Today Leap by Y Combinator, a private online community for women in tech, has spun out into its own independent company called Elpha. Led by three female founders Cadran Cowsanage, Kuan Luo and Abadesi Osunsade, its mission is to build the most powerful online community for women in tech.
In an industry where women represent only 10% of founding teams and 2% of venture capital recipients, there could be no better time to provide a platform for women to connect with each other and share information to help them excel in the industry.
Elpha is free to join and allows individuals who identify as women or non binary working in tech to discuss their most pressing questions relating to work and life in general, make connections, find and share opportunities, and more.
Popular Q&A threads on Elpha include topics like fundraising, salary negotiations, parenting, book recommendations, and industry trends.
Elpha supports anonymous and untraceable posting so women can ask topics that may be too sensitive or personal to bring up in the office or with friends.
Elpha has received funding from Y Combinator and the founders will participate in Y Combinator’s accelerator program in Mountain View this summer joining the ranks of well known alumni like Airbnb, Reddit and Stripe.
Quotes from the CEO, Cadran Cowansage:
“We want to make Elpha your go-to place for accessing industry experts and finding thoughtful, relevant content, delivered through the female lens. We’re also going to explore how best to provide access to information about companies that prioritize a culture that’s welcoming to womxn and share those job opportunities with you.”
“We chose the name Elpha by riffing on the word alpha and the idea that we wanted to create a place where women come first. We combined alpha with the French word for she (“Elle”) to create ellepha. We shortened it to elpha from there.”
Cadran is a software engineer by training. Before co-founding Elpha, she was the Technical Lead for Y Combinator’s Continuity team, and before that, a software engineer at MongoDB, Inc. She’s also worked in healthcare, intermodal transportation, and finance. Cadran has a Master’s in Biomedical Informatics from Columbia University and a BA in Computer Science and Biology from Colby College.
Born in Washington DC to Nigerian and Filipina parents, Abadesi spent her childhood in East Africa before moving to the UK for high school. She graduated from the London School of Economics in 2009 and wrote for the Financial Times before joining London’s tech scene. She was previously Head of Maker Outreach at Product Hunt. Prior to Product Hunt, Abadesi worked in growth roles at Amazon, HotelTonight and Groupon. In 2016 she founded Hustle Crew, a career advancement community for the underrepresented in tech and published her book, Dream Big Hustle Hard: A Millennial Woman’s Guide to Success in Tech.
Kuan was born and raised in Shanghai, China before moving to the US for undergrad where she studied journalism, rhetorics and graphic design. Before co-founding Elpha, she launched For The Women Retreat, an in-person leadership retreat for women in tech in 2018. Prior to that, she led design and optimized small teams to ship ambitious software products at Cockroach Labs, Etsy, Grand St. and the Washington Post.