Immigrant Women in Tech

It is well documented that immigrants are overrepresented in high-tech and women are underrepresented. What about immigrant women in tech? If this year’s nominees for The ILC Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards are any indication, female immigrant entrepreneurs are making major contributions. These two women, both recipients of Boston Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Award, have had remarkable business success at an early age, and they both make time to help others succeed.

Bettina Hein is the German founder of two successful technology companies: SVOX, which was acquired by Nuance Communications for $125M in 2011, and Pixability, Inc., which she founded in 2008. Pixability simplifies digital video for marketers by allowing them to isolate and reach the right consumers through video across platforms.

As a successful female entrepreneur, Hein is dedicated to the success of other women. She created a Boston-based network of female founders and CEOs that meets monthly called SheEOs, and she co-founded START Global, the leading initiative for Europe’s young entrepreneurs. She also holds weekly entrepreneurial office hours open to the community to offer business advice and support. She frequently speaks at universities and organizations around the world on female entrepreneurship and leadership.

If any business is more male-dominated than high-tech, it’s hedge funds. As an international student from China, Christina Qi started a small hedge fund, Domeyard LP, five years ago with her friends out of a dorm room at MIT. Starting with no money, connections or credibility, Qi and her co-founders have grown Domeyard to $1 billion dollars in trades per day and has earned recognition from the largest players in the industry.

The company uses all areas of computer science and mathematics, from creating custom software to assembling co-located hardware, to achieve ultra-low-latency, high-frequency trading. It has been featured on the front page of business publications including Forbes and Nikkei. The company hopes to eventually apply the machine learning work it’s doing in other industries, such as biomedical research.

At 26 years old, Qi has been a visiting lecturer at local universities, including MIT and Harvard, for the past four years. She contributed to the World Economic Forum paper on AI in Financial Markets and frequently speaks at conferences globally. This year, she is scheduled to speak to audiences in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Japan, London, Ghana and China.

Meet outstanding immigrant entrepreneurs for yourself on May 3 at The ILC Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards Dinner.