Date of Award

Summer 7-19-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Jeffrey Lee

Second Advisor

Julia Hadden

Third Advisor

Cindy Petersen


Purpose: The purpose of this mixed-methods study was to identify and describe critical startup factors of high-growth technology startups as identified by women founders in Seattle, Washington.

Methodology: This mixed-method study identified and described 15 women founders of high-growth technology startups in Seattle. Participants were chosen based on specific criteria and recommendations of a sponsor and expert panel. Interviews were conducted with the participants and they completed an online survey.

Findings: Ten major findings emerged from the data. Founders fostered a strong network of professional and personal relationships to help develop and solidify their identity; they also had high levels of emotional intelligence. The founders hired a team to fill their knowledge gaps to create a company with the potential to become high growth. Founders took financial responsibility by avoiding premature scaling, creating a company that is buyable and scalable and using financial modeling techniques during this process. Additionally, female founders used male influence to be introduced to networks for investor funding. Lastly, the founders had previous experience in high-growth environments, helping them to strategically respond to investor questions.

Conclusions: Based on the research findings of this study, ten conclusions were drawn that created deeper insight into women founders of technology startups and factors that helped develop their high-growth startup in Seattle, Washington.

Recommendations: By identifying and describing the factors women founders of technology startups use to create high-growth technology startups in Seattle, Washington, more women-founded high-growth startups can be successful. These factors include building strong networks through new taskforces, creating emotional intelligence development plans, holding innovation and regulation symposiums, building strategic alliances with male allies, creating minimum viable products, promoting focused business plans, indexing technology investors, and featuring women founders on 20/20 and 60 minutes.