Women in Tech

When is the last time you showed appreciation for the women in your life? Today, ETC would like to highlight some of the most influential women in the ETC community and Baltimore’s tech scene.


Deborah Tillett – ETC’s President and Executive Director, Deborah Tillett, received her Brava Award from SmartCEO last Thursday, the 14th. The Brava Awards celebrate female business leaders who demonstrate leadership with passion for both entrepreneurship and giving back to their communities. When the committee selects the winners, they take into consideration company growth, community impact and mentoring. Tillett spends a majority of her day advising current ETC clients as well as aspiring founders.


Margaret Roth – On June 9th, 2016, Margaret Roth received the Tech 10 Award from the Baltimore Business Journal. The Tech 10 Awards acknowledge leaders in the tech community for leading or working with the top tech companies in the area. These companies are recognized as those that are leading the future of Baltimore. Roth is the Chief Revenue Officer and Co-Founder of Yet Analytics. Yet says that they “work with clients on a broad range of projects, bringing together data from diverse sources including live physical simulations, social media interaction, marketing performance, traditional learning systems, live observation, automated IoT sensor data, and Smart TV interactions.” On June 28th, Roth wrote an article for Crain’s titled, “If I Knew Then.” In the piece, Roth talks about lessons that she and her team learned as a startup over the past year. Roth is currently an Accelerate Baltimore mentor for ETC.


Lida ZlaticLida Zlatic is the Co-Founder and CEO of ClassTracks, a customizable blended learning platform for the world language classroom. They work to build usable technology that enhances the learning experience in any blended model for world language instruction. On June 13, 2016, Zlatic was featured in a piece that SmartCEO wrote about three Teach for America alumni who founded startups in Baltimore. Zlatic began her path as an entrepreneur when she came to Baltimore and saw a need for education technology that could help students in the learning of languages and pitched her idea at an event. ClassTracks is an Accelerate Baltimore graduate and has their home at ETC’s Haven campus. For the summer, ClassTracks has been accepted for the Lean Lab fellowship in Kansas City, Missouri.


Katie Palencsar – This year, Katie Palencsar was the recipient of the Drexel University School of Education Outstanding Alumni Educator Award for 2016. Palencsar is the Founder and CEO of Unbound Concepts, which is an Accelerate Baltimore graduate. Artifact, the main product of Unbound Concepts, is an app that “provides the search and collection tools to help readers identify those books.” Artifact says that it works much like Pandora Radio, except with books and not music. The company also creates “artifacts” about books and sells them back to publishers through enterprise software so that they can learn about how to better market and sell their books. Recently, Unbound Concepts has partnered with Baker & Taylor, a publishing company that sells into 80% of libraries.

Women are integral members of the growing tech scene, but has the field truly opened up for women in the past few years? Nina Zipkin in her piece for the Entrepreneur titled, “Women Made Incremental Progress in Tech the Past Few Years” highlights the successes and the areas that need work. Zipkin says, “In 2009, just over 9 percent of tech startups in the U.S. had at least one female founder, but as recently as 2014, that numbers has doubled to 18 percent.” These numbers are encouraging for just five years.

However, women in the tech world, particularly women in higher positions, are still not equal to men in the same field. Zipkin reports that “only 7 percent of U.S. venture capital firms invest in businesses with female CEOs. A little more than 19 percent of female founders receive seed and angel investments while about 80 percent of their male counterparts can expect the same.”
But the future looks promising, and women, like the leaders mentioned above, are taking strides. Positions for women in the tech world are steadily increasing. And if you want to learn more statistics about women in tech, check out the infographics at the bottom of Zipkin’s post.