For years, female-led startups have only received a tiny piece of the VC pie – and last year, the stats got even worse. Recent Crunchbase numbers show that in 2020, 2.3% of funding went to female founders (down from 2.8% in 2019). Only 12% of decision makers at venture capital firms are women, and most women don’t have a single female partner.

When women-led startups do get funding, they are more likely to deliver higher revenue, hire more women, and be more focused on building good employee relationships and making solid social contributions.

During Women’s History Month and all year long, Powderkeg celebrates the innovation and successes of women founders between the coasts. That includes inspiring startup stories like these:

Before the pandemic, Everlywell, an Austin-based company founded by Julia Cheek, focused on health screenings like cholesterol and food sensitivities. They pivoted to develop one of the first FDA-authorized at-home COVID tests. Everywell just raised $175 million in Series D funding.

Detroit-based LaunchGood, a crowdfunding site for social enterprises from the worldwide Muslim community, has connected one million users to 17,000 campaigns and raised over $155 million.

The Mom Project, based in Chicago, helps their network of 300,000 talented professionals stay engaged with the workforce in ways that work for them.

Amber Leong got a $750,000 investment from SharkTank’s Mark for her chic light-therapy lamps. The Minneapolis company reportedly saw a 10 to 20% bump in sales in 2020, as consumers battled pandemic-related mood problems. 

Michele Heyward founded PositiveHire in Denmark, South Carolina. Her organization advocates for Black, Latinx, and Indigenous women in STEM by giving them the tools they need to break through glass ceilings.

Hello Alice, a Houston-based platform founded by Carolyn Rodz, helps underrepresented founders on their business journey by connecting them with opportunities, funding, and mentors. With its most recent funding round, Hello Alice also added legal language that helps women founders banish investors who aim to harass or assault them.