25 Influential Women in the Boston Tech Community
Sheryl Sandberg's recent book, Lean In, has garnered a ton of attention (rightly so) for gender balance on business leadership teams.
In Boston, we have several influential female founders, investors, and innovators leading some of the fastest growing and most successful companies in the area. Let's take a look at twenty-five of them.
Katie Rae - TechStars / Project 11
Katie Rae is the Managing Director of TechStars Boston and is a co-founder of an early stage investment group called Project 11. She is also a co-founder & chairperson of the Startup Institute.
Prior to running TechStars Boston, Rae was the Head of Product at Microsoft Startup Labs. Earlier in her career, she was a Product Manager at Zip2, which was founded by Elon Musk.
Sheila Marcelo - Care.com
Sheila Marcelo founded Care.com in 2006 and has built one of most successful consumer companies in Boston with over 8.8M members. As the company's CEO, they have raised over $100M in funding, which included Reid Hoffman as one of their earliest investors.
Prior, Sheila served as an EIR at Matrix and held leadership roles at TheLadders.com and Upromise.
Gail Goodman - Constant Contact
Gail Goodman, the CEO of Constant Contact, has been at the head of this publicly traded email marketing company for almost fifteen years.
She was previously the VP of Open Market's Commerce Products Group. She has won several "Executive of the Year" awards and was inducted into the MITX Innovation Hall of Fame.
Christina Chase - MIT Entrepreneur-in-Residence
Christina Chase is one of the leading figures promoting hardware and technology in Boston, we might even call her a badass.
As the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship's EIR, she is extremely influential in mentoring some of the best and brightest students involved in creating some of the most innovative projects happening in Boston right now.
Jennifer Lum - Adelphic Moblie
Jennifer Lum is the co-founder of Adelphic Mobile and started a seed investment firm called Apricot Ventures, which has invested in companies like Crashlytics (acquired by Twitter) and Kinvey.
Before Adelphic, Lum held leadership roles at Quattro Wireless (acquired by Apple) and m-Qube (acquired by Verisign).
Jules Pieri - The Grommet
Jules Pieri has built a very successful company called The Grommet, which is a product launch platform. This year, the company announced a major investment by Rakuten.
Jules is also an EIR at Harvard Business School and was named one of Fortune's Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs of 2013. She was previously the President & COO of Ziggs.
Maria Cirino - .406 Ventures
Maria Cirino is a co-founder of .406 Ventures and sits on the Board of many companies in her portfolio including, Attendware, Bit9, Digitalsmiths, Kaltura, MineralTree, Pwnie Express, Vaultive, and Veracode.
Before founding .406, she was selected as the "Massachusetts CEO of the Year" and "Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year" while running Guardent, which was acquired by Verisign. Prior, Maria ran sales & marketing for i-Cube, which was acquired by Razorfish for $1.8B in 1999.
Laura Fitton - HubSpot
Laura "@Pistachio" Fitton has one of the most fascinating careers of any of Boston's tech/innovation thought leaders.
After starting Pistachio Consulting, she wrote Twitter for Dummies and founded OneForty, a Twitter app store. OneForty was eventually acquired by HubSpot where Fitton is now an Inbound Marketing Evangelist. She has over 131K followers on Twitter.
Meredith Flynn-Ripley - HeyWire
Meredith Flynn-Ripley has been the CEO for many innovative companies and now heads the mobile messaging platform company, HeyWire - which has millions of registered users.
Flynn-Ripley is a twenty-year veteran of the tech industry and her company launched a new product called BNDWGN last year.
Helen Greiner - iRobot / CyPhy Works
Helen Greiner is one of Boston's most innovative women. The MIT grad is one of the original founders of iRobot, which went public in 2005.
Her most recent project, CyPhy Works just received $7M in funding to build its drone robots.
Jean Hammond - Golden Seeds / LearnLaunch
Jean Hammond is a key figure in the Boston Tech scene. She co-founded AXON Networks, which was acquired by 3Com and also founded Quarry Technologies.
An active angel investor, Jean is a member of Hub Angels and founded Boston's Golden Seeds. She is also playing a big part in Boston's emerging Ed Tech scene by co-founding LearnLaunch.
Paula Long - DataGravity
Paula Long is the CEO and co-founder of DataGravity in Nashua, NH, which has raised $42M in funding, including West Coast investors Andreessen Horowitz.
Previously, she co-founded EqualLogic, a storage provider company that was acquired by Dell in 2008 for $1.4B. At the time, the deal was the largest all-cash acquisition of a venture backed company in history.
Jacqueline Hampton - Springpad
Jacqueline Hampton joined Springpad as their CEO this summer after being the VP of Corporate Development at Time, Inc.
Her extensive background working with digital consumer brands is a major reason why she was brought on to lead Springpad, which has 5 million users.
Diane Hessan - Communispace
Diane Hessan helped found Communispace in Boston. As their President & CEO, she led the company to a successful acquisition by Omnicom in 2011.
Diane is part of Data Point Capital's Special Advisory Group. She also sits on the Board of Trustees at Tufts, Gov. Patrick's Council on Innovation, as well as the Advertising Research Foundation, Horizons for Homeless Children, & The Boston Philharmonic.
Nicole Stata - Boston Seed Capital
Nicole Stata is the Founder and Managing Director of Boston Seed Capital, which has invested in companies like RunKeeper, Ubersense, and Shareaholic.
Prior to running Boston Seed Capital, she led Deploy, which she founded in 1997 and was acquired by Kronos in 2007.
The image to the right features Nicole and Fred Destin of Atlas Venture at the NEVY awards.
Nilanjana Bhowmik - Longworth Venture Partners
Nilanjana Bhowmik is a General Partner with Longworth Venture Partners. She joined the firm in 2003 and currently sits on the board of six companies, including three in the Boston area: Swirl, NuoDB, and Viewfinity.
The exits of note that she was involved with include VKernel (acq. by Quest), Tizor (acq. by Netezza/IBM), Softricity (acq. by Microsoft), and Thor Technologies (acq. by Oracle).
Janet Holian - Gemvara
Janet Holian is the CEO of Gemvara. Prior to joining the company as its COO, she spent eleven years in executive leadership roles at Vistaprint.
Janet played a key role in helping Vistaprint grow from $0 in revenue to nearly $1B, which led to an IPO in 2005.
Debi Kleiman - MITX
Debi Kleiman has turned MITX into one of the most vital organizations for Boston's innovation ecosystem.
Since arriving in the position from Communispace, she has made an impact on many of the young entrepreneurs and marketers in town, and helped turn FutureM into one of Boston's premier conferences.
Nataly Kogan - Happier
Nataly Kogan is the co-founder and Chief Happiness Officer at Happier. She gave one of the best talks at TEDxBoston this year on the topic of being happier.
Prior to founding Happier, Nataly was the VP of Consumer Experience at Where.com (acquired by PayPal).
Eileen Rudden - LearnLaunch
Eileen Rudden is an active angel investor and co-founder of LearnLaunch. Rudden has played a key executive role with many tech companies like Lotus, FairMarket, & Avaya.
Eileen was also the Board Chair of SoundBite Communications, which went public and was later acquired by Genesys this year.
Bettina Hein - Pixability
Bettina Hein is the founder & CEO of Pixability, a video marketing software company based in Cambridge.
Bettina is a repeat entrepreneur and was the co-founder of a speech-technology software company called SVOX which is used in Android phones. Before starting Pixability, she was a Sloan Fellow at MIT.
Rudina Seseri - Fairhaven Capital
Rudina Seseri joined Fairhaven Capital in 2011 and is a Partner in the firm. She has led investments in CrowdTwist, FashionPlaytes, and SocialFlow.
Prior to joining Fairhaven, she was Senior Manager in the Corporate Development Group at Microsoft. She is also on the Advisory Board of L’Oreal’s Women in Digital, the Board of Directors of MITX, the Digital Hollywood Women’s Board and is a TechStars mentor.
Sarah Hodges - Smarterer
Sarah Hodges seems to be the marketing fuel that some of Boston's most successful tech companies need at key moments in their growth.
Whether working with Carbonite, RunKeeper... co-founding Intelligent.ly, or heading up marketing for Smarterer, Hodges has been highly influential in the innovation scene. Additionally, she is an advisor for Flybridge Capital.
C.A. Webb - NEVCA
C.A. Webb is the Executive Director for NEVCA, and one of the leading influencers in the Boston tech/startup community. She has played a key role in bringing new life to this organization through a variety of events, including the NEVY Awards.
A Wellesley graduate, she previously held marketing and brand management roles at Care.com, Preserve, & Fast Company Magazine.
Abby Fichtner - Harvard iLab
As the "Hacker in Residence" at Harvard's Innovation Lab and the one of the leaders of Hack Boston with Christina Chase, Fichtner seems to be everywhere in terms of helping young entrepreneurs build companies.
Prior to her involvement with the iLab, she worked as a Developer Evangelist for Microsoft. She also blogs at The Hacker Chick Blog.