In April, Inc. 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 Inc. female 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. They are reinventing everything from payments to food and are challenging issues like financial literacy and reproductive health. 

It's an honor to announce that Orum’s Founder & CEO, Stephany Kirkpatrick, is among these esteemed women. 

What percentage of founders are female?

The business world is continuing to see a rise in incredible female founders! While there's still room for growth (recent reports show only 13.2% of startup founders in 2023 were women), leaders like Stephany are paving the way for a more inclusive future. Celebrating their achievements inspires and empowers the next generation of women entrepreneurs.

So, how did she get here? Let’s take a step back and look at Stephany’s leadership and innovation throughout 2023.

Verify: Orum’s Biggest Accomplishment Over The Past Year

In October, Orum launched Verify, the first-ever product built on top of FedNow, the Federal Reserve’s new instant payment rail. Traditionally, businesses have used a range of antiquated solutions to verify bank accounts, including slow microdeposits, batched historical data, and the manual entry of end-user login credentials. These processes can take days, leading to millions in lost revenue.

Verify determines within 15 seconds whether a bank account is open, valid, and able to receive money before initiating payments, saving businesses valuable time and resources. Verify also covers 100% of all US-based consumer and business bank accounts, much more than most solutions on the market.

Each year, Inc. editors review thousands of applications highlighting a list of female entrepreneurs who are challenging the status quo and tackling some of the world’s biggest problems. This 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.

The past year, for many, will go down as one of the hardest ever — between a funding freeze and ad-spending pullback. 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. Diana Ransom, Inc. Executive Editor

There has been much discussion on FedNow’s potential impact on the fintech ecosystem. Stephany took the initiative to cultivate a relationship with the Fed, making Orum one of its first FedNow partners and launching the first product built on top of FedNow as a strong example of the next-gen of innovation happening now. Her proactive leadership reflects her resourceful and forward-thinking approach in an industry that’s often slow to change and dominated by men.

Stephany Kirkpatrick Bloomberg TV

I’m honored to be a part of this year’s Inc Magazine’s  Female Founders 250, a list of the most creative and inspiring female leaders in America. To the women who have come before me and to everyone at Orum who inspires me every single day — thank you. Let’s keep innovating so we can power a better financial system where everyone has the freedom to build to their potential! Stephany Kirkpatrick, Founder & CEO of Orum

To see the complete list, visit: 

After launching in 2018, the Female Founders list is one of Inc.’s most esteemed franchises. You can find Stephany’s Inc. magazine Female Founder issue (April 2024)  available online.

Be Inspired by More Female Founders

Want to hear more inspiring stories from Stephany and other female leaders in fintech? Check out more Letters from our Founder to get exclusive insights and industry updates.

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