The New York tech scene is growing rapidly and a few women really stood out this year.

They founded cool companies, nabbed high-power positions, created groups to support each other, and invested in companies like Tumblr and Pinterest.

Lauren Kay, The Dating Ring

Founder, The Dating Ring

Lauren Kay recently set out to help New Yorkers find love through group dates. What sets The Dating Ring apart from the rest is its free, full-service matchmaking service and emphasis on group dates.

The young startup is still in beta, but is actively adding new members every week.

Heather Marie, 72Lux

CEO, 72Lux

This year, Heather Marie introduced a new platform for merchants so that e-commerce sites can market their products on the websites of publishers. 

72Lux's publisher network has a reach of over 75 million monthly unique visitors, and serves millions of product views each month. 

Back in July, Marie was named one of this year's Women in Digital by L'Oreal USA. 

Annalise Domenighini, Digg/Poncho

Creative Editor, Poncho

Poncho, a new startup out of Betaworks, offers amusing daily weather updates by SMS or email. It learns your daily routine, like when you wake up, if you have pets, when you typically go to work, etc.

The idea is for Poncho to become part of users' daily routines; almost 10,000 people have subscribed so far. 

Karin Klein, Bloomberg Beta

Partner, Bloomberg Beta 

Since Bloomberg Beta, a $75 million tech fund, launched in June, Karin Klein has invested in five companies, including Codecademy and Nodejitsu.

Before joining Bloomberg Beta, Karin was a VC at Softbank where she worked closely with portfolio companies. Karin was also a member of the board of Buddy Media prior to its acquisition by Salesforce. 

Cindy Gallop, MakeLoveNotPorn

Founder, MakeLoveNotPorn

Cindy Gallop launched back in 2009 to highlight the difference between porn and real sex and, ultimately, the impact that technology has had on our sex lives.

Because of the extraordinary response that site received, Gallop launched this year, to continue her mission to socialize real world sex and make it socially acceptable and shareable as anything else we share on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram.

Bridget Williams, Abrams Media

President, Abrams Media

After spending three years as SVP at Business Insider, Bridget Williams joined Abrams Media as its new president. 

Abrams Media's sites include Mediaite, Styleite, Geekosystem, TheMarySue, TheJaneDough, and The Braiser. 

Susan Lyne, AOL

CEO, AOL's Brand Group

As the current CEO of AOL's brand growth, Susan Lyne oversees all of AOL's content properties, with the exception of the Huffington Post.

Thanks to Lyne, AOL has increased its investment in programmatic advertising, hoping to rival Google's DoubleClick division. 

Michelle Peluso, Gilt Groupe

CEO, Gilt Groupe

In late February, Gilt Groupe board member Michelle Peluso took over as the company's CEO, replacing its chairman, Kevin Ryan. 

Since Peluso joined, she's said that Gilt Groupe is definitely a target for an IPO, but that the company is not in a rush to go public. 

[Full disclosure: Ryan is also a co-founder and chairman of Business Insider.]

Nicole Glaros, TechStars

Managing Director, TechStars

Nicole Glaros, the new managing director of TechStars NYC, was tasked with the job of filling Dave Tisch's shoes, who stepped down from the role last August. She also had to take over the program when TechStars fired its managing director, Eugene Chung, two weeks before Demo Day.

Glaros previously managed TechStars Boulder, but was pulled in to serve as interim managing director. 

Tanya Menendez, Maker's Row

Co-founder, Maker's Row

Maker's Row is an online marketplace that connects manufacturers with product-based businesses of all sizes. It's essentially a matchmaker for fashion designers and manufactures.

Back in July, Maker's Row raised $1 million from Index Ventures, Comcast Ventures, Alexis Ohanian, and Joanne Wilson.

Jocelyn Leavitt and Samantha John, Hopscotch

Co-founders, Hopscotch 

Samantha John and Jocelyn Leavitt recently set out on a mission to teach girls and boys how to code.

In April, Hopscotch launched the beta version of its iPad app to teach kids computer programming. Hopscotch allows kids to make programs from blocks of code. 

During its first week, the app was downloaded 20,000 times. One of John's early favorites was a kid-created game that turns an iPad into an Etch-a-Sketch.

Nitasha Tiku, Gawker/Valleywag

Senior writer at Gawker

While Sam Biddle is a dose of snark Silicon Valley sometimes needs, Nitasha Tiku is the reporting genius behind Gawker's Valleywag. When Valleywag gets a scoop, Tiku is often behind it.

Formerly of Inc. and Betabeat, Tiku broke the news about the many millions Snapchat's founders took off the table. She was first to report Path's layoffs too. She also calls out startups that are lacking diversity.

Carly Strife, Barkbox

Co-founder, BarkBox

BarkBox is a dog-owner's dream created by a trio of self-proclaimed dog lovers. Their subscription e-commerce and content company sends a monthly box full of dog goodies to owners' doors.

Meeker, Strife, and Werdelin have created strategic partnerships with Groupon and LivingSocial, and Barkbox has secured funding from investors including RRE and 500 Startups.

Back in April, BarkBox raised $1.5 million led by RRE Ventures. 

Marissa Evans, Rent the Runway (formerly of Go Try It On)

Founder and CEO, Go Try It On

Marissa Evans joined Rent the Runway this year, following an acquisition of her fashion app Go Try It On. (More than 400,000 people had downloaded Go Try It On before Rent The Runway bought the style advice app.)

Now, Evans leads the new "Radical Innovation" team at Rent the Runway. 

Rachel Haot, New York City

Chief Digital Officer; Mayor, New York City

Rachel Haot is the country's first chief digital officer. She's responsible for working alongside NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg to bolster the city's startup ecosystem and modernize old infrastructure, like phone booths.

Since 2011, Haot has increased the number of media channels the government uses to interact with its constituents. Under Haot and Bloomberg's leadership, New York City has started campaigns to reinvent payphones and launched an initiative to install at least 77 new touchscreen kiosks in subway stations throughout its five boroughs.  

Anastasia Leng, Hatch

Co-founders, Hatch

Before starting Hatch, formerly known as Makeably, both Anastasia Leng and Ryan Hayward worked at Google. 

"Google’s a phenomenal company," Leng previously told Business Insider. "But I just needed to do this."

Hatch aims to help makers utilize their underlying skill sets to further expand their product offerings and range, while eliminating some of the risk. At the same time, it's enables everyday people to personalize and purchase one-of-a-kind items.

Just this month, Hatch unveiled interactive hotspots to assist in the customization and personalization process. 

Since May, Hatch has grown 30% month over month in new makers and products. It has also doubled its user base.

Soraya Darabi, Zady

Co-CEO, Zady

After finding success with Foodspotting, the food startup that sold to OpenTable for $10 million, Soraya Darabi pulled back the curtains on her latest venture.

This year, Darabi and her co-founder Maxine Bédat launched a new e-commerce startup called Zady. Before she even officially unveiled Zady, Darabi had already raised $1.35 million from undisclosed investors.

Zady officially launched to the public in August.

Kim Taylor and Cecilia Retelle, Ranku

Co-founders, Ranku

Ranku launched just three months ago, but it's already cash-flow positive. Going forward, Ranku wants to solve some of the biggest, most complicated issues in education and close the skills gap.

That's likely thanks to Taylor's chops in both education and sales, and Retelle's skills with education policy. Retelle is the former senior director of education policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. 

Just last month, Taylor and Retelle secured a $500,000 investment from prolific investor Mark Cuban.

Alexandra Chong, Lulu

Founder, Lulu

Lulu lets women anonymously rate men they know. Since launching its app in February, Lulu has grown to more than 1 million users. One in four college women in the United States have Lulu downloaded on their phones, according to Chong.

Back in February, Lulu secured an additional $2.5 million from Yuri Milner, Hosain Rahman, Alexander Asseily, Bill Tai, Dave Morin, Vivi Nevo, Passion Capital, and PROfounders Capital.

Glynnis MacNicol and Rachel Sklar,


Rachel Sklar and Glynnis MacNicol founded, a visibility platform committed to helping awesome women help other awesome women.

Both Sklar and MacNicol are digital media veterans and write a thrice-weekly newsletter that highlights the different accomplishments, ventures, and projects of connected women. also hosts panels, seminars, meet ups, and conferences.

Disclosure: Glynnis MacNicol previously worked as a media editor at Business Insider.

Amanda Peyton, Grand St.

Co-founders, Grand St.

Grand St. launched this year to give people access to some of the coolest gadgets. The boutique offers new products to members every other day. But since it's a flash sales site, you have to act fast. 

What makes Grand St. especially unique is that it tests each and every gadget it sells. Back in April, the site raised $1.3 million in funding. 

Reshma Saujani and Kristen Titus, Girls Who Code

Founder and Executive Director, Girls Who Code 

Reshma Saujani founded the highly influential high school program, Girls Who Code. Saujani launched Girls Who Code last summer as an eight-week intensive program where high school women learn the basics of Ruby, HTML, Java, and more. 

Since then, Saujani and Kristen Titus have been working to close the gender gap in engineering and increase the number of women involved with software engineering. 

Girls Who Code's partners include Goldman Sachs Group, Twitter, Intel, and eBay. 

Saujani is also the author of Women Who Don't Wait in Line and she ran for New York City Public Advocate.

Hilary Gosher, Insight Venture Partners

Managing Director, Insight Venture Partners

Insight Venture Partners, the firm behind Tumblr and Twitter, had a big year. In May, Insight Venture Partners' portfolio company Tumblr sold to Yahoo for $1.1 billion. Just a week later, Insight Venture Partners announced that it closed a massive new $2.57 billion fund.

Shana Fisher, High Line Venture Partners

Angel Investor, High Line Venture Partners

Ask male investors who they idolize and they'll tell you Shana Fisher.

Fisher is a smart investors who has a reputation for being able to spot hot new startups and Internet trends early on. Fisher led the angel round in 3D printing startup MakerBot, which sold in June to fellow 3D printing company Stratasys in a deal worth roughly $403 million. She was also one of the first Pinterest investors.

High Line VP also invested in Vine, the video-sharing app that sold to Twitter last October. 

Blast from the past?

Check out the 2012 Silicon Alley 100 list >

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