Top 100 Women in Wearable and Consumer Tech

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By Marija Butkovic @MarijaButkovic

The worldwide wearables market is growing year after year. Gartner, Inc. forecasted that 310.4 million wearable devices will be sold worldwide in 2017, which is an increase of 16.7 percent from 2016. Sales of wearable devices will generate revenue of $30.5 billion in 2017; of that, $9.3 billion will be from sold smartwatches.

Yet it would be wrong to assume that wearable technology is mostly about smartwatches and fitness trackers. Ear-worn devices (hearables)smart textiles and VR / AR headsets are changing our perception of wearables, showing that this industry is all but boring and that a new generation of products is aiming to provide much more value to their user than just counting steps and sending email push notifications.

There has also been an increase in health-related products for women made by women over the past few years. FemTech is a health technology aimed at the female market in a new force on the rise. With more or less half the population on this planet being women, there’s clearly an unmet need.

The IoT industry is excited about the fact that wearables devices can track and monitor users’ biometric data. This has caused a surge in startups, health and tech companies developing health-related wearable tech products. While collecting data is one thing, analysing that data is the key to finding a killer app in wearables. That killer app could be women’s health. Data for menstrual cycles, fertility, pregnancy and menopause are just some examples where wearables for women are gaining in popularity at a rapid speed, and these wearable tech products are now being made and designed by women for women.

In moving away from “shrinking and pinking”, slow progress has been made with more women entering the space as founders and designers and there are universities in the UK now introducing wearables and e-textiles into their courses such as Queen Mary UniversityRavensborneCFE in London. Even school children are now learning about e-textiles with the popularity of DIY electronic suppliers such as adafruit, which is selling kits specifically for wearables.

One of the main problems that still remains is the lack of female role models, especially investors. This is because the majority of angel investors are men and because VC firms are mostly comprised of male partners. And since men network with other men within their network, they also invest more in male-led startups and businesses. Venture firms with women investment partners are 3 times more likely to invest in companies with female CEOs. It’s no wonder women CEOs aren’t getting funded.

A recent report by Diversity VC showed that only 13% of decision makers (partners or equivalent) in UK venture capital are women, 48% of investment teams have no women at all. Looking exclusively at decision makers, a staggering 66% of investment teams have no women decision makers. Women comprise just 27% of the venture capital workforce in the UK, and by comparison women comprise 47% of the UK labour force. This ultimately means that a very small number of female-led businesses are being funded by VCs (not only in the UK but also worldwide), and if female-led businesses aren’t receiving enough funding or are not receiving it at all, it means the entire tech industry is missing out on some potentially great businesses.

So it didn’t come as a big surprise to us when CES — The Electronics Consumer Show that takes place every January in Las Vegas — confirmed that it will not have any women in any of its top slots this year, making it a second-straight year without women as keynote speakers. Disappointment — yes. Surprise — no. “As upsetting as it is, there is a limited pool when it comes to women in these positions. We feel your pain. It bothers us, too. The tech industry and every industry must do better” — CES senior vice president Karen Chupka stated in a blog post.

Over the past year, we at Women of Wearables (MichelleRachaelNayaraand myself) have met and talked to hundreds of women from 30+ countries, who are involved in wearable tech, fashion tech, smart textiles, health tech, IoT, VR and AR industries. We organised events, meet-ups, panels and have partnered up with 50+ industry organisations, startup accelerators and incubators. We’ve built a community of 10k+ members in 20+ countries and, while being headquartered in London, UK, we also successfully launched our international global communities in Germany, the US, the Netherlands, Sweden, Taiwan, China, Singapore and the Middle East.

In order to raise awareness and to celebrate our female founders, entrepreneurs and technologists in the wearable tech industry, as well as to make sure that our voices are heard and that conference organisers never again offer an excuse such as lack of female talent when it comes to speakers and panelists, Women of Wearables have compiled a list of the top 100 women in wearable and consumer tech. The only way to change the industry is to be part of the industry. Without female role models, women cannot be what they cannot see.

While the statistics are unfavourable towards women, these women are paving the way for all of us. They are great role models for those who not only want to enter the wearable tech industry, but they are also a proof of how creative and diverse this industry can be.

  1. Aayushi Kishore, co-founder of Boltt Sports (India), read our interview with Aayushi here;
  2. Aditi Chadha, founder of DAZL Wearables (India);
  3. Ananya Panja, hardware engineer at Intel (USA), read our interview with Ananya here;
  4. Anastasia Pistofidou, founder and researcher at Fab Textiles (Spain);
  5. Angela Ahrendts, Senior Vice President at Apple Retail (USA);
  6. Aniela Hoitink, textile & concept designer (Netherlands), read our interview with Aniela here;
  7. Anina Net, founder and CEO of 360 Fashion Network (China and USA), read our interview with Anina here;
  8. Aniyia L. Williams, founder and CEO of Tinsel (USA);
  9. Anja Zambelli Colak, brand designer and co-founder at Kisha Smart Umbrella (Croatia);
  10. Anouk Wipprecht, fashion tech designer (Netherlands);
  11. Amanda Cosco, founder of Electric Runway (Canada), read our interview with Amanda here;
  12. Amanda Parkes, Chief of Technology & Research at Manufacture NY (USA);
  13. Amy Bernal, VP of Customer Experience at Aira (USA), read our interview with Amy here;
  14. Amy McDonough, SVP Strategy & Operations at Fitbit Health Solutions (USA);
  15. Bethany Koby, co-founder and CEO at Technology Will Save Us (UK), read our interview with Bethany here;
  16. Beverley Brown, Chief Technology Officer at SmartKem (UK), read our interview with Beverley here;
  17. Billie Whitehouse, CEO of Wearable X (USA and Australia);
  18. Blair Scott, 3D / VR artist (USA), read our interview with Blair here;
  19. Camille Baker, wearable tech artist, designer and author, co-founder of E-Stitches (UK), read our interview with Camille here;
  20. Caritta Seppa, co-founder and COO at Tespack (Finland), read our interview with Caritta here;
  21. Carmina Santamaria, founder and CEO of Kwema (USA), read our interview with Carmina here;
  22. Chelsea Klukas, co-founder of Make Fashion (Canada and USA), read our interview with Chelsea here;
  23. Cher Wang, CEO and Chairwoman at HTC (Taiwan and USA);
  24. Christina d’Avignon, founder and CEO of Ringly (USA), read our interview with Christina here;
  25. Clare Simpson, Product Director of SmartLife (UK), read our interview with Clare here;
  26. Colleen Wong, founder & director at MyGatorWatch (UK), read our interview with Colleen here;
  27. Corinne Vigreux, co-founder of TomTom (Netherlands);
  28. Cynthia Blais, founder of FUNKtional Wearables (USA), read our interview with Cynthia here;
  29. Ellen Caren, founder of Run Angel (Ireland), read our interview with Ellen here;
  30. Elena Corchero, founder & CEO of Lost Values, wearable tech artist, maker and creative technologist (UK), read our interview with Elena here;
  31. Elin Haf Davies, founder and CEO of Aparito (UK), read our interview with Elin here;
  32. Elina Nurkka, textile engineer at Bravado Designs (Canada), read our interview with Elina here;
  33. Elina Berglund, co-founder and CTO at Natural Cycles (Sweden), read our interview with Elina here;
  34. Eunjoo Kim, Principal UX Designer at Samsung (Korea), read our interview with Eunjoo here;
  35. Flavia Wahl, founder and CEO of iBreve (UK);
  36. Francesca Rosella, Chief Creative Director and co-founder of CuteCircuit(UK);
  37. Greta Kreuzer, co-founder and CEO of cosinuss° (Germany), read our interview with Greta here;
  38. Hadeel Ayoub, founder and CTO at Bright Sign Glove / Re-Voice (UK and USA), read our interview with Hadeel here;
  39. Helen Papagiannis, AR researcher, author, designer and technology evangelist (Canada), read our interview with Helen here;
  40. Heli Sukki, wearable tech expert and e-textiles specialist (Finland), read our interview with Heli here;
  41. Isabel Van De Keere, founder and CEO at Immersive Rehab (UK), read our interview with Isabel here;
  42. Ivy Ross, Vice President, Head of Design for all Hardware Products at Google (USA);
  43. Jacqueline Ros and Andrea Perdomo, co-founders of Revolar (USA), read our interview with Jacqueline and Andrea here;
  44. Jenny Fielding, Managing Director at Techstars IoT Program (USA), read our interview with Jenny here;
  45. Jessica Butcher, co-founder and director at Blippar (UK);
  46. Karen Whelan, co-founder and CEO of Bellafit (USA and Luxembourg), read our interview with Karen here;
  47. Kathy Roma, co-founder and Communications Director at Nimb (USA);
  48. Kenzie Housego, co-founder of Phi Fashion (Canada), read our interview with Kenzie here;
  49. Kiah Hickson, founder and wearable technologist at The “Girl on Fire” Wearable LED Dress (Australia),
  50. Kristina Dimitrova, founder and CEO of Interlaced (UK), read our interview with Kristina here;
  51. Laura Sach, Content and Curriculum Manager at Raspberry Pi Foundation(UK), read our interview with Laura here;
  52. Lea Von Bidder, co-founder and President at Ava Science (USA), read our interview with Lea here;
  53. Leanne Luce, founder, UI Engineer and Product Manager at Omura (USA);
  54. Leila Martine, Director of Product Marketing at Microsoft (UK);
  55. Leslie Birch, wearable artist and technologist (USA), read our interview with Leslie here;
  56. Lina Wassong, fashion tech designer, teacher and author (Germany and USA), read our interview with Lina here;
  57. Lindsey Hargrove, Wearables Brand Lead at Fossil Group (USA);
  58. Ling Tan, wearable tech designer, maker and software developer (UK), read our interview with Ling here;
  59. Lisa Lang, founder and CEO of ElektroCouture (Germany), read our interview with Lisa here;
  60. Lisa Seacat DeLuca, author, TED speaker, engineer and inventor at IBM (USA), read our interview with Lisa here;
  61. Lotte Vink, founder of Labfresh (Netherlands), read our interview with Lisa here;
  62. Lou-Anne Boehm and Nancy Boehm, fashion tech designers and co-founders of Twins Paris (France);
  63. Manon van Thorenburg, Lead Mechanical Engineer at Kokoon (UK);
  64. Maria McKavanagh, Chief Operating Officer at Verv (UK), read our interview with Maria here;
  65. Mariana Marcilio, co-founder and wearables director of Krafty Technologies (Brasil), read our interview with Mariana here;
  66. Maryna Iasynetska, Technical Product Manager at Bragi (Germany), read our interview with Maryna here;
  67. Martha L. Hall, fashion designer and wearable tech researcher at University of Delaware (USA), read our interview with Martha here;
  68. Meg Grant, principal creative technologist at Superflex (USA), read our interview with Meg here;
  69. Melissa Koerner and Sarah Shapiro, co-founders of Bezels & Bytes(USA),read our interview with Melissa and Sarah here;
  70. Meng Li, co-founder and CEO of Moov (USA);
  71. Molly Dickens, Head of Content and Community at Bloomlife (USA), read our interview with Molly here;
  72. Myra Waiman, Managing Director at Infi-Tex (UK), read our interview with Myra here;
  73. Nadia Kang, CMO at AiQ Smart Clothing (Taiwan);
  74. Natalie Price, founder and CEO at Proximity Care (UK), read our interview with Natalie here;
  75. Pauline Issard, co-founder and CEO of Trackener (UK), read our interview with Pauline here;
  76. Pauline Van Dongen, fashion and wearable tech designer (Netherlands);
  77. Peta Bush, wearable tech and health tech designer (UK), read our interview with Peta here;
  78. Priti Moudgill and Sonal Budhiraja, co-founders of Peripherii (USA), read our interview with Priti and Sonal here;
  79. Qin Li, VP of Design at fuseproject (USA), read our interview with Qin here;
  80. Rain Ashford, wearable tech creator, inventor and mentor (UK), read our interview with Rain here;
  81. Rana Nakhal Solset, founder and CEO of Emel + Aris (UK), read our interview with Rana here;
  82. Resh Sidhu, VR Creative Director at Framestore (USA), read our interview with Resh here;
  83. Samantha Kingston, co-founder of Virtual Umbrella and VRGirlsUK (UK), read our interview with Samantha here;
  84. Sana Farid, VR educator, blogger and entrepreneur (Bahrain), read our interview with Sana here;
  85. Sophie Thompson, co-founder of Virtual Speech (UK), read our interview with Sophie here;
  86. Stacey Burr, VP Wearable Sports Electronics at Adidas (USA);
  87. Stephanie Alys, co-founder and CPO of Mystery Vibe (UK), read our interview with Stephanie here;
  88. Sylvia Heisel, fashion designer and 3D creative (USA), read our interview with Sylvia here;
  89. Tania Boler, co-founder and CEO of Elvie (UK), read our interview with Tania here;
  90. Tanya James, founder and CEO of Global Fashion Technology Federationand Internet of Fashion (USA), read our interview with Tanya here;
  91. Tanya Suárez, co-founder of IoT Tribe (UK), read our interview with Tanya here;
  92. Urska Srsen, CPO and co-founder of Bellabeat (Slovenia),
  93. Vanessa Radd, President of the global VR/AR Association Singapore Chapter and co-founder, researcher and investor at XR Alliance(Singapore), read our interview with Vanessa here;
  94. Vina Aurelia, COO and Stella Setyiadi, CMO at Octagon Studio (Indonesia), read our interview with Vina here and with Stella here;
  95. Veronika Kapsali, designer, author, inventor and research specialist at University of the Arts (UK), read our interview with Veronika here;
  96. Wan Tseng, designer, maker and researcher, founder of Wisp (UK);
  97. Yael Kochman, partner and CEO of Re:Tech (Israel), read our interview with Yael here;
  98. Ye Jin, Director of CRM and Customer Experience at Rebecca Minkoff, read our interview with Ye here;
  99. Yuka Tomitori, CFO of Xenoma (Japan), read our interview with Yuka here;
  100. Zoe Philpott, designer, writer & director of Ada.Ada.Ada. (UK).

There are many more women who should be on this list and we’d like to encourage everyone to continue adding to it by posting in the comments. If you are a woman in this industry or know someone who would be great addition to our community of WoW women and wearable tech enthusiasts, get in touch with us via email at hello@womenofwearables.com

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