very month my clients at Big Door invite trending startups to show off their products to potential users, marketers, entrepreneurs, creators, and like minded individuals in an effort to gain user feedback (through Product Hunt). November’s meetup is even more significant since partnering with BRAID to feature female founded companies.
In witnessing the recent national divide, we are now being called “to build that better, stronger, fairer America we seek” (from Hillary Clinton’s Concession Speech for the 2016 Presidential Election). Part of that responsibility includes shining a light, with bullhorn in hand, on the neglected or suppressed.
I could spend a… read more
For the past few months, our team has been visiting customers face-to-face, including a 33-year-old woman living in the slums of Chennai, India.
We’ve visited her every day in temperatures easily soaring above 100 degrees. (The locals call this peak summer season ‘agni natchathiram,’ the season of fire.) We’ve visited her in the pouring rain, when the alleys in front of her home have begun to flood. And we’ve visited her despite her mild scoldings — she’s as worried about ourhealth, when we’re outdoors in this extreme weather, as we are about hers. It’s all worth it, though, because we’ve finally gained her trust.
Building… read more
Today is the first of a four-part series on why we believe that investments in women’s health should be more inclusive.
Nagavalli, our customer, works as a domestic helper at 9 homes every day. During her only window of free time, she cleans the house, spends time with her children and cooks them dinner. Her conviction that her two sons and daughter, aged 14, 10 and 8, can lead better lives than her overrides the hopelessness that she could easily succumb to.
“I want my kids to study well and not end up in a job like me. That’s all I want and nothing else.”Pictured above is Nagavalli, our customer, in her home in Dhideer Nagar, one of Chennai’s slum areas.… read more
I’m a big fan of automation and have written about my attempts to build a Dexter-enabled chatbot that sends inspirational quotes (Chatbots Magazine, My Bot Beginnings).
Lately I’ve been exploring the tool ifttt.com and all the “applets” that are offered, in an effort to coordinate and organize and “push” the information I’m most interested in, to my Twitter feed at @FemaleFounders1
Female Founders 🚀 (@femalefounders1) | Twitter
The latest Tweets from Female Founders 🚀 (@femalefounders1). news/stories to support #femalefounders…twitter.com
According to Twitter Analytics, in May 2017, I started out with about 1.6k in impressions and looking at… read more
I am so inspired by the work of Veronika Scott and the team at the Detroit-based The Empowerment Plan. Join other female founders in making a donation to the non-profit here: https://www.crowdrise.com/female-founders/fundraiser/monicadear
In her own words, Scott “was inspired to start The Empowerment Plan when a class at The College for Creative Studies in Detroit challenged her to create a product to fill an actual need in her community.”
Since that initial research into the issue of generational poverty and homelessness, The Empowerment Plan, and the EMPWR coat was created.
The Empowerment Plan has produced and distributed over 15,000 coats in 40 US States and 7 Canadian provinces since 2011,… read more
According to an American Express 2016 report, there are over 11.3 million women owned businesses in the U.S. that employ nearly 9 million people and generate over $1.6 trillion in revenues. However, women leaders starting their own business face significant barriers to growth — among the nearly 500 deals closed in the Fintech sector in the US in 2016, less than a dozen went to companies founded by women.
Let’s close this gap! Quesnay invites US-based women-led startups to apply to the Female Founders in Tech Competition- an opportunity that will help grow your company through funding, mentorship, visibility and access to decision-makers at corporations, investors, incubators and leading university experts. Female… read more
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The new Wonder Woman movie has risen to number #1 on the charts and is gaining popularity all around the world. But there is an even bigger message behind the film that women are embracing. The worldwide trend of Wonder Woman has sparked the conversation of women empowerment and presented the question, what does it mean to be “Wonder Woman”?
I can honestly say that as I was sitting in the movie theater, I was one of the many people guilty of envisioning themselves in Wonder Woman’s shoes as she kicked some bad guy butt. But as we watch her and wish we could possess some characteristic of hers, we sometimes forget the true importance of this beautiful superhero. She originated from a tribe of strong women… read more
Profitability is one of those big terms that seems scary to a lot of mission-driven entrepreneurs. It can get complicated when you’re talking about profit and loss statements, balance sheets, and cash flow. Then add your mission into the mix and it gets super overwhelming. Having a triple-bottom-line is definitely more than a single bottom line. That’s why I’m sharing these thoughts today. Profitability doesn’t have to be scary, complicated, or overwhelming.Why Profitability is Important
Before we jump into breaking down profitability to its most basic simple equation, I want to say a few words about why profitability is important.
DC and Warner Brothers’ new Wonder Woman film has broken records and inspired movie goers across the world. The movie stars Gal Gadot as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman and Chris Pine as Steve Trevor. The script was written by long-time comic writer Allan Heinberg, who has previously worked on Wonder Woman comics, and directed by Patty Jenkins.
From the get-go, Wonder Woman was already diversifying itself from the barrage of superhero movies being churned out in recent years — it was a live-action superhero film with a female lead AND a female director.
While most viewers might see the movie as pure popcorn entertainment (and there’s nothing wrong with that), entrepreneurs and business leaders can get a lot more out of it if… read more
So, how does it feel to be a woman working in digital innovation? This question has come up again and again since the inception of our company. The truth is, we’ve never defined ourselves as women entrepreneurs. Why should we begin characterizing our efforts and accomplishments as the summation of one genre?
My founding partner and I both have a passion for innovation that naturally led us to start our company. We never conceived of it as our heroic assault on some macho stronghold. All the same, we do concede that we’ve helped break up the monotony in this little enclave.
It didn’t take long for us to realize that we were a… read more
As we end 2016 on a very high note, I am reflecting on all the great achievements we made, the amazing people who joined our community, and the fruits of labor and growth that we acquired over months and years of persistent hard work with an outstanding leadership and team.
ID4A TECHNOLOGIES WAS NAMED ONE OF THE “BEST ENTREPRENEURIAL COMPANIES IN AMERICA” BY ENTREPRENEUR MAGAZINE’S 2016 ENTREPRENEUR 360™ LIST.
From me and all of us at ID4A, we wish you and yours a joyous holiday season and a smashing 2017. At this time of the year, we would like to extend our greetings to you and thank you for all your support that made 2016 so special. Our team has spent tireless hours building industry changing products and… read more
What countries have the highest percentage of women in business and on top positions? The ones you would never even think of.
When I moved to the United States, I was astonished by all the hardships women entrepreneurs go through in the world’s citadel of freedom and democracy. The US has always seemed to have all the prerequisites and plenty of opportunities for women to thrive. Though, I do not know any country 100% free from discrimination and sexism, this issue dominates the agenda in the United States more than anywhere else in the world.
This cognitive dissonance has been bothering many women I know here. It’s not easy to grasp what exactly is going on, who is at fault, and how to… read more
I’m a woman. I’m also the Founder and CEO of a seed-stage startup.
Since my product is a professional network, sometimes I throw events so people can meet colleagues and other people in their industry.
I announced an event last week, and an interesting thing happened… while the percentage of women who use my product* is similar to the low percentage of women in the tech industry, the percentage of women who RSVP’d to the event is 41%.41% !!
That’s crazy high, right? Some random thoughts on why:If you’re actually engaged and interested enough to come to an event, you probably know that I’m steering the ship (I’m kinda… read more
I work as a web developer at one of the oldest and largest organizations in the social entrepreneurship space. I’m relatively new to the crew, having moved in the last 18 months from the West Coast to the Washington DC area for this work.
I also make an effort to speak, write, and discuss about technology, women in tech, entrepreneurship, social justice, and the “triple bottom line.”
Me speaking at Philly Women in Tech 2015. I was tired of not seeing brown women on the panel, so I decided to join one.
My organization supports changemakers worldwide. Here in the United States some of the individuals we work with are focused on race, equality, justice, health, the eradication of societal ills, and other… read more
Being a Black female tech entrepreneur continues to be an incredible experience. In the midst of the crazy that is co-founding a company — I’ve been intentional about taking brief moments to reflect, celebrate and share.
Recently, I’ve been spending quite a bit of time thinking about the impact that Black women have made in business and tech both in this country and globally. Far too often, our conversations focus on the missing…rather than the present.
In the 5 years since I’ve been officially venturing — the work of these 14 Black women specifically have continued to inspire me. To them, individually and publicly….I just wanted to say Thank You. …For… read more
Melinda Gates has spent the past 16 years seeding social change through the world’s largest private philanthropy, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She and her husband have presided over an endowment that has grown to $39.6 billion — and they’ve added Warren Buffett as a third steward. The foundation funds initiatives that aim to enhance healthcare and reduce extreme poverty globally, as well as expand educational opportunities and access to information technology in the United States. But even with such a broad mandate, it can’t do everything.
So Gates is stepping out on her own. Though she’ll continue to work on the… read more
I have an ongoing list of tips to help me remember how I want to behave. Any other suggestions? Add in comments or tweet me.
1) Realize that everyone has their own internal challenge with which they are dealing — empathy, kindness, and tolerance will go a long way to smoothing relationships. Patience. Generosity. Compassion.
2) When calling someone for an unscheduled talk, always identify yourself by name, position and organization (or relationship) and ask if now is a good time to speak . Keep calls short. Follow up via e-mail or text message. Reduce endless email loops — put all relevant information into a first e-mail.
3) Always, always say Please and Thank You.
4) Mark down people’s birthdays on the… read more
Recently, I have been interviewing several female founders of design and/or technology companies across Europe about their careers and experiences. They have spoken to me about a myriad of issues and obstacles they have encountered along their journeys. Some of these are due to the fact they are women, and some are not. However, there’s one very specific situation that I keep hearing about: when female founders are securing investment for their ventures, they are sometimes presented with an investor who a) questions them about their future family plans, framed as a concern for their company trajectory or b) flat out refuses to invest in that company because of the fact that, since the founder is a woman, she may one day become… read more
I was born and raised in a military family. I’ve lived on both US coasts and also on the Mediterranean. As a teenager in Athens, Greece I quickly learned that experiencing a different culture was a fantastic gig for my brain (thanks Mom and Dad).
Being slung around the world in my formative years was not without its own particular conundrums, however awesome my childhood truly was. I became a loyal democrat; I grew to dislike narrow-minded individuals; I knew that white wasn’t the only skin color on the planet; good food meant variety; great conversation meant diversity; and reading books was a means to an end of getting smarter, keeping a good job, and having something to contribute… read more
A picture is worth a 1000 words. How true especially when you try to communicate something as sensitive as creating equitable workplaces. What does an equitable workplace look like? I chanced upon this image and knew instantly that this simple image said it all.Image Source: Google Images
“Equality” is about giving everyone the same thing. All of them have the opportunity to watch the game. But “Equity” is about fairness and ensuring that all of them have access to the same opportunity.We must first ensure Equity before we enjoy Equality. The difference matters!
What is the difference? Are we really asking for something special at the expense of… read more
The mission of the Community Café in St. Petersburg, Florida, is to cultivate a welcoming, comfortable, and safe space that becomes a home away from home, and as owner Mandy Keyes explains, “our prime objective is to bring the community together. Hence the name, Community Cafe :)”
This community center is open daily and late nights, and has something for everyone including gluten-free, vegetarian and veg-friendly options. Popular on the menu is the portabella quesadilla, the pesto tofu panini with seared tofu, zucchini, red peppers, red onions and feta, Mandy’s Wrap with fresh spinach, tomatoes, and shredded carrots with feta cheese and avocado spread, and Christine’… read more
It has been suggested to me, repeatedly, that if I were only “more positive”, that somehow, magically, my startup 32ATPs could raise funding. However, I am hoping that the below analysis of my experience, as I reflect back on the past few years, from a place of debt, depression, and despair, will convince you otherwise.
Apparently, because I am not 100% “positive” all the time, the universe is preventing my startup from raising funds. I have discovered that magical thinking is frequently applied to female-founded startups. Undoubtedly, there will be comments on this piece, “well, it’s her fault for wasting the time to complain. Shouldn’t she be out asking for funding RIGHT NOW instead… read more
Storytelling — it seems to be one of the hottest buzzwords today. Everyone says that you must be a good storyteller — but does anyone really know what that means?
This week I was tagged as a recommended resource on a startup forum where someone was seeking help with an investor deck. One of the commenters adamantly insisted that it was something a Founder can do on their own. I was thrilled when Omer Perchik, CEO and Founder of Any.do, who has raised several million dollars and grown a very successful company chimed in and said:“The ability to tell a story is crucial for every business, but not every entrepreneur has the ability to do it flawlessly from the get go. There are… read more
You’ve heard the age-old adage, “Taking money from a VC is like getting married.” It’s true. The average company exit — whether it is through an acquisition or an IPO — will occur within 8 years of starting a company. Based on a 2009 Census study, marriage exits (more commonly referred to as divorces) typically occur within 8 years of walking down the aisle.
Courting investors bears similarities to courting a mate.
Let Them Come to You
If you read The Rules you know the key to finding a mate is to keep busy with your own life. This is great advice for startup founders. Investors want you when you’re doing your own thing. Doing… read more