Leap, the women’s networking group that was developed by Y Combinator, is spinning out of the company with a new name — Elpha.
Co-founded by Cadran Cowansage, Abadesi Osunsade and Kuan Luo, Elpha is designed as a professional network for women offering content and access to a directory to make it easier for women in the technology industry to connect. In a blog post, Cowansage also indicated that the company will provide access to information about companies that prioritize welcoming women.
The idea for Elpha came to Cowansage years ago, but was launched in 2017 with the support of Y Combinator. Initially Leap was a nights and weekends project (as Cowansage puts it), but it now boasts 7,500 active members. Including its co-founders Abadesi and Kuan. Abadesi started as the first community lead for the Leap group, where she joined from Product Hunt, and was also the founder of Hustle Crew — a group focused on inclusion in tech.
Kuan, a former New Yorker, is a startup veteran who led the design team at the New York database technology development company Cockroach Labs and the architect of a retreat for women leaders in tech called “For The Women”.
While the company is no longer directly affiliated with Y Combinator, it is going through the accelerator’s winter batch and YC has come on as an investor, according to Cowansage — taking the traditional 7% ownership stake for its $150,000 investment.