Each Friday, we highlight three companies and their female founders and share the stories behind the brands. Get a better look at the faces behind the brands and how they got to where they are.
This week we highlight Jasmine Crowe of Goodr, Shan-Lyn Ma of Zola, and Anne Wojcicki of 23andMe.
Goodr: Jasmine Crowe
Jasmine Crowe is the CEO and Founder of Goodr, a food management platform that uses technology to reduce food waste and fight against hunger. It was founded in Atlanta in 2017 and has already helped to take almost 2 million pounds of food from landfills to feed people who need it.
Before founding Goodr, Jasmine Crowe worked with non-profit organizations, did event management, media relations, and fundraising. She spent years helping to feed the hungry and saw an opportunity where technology could help with solving world hunger, and thus the idea of Goodr was formed.
Goodr essentially takes the leftover food from companies (that would be otherwise thrown away) and sends it to those less fortunate. Through their platform, you’re able to track the extra food from the time it is picked up to when it’s donated. Plus, they deliver real-time social and environmental impacts that you or your company is making through analytic reports.
Did you know that just through consumer-facing businesses in the U.S. there is $57 billion of food waste in a year! Goodr is helping to decrease that number, and we couldn’t applaud them more!
Zola: Shan-Lyn Ma
Shan-Lyn Ma is the CEO and Co-Founder of Zola, a wedding registry website that was created in 2013 to simplify the wedding planning process. To date, the company has received more than $140 million in funding.
Ma started at Yahoo as a Product Marketing Intern before working her way up to Senior Product Marketing Manager. From there, she made her move to Gilt Groupe, where she launched Gilt Taste, Gilt’s food and wine business.
Ma had always dreamed of working in the American tech industry, and when she saw a need for something to be done better and easier (buying wedding gifts), the idea for Zola was born.
So what’s so disruptive about Zola? The company is reinventing wedding planning with an easy-to-use online registry that offers free tools for couples. While Zola started as a wedding gift-giving company, it has grown into much more with numerous tools for wedding planning. Some of these tools include a simple all-in-one wedding registry, a guest list manager, free wedding websites, customizable checklists, and even save the date and wedding invitations.
Zola has helped over half a million couples plan their wedding. They work with 500+ companies and designers to ensure you have everything you need for your registry. Everything from kitchen items and bed and bath items to grills, beach gear, and even experiences – Zola has it. You can even start a honeymoon fund through the site! We’re all for anything that takes the stress out of the wedding process. After all, getting married should be a fun event… not a second job.
23andMe: Anne Wojcicki
Before starting 23andMe in 2006, Wojcicki graduated from Yale University with a degree in biology. From there she went on to do molecular biology research at the National Institutes of Health and the University of California, San Diego. Her goal? She wanted to help influence healthcare through genetic testing, and while doing this research, she started creating 23andMe.
You’ve probably seen the commercials of people finding out where some of their ancestors came from, but 23andMe expands much further than just that. 23andMe can help customers to find out and understand what their DNA says about their different traits, their health, and their ancestry. So, if you’re curious as to how likely you are to get something or have a specific trait (even something as small as “likely to have a unibrow”) 23andMe can probably help!
23andMe Fun Fact: The name “23andMe” comes from the 23 paired chromosomes that make DNA.
Anne Wojcicki most recently made the Forbes’ list of America’s Self-Made Women of 2019, which is just one among many lists she’s been included on.
One thing you can learn from these inspiring ladies: if you have an idea or a goal, don’t be afraid to try. And if it fails, keep trying!
Alyson Pittman is a contributing writer for WBD and a JR marketing associate for Excite Creative Studios, an Atlanta-based creative agency.
Alyson graduated from Kennesaw State University with a Bachelors of Business Administration and a concentration in Marketing. She was in multiple organizations at KSU where she held leadership positions. As a part of the Delta Phi Epsilon Sorority, Alyson held the Social Coordinator position and planned/promoted large events.