Founder Profile

Shadiah Sigala

Kinside

For giving working parents a leg up on finding childcare.

On January 1, 2020, Shadiah Sigala launched the app Kinside, which lets employers offer pre-negotiated spots in daycares and preschools as part of their employees’ benefits packages. A little more than two months later, of course, child care centers everywhere shut down.

Sigala, who had raised $4 million at that point, put aside the task of generating revenue and instead used the moment to prepare her nascent app for the considerable opportunity that might await the company on the other side of quarantine.

“We used our funding to double down on improving the product, service, and workflow, so we’d be ready when every family in America would need child care again,” Sigala says. “That’s exactly what happened.”

Kinside kicked off 2021 with 3,000 employers using the app. In the summer, Sigala raised another $2 million from investors in an opportunistic round. Revenue doubled in four months from May to August 2021. Next up: mapping both the supply and demand sides of child care so that Kinside can help facilities target down to a specific neighborhood where to put a new care center. --Lindsay Blakely

Company Information
Industry
Consumer Services
Location
Claremont, California
Inc. Honors
Inc. Female Founders
2021

Trina Spear

Figs

For shaking up a staid industry.

Trendy direct-to-consumer apparel company FIGS [https://www.inc.com/profile/figs] has racked up a lot of “firsts” since launching in 2013. It’s largely credited with branding what was previously a staid, unbranded industry: health care scrubs. On May 27, 2021, FIGS became the first health care apparel company—-and the first company with two female co-founders, Trina Spear and Heather Hasson—to go public. And FIGS is the first company to offer IPO shares through the stock-trading app Robinhood—that was by design so that the health care workers who wear FIGS scrubs could get in on the action.

“Heather and I have been maniacally focused on doing things our way,” says co-CEO Trina Spear. “We had that same mentality around the IPO: Why not do it in a way that makes sense for your brand, who you are, and what you stand for?”

Figs ended 2020 with $263 million in revenue, up 138 percent from the year prior, and profit of $58 million.--Lindsay Blakely

Company Information
Industry
Retail
Location
Los Angeles, California
Inc. Honors
Inc. Female Founders
2021

Courtney Spritzer

Socialfly

For helping women return to the workforce.

Since co-founding the New York City-based social media marketing agency Socialfly in 2011, Courtney Spritzer and Stephanie Cartin have taken on an additional cause: helping women entrepreneurs. Among their efforts is the Entreprenista podcast, where they interview other women founders about how to succeed.

After the pandemic hit, the pair launched a membership program for women business owners. "When we were seeing the stats around the end of last year that most of the people leaving the workforce were women, it really opened our eyes and we wanted to do as much as possible to help these women," Spritzer says. Through the membership program, they provide resources to help women run their businesses while also managing the day-to-day of their home life—helping to remedy a key issue that has caused women to leave the workforce.--Anna Meyer

Company Information
Industry
Consumer Services
Location
New York, New York
Inc. Honors
Inc. Female Founders
2021

Zuleyka Strasner

Zero Grocery

For taking plastic out of the grocery supply chain.

Zuleyka Strasner did not set out to build a grocery delivery business. An Oxford graduate who studied politics, Strasner moved to Silicon Valley in 2016 to work as chief of staff at a venture firm. Soon she became interested in sustainability and, specifically, a better way to get stuff to people. Amazon had perfected shipping efficiency, but no company seemed focused on cutting out the mountains of plastic packaging that e-commerce generates. So she aimed to develop software that could help pack, route, and batch goods through the supply chain more sustainably. “Very quickly it became obvious that we had to build out not only the supply side but also the demand side, which meant becoming a single, monolithic platform,” Strasner says.

She launched Zero Grocery in 2019, and today it is a platform that offers next-day delivery on nearly 3,000 different items—from groceries to homewares—all packaged without any single-use plastics. Zero works with food suppliers at the point in the supply chain when the food is packed, making sure things like berries go into recycled cardboard containers and spices and shampoo go into reusable glass jars. The service, which is currently available in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles, is available to both non-members and members (the latter pay a $25 monthly fee for discounted prices and free delivery).

Demand soared in 2020, and Strasner grew the team from six people in February of last year to 50. In 2022, the company, which has raised $4.7 million to date, plans to expand to San Diego, Sacramento, and Las Vegas. --Lindsay Blakely

Company Information
Industry
Software
Location
Richmond, California
Inc. Honors
Inc. Female Founders
2021

Addie Swartz

reacHIRE

For supporting women who want to re-enter the workforce.

Addie Swartz was on a break after starting her second company, a book series and brand for preteens called The Beacon Street Girls, when she was in a car crash that left her daughter with a serious concussion. “When I was taking care of her, which sidelined me, I saw all these women who were sidelined,” she says. So in 2013, she founded reacHIRE, which works with employers to create “returnship” programs for women who are re-entering the workforce after a break. With clients including T-Mobile, Wayfair, and Fidelity, the Concord, Massachusetts-based company brings women back to work in cohorts and trains them for jobs that might not even have existed in the first stage of their careers. In February 2020, it created Aurora, a platform to help companies build a bench of early-career female talent through leadership development. “The original vision was that the return-to-work business would replenish talent into the pipeline for companies, and that the Aurora platform would grow the early-career women into emerging leaders and managers,” says Swartz. But then the pandemic hit. Schools and daycare centers closed, and without the support they needed to stay at their jobs, women left the workforce in droves. Swartz moved quickly to bring them into the fold. “A crisis forces you to reorganize and reprioritize,” she says. “You could sit and be upset and frustrated, or you could say, wait a minute--what is happening, how are we addressing it, and how are we going to move to the needs that are here now?” ReacHIRE expanded the Aurora platform to include tracks for midcareer women, women of color, and women having children.--Sophie Downes

Company Information
Industry
Human Resources
Location
Concord, Massachusetts
Inc. Honors
Inc. Female Founders
2021