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Karlie Kloss Looks to These Female Founders for Inspiration Our October/November cover star discusses the women (and businesses) that keep her motivated.

By Karlie Kloss

This story appears in the October 2019 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Jake Chessum

When supermodel Karlie Kloss launched her girls' coding boot camp, Kode With Klossy, she wanted the next generation of women to have easier access to the world of computer science. Now, as Kode With Klossy has grown to have a national presence, girls across the country are learning to code -- and looking to Kloss as a role model who's not afraid to blaze her own trail. But Kloss has some role models of her own. Here, she talks about the women she looks to for inspiration.

Check out more stories from our October/November issue's list of 100 Powerful Women.

Cindy Mi

Founder and CEO, education platform VIPKid

"I deeply admire Cindy's dedication to democratizing access to education through technology. Her platform gives rise to the foundational tools that shape people's lives, perspectives, and futures."

Lilly Singh

YouTuber and founder, Unicorn Island Productions

"I am such a fan of who Lilly is as a person and the message she stands for. Nothing's more powerful than a network of strong women who encourage each other, and Lilly is a huge driver in spreading this idea, inspiring women to support one another."

Related: Forerunner Ventures Founder Kirsten Green On What She Looks for In a Pitch

Nia Batts

Cofounder and CEO, beauty bar Detroit Blows

"Nia has built a business founded on accessibility and community. Aside from being a success in her own right, she's using the platform she's built to help advance the entrepreneurial aspirations of other women."

Fei-Fei Li

Cofounder and board chairman, nonprofit AI4All

"AI has the power to transform every industry, but it requires a diverse set of perspectives. I admire Fei-Fei's commitment to ensuring that everyone can influence AI, from education and research to development and policy."

Margaret Hamilton

Cofounder and CEO, software engineering company Hamilton Technologies

"Margaret Hamilton's work in computer science is revolutionary and undeniable—her innovations impact every programmer. She's expanded the limits of what's possible in science and engineering."

Related: Four Tech Founders Share Their Low-Tech Strategies For Success

Serena Williams

Athlete and founder, Serena Ventures

"The world knows Serena first as a world-class athlete, but the work she does off the court is equally impressive. She empowers young women to explore, showing them that we can be many things and pursue a variety of passions."

Jen Rubio and Steph Korey

Cofounders, travel brand Away

"Jen [left] and Steph [right] have differentiated Away [luggage] from the rest of the industry through their unique approach to design. By combining fashion, technology, and travel, they've built a smart, innovative brand."

Mellody Hobson

Co-CEO and president, Ariel Investments

"Mellody is a true trailblazer, the type of woman and entrepreneur I aspire to be. She's pushed boundaries and defied expectations at every step of her career, opening doors for businesses across the country."

Related: This Woman Entrepreneur Liquidated Her 401(k) to Co-Found Her Company. Now, It's Bringing in $100 Million.

Afton Vechery and Carly Leahy

Cofounders, at-home fertility testing startup Modern Fertility

"Afton [left] and Carly [right] have leveraged technology to improve women's lives and give them greater agency. Their work will impact so many families."

Brynn Putnam

Founder and CEO, at-home workout device and platform Mirror

"Brynn has completely forged her own path, sitting at the intersection of fitness and technology and setting a new standard for her industry."

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