Top 5 US Female Founder Unicorns to Watch

A list of 5 amazing women and their multi-billion dollar startups, based in the United States.

3 min read

Some people may argue that unicorns are simply a figment of a child’s imagination, but if you look up the definition of a unicorn on the internet, you will find that there are two: the traditional one we all grew up dreaming about (don’t lie) and the other which describes any startup worth at least a billion dollars. While some of you sceptic readers may claim that unicorns don’t exist, I’m here to show you proof, not only of multi-billion dollar startups but also of the women who founded them. So here are the top 5 female founder unicorns to watch.

5. Anne Wojcicki, CEO of 23andMe  

After getting a BS in Biology from Yale, Anne spent nearly a decade as a health care analyst before deciding to pursue her dreams and co-found her startup 23 & Me, a company focused on allowing users to access their genomic data. With their genomic data, customers of 23andMe can learn more about their ancestors and family conditions. 23andMe currently has built one of the world’s largest genomic databases and they have expanded to have customers in over 50 countries worldwide. As current CEO of 23andMe, Anne is breaking down boundaries as a woman who's perfect for science.

4. Sarah Leary, Founder of Nextdoor

After working in management for several companies including Microsoft and eBay, Sarah decided to try her hand at starting her own business. She stayed at Benchmark Capital for about half a year as their entrepreneur in residence before leaving to start Fanbase, a startup which focuses on building an almanack about pro and college athletes. In 2010, Sarah left Fanbase and went on to found Nextdoor, her very own unicorn. Nextdoor is a social media network which focuses on bringing neighborhoods closer together. Nextdoor allows neighbors to find babysitters, learn about block parties, and find help when preparing for a big storm. Currently, more than 70% of US neighborhoods use Nextdoor. They have even branched out to public offices such as law enforcement and local government. Recently, Nextdoor partnered with the NOAA in order to help neighborhoods become more resilient.

3. Amy Pressman, Co-Founder of Medallia

Amy Pressman got a BA in history from Harvard and received her MBA from Stanford. While at Stanford, she met her husband and together, they co-founded their unicorn Medallia, a company focused on user experience management. The company offers a software which accesses the feedback of your company across all platforms (web, mobile, etc.), analyzes the data, and then allows you to take the necessary next steps. Numerous companies use Medallia including Best Western, Sephora, and Verizon. Now while Amy is currently the President of Medallia, her interests have always ranged, from volunteering with the peace corps in Honduras for two years to working as a legislative aide in Washington DC for 3 years. She truly has done it all!

2. Julia Hartz, Co-Founder & CEO of Eventbrite

Julia co-founded Eventbrite in 2005 and has been the President and CEO for 12 years now. Eventbrite is a platform which allows organizers of events to plan, promote, and sell tickets to their events. Organizers can also advertise on social media (i.e. Facebook and Twitter) directly from Eventbrite’s interface. Eventbrite has been so successful that I’m sure if you have ever ordered online tickets for an event, you’ve used Eventbrite, and if you haven’t, it’s definitely worth looking into! Before co-founding Eventbrite in Silicon Valley, Julia worked in Hollywood at studios such as MTV and FX where she worked on managing various series. Julia has been honored as one of Fortune’s 40 under 40, Inc’s 35 under 35, and Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs.

1. Adi Tatarko, Co-Founder of Houzz

Adi co-founded Houzz with her husband after three years of attempting to renovate their ranch. Houzz is a website which allows those who enjoy interior architecture and are looking to renovate their own homes to come together and post pictures, read articles, and ask questions about their shared interests. The company is currently valued at $2.3 billion and has a community of more than 40 million users.


Follow Stephanie:  LinkedIn

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Stephanie Almeida is a senior at a high school focused on engineering. She will study computer science at the Georgia Institute of Technology in the fall. When she isn't dancing and singing at the top of her lungs to the top hits or playing with her puppy Max, you can find her competing with other programmers at hackathons or teaching coding to students from impoverished districts. Stephanie enjoys trying exotic cuisines; food is her ultimate love! After college, Stephanie wants to found a startup which focuses on developing technology to help children with problems such as bullying.