data from the heart, analyze it for
irregularities, and funnel vital information to a doctor. Chong Rodriguez,
who’s getting her master’s at MIT, is
currently beta testing the device,
hoping to get it to market next year.
“We want to give women peace of mind
and help them live longer, healthier
lives,” she says. —K.J.R.
CREATE & CULTIVATE
When Johnson’s marketing agency
threw its frst major event in 2015, she
faced a choice: “We could do this for
cheap in a hotel conference room, or
we could make it beautiful and amazing … and Instagrammable.” She aimed
for the ’Gram—and attendees loved the
affair. So did the sponsor, eager to
reach ambitious young women, both in
person and on social media. So Johnson sold her agency, and today her
$10 million events business—which
hosts up to 40 events annually—
creates sponsored experiences meant to
be both inspiring and shareable. —B.H.
Rana el Kaliouby
Because even machines need
See page 74.
A member of the National Guard,
Snabes wanted to be an astronaut,
but a stint at NASA introduced her to
Engineers Without Borders, inspiring
her to bring sustainable technology
to the developing world. Now, her
company makes the Gigabot, a large-format 3-D printer that costs less than
$10,000. Based in Houston, Austin,
and Puerto Rico, with customers in
53 countries, RE:3D has created a
printer that can produce anything
from battery-pack cases for electric
motorcycles to replicas of dinosaur
bones. Snabes’s next goal: printing
from trash—specifcally, the ground-up plastic water bottles that pollute so
many shorelines. And she’s still looking skyward: “I applied to be an astronaut in the last round,” she says.
“With 18,000 other people.” —K. W.
g Emma Mcilroy
Soon after launching her tomboy
apparel company, Mcilroy got an
introduction to Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh.
She few to Vegas to meet Hsieh for
lunch, and he asked, “If I had a magic
wand, what could I do for you?” Mcilroy,
unprepared, babbled something about
wanting to work with his head of operations and customer service. “When I
got home I was like, ‘Fuck! I did not do
that question justice,’ ” says Mcilroy, who
had previously worked at Nike with her
co-founder, Julia Parsley. She more
than salvaged the conversation—
eventually getting Hsieh to invest twice in
her Portland, Oregon–based company—but she’s also since built a brand
imbued with social justice. Mcilroy, who
is queer, vocally pro-choice, and proimmigration, animates her six-year-old
company’s product line with these
tenets. “It’s so much more than just
money,” she says of running a mission-based retailer that’s developed a cult
following among celebs including Miley
Cyrus and Evan Rachel Wood. “You
have to live and breathe it in every facet
of your business.” —Hannah Wallace
Because what mother doesn’t need a
lactation pod to breastfeed in?
Jeff Bezos may own Seattle, but someone else dominates its restaurant
Ma was a director of product management at Gilt Groupe when she got her
frst opportunity to start a Gilt spinoff.
The venture eventually folded, but Gilt
founder Kevin Ryan, a pioneer in New
York City tech, recognized Ma’s talent.
So when she pitched him the idea of a
company that overhauled the antiquated tradition of wedding registries—
think zapping porcelain bowls in a
Bed Bath & Beyond—he immediately
invested. Five years later, Zola has
become the fastest-growing wedding
registry site in the U.S., valued at
$600 million and untethered to the
“I’ve seen men with really
bad ideas, no traction, and
no path to traction raise
millions of dollars. It’s just
not that way for black
women,” writes Tanya Van
Court, CEO and founder
of kid-focused savings
“Everything is scrutinized
and the conversation starts
at no. You have to move
them to yes.”
2018 SURVE Y
S TATE OF WOMEN AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP
“Getting told no a million times
can be really disheartening,” writes
one founder. Nevertheless, she—
and many other women surveyed—
persisted to start big, expensive,
Women need more credentials to be taken seriously:
20% have their MBAs and 30% have other graduate
degrees. Compare that with survey answers from
this year’s Inc. 5000 CEOs, who are 87% male: 15%
of those respondents have MBAs and 20% have
other graduate degrees.
Way better than the averages: Only 2% of all VC goes
to U.S.-based female-only founder teams, according
to PitchBook, and roughly 3% goes to female CEOs.
37% of respondents needed over
to start their business.
Women use their own cash: 63% of respondents say
they funded their startup through savings ...