15 Female-led Tech Companies You Should Know

These 15 female-led companies are leading the way in AI, 3D printing, education, and more.
  • When it comes to the technology space, women's history happens all year around. Here are 15 women-led companies breaking new ground in AI, robotics, blockchain, sustainability, 3D printing, and more.

  • Adafruit Industries

    Founder: Limor Fried

    If you're a maker or enjoy DIY electronics projects there's no way you haven't heard of Adafruit Industries. In addition to producing its own line of open-source embedded hardware, Adafruit is a retailer of popular platforms like the Raspberry Pi and also boasts a thriving online community dedicate to educating people of all ages and skill levels about electronics and engineering.

    (Image source: Adafruit Industries)

  • Affectiva

    Co-founder/CEO: Rana el Kaliouby

    What if your car, smart home, or other device knew how you felt and reacted accordingly? Affectiva is an “emotional AI” company that is developing AI that will allow machines to respond to our emotions. Using cameras placed inside of a vehicle, for example, the AI can recognize if you're frustrated, fatigued, or even injured – allowing the vehicle to take steps such as adjusting music volume, temperature, or even calling for emergency or roadside assistance when needed.

    (Image source: Affectiva)

  • BadVR

    Founder / CEO: Suzanne Borders

    Bringing All Your Data (BAD)VR is the developer of a device-agnostic virtual and augmented reality platform that turns data into real-time, interactive, immersive graphics. The company sees factories and even large-scale endeavors like smart cities being able to take advantage of its platform for applications ranging from security and surveillance to city planning and real-time management of utilities and emergency resources.

    (Image source: BadVR)

  • Fetch Robotics

    CEO: Melonee Wise

    Fetch Robotics is a collaborative robot (cobot) manufacturer that creates mobile robots for factory and warehouse applications, including material handling and data collection. The company's robots are controlled via a cloud-based system, meaning they can be implemented into factories and warehouses without an extensive re-design or renovation of the space.

    (Image source: Fetch Robotics)

  • Filament

    CEO: Allison Clift-Jennings

    Filament is a blockchain startup that makes implementing blockchain into your device as simple as plugging into a USB-port. The company's Blocklet chip comes in a USB form factor and can be plugged directly into machines to give them native ability to interact with blockchain applications.

    (Image source: Filament)

  • Formalloy

    Co-founder / CEO: Melanie Lang

    Would you 3D print an airplane? Formalloy would. The metal 3D printing company specializes in f laser metal deposition (LMD) technology, which blows powder for 3D printing and heats it with a laser. LMD is compatible with a variety of materials that can be used for aerospace and other heavy-industrial applications. It also allows for materials to be changed during a print or to have multiple hoppers in use on the same print job.

    (Image source: Formalloy)

  • Fomoro AI

    Partner/CEO: Danielle Swank

    Lots of business are curious about AI, but many are confused or unsure about what they can or should do with it. Fomoro is an artificial intelligence research and consulting firm that works alongside companies looking to develop and implement AI projects. The company is working to solve the skills gap in manufacturing using machine learning technologies. Fomoro also works with clients on a number of projects involving object detection, image segmentation, financial modeling, reinforcement learning, and other research applications.

    (Image source: Fomoro AI)

  • goTenna

    Co-founder/CEO: Daniela Perdomo

    goTenna is working to build the world's most advanced and scalable mobile mesh networks. The company's technology can give smartphones and other mobile devices a means to communicate over long ranges off the grid without the need for cellular, Wi-Fi, or satellite connectivity. Mobile mesh networking can prove particularly useful in disaster situations where traditional communications networks are disabled or shut down.

    (Image source: goTenna)

  • Instrumental

    Founder/CEO: Anna-Katrina Shedletsky

    Instrumental is applying artificial intelligence to quality control. The company has developed a machine learning technology that can use off-the-shelf cameras placed throughout a product's manufacturing line to flag defects that human inspectors might miss. And since the system learns over time it can begin to anticipate new product defects and flag them to human quality inspectors.

    (Image source: Instrumental)

  • Kiverdi

    Founder/ CEO: Lisa Dyson

    Kiverdi is a green tech and sustainability company that is working to transform CO2 and other carbon materials into reusable and environmentally-friendly products. One of the company's flagship technologies is Air Protein – a system that turns CO2, combined with oxygen and nitrogen, into a protein that can be used to create meat substitutes.

    (Image source: Kiverdi)

  • littleBits

    Founder/CEO: Ayah Bdeir

    littleBits has developed a series of open-source, modular electronic building blocks (called “bits”) that can be used in DIY electronics projects to teach STEAM skills to kids. Think of them like LEGOs, only each block functions like an electronic component. The company produces various kits aimed a different ages and skill levels. In 2019 the company merged with Sphero, the creators of the educational sphere-shaped robot of the same name, to broaden its educational offerings.

    (Image source: littleBits)

  • Millibatt

    Co-founder / CEO: Janet Hur

    Millibatt is using 3D printing to create custom-sized lithium-ion batteries for IoT sensors, wearables, and biomedical devices. The company has already produced samples of a 1.5 mAh battery that is only 7 x 7 x 0.8 mm in size and capable of powering a Bluetooth sensor. The company says its batteries can last 10 times longer than traditional options and have one-tenth the tooling costs. Millibatt has also made a scientific paper available regarding its technology.

    (Image source: Millibatt)

  • PopCom

    Founder/CEO: Dawn Dickson

    PopCom is working to brining seamless, software-driven transactions to retail via its own brand of “smart kiosks.” The kiosks vend products to customers while also gathering demographic data (such as age and gender) on customers so that retailers can better understand customer behavior. The kiosks also employ machine learning technology that allows them to “learn” from each transaction to make sales more seamless over time as well as blockchain for additional security.

    (Image source: PopCom)

  • re:3D

    Co-founder: Samantha L. Snabes

    re:3D is the company behind the Gigabot series of the 3D printers, which range in size from DIY/hobbyist models to life-size industrial printers. What's most unique about re:3D's 3D printers is their commitment to sustainability. The company recently modified its Gigabot printers to be able to print using pellets and reclaimed plastic waste – a move that not only improves the printers' environmental impact but also lowers barriers for companies looking to enter the additive manufacturing space.

    (Image source: re:3D)

  • Vote.org

    CEO: Andrea Hailey

    At a time when political engagement has become more important than ever in the US, Vote.org is looking to increase awareness and voter turnout nationwide. Vote.org provides a number of online tools to make the voting process easier for everyone. Its website toolset includes a voter registration and verification service, a tool for election reminders, as well as tool to help voters cast absentee ballots. The company makes all of these tools freely available to the public.

    (Image source: Vote.org)


Chris Wiltz is a Senior Editor at    Design News   covering emerging technologies including AI, VR/AR, blockchain, and robotics


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