Inc.’s 2024 Female Founders list highlights why female founders are always a good bet

adyn founder, Elizabeth Ruzzo, named to the list

SEATTLE, April 09, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Inc. today announced its seventh annual Female Founders list, honoring a bold group of 250 women whose innovations and ideas are shaping the world into a better place.

The founders cross all industries and bring with them unique stories of success from each stage of the entrepreneurial journey — from startup to going public, being acquired by big buyers, or spending decades at the helm of an organization.

Elizabeth Ruzzo, CEO and founder of adyn, was recognized by Inc. in this year’s Female Founders list. Her background as a PhD in human genomics inspired adyn’s novel precision medicine approach.

adyn’s flagship product, The Birth Control Test, is the first and only test designed to prevent birth control side effects. With nearly 200 types of available birth control and no intelligent way to choose between them, women endure years of trial and error to avoid unwanted and dangerous side effects. For the first time, birth control users can choose a birth control that matches their biology and proactively avoid adverse side effects.

adyn has informed 70% of their initial population of personal medical risks associated with taking the wrong prescription — including saving 7.5% from potentially life-threatening side effects.

Each year, Inc. editors review thousands of applications highlighting female founders challenging the status quo and tackling some of the world’s biggest problems. The list features women who have overcome challenges and lifted those around them, while leading impactful organizations across the country. They join the ranks of previous honorees including Jessica Alba, Tracee Ellis Ross, Rihanna, and Shonda Rhimes.

Quote on the list from Diana Ransom, Inc. Executive Editor: “The past year, for many, will go down as one of the hardest ever—between a funding freeze and ad-spending pull back. The female founders on this year’s list are a testament to what triumph over adversity looks like. They should all be proud of this singular accomplishment.”

This award comes as important new research is published on characteristics of the most successful founders. A study by Defiance Capital found that 70% of unicorns have “underdog” founders, defined as immigrants, women, or people of color. 49% of unicorn CEOs also have STEM degrees; this background is even more common among female founders (64%). This study also found that most unicorn founders had a personal story of feeling “unfairly treated” or “ambitious rebels” motivated by a mission they care deeply about.

“I’m honored to be included on Inc’s 2024 Female Founder list alongside so many accomplished business leaders. It’s been a privilege to meet so many of these founders who are deeply passionate about what they are building and doing it because they believe it will reshape the world for the better — usually a more equitable world without the barriers they’ve encountered,” says Dr. Ruzzo.

Defiance Capital also found that the traditional archetype of founder — all-white, male, non-immigrant, Ivy league graduate — is an infrequent occurrence, making up only 11% of unicorn founders. Another study conducted by AngelList concluded that founders who are graduates from the University of Washington have the highest markup rates over the expected average, outperforming founders from even the most prestigious universities.

As a graduate of the University of Washington where she received a BS in Cell and Molecular Biology, Dr. Ruzzo joins the ranks of other entrepreneurs with roots at UW, a quietly burgeoning hub for innovation and entrepreneurship.

“One thing I bet all founders on this list share is an abundance of grit and determination. When the odds are stacked against you, you’ve got to be prepared to get knocked down and get right back up to try again,” says Dr. Ruzzo.

Despite years of evidence demonstrating that female founders are a good bet, the fundraising environment remains bleak. While the share of U.S. venture capital invested in startups with at least one female co-founder was the highest on record in 2023, only 2% went to startups with all female founders, the lowest it’s been since 2016.

In spite of these obstacles, female-founded companies often outperform their counterparts: a study by BCG found that female founders generate double the revenue per funding dollar as men.

Building in the women’s health space is especially challenging. Women’s health companies are undervalued compared to other healthcare companies — by as much as 20%. Furthermore, one analysis showed that even in the women’s health space, all-male founding teams outraise all-female founding teams (this only flipped in the past year).

However, early signals indicate that 2024 could be a landmark year for funding and innovation in women’s health. The White House’s Initiative on Women’s Health Research is one of the most significant signals of public funding in this space. The sentiment is similar in the private sector: in a list of just four predictions for 2024, Amazon’s CTO Werner Vogels highlighted growth of femtech.

Congratulations to all the other founders whom Inc. recognized this year. Here’s to all the other underdogs getting the recognition and cash they deserve.

About Inc.’s Female Founders list
To see the complete list, go to:

After launching in 2018, the Female Founders list is one of Inc.’s most esteemed franchises. Inc. magazine’s Female Founders issue (April 2024) will be available online on April 9 at and on newsstands on April 16.

About adyn
adyn is a precision medicine company that combines hormone measurements with genetic analysis to generate medically actionable insights for every individual. The company has solved a pain point overlooked since the 1960s: finding birth control without adverse side effects. adyn’s platform integrates accessible genetic and endocrine testing with virtual care and at-home prescription delivery, creating a new standard of care in the $1.2T women’s health market. This novel precision medicine approach has network effects for R&D. Learn more at


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