Power Women of DC Tech: Part II
They were inspired by entrepreneurial parents, they saw a problem, or they wanted to change the world. Those are some of the reasons our second set of Trending 40 women launched tech companies. (In case you missed our first set, see them here.)
Co-founder, Silica Labs; Co-founder, DCFemTech
Job focus: Design, front-end development, hiring interns, analyzing data, customer service, learning Python, and pitching to clients and investors.
Company: Silica Labs launched April 2013. Bootstrapped and focused on wearable applications for clients like Wordpress, National Geographic, and the Atlantic Media Co.
What’s DCFemTech: Collective of DC metro area women in tech collaborating on events to lower barriers to entry for other tech women.
Company’s latest news: Focusing on Landmark, a navigation app for walking directions based on images and landmarks, not maps.
Inspiration to launch company: Came from realizing there should be a more intuitive app for directions specific to the pedestrian experience.
Why a tech career: Always interested in it. Started in data analytics, designing infographics while going to DC tech events at nights and on weekends. Also met the right co-founders. Solving a personal pain point with tech is inspiring.
Best business lesson: Walk into a room and be confident.
Hometown: Falls Church.
Why DC: Job opportunity and chance to pay off college loans.
First job: Aeropostale. Nothing teaches patience like folding t-shirts at one of the busiest malls on Black Friday.
Greatest fear: Regret.
Favorite movie: All Netflix documentaries. Recently into The Mind of a Chef series.
Favorite vacation: Weekend trips to Charlottesville, Va.
Bucket list: Learning to speak Vietnamese.
Hobbies: Kickboxing, visiting old bookstores, thrifting, seeking out banh mi, figuring out what to do with thousands of photos on phone.
Biggest inspiration: My parents, who are Vietnamese refugees and entrepreneurs who achieved the American Dream. They started a shop when I was little, importing furniture and crafts from South East Asia. I remember sitting under the table at Saturday flea markets for hours handing out change to customers.
Jordan Lloyd Bookey
Co-founder/Chief Mom, Zoobean
Job focus: Looking after curation, creative content, social media, marketing, and PR.
Company: Help families with little kids find books and apps.
Latest news: Started licensing Beanstack, a custom built version of Zoobean, to libraries. Expect to announce initial customers soon.
Inspiration to launch: Former educator but felt overwhelmed and confused about resources for my children.
Why a tech career: Got recruited by Google while in business school and fell in love with importance of being well versed on future of tech and implications on society.
Biggest challenge: Balancing parenthood and running company. Also, not being technical.
Best business lesson: Speak plainly.
Career milestones: While at Google, presenting white paper to Department of Education that turned into major project; leaving Google in July 2013 to start Zoobean; going to Des Moines to speak at SmartTalk, a series of talks by women. (Bette Midler spoke after me!)
Hometown: Des Moines, Iowa.
Currently live: Chevy Chase (DC).
Came to DC: To teach 7th grade at Seed Public Charter School.
School: Wesleyan University and Wharton.
First job: Wood burner at furniture company in Des Moines.
Greatest fear: Stage fright.
Daily habit: Saying gratitudes at bedtime with the whole family.
Favorite book: Matilda by Roald Dahl.
Favorite movie: Sound of Music (1965).
Favorite vacation: Galapagos Islands.
Favorite restaurant: American City Diner - a weekly tradition.
Bucket list: Stay in glass top igloos in Finland to see Northern Lights.
Family facts: Married seven years to co-founder, Felix; son (4) daughter (2).
Hobbies: Yoga, museum and theater goer.
Advice to 18-year-old self: Learn how to code and accept yourself for who you are.
Tiffany Hosey Brown
Job focus: Hiring executive dream team with expertise in construction and software development.
Company: Business intelligence SaaS for commercial construction industry. Positioned to be largest aggregator of micro level data collected from construction sites.
Latest news: Working on a project for a publicly-traded REIT; starting billion dollar sports complex in Chicago in fall; talking to federal agencies about using software; and recruited former BAE Systems CIO David Michael Bennett to advisory board.
Inspiration to launch: Came from entrepreneurial family. Ran family construction firm and rebuilt levies in Louisiana post Katrina. Later managed three subcontractors on 2M square foot government building. Felt frustrated by project management, so created software. Other contractors started asking for it. Realized software had more potential.
Why pursue tech career: As third generation entrepreneur, was always restless and never shied away from STEM. Path to tech wasn’t intuitive. Went from corporate trial attorney to construction to tech.
Career milestones: Getting licenses to practice law in Virginia, Maryland, DC, and New Jersey; created software platform that’s patent pending in 10 countries; and created disruptive tech company.
Hometown: Jackson, Miss.
Currently live: Oakton.
Came to DC: To attend Georgetown.
School: Georgetown and GWU Law School.
First job: Did inventory and worked as cashier in dad’s convenience store in Jackson. First professional job was as associate attorney in civil litigation with Jackson & Campbell.
Greatest fear: Waking up one day and saying, “If I only had tried harder.”
Favorite vacation: Bahamas.
Favorite restaurant: L’Auberge Chez Francois in Great Falls.
Bucket list: Visit the Rainbow Mountains of China.
Family facts: Daughter, Mackenzie (age 9).
Hobbies: Old movies, cooking, tennis, and watching pro football and college basketball.
Advice to 18-year-old self: Listen to your internal voice and silence external forces.
Co-founder/Product VP, Encore Alert
Job focus: Design (product UX/UI, marketing, sales), strategy (product, marketing), and customer happiness.
Company: Help marketers prioritize actions on Twitter by sending real-time alerts on the most influential people and most relevant content. (Tammy on far left in photo.)
Customers: Georgetown University, Consumer Electronics Association, and WeddingWire.
Latest news: Closed $437k seed round from NextGen Angels and CIT.
Inspiration to launch: Talked to marketers, who felt they were running around with their heads chopped off in social media and always putting out fires. As fellow marketers, empathized with challenges and wanted to bring order to it.
Why a tech career: Amazed by scale of technology. It’s the most scaleable way to help our world and make an impact.
Biggest challenge: Being 19. From the beginning, my capabilities are questioned. From company perspective, figuring out product market fit.
Career milestones: Acceptance into accelerator program as youngest member (18 at the time); named Georgetown Entrepreneur of the Year (2014); taking time off school to work on Encore full-time.
Hometown: Cypress, Calif. (15 minutes from Disneyland).
Currently live: Rosslyn.
Came to DC for: Georgetown University.
School: GU McDonough School of Business.
First job: Served breakfast and lunch at high school cafeteria.
Greatest fear: Losing somebody I love, especially family.
Favorite vacation: 30-day road trip with best friend and her family. Drove through over 35 states and Canada.
Favorite restaurants: Town Hall in Glover Park (great brunches) and In-N-Out Burger.
Bucket list: Be a voice extra for a Pixar animation movie.
Daily habit: Daily morning devotionals. Meditate and reflect on the blessings and opportunities I've been given.
Family facts: Three older sisters and two step brothers.
Hobbies: Sketching, puzzles, cooking, and dog lover.
Advice to 18-year-old self: Connect with mentors and build relationships with people in the field.