GeeknRolla 2011 : Celebrating Women in New Tech Start-ups

GeeknRolla is an annual event held by TechCrunch which showcases new technology start-ups and allows entrepreneurs to meet investors in their field. They’ve just held their 2011 European conference in London, and a number of exciting tech start-ups pitched their products to a rapt audience of tech fiends and investors. I was going to tell you all about the top five tech start-ups spearheaded by women, but I’m afraid I can’t. This is because that (as far as I am aware)  there simple weren’t that many women pitching at the event. Despite the rise of women who are heavily  involved in both technology and entrepreneurship, it remains a boys club in terms of who is actually creating and developing projects. I don’t really know who is to blame for this, as GeeknRolla is open to everyone and very inclusive, so it’s more of a sign of our society than the event. However, even though I can’t give you a top five roundup, I can tell you about the THREE start-ups that have been created by women (or co-founded by them) that showcased their talents at GeeknRolla.

So, here’s a rundown of the three start-ups with female leadership, in no particular order.


Created by Raphaelle Heaf, ArtSpotter revolves around the concept that love for art is universal and aims to collate and share art from around the globe. ArtSpotter currently works as an interactive map where you can learn more about art happenings in your local area- and worldwide- and dig deeper to find out info about the artists and when shows are taking place. It aims to connect art lovers and allows people to share their various loves, and rates ‘ArtSpotters’ on the quality of their art finds. They say that, ‘Anything can be art: But not everything is art. The map won’t stop you from adding anything, but if you want to be credited as a good ArtSpotter, adding good spots will build you a good reputation.’ This seems to suggest the beta site is a ratings based guide to the art world for both the uninitiated and hardcore fans and will allow people to connect worldwide to those with similar interests.


AreaNow is an interesting service that aims to be a mobile party service for Smartphone users. The idea is that the mobile app will be a mix of TimeOut, clubbing reviews and friends activities. It’s created by three people, whose joint experience spans developing, the music industry and gaming. Two of the founders are female and collectively they bring their experience to the table to create AreaNow, bringing the latest in nightlife to the mobile.

The plan is that users of AreaNow will get up to the minute party recommendations, from people in the know and can see what’s going on close to them by using their mobile’s integrated GPS. You can connect to friends and fellow clubbers using the service and see what activities other people are involved in- and how far you need to travel to join them.

They offer ‘Likemarks’ which allows you to share ‘What, Where, When and with Whom’ you are partying with. It’s a nice way to get immediate access to local buzz, and get involved in the party scene- seems like a modern day version of Don’tStayIn for mobile phone users.

Colour DNA

Colour DNA is an interesting social network which uses the colour spectrum to divide users into different categories. They take the stance that when people interact online it’s more than just about whom you know, it’s who knows what you like. To this end, they colour code lifestyle options such as books, beauty and gadgets and allow you to share information about places you visit, food you like and products you use

This then gives you suggestions for related things to do and see, and other people with similar interests to connect to- your ColourDNA. Sheri Brissenden is a partner in this venture, and she’s no stranger to startups as she’s also a partner in a marketing and design company called The Frameworks.

So there you have it. These three startups have been created by women or (co-founded by them) that showcased their talents at GeeknRolla. But ladies, next year we expect a better showing!

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