By Susie Gharib
October 18, 2017

As Silicon Valley battles accusations about sexism and gender discrimination, Steph Korey and Jen Rubio are two women rising above it all.

They are the cofounders and entrepreneurs behind a fast-growing startup Away. Their main product is a sleek, light-weight, durable, and moderately priced carry-on suitcase that has a built-in phone charger. They’ve sold more than 100,000 suitcases in the past 18 months and expect to post profits this year on estimated revenues of $50 million.

The two women became friends while working at Warby Parker in its early days. That’s where they learned about branding and the benefits of selling direct-to-consumer. When they founded Away in 2016, they positioned themselves not as a luggage company, but as a broader must-have travel brand. Their vision, as well as smarts and confidence, opened doors at the top venture capital firms in Silicon Valley. Since Away’s beginning, Korey and Rubio have raised $31 million— one of the largest seed financings for a female-backed start-up.

“I think Jen and I are fortunate to be an example of maybe the new wave of how things can be for women,” Korey says. “I hear the stories of women who have a harder time or are discriminated against. My hope is we’re an example of the future and that things can be better and things can be fairer.”

 

 

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