The Who’s Who of Women Tech Founders in Austin


Kennedy Nunez
The Who’s Who of Women Tech Founders in...

There are 12.3 million women-owned businesses in the United States. In 2019, Austin was ranked second in the nation for the highest percentage of female-owned startups, according to a study by Seek Business Capital. The study concluded that 1,433 startups in Austin were female-owned, which is 32.7% of all Austin startups.

Of those startups, here are 10 female startup tech founders in Austin who you should know:

  1. Julia Cheek

Julia Cheek is the CEO and founder of Everlywell, a health tech company that specializes in making health testing more accessible. Everlywell offers more than 30 at-home lab testing kits including a food sensitivity test, thyroid test, and indoor and outdoor allergy tests, that can be delivered right to your door.

Everlywell’s COVID-19 test kit garnered a lot of attention during the global pandemic last year, putting the company on many people’s radar. Everlywell also received one of the top funding rounds for Austin companies in 2020, as well as becoming a unicorn valued company, under Cheek’s leadership.

  1. Amy Porter

Amy Porter founded financial technology company AffiniPay in 2005. Today, the startup boasts more than 150,000 users and continues to transform the way professionals get paid. Inc. Magazine ranked AffiniPay No. 2396 on its 500|5000 list, an exclusive ranking of the country’s fastest-growing private companies. In 2019, Porter stepped into a new role as effective chairman of the AffiniPay board of directors.

  1. Mary Haskett

Mary Haskett is the CEO of a fairly new Austin startup, Blink Identity. Haskett co-founded the company alongside Dr. Alex Kilpatrick in 2018. The startup revolutionized facial recognition technology with user privacy in mind. Haskett’s first startup was a skydiving school that she turned into a profitable business. She is a graduate of Texas A&M University, where she earned an M.E.d in educational technology. 

  1. Daina Burnes

Burnes is CEO and co-founder of Bold Metrics. Bold Metrics, founded in 2012, is a SaaS company that uses cutting-edge artificial intelligence to accurately predict customer body measurements. Burnes is a published author in prominent research journals such as PLoS One, Nature Protocols, Invest Ophthalmology & Visual Science. Before she founded Bold Metrics, she led research in biophysics and optical imaging at MIT and UCLA.

  1. Lauren Washington

Washington is the co-founder of Black Women Talk Tech and Fundr. Black Women Talk Tech launched in 2017 to help black women grow billion dollar businesses. Fundr, founded in 2019, is a platform that utilizes artificial intelligence to ensure nondiscrimination and equal opportunity to the investing world. 

In June of 2021, Washington received a spot on Forbes Next 1000 List. The list puts the spotlight on private business owners who have huge break-out potential. She serves on the board of advisors for SXSW Pitch and is the board chair of Talk Tech Association.

  1. Andrea Thomaz

Andrea Thomaz founded Diligent Robotics, a robotics startup, alongside Vivian Chu, in 2017. The startup specializes in human-robot interaction. Their hospital service robot, Moxi, is designed to assist nurses with their non-facing patient duties, to increase productivity which in turn allows the nurses to focus on more critical matters. Some of Thomaz’s long list of accomplishments include being a keynote speaker for TEDx on social robotics and being featured in Texas Monthly’s Most Powerful Texans of 2018 list.

  1. Vivian Chu

As mentioned above, Vivian Chu is co-founder and CTO of Diligent Robotics. She completed her Ph.D. in robotics at Georgia Tech. Chu is a roboticist with over 10 years of experience and was acknowledged by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Review, 35 Innovators Under 30 List.

  1. Whitney Wolfe Herd

Probably the most recognizable name on this list, Whitney Wolfe Herd is the founder and CEO of Bumble, a social app connecting people through relationships, business and friendships. Wolfe Herd began her career as an early executive for the popular mobile dating app, Tinder. 

Since founding Bumble in 2014, Wolfe Herd has been named in the Forbes 30 under 30 list twice and recently just took her company public in February of this year. Bumble is headquartered in Austin and exemplifies what it means to be an inclusive company, truly accepting people of all backgrounds.

  1. Jen Grogono

Grogono founded uStudio in 2009 and continues to serve as its CEO. uStudio is a cloud-based video and podcasting platform that simplifies business communication for large and small companies alike.

 Grogono graduated with honors from Boston College, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science and communications. She was named Woman Tech CEO of the Year in 2017 and is a regular event speaker at SXSW.

  1. Hilda Perez

Hilda Perez founded cybersecurity company Brinqa in 2009. The startup company just recently secured its first institutional investment of $110 million. Perez is a graduate of the University of Texas-Pan American, where she majored in mathematics and computer science. She is a leading example of women of color breaking barriers in the tech industry.

About Kennedy Nunez: Kennedy is a Business Development Associate for Swyft, which is a tech PR firm in Austin and Houston and a top digital marketing and PR agency in Denver since its founding in 2011. Swyft also has a small satellite office where it offers tech PR in San Francisco. Swyft has been listed as one of the top tech PR agencies in Texas for two years running by the B2B services review site, Clutch.co.

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