Three Female Founders to Watch in 2020

The under-representation of women remains an issue within the technology world, with 93% of all venture capital funds raised in 2018 invested in companies with all-male founders. Those with all-female founders received a shockingly low one per cent in comparison, demonstrating stark gender inequalities.

To combat this issue, Google has created a new Female Founders programme at its campus in Shoreditch. It provides workshops and mentoring for female entrepreneurs within the tech industry to help them lead successful start-ups.

The programme was initially scheduled to run for just six weeks, but Google has been so impressed with the founders that it has extended it to a five-month residency. Marta Krupinska, head of Google for Startups UK, said of the programme: “I’m so proud and thrilled that we’ve decided to invest more resources to support the teams for a longer period of time. Anyone who says there are not enough great female founders needs to look at this programme.”

In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at three of the female founders and find out more about how women are making their mark upon the tech industry.

Veronica Sule, Tify

23-year-old Veronica Sule is the founder and CEO of Tify, a market research and data analytics platform that helps brands to manage their social media and marketing efforts. The software provides detailed data about consumer sentiments on an easy-to-use dashboard interface and doesn’t store any personal data about consumers, making it an attractive option in the light of the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Sule, who has a first-class degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Big Data, came up with the concept while she was working for a marketing agency. The agency had been working on a campaign over the summer, and Sule asked her manager how long it would take to find out how well it had done on social media. When he replied that it would take a few weeks to analyse the data and provide a report, Sule was shocked. With a background in computer science, she knew she could write a programme that streamlined the whole process, and soon Tify was born.

After learning about the discrepancies between AI and privacy policies as part of her research on Big Data, she decided that Tify would not store any user data, protecting both consumers and companies from potential data breaches or biases.

In a climate where the ethical collection of consumer data is becoming increasingly important, Tify aims to provide an affordable solution to a wide range of businesses, ranging from brand agencies to political campaigns. The company is currently seeking £150K in seed investment and aims to become the Google Analytics of consumer data.

Rayna Patel & Georgina Kirby, Vine Health

Vine Health is an app that helps cancer patients to track and understand their medication-taking, symptoms and lifestyle, to allow them to feel more in control of their treatments and the resultant side effects. It also collects data on how various drugs affect patients’ quality of life, providing valuable information for the development of new treatments. The design of the app and the user interface is also a critical factor in helping patients to manage their care.

The London-based company was founded by Georgina Kirby, a data scientist and former vice-president of HealthTech’s start-up Touch Surgery, and Rayna Patel, a Cambridge-trained doctor and NHS England clinical entrepreneur. The pair met through the Entrepreneur First, a leading incubator programme that encourages individuals to create tech companies by providing coaching, networking opportunities and support.

Kirby and Patel recognised that traditional routes of delivering healthcare often leave people living with cancer feeling isolated and unsupported. They wanted to gather data to understand not just how cancer therapies affect survival, but also how they affect quality of life. With this information,  patients will be able to make informed decisions about their care.

Vine Health has already raised a £1.2 million seed round led by Playfair Capital, with participation from Entrepreneur First. Entrepreneur First’s co-founder Alice Bentinck said,  “We are incredibly excited to have supported two such talented and driven female founders at such an early stage. This is a highly significant milestone in breaking the glass ceiling for women entrepreneurs.”

Dana Lattouf, Tickitto AI

Tickitto AI was created by Dana Lattouf, a young entrepreneur from Jordan who moved to the UK to study Business Administration at the University of Bath. After working as an analyst at Accenture, Lattouf came up with idea for Tickitto AI as a result of her own frustrations trying to book tickets for events while on holiday. She found that the process was often stressful and time-consuming, and involved visiting lots of different websites and downloading various apps to buy tickets.

Tickitto AI streamlines the whole process by using AI technology to learn user preferences and provide tailored event suggestions — a bit like having a personal assistant via chat. By making it easier for consumers to buy tickets, the app helps vendors, too. Conversion rates increase, as well as profit margins in the long term.

Before graduating, Lattouf spent lots of time experimenting with different business models and speaking to local entrepreneurs to gain valuable feedback and advice. The initial support she received encouraged her to apply for the University of Bath’s Innovation Bursary, which provides support and guidance from experienced mentors to help young entrepreneurs.  Eight months later, Lattouf was ready to launch Tickitto AI, and the future looks promising.

Tickitto AI is supported by SETsquared, which was named by UBI Global as the top university business incubator in the world in 2015 and 2018. The company is currently generating revenue and is in early-stage venture capital, with investments from the SETsquared Partnership and BeyondCapital.

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