The new age of entrepreneurship is also the new age of women, with steady gains in feminist initiatives across the board. Pay disparity between the genders has been dropping precipitously, anti-discrimination practices have been enacted across industries, and powerful women are becoming more powerful than ever. For the first time, women actually outnumber men in the workforce, and brilliant female entrepreneurs are harnessing that energy and forging ahead with ideas that have the potential to reshape our world.
- No-needle blood drawing
While still an undergraduate at Stanford, Elizabeth Holmes founded a trailblazing health technology company that’s already disrupting the entire field. Originally intent on becoming a doctor, Holmes discovered that she had a visceral fear of needles. After conducting some research, she found that she wasn’t the only one: a substantial portion of blood tests ordered by doctors aren’t carried out because of the patient’s antipathy to blood drawing, which involves needles plunged directly into the vein to extract the relatively large sample required for traditional diagnostic protocols. Through novel new methods, her company changes the rules, requiring a simple finger prick and a single drop of blood to conduct a wide range of blood tests. And the market is responding: today her company, Theranos, is valued at over $9 billion.
- Car sharing
Jessica Scorpio attended Singularity University, a progressive Silicon Valley-funded technology institute dedicated to the next big thing. While there, Scorpio was inspired by Google’s founders to meet a big-picture challenge if there ever was one: change the lives of a billion people. Her answer? An innovative car sharing platform that makes use of the large majority of the time car owners aren’t using their vehicles. For a small fee, neighbors are able to share each other’s vehicles, developing a win-win scenario in which people in need of a ride can get around more easily and people with idle cars can make money without changing a thing about their lifestyle. The resulting company, Getaround, has garnered the support of some of the tech industry’s leading figures, and seems poised for a major breakthrough.
- Compressed air energy storage
Danielle Fong isn’t just the CEO of her groundbreaking company, LightSail Energy – she’s its chief researcher as well. It’s just another milestone in a life full of them: college graduate at 17, Princeton Ph.D candidate, protegé of billionaire Peter Thiel, and inventor of a renewable energy technology that could transform the entire world’s economy. It’s a whole new approach to batteries that uses compressed air to store energy, and the potential for the ecology is astounding enough to gain the support not just of Thiel, but of a range of tech luminaries including Bill Gates. The future of renewable energy might just be coming from this brilliant young woman.