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4 Inspiring Latin American Startups Led by Women

4 Inspiring Latin American Startups Led by Women

Posted by Clarisa Herrera on August 12, 2015

While the technological ecosystem is featuring different initiatives and incentives in an effort to bring more women into the tech enterprising world, some of them go way beyond gender divisions and obstacles –including the struggle to establish a work-life balance – and create successful online products with great visibility.

These are four women-managed startups that are drawing attention over the region.

KiwiLimon (Lorenza Ávila and Deborah Dana, Mexico)

What is it about? It’s Mexico’s #1 website on cuisine recipes.

Who are they? After having worked for a multinational company, Ávila and Dana spotted something that Mexican women needed and there was nobody paying attention to that element, so in 2009 they created a website that puts together the finest recipes of that country.

An added value is represented by the fact that the recipes are posted by the very users. Nowadays, the platform receives over 90 thousand monthly visits and is followed by more than 230 thousand people on Twitter and 260 thousand on Facebook. The portal is so popular that it has been ranked within the Top 5 of “Food Community” in Mexico.

Since they also have a family, the founders appointed a male CEO, Carlos Lieja, to manage the platform.

GlamST (Carolina Bañales and Agustina Sartori, Uruguay)

What is it about? It’s a virtual fitting room for cosmetics, which helps women find the perfect look without applying any real makeup.

Who are they? In 2010 both entrepreneurs were studying Telematics Engineering at the University of Montevideo (UM). Sartori had by the enterpreneurial gene and Bañales realized that it would be interesting to find a simple way to try cosmetics.

Their project was the first Latin American startup included in Plug and Play’s International Acceleration Program, a joint initiative with Uruguay XXI, the Uruguayan Chamber of Information Technologies (CUTI, in Spanish) and Incubadora Ingenio.

They are supported by internationally acclaimed brands such as Maybellline, Yves Saint Laurent, Dior, Lancôme. Virtual fitting rooms can be found at Duty Free areas in Uruguay and Argentina. The mobile app is available in the US for iOS and Windows usar.

Renew your dressing room (Cecilia Membrado, Argentina)

What is it about? It’s an online platform where women can make money by selling clothes they no longer wear, but are in perfect condition. They can find the finest brands with an 80 percent discount.

Who is she? Membrado’s project came out of her passion for fashion and the experience obtained by working for brands like Falabella, Rapsodia and Nike, where she was in charge of marketing areas.

In early 2014 she created a project based on the re-commerce concept, with the aim of changing the way women buy and sell clothes in Latin America.

After having won the 2013 Naves competition and joined Start Up Chile, the company was recently labeled Best Electronic Commerce Startup in Latin America, by the Latin American Institute of Electronic Commerce, so it stood out among seven Latin American startups. With over 15,000 women visiting the platform on a daily basis and more than 8,000 unique products for sale, Cecilia Membrado is planning a regional expansion for 2015.

Arukay (Vicky Ricaurte, Colombia)

What is it about? Ricaurte is the co-founder of this educational project aimed at teaching children and teenagers 21st-century skills like programming, robotics, design thinking, collaboration, enterprising, etc.

Who is she? She is a serial entrepreneur, who is regionally described as a representative of the mompreneur trend: those women that divide their time between paying attention to their families and their businesses.

Vicky Ricaurte graduated in Industrial Engineering at the University of Los Andes and got her master’s degree on Liberal Art and Management at Harvard. The benchmark woman of Colombian entrepreneurs recently founded Arunovo, another company that fosters the teaching of programming languages.

She also founded edutech's incubator of edutech InncubatEd, but she is internationally known as the creator of UrGift, a company that targets the US and, by partnering with Amazon, helps people create, safe and share wish lists on that country’s online market.

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