Unlike relative databases, you don't need to be a high-level expert to start exploring MongoDB. Since it’s a NoSQL database, you don't have to know SQL. You can work with MongoDB using JavaScript or any other major programming languages.
Chukwuemeka Okoli
ML engineer at Ledios
Former Petroleum engineer
Unlike relative databases, you don't need to be a high-level expert to start exploring MongoDB. Since it’s a NoSQL database, you don't have to know SQL. You can work with MongoDB using JavaScript or any other major programming languages.
Chukwuemeka Okoli
ML engineer at Ledios
Former Petroleum engineer
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Despite all the progress in gender equality and diversity, women still make up a small percentage of tech startup founders and recipients of venture capital funding. This imbalance has fueled a common sad belief within the women in the tech community– that in order to attract investment and strong partnerships, you have to keep a man in the room (In other words, invite a man to co-found!)

This begs the question: What's going on? Are there impassable barriers women face in securing funding and resources? Why aren't there more women in tech entrepreneurship?

While gender balance in tech remains elusive, new, highly successful startups founded by women are popping up regularly. To prove the point and empower aspiring tech heroines, we'd like to share the extraordinary stories of five great companies founded by self-made businesswomen.


Co-founded by Rana el Kaliouby in 2009, Affectiva emotion recognition software analyzes subtle facial and vocal expressions to understand human emotions. This product can be applied in advertising, market research, and mental health.

To start her venture, Affectiva, Rana invited a male CEO, even though she took on many CEO responsibilities herself. She was one of the many female founders that thought only a male leader would be able to approach predominantly male investors. 

It wasn't until 2016 that el Kaliouby mustered the courage to become CEO herself, and began serving as the face of the company. At the same time, she made a concerted effort to balance her corporate responsibilities with motherhood and marriage.

Her vision took Affectiva to new heights, and in 2021, the company was acquired by Smart Eye, a Swedish company specializing in driver monitoring systems. The price was $73.5 million in a cash-and-stock deal. 

Reflecting on her journey, el Kaliouby said that growing up in the Middle East, society expected her to conform to certain cultural norms. For a long time, she followed a path approved by her family and wanted to become a faculty member at a university in Egypt. But as her thinking evolved, she decided to take a risk and start Affectiva. For years, she felt like an outsider and was her own worst critic. But with experience, she learned to coexist with the voice of doubt in her head and turn it into an empowering force.

Rana El Kaliouby speaks at TEDWomen2015 - Momentum, Session 1, May 28, 2015, Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California, USA. Photo: Marla Aufmuth/TED

Daily Harvest

Rachel Drori always liked making smoothies for her family and friends. Her passion for healthy, convenient, and personalized meals led her to launch the company Daily Harvest in 2015. She started it with just $25,000 in savings. 

While expecting her first child, Rachel promised herself not to leave her main job until orders from unknown customers were five times greater than those from friends and family. She achieved this goal in just two months.

In between having her two kids, Rachel began fundraising for Daily Harvest. At that time, she faced many improper questions regarding her capability to manage a business while caring for her young children. Regardless, by 2018, Drori successfully raised around $50 million through three investment rounds and started scaling up quickly. In 202, the company secured $100 million, while venture investors valued it at an impressive $1.1 billion. 

Now Drori is one of the wealthiest self-made women in the U.S., with a net worth of $350 million as of 2023. Her ultimate goal is to revolutionize the food industry and expand beyond the direct-to-consumer business model.

Rachel Drori on Instagram.com

Coffee Meets Bagel

Dawoon Kang is on a mission to revolutionize online dating. She launched Coffee Meets Bagel, a dating app that offers in-depth profile creation tools. It also suggests icebreaker prompts allowing users to skip the small talk and get to know each other on a deeper level.

As a Korean immigrant, Kang has faced many challenges in the U.S., including adjusting to a new culture and learning English. These obstacles only strengthened her resolve to succeed. In 2011, her twin sister Arum came up with the idea for Coffee Meets Bagel. The following year, Kang quit her job at JPMorgan to launch the app.

Dawoon Kang recalls that whenever she attended investor pitches, she was usually the only Asian female in the building. She did not feel seen or understood.

But her mother taught her never to give up and to thrive through the hard times. Even though Korean women in her generation very rarely founded and led businesses, Dawoon’s mother was also an entrepreneur and managed several shops.

Since its launch, Coffee Meets Bagel has generated over one million dates and thousands of lasting relationships worldwide. The app has raised over $23.3 million in venture capital, and over 90% of its users are looking for a serious relationship.

Dawoon Kang on www.gsb.stanford.edu


As Carolyn Witte's experience shows, paying attention to your own and other women’s needs can be rewarded with a brilliant business idea.

Carolyn had a hard time getting a correct diagnosis for her polycystic ovary syndrome. This syndrome can cause hormonal imbalances, affect metabolism, and lead to fertility issues, diabetes, and mood disorders. Her situation is not unusual: 1 in 10 U.S. women face similar problems, and up to 75% of them remain undiagnosed.

After having numerous doctor appointments for three years, she finally realized what her symptoms meant thanks to a self-help forum where other women shared their experiences. This showed her the problems of the disjointed healthcare system and its negative impact on women.

That's why Witte and her college friend Felicity Yost decided to start Tia, an app providing women a platform to have all their medical and aesthetic care in one place. With the app, women can have control of their expenses and get continuous support from doctors online. 

Tia isn’t simply a telemedicine company, but a community of women. They don’t just use the platform but rather join it, as Tia aspires to continue supporting them throughout their life, says Carolyn.

How is a focus on women customers justified from a business point of view? Women are more involved in their healthcare than men, and typically make 80% of their family's healthcare decisions, as noted in the study.

Tia's unique approach to healthcare has had a resounding success. The company has raised $132 million in funding and expects to reach 100,000 members by the end of 2023.
Carolyn Witte on Instagram.com

Future Family

The problems that Claire Tomkins faced were not uncommon, too. She struggled with infertility and used IVF to get pregnant with her daughter. That experience inspired her to create a product that will increase fertility awareness and give its users a chance to better control their future.

Together with Eve Blossom, Claire co-founded Future Family, a fintech startup for accessible fertility services in the United States. For a monthly fee, the platform provides holistic online services, such as pricing out custom treatment plans on fertility testing, egg freezing, and IVF. 

In 2022, Future Family secured $25 million in Series B. The funding will allow the startup to expand its network, invest in staff and product development, and explore new channels.

Blossom and Tomkins credit their success to the power of collaboration and support they found in a professional women's group in Silicon Valley. According to Tomkins, women surrounding her have a sense of solidarity since there are few of them in tech. That’s why it’s easy to collaborate with each other: everyone is ready to help with everything, from an introduction to advice.

Blossom's advice to young women seeking careers that align with their life purpose is to connect with women of different generations as mentors and mentees.
Claire Tomkins on LinkedIn.com

You can do it, too

These stories prove that persistence, confidence, and relevant knowledge can help build a successful career in tech. All these amazing women with diverse backgrounds have succeeded in what they do, contributing to equality and gender awareness in the tech industry. 

The common thread of success stories is the irrevocable support of female entrepreneurs by other women. Within IT, Women Who Code provides an incredibly supportive community by creating educational programs useful for starting a career in tech. Almost 300,000 women in various tech positions have become members and are ready to help newcomers.

Practicum values the talent of women in tech and supports you every step of the way. Do you dream of working for a women-led startup and eventually starting your own? Enroll in a coding bootcamp to launch your career today.

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