Top 20 female entrepreneurs to watch in 2017

The List of Top 20 Female Entrepreneurs to Watch in 2017 highlights CEOs from medtech, edtech, spacetech, VR and fashion technology.

female executive running up a fever chart illustration
Current Job Listings

Every year, female entrepreneurs take their ideas and change the world around us and 2017 is going to be no different. CIO’s Top 20 list of female entrepreneurs to watch in 2017 employs thousands of workers and collectively have raised tens of millions of dollars for their companies. After the jump: CIO’s list of 20 female entrepreneurs you’ll want to watch in 2017:

1. Julia Taylor Cheek

Julia Taylor Cheek isn’t new to business but the Harvard Business grad’s new company is literally changing the way we live. Cheek’s company, EverlyWell (of which she is both co-founder and CEO) is simplifying health testing and putting it into words and charts that everybody can understand.

2. Esosa Ighodaro

Embracing the selfie movement, Esosa Ighodaro’s simple yet creative app COSIGN allows people to tag product information in their picture. This helps online shoppers cut corners while looking for the style they want, giving them almost immediate access to clothing, accessories, products and more.

3. Amanda Signorelli

If you haven’t heard of Techweek yet, you’re bound to at some point in 2017. Amanda Signorelli, CEO of Techweek, is building tech-based entrepreneurial communities in major cities across North America, helping local business break through.

4. Danielle Morrill

Danielle Morrill, CEO and co-founder of Mattermark, is improving the way that businesses find and connect with the ideal customers, simplifying the process of finding leads for businesses of all sizes. Small businesses will want to keep Morrill’s company on their radar in 2017.

5. Logan Cohen

Logan Cohen is a co-founder and co-CEO of KUDZOO, an education-based app that aims to engage students through their mobile usage. Cohen’s app rewards students for doing well with anything from free concert tickets to scholarships.

6. Ishveen Anand

After spending time working with a sports agency in India, Ishveen Anand had an idea: Why not streamline the process of connecting athletes to sponsorship? The result was OpenSponsorship, a platform that allows athletes, teams and sponsors to connect, tapping into the underutilized market of sports sponsorship.

7. Natasia Malaihollo

Natasia Malaihollo has been an entrepreneur for a few years now but her newest company, Wyzerr, has small businesses excited. Her idea was to create a way to more efficiently gather feedback, removing long, boring surveys and replacing them with an easy-to-interact-with application.

8. Lisa Wang and Yin Lin

Two of the ultimate female entrepreneurs, Lisa Wang and Yin Lin noticed that female entrepreneurship didn’t get the same attention as male entrepreneurship despite great ideas. Their company, SheWorx, hosts events to help female entrepreneurs get the experience and connections needed to take their own ideas to the market.

9. Natalya Brikner

The sky is the limit for Accion Systems, a company striving to produce affordable and effective propulsion technologies to reduce the cost of going to space. Natalya Brikner, Founder and CEO of Accion Systems Inc., brings her MIT rocket science knowledge and experience to help push space-travel forward – all before the age of 30.

10. Shireen Yates

Gluten-free food is becoming more popular, but not everybody knows if what they’re eating is actually gluten free. Shireen Yates, Founder of Nima and gluten-free foodie, wanted to give people a way to know what they’re actually eating. The Nima sensor gives gluten-intolerant people a way to find out if the food they’re served is safe to eat.

11. Sequoia Blodgett

Relationships, personal finance and life can be difficult – fortunately, Sequoia Blodgett’s online community, 7 AM, gives people access to information. Blodgett’s site gives people life lessons they might need to learn, and she’s bound to come up with even more in 2017.

12. Amanda Lannert

When Amanda Lannert joined Jellyvision, the company was largely one-dimensional. As CEO, she successfully guided Jellyvision Lab from pure entertainment to a large-scale interactive software, helping companies connect with their employees on the trickier things in life such as insurance and retirement.

13. Nicole Staple

Weddings can be big, fun and, at times, incredibly stressful. Fortunately, companies like Brideside, Co-Founded by Nicole Staple, are helping to simplify the process. Brideside makes finding dresses and gifts for bridesmaids easier, ensuring that the entire wedding process is more fun than stressful.

14. Atima Lui

Atima Lui noticed that nude-colored fashion didn’t always represent the tone of a woman’s skin. To fix this, Lui started Nudest – a wildly popular fashion brand that creates a nude-colored tailored specifically to each individual woman. Nudest is a huge success, and it’s exciting to imagine what Lui will do next.

15. Amber Venz

Amber Venz, President and co-founder of rewardStyle and, saw that influencers on Instagram were promoting brands to thousands of people – so why not make it easier to connect the brands to consumers? is an online shopping platform that makes it easier for consumers to purchase the brands they see online.

16. Sophia Dominguez

Sophia Dominguez is a believer in virtual reality and wants people to understand the benefits the VR can bring to everyday life. Dominguez’s upcoming projects, such as SVRF, are bound to chance the way we view virtual reality. With virtual reality becoming a bigger part of the tech world, her work is bound to have an impact.

17. Cecile Schmollgruber

As virtual and augmented reality continue to grow, Stereolabs provides the 3D imagery to help programs understand depth and distance. Cecile Schmollgruber, President of Stereolabs, should make a splash in 2017 with ZED, the first 3D camera capable of tracking motion and sensing depth.

18. Maureen Fan

Virtual reality is going to revolutionize the way we interact with the world, but it’s also going to be one of the greatest technological advancements to keep us entertained. Maureen Fan’s company Baobab Studios is going to bring some of the greatest VR entertainment to you next year.

19. Marisa Murgatroyd

Not all entrepreneurs have the perfect plan to launch and grow their business. Marisa Murgatroyd, founder of Live Your Message, helps entrepreneurs create a brand that is consistent with who they are, not who they think they should be. All aspiring entrepreneurs could learn from Murgatroyd’s message.

20. Rosetta Thurman

Rosetta Thurman is the Founder and CEO of Happy Black Woman, a site dedicated to empowering women to change their lives through entrepreneurship. Thurman’s business will help women transform their personal lives throughout 2017 while bringing new entrepreneurs forward.

This article is published as part of the IDG Contributor Network. Want to Join?

How do you compare to your peers? Find out in our 2019 State of the CIO report