It’s an ongoing national trend.
The ‘it’ startup ideas like photo apps, video apps, coupon sites, etc. continued to get funded and/or win startup competitions yet the ideas that solve real problems typically. In my experience, good portions of these ideas are founded by women and solve the everyday problems of many women. Yet, the group who typically invest in startups or deem a startup scalable fits in the same demographic: men.
A few examples of lifestyle (aka 'soft') oriented sites that cater to the everyday problems women have:
Pretty Quick – Book last minute spa appointments at Chicago salons. Basically filling the gaps for the salon owner and squeezing in a last minute reservation for the guest.
Moxie Jean – Online resale marketplace for gently used children’s clothing.
Chicago is well poised to be THE place for more lifestyle startups to emerge. Why?
Situated in the Midwest, the land of cereal giants, automotive innovation, CPG-ville and Mom’s Apple Pie, the women of Chicago have access to it all. Why not continue the ‘sensible’ reputation we Midwesterners receive and put that online? Create some of the newest startups that take care of the needs of women, families and everyday issues humans encounter.
Will they get investment capital? Perhaps not so much – at first.
The more lifestyle startups that get created, coupled with more women who are behind entrepreneurship, the faster Old Guard will get it and invest.
After all, how many men do you know were trampling down Sara Blakely’s door when she created Spanx?