Women Tech Founders
Inaugural Event at 1871 Chicago’s Largest Tech Incubator
January 21, 2015 Chicago, Illinois



1871 Tech Incubator, Chicago, IL (60654)

From Silicon Valley to the Windy City many are talking about the lack women and diversity in tech, on Tuesday, January 27, 2015 Chicago’s top women entrepreneurs who founded successful technology based companies congregated at 1871, Chicago’s largest tech incubator, for WTF Live! organized by Women Tech Founders. The inaugural WTF Live! theme was called “12 Female Startup Founders. One Message:”The World Needs You.”

Women Tech Founders is a newly formed collective created by Sharon Schneider, founder and CEO of MoxieJean and Terri Brax, founder and CEO of TeacherCare.


Women Tech Founders Event


Women Tech Founders collective aims to encourage all women especially on college-aged women to create their own startup technology company. The collective aims to provide women with support of other successful women founders.

“We are women led. Men supported group,” said Riana Lynn, founder and CEO of Food Trace and also one of the board member of Women Tech Founders.


Riana Lynn, talks about her startup FoodTrace, which is a software as well as mobile application for food (restauranteurs) business owners that need help with managing their inventory food source needs.

The WTF Live! panel included Desiree Vargas Wrigley, Co-Founder of GiveForward , a fundraising platform that helps raise money for friends in need. She advised women to take the leap into entrepreneurship.

Desiree Vargas Wrigley, Co-Founder of GiveForward.com


Sharon Schneider, Terri Brax, and Riana Lynn with videographer Bradley LaRocco of Missing Button, that created the opening video for WTF Live!


Jill Salzman (@foundingmom), founder of Founding Moms, moderated the panel. The panel’s inspiring energy was palpable in the auditorium as each women took center stage and shared their backstories about how they took the leap to become successful tech entrepreneurs inspite of some of them not having technical background.


“In the sea of chatter about supporting women in tech, WTF is bringing people together who can actually do something. It’s a great, great thing when people take action,” said Salzman.


Nicole Yeary, founder Ms. Tech discussed how she was inspired to bring women entrepreneurs together and scale their business


Liz Tilatti, CoFounder & CEO, ZipFit Denim shared how a conversation with college friends led to her founding a startup company that helps men shop for the perfect jeans.


Katie Hench, co-founder infiniteach inspired to start her startup company from personal experience when she discovered her brother is on the autism spectrum.


The panelists shared how they took their ideas and turned them into profitable businesses. Each woman had created successful businesses in industries like Ed Tech, Food Tech, Social Enterprise, Fashion, Consumer Services, and Health.


Babies4Babies, founder Kate Marie Sigfusson


Listen to Nicole Yeary, Founder of Ms. Tech and Daniela Bolzmann, CoFounder, WeDeliver.us talk about how “Showing Up” helped made them successful in their startups


Following the tech founder introductions, the audience of about 200, majority of whom were women, had opportunity to ask questions and network.


Stacy Ratner, founder of Open Books and Hooray Learning (formerly StoryPort) – Hooray Learning engages, educates, and empowers young learners and their guides.


The audience of more than 200 included many women who have also founded startup companies in Chicago. Many of the women in attendance were also tech entrepreneurs and founders of previous ventures.


Women Tech Founder at WTF Live!


Women founders in the audience included Christine Brown, founder of Unieros a social organization that produces multicultural social events to bring together diverse people from different cultural backgrounds.


“Unieros leverages the latest technologies to ensure that the cultural dialog grows richer” (Chicago Sun Times)


Also in audience was Erica Grigg, Co-Founder of Passionly, an app that helps couples have amazing sexual relationships.


Erica Grigg, talks about her startup company called Passionly


Karen Gordon, CEO, Lean Creative Labs, shared that Women Tech Founders will provide resources on its website for all women who want to create and build tech companies.


Other women led companies in Chicago that were scheduled to be on the panel for the first WTF Live! were:

  • Jessica Tenuta, CoFounder, PackBack
  • Ce Cole Dillon, CEO, School Loans 411
  • Mariela Santori, Founder & CEO, Let’s Play Please


For more information visit www.womentechfounders.com


In Chicago there is a growing community women in Chicago technology. In December 2014, ARA Mentorssuccessful tech women event held at 1871 Chicago. The ARA Mentors featured more that 300 women who had opportunities to network and find mentorships with leading women Chicago.


In January 2015, the first Write, Speak, Code seminar organized by Chicago Women Developer group held an all day seminar at Dev Bootcamp in Chicago. The seminar was attended by approximately 100 women who learned about opportunities to write about technology innovation opportunities to speak at technology conferences as well as how to contribute to open source code ecosystem to share knowledge.


The question is are you a women tech startup founder in Chicago? Add your inspiration and company information to comments section below.

– See more at: http://www.breakingvoic.es/WomenTechFounders1871#sthash.JzCVpmvK.dpuf