The tech industry has long held a reputation for being a boys’ club. While there is still much work to be done to reach gender equity in tech, women are no longer sitting on the sidelines waiting for an invitation. They’re launching companies of their own and empowering other women with their products and missions.
In honor of these pioneers, and the work they’re doing to both advance the tech industry and women’s places in it, here are six Colorado startups built by women — for women.
Kindara helps women take control of their reproductive health. The company’s fertility charting app and Bluetooth basal thermometer allow women to track their fertility, whether they’re trying to get pregnant, avoid pregnancy or just want to better understand their bodies. The company was founded in 2011 by Kati Bicknell and her husband Will Sacks in an effort to better understand their own fertility. The company continues to be majority female and has built a community to support women in various stages of family planning.
Bold Betties is all about empowering women to unleash their inner adventurer. By combining an online community, local chapters, an e-commerce gear shop and organized guided excursions, Bold Betties gives women the tools, information and people to get out and explore the world. The female-owned and -led startup first began as a meetup for women in Colorado and has since grown to nearly 40 chapters around the country.
“Small boobs, big dreams” — that’s the inspiration behind Denver-based e-commerce brand Pepper. The company designs bras specifically for small-chested women, supporting body positivity for all women and providing comfortable, stylish bras for women who have long been overlooked by traditional brands. Founded by friends Jaclyn Fu and Lia Winograd, Pepper launched in 2017 as a Kickstarter campaign, reaching its goal in only 10 hours and attracting 950 backers over the course of its two-week campaign.
Revolar first came about when co-founder Jacqueline Ros’ sister was assaulted for the second time — before the age of 17. Ros, along with her co-founder Andrea Perdomo, wanted to create a wearable safety device that could alert friends and family when someone is in trouble and enable people — particularly women — to get help in situations where they need it most. The company’s products range from discreet lockets to small keychains, which allow the user to share their GPS location, send alerts for help and ring their phone to create a diversion from uncomfortable situations.
One in eight women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, making personal breast health awareness an important — yet overlooked — wellness mission. Norma aims to change that by introducing a mobile app that helps women take control of their breast health and become familiar with their own “normal.” Founded at the Techstars Startup Weekend Women in Denver in February, the app is still in development. However, the forthcoming app and connected IoT device will give women modern tools to detect abnormalities early on and be their own best advocates for their health.
The internet can be a powerful platform for social impact, particularly when it comes to connecting people in remote, developing parts of the world with the resources they need to stay healthy and thrive. Fort Collins-based Ayzh develops low-cost health kits for women without access to health products and facilities. Through its online platform, both individuals and organizations can purchase things like clean birth kits, newborn kits, postpartum mother care kits and menstrual hygiene kits. Women can even go online and choose to purchase a year supply of menstrual products for themselves and a woman in need. The for-profit social venture, which was founded by Zubaida Bai in 2010, also has operations in India. There, it employs local women to help assemble and package its products, creating economic opportunity in the same communities it’s dedicated to serving.