Meet 10 inspirational women entrepreneurs

Today marks the beginning of the Global Entrepreneurship Week, a worldwide initiative bringing together aspiring entrepreneurs, mentors and even investors over thousands of events and competitions organized in 160 countries. On this occasion, DiscovHER presents the work of 10 exceptional women entrepreneurs in the sciences.

Limor “Ladyada” Fried, founder of Adafruit Industries


Limor Fried founded her company Adafruit (www.adafruit.com) in 2005 in her MIT dorm room. The company designs, produces and distributes a range of electronic components, as well as offering tutorials and videos that broach a large number of subjects, from guides on how to use Adafruit products to coding and robotics tutorials. With the goal of encouraging people to get involved in science, technology and engineering, the company offers hundreds of open-source projects that people can make at home. Fried was the first female engineer featured on the cover of WIRED magazine, and was named a White House Champion of Change in 2016.


Dr. Nina Tandon, cofounder of EpiBone


Dr. Nina Tandon co-founded EpiBone (http://epibone.com), a company that aims to improve the lives of the hundreds of thousands of people that undergo bone-related surgeries each year. The idea is simple: grow your own bones. The technology developed by EpiBone uses a scan of the patient’s bone defect, and their own stem cells are used to cultivate a bone graft specific to their defect. The end result is excellent bone repair, a simplified surgical process and shorter recovery times, whilst eliminating the complications that stem from foreign body implantation. Dr. Tandon has a science blog and regularly gives TED talks about her projects.


Dr. Yuly Fuentes Medel, Patricia Torregrosa and Claire Jarvis, founders of Descience


The philosophy behind Descience (www.fashiondescience.com) is that science, technology and fashion can come together to solve human challenges. The project, founded by Dr. Yuly Fuentes Medel, Patricia Torregrosa and Claire Jarvis, brings together scientists and designers to collaborate on the next generation of intelligent clothing, from shoes that don’t give blisters to intelligent military uniforms that provide live nutrition data. The team is composed of 60 scientists from a range of fields who develop technologies that designers can then integrate into their work.


Meg Wirth and Allyson Cote, founders of Maternova


Meg Wirth and Allyson Cote founded Maternova (https://maternova.net), an online marketplace that offers technological solutions to women’s health problems around the world. The latest project pioneered by Maternova is a range of protective apparel that relies on nanotechnology to fight the spread of the Zika virus. The impregnated fabric designed by Maternova binds insect repellant to garment fibers in a way that allows it to last for over 50 washes, and takes care to avoid the use of potentially harmful chemicals.


Erin Bried, founder of Kazoo magazine


Last year, Erin Bried launched Kazoo (www.kazoomagazine.com), a quarterly magazine for young girls aged 5-10 that aims to inspire them to be “strong, smart, fierce and, above all, true to themselves.” Dissatisfied with the current range of young girls’ magazines on offer, Bried launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund her magazine, which only features stories inspired or developed by leading female scientists, explorers, writers and so on. Regular features include at-home science experiments and interviews with inspiring women.


Aditi and Deepti Prasad, founders of Robotix LS


Sisters Aditi and Deepti Prasad founded Robotix LS (www.robotixedu.com) in 2009, a company that teaches children coding and robotics. Robotix LS develops in-school and after school programs, summer camps and runs an annual robotics competition, the Indian Robotix League. It also developed and launched PHIRO, an educational robot, and launched the Indian Girls Code initiative to help bridge the gender gap in STEM. "Our goal is to empower children with 21st century skills, which are important in today's society, such as computational thinking and expression, creative and critical thinking, collaboration and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) skills," explains Aditi Prasad.


Which female entrepreneurs inspire you? Share your thoughts @4womeninscience.

L’Oréal–UNESCO
For Women in Science

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