Four North Texas Entrepreneurs Make 2024 Inc. Female Founders 250 List

Based in Dallas and Fort Worth, the four local entrepreneurs pursue missions ranging from making healthy hair care accessible to all to turning locations into landmarks to blazing new trails in influencer marketing.

Inc. Magazine is out with its seventh annual Female Founders 250 list, spotlighting “the most dynamic women in business”—and four North Texas entrepreneurs have made their mark on it.

The list honors “boundaries-pushing” entrepreneurs whose innovations and ideas are “rewriting the rules of business.” Criteria for making the list included “quantifiable metrics like revenue, sales, revenue growth, funding, audience size, and more,” along with “qualitative metrics like social media momentum and stories of impact.”

Here are the four North Texas women who made the list for 2024:

Piersten Gaines
Founder and CEO :: Pressed Roots :: Dallas

Piersten Gaines, founder and CEO of Pressed Roots

Gaines was cited by Inc. for fundraising $3.1 million in VC funding in 2023 as a Black woman entrepreneur for her Dallas-based textured hair salon chain. Despite the fact that VC funding for Black entrepreneurs “dropped to 0.13% of total capital invested” in 2023, Inc. writes, “Gaines raised $3.1 million from the likes of Slauson & Co and RevTech Ventures—as well as landing powerhouse investors Naomi Osaka, Howard Schultz, and Meg Whitman.” Gaines was additionally cited by Inc. as a “Trailblazer” for breaking barriers in a male-dominated field.

“In difficult markets, you have to overcompensate,” Gaines told Inc. “Even if you can’t point to your own [success], point to someone else’s—show those investors how they’re going to make their money back.”

Susan Gruppi Miller and Jessica Miller Essl
Co-Founders :: M2G Ventures :: Fort Worth

M2G Ventures co-founders Susan Gruppi Miller, left, and Jessica Miller Essl [Photos: M2G Ventures]

The identical twin founders were cited by Inc. “for increasing revenue by roughly $8 million in 2023 and reaching the company’s donation goal of $1 million to the UT Southwestern’s Center for Depression Research and Clinical Care.” At M2G, the co-founders invest in mixed-use and industrial real estate development projects. 

One of their endeavors has been “turning locations into landmarks,” as they did for the The Archetype, an industrial development near the Dallas Design District. But their pro-social focus agenda has been a big part of their shared mission. In 2022 alone, the co-founders raised more than $260,000 at their third annual fundraising gala, Art of the Mind, benefitting the UT Southwestern center—at that time raising their total funding for the center to over $700,000.

Like Gaines, the M2G co-founders were additionally cited by Inc. as “Trailblazers” for breaking barriers in a male-dominated field.

Amber Venz Box
Co-founder and President :: LTK :: Dallas

LTK Co-founder and President Amber Venz Box [Video still: LTK]

Venz Box was cited by Inc. for “building an e-commerce platform that connects 7,000-plus small brands and more than 30 million monthly shoppers.” Last year, Fortune told the story of how Venz Box launched her influencer marketing platform with only $236 in her bank account in 2011. Ten years later, LTK was valued at $2 billion after snagging a $300 million investment from SoftBank Vision Fund 2, putting her company among the list of tech unicorns.

Her company continually pushes the envelope of increasing influencer marketing value—from adding virtual storefront checkout to the LTK app to launching social media advertising for brands and more.

You can see the full 2024 Inc. Female Founders 250 list by going here.

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