, Universal Logistics, which uses Fetch-designed robots and cloud-based software to move car parts around the Nissan plant in Smyrna, Tennessee, the largest auto factory in North America. Fetch has several hundred robots deployed in 11 countries, and Wise says she's looking to expand in Europe. --Brit Morse

Industry
Logistics & Transportation
Year Founded
2014
Location
San Jose, California
Industry
Science Pioneers
Data as of Publication on Sep 16, 2019
Inc. Honors
Inc. Female Founders
2019

From manufacturing to delivering a product to a shopper’s doorstep, the race for ever more efficiency is fierce. Melonee Wise’s autonomous, mobile robots make it easier to find, track, and move items in warehouses and factories. When they’re hauling things, the robots also gather useful data about everything around them. “We use that data to tell people about the inside of their facilities,” Wise explains. Understanding where there’s congestion, for instance, is powerful information for a warehouse manager. A mechanical-engineering PhD and founder of a previous robotics company, Wise has led San Jose, California-based Fetch Robotics since shortly after its founding in 2014. In July, Fetch raised $46 million in venture capital, bringing its total funding to $94 million. This year, it also landed a major new client, Universal Logistics, which uses Fetch-designed robots and cloud-based software to move car parts around the Nissan plant in Smyrna, Tennessee, the largest auto factory in North America. Fetch has several hundred robots deployed in 11 countries, and Wise says she's looking to expand in Europe. --Brit Morse

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Trinity Mouzon Wofford

Golde

Her line of organic masks and superfood powders is poised for national distribution.

If the Instagram-fueled wellness boom made of “Moon Juice” dusts and diet teas feels like outer space, Trinity Mouzon Wofford is trying to bring things back down to earth. In 2016, the Millennial-minded founder began formulating superfood-boosted powders with powerful anti-inflammatory turmeric that could be mixed with any liquid. A year later, New York City stores began selling her Original Golde Tonic for $29. Soon, Goop, Urban Outfitters, and Sephora.com were calling. Today, Golde’s five powders and facemasks are sold by about 100 stores nationwide, and the company is poised for broader distribution. It’s a strong start for the tiny, bootstrapped operation, which consists of Wofford, her boyfriend, Issey Kobori, and just one part-time employee working out of the couple’s Brooklyn, New York, home. --Christine Lagorio-Chafkin

Industry
Health Products
Year Founded
2017
Location
New York, New York
Industry
All Things Consumer
Co-founder
Issey Kobori
Data as of Publication on Sep 16, 2019
Inc. Honors
Inc. Female Founders
2019

If the Instagram-fueled wellness boom made of “Moon Juice” dusts and diet teas feels like outer space, Trinity Mouzon Wofford is trying to bring things back down to earth. In 2016, the Millennial-minded founder began formulating superfood-boosted powders with powerful anti-inflammatory turmeric that could be mixed with any liquid. A year later, New York City stores began selling her Original Golde Tonic for $29. Soon, Goop, Urban Outfitters, and Sephora.com were calling. Today, Golde’s five powders and facemasks are sold by about 100 stores nationwide, and the company is poised for broader distribution. It’s a strong start for the tiny, bootstrapped operation, which consists of Wofford, her boyfriend, Issey Kobori, and just one part-time employee working out of the couple’s Brooklyn, New York, home. --Christine Lagorio-Chafkin

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Laura Behrens Wu

Shippo

For helping e-commerce companies ship their stuff faster.

Shippo founder and CEO Laura Behrens Wu set out to make shipping easier for independent e-commerce merchants. The pandemic has caused business to skyrocket at the eight-year-old shipping platform in a way that Wu had never experienced. The company has doubled head count year over year and is on track to do so again in the next 12 months. “Every day I am running the largest company that I have ever worked at,” says Wu.

Shippo raised over $50 million in funding back in June, which put it over the $1 billion valuation mark. It is now working with more than 100,000 e-commerce merchants, and is available in countries around the world, including the U.S, Canada, Mexico, the U.K., Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Russia, the Netherlands, Norway, Finland, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and Hong Kong.

Wu describes Shippo as an “API-first” company in an industry dominated by traditional global shipping giants, and says its focus on technology helps distinguish it from competitors.

“E-commerce has evolved so fast, and shipping expectations today are vastly different from what they were even five to 10 years ago,” Wu says. “In our industry, we are going up against incumbents. Our API-first approach and a focus on reliability and scalability make us a great choice for fast scaling e-commerce companies.”--Amrita Khalid

Industry
Software
Year Founded
2014
Location
San Francisco, California
Industry
The Platform Economy
Co-founder
Simon Kreuz
Twitter
Data as of Publication on Sep 16, 2019
Inc. Honors
Inc. Female Founders
2021, 2019

When Laura Behrens Wu, now 28, was launching an online handbag store in 2013, she discovered that although technologies like Shopify or Stripe made e-commerce, sales, and billing easier, the one function that was still inefficient was shipping. “You either had to walk to the post office and do it yourself, or deal with outdated shipping providers,” says Behrens Wu. She and co-founder Simon Kreuz began building a platform that aggregates shipping options on an easy-to-use dashboard, letting customers select the best carrier for each package and fulfill their orders in the same place. Five years after launch, more than 35,000 companies use the site—including larger operators like Me Undies and Tuft & Needle, but also small and midsize businesses for which shipping is often a huge drag on time. Plus, Shippo’s scale lets it negotiate far better shipping rates than its smaller customers could ever get on their own. So far, the company has raised $29 million, and it is now handling upwards of $5 billion in merchandise a year. --Hannah Wallace

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