7 Female Founders to Know in CNY

As a women-owned company, especially in tech, it’s important for us to celebrate and highlight fellow women doing great things in our industry. Particularly for Women’s History Month, we wanted to focus on our home base of Syracuse, which is one of the fastest-growing tech hubs in the region, and is home to many inspiring female founders crafting their own legacy.

Here are just a few who are doing great things in CNY:

Kathryn Cartini, Elisa Miller-Out, and Erica O’Brian — Founders of Chloe Capital

The three co-founders of Chloe Capital began their early-stage investment firm in 2017, with a mission to focus on women-owned startups. According to their website, less than 5% of all venture capital goes to women-led tech companies, yet research by First Round Capital showed that companies led by women perform 63% better than its portfolio of companies with male founders, growing more quickly and offering greater ROI for investors.

Cartini, Miller-Out, and O’Brian aim to change this statistic by recruiting women-led technology and tech-enabled companies. Some of their recent investments include Geospiza, which helps emergency responders make data-driven decisions that save lives, and Nineteenth Amendment, a SaaS platform for on-demand manufacturing and retailing.

Aimee Koval — Co-Founder, President & COO of Metis Consulting Group

Metis Consulting Group is a software development and IT consulting company based in CNY run by Aimee Koval, who was recently named 2019 Enterprising Woman of the Year by Enterprising Women Magazine. Nominees typically have quickly growing businesses, mentor women and/or girls, and act as leaders in their communities.

Koval’s company does all three, and is also a Certified B Corporation, a title that Metis equates to a Fair Trade certification, “but for the whole business, not just a bag of coffee (or USDA Organic certification, but not just for a carton of milk; or LEED certification, but not just for a building).” Social and environmental consciousness, transparency, and accountability are just as important as the work Koval’s company does in consulting, as she aims for Metis to be an ethical organization at every level.

Liz Liddy — Dean of the School of Information Studies (iSchool) at Syracuse University

Liz Liddy has been the iSchool Dean since 2008, and prior to that had several important leadership roles in tech. From founding her own software startup in 1994 (and winning the prestigious National Tibbetts Award from U.S. Small Business Administration) to founding Syracuse University’s Center for Natural Language Processing, which advanced the development of human-like language understanding software capabilities, to becoming the founding faculty advisor of the Women in Information Technology (WIT) a student mentorship group, we’d say Dean Liddy is a local celebrity in the CNY tech world.

This fall she announced her upcoming retirement, an absence that will be strongly felt. Currently, “alumni are nearly 100 percent employed following graduation in competitive fields with competitive salaries,” according to Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost Michele Wheatly. Not a bad legacy to leave behind!

Lindsey Tropf, Founder & CEO, and Caroline Lamarque, Co-Founder and Lead Programmer, Immersed Games

Another finalist in the Chloe Capital’s pitch contest in Rochester, Tropf and Lamarque (along with additional co-founders Samuel Sewall and Ryan Tropf) are using video games to create the next generation of STEM education platforms. For example, Tyto Online is their flagship product designed for middle school students to learn skills in the science realm. Together, the co-founders have earned grants from the National Science Foundations and Department of Education for their work in the edtech sector, and also won an investment from New York State through the 43North business competition.

Tropf and Lamarque are creating a new kind of learning experience that are embedded in context, so students know why they need to take in what they’re learning, and actually encourage failing, as they see being challenged as essential to development.

In intersecting realms of tech and gaming where women often are challenged, we’re looking forward to seeing what the future brings for this educational power duo.


We are not where we are today without the women who came before us, and who are working in parallel to us to carve out a space in history here in Syracuse (and in our case, Los Angeles, too!). For more highlights of women in tech history, check out our blog posts — Influential Women in Tech History and 5 Women to Watch in the Blockchain Space.

Upstate Interactive

We're a women-owned business that helps B2B organizations turn great ideas into software.

kristen @ upstate interactive

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Upstate Interactive

We're a women-owned business that helps B2B organizations turn great ideas into software.

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