Author Archives: Kate Brodock

DivyaNag

Join us for #STEMforHer on Twitter to Interview Divya Nag on Monday, 3.24

As part of National Women’s History Month, we’re pleased to take part in an exciting twitter conversation with Divya Nag, Co-Founder of Stem Cell Theranostics and StartX Med.

As STEM continues to heavily influence technological advances and future innovations, the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) and the Small Business Administration (SBA) will facilitate a #STEMforHer twitter chat to highlight the growing interest of women and girls in STEM.

#STEMforHer is an online dialogue aimed at advancing the conversation as it relates to women and girls pursuing careers in STEM. Joining the conversation are prominent women innovators and organizations including: Goldie Blox, Girls in Tech, and one of STEM’s youngest women entrepreneurs– Divya Nag.

Details:

Who: The National Women’s Business Council (@NWBC), Divya Nag (@Dnag09), Goldie Blox (@GoldieBlox), Girls in Tech (@GirlsinTech), and the Small Business Administration (@SBAGov)

How: Twitter hashtag #STEMforHer

When: Monday, 24 March from 2-3pm EST

KateBrodock_SXSW2014

A Note From the President on Funding Women-led Startups

I had the pleasure of being on an excellent panel of women for SXSWi this past weekend, where we discussed the issue of funding women entrepreneurs. Christine Osekoski, publisher of Fast Company, was our moderator and I was joined by Jesse Draper, CEO of Valley Girl and Megan Quinn, Investment Partner at KPCB.

The broad topic we covered was:

There have been persistent discussions in the entrepreneurship and technology spaces in the past several years about the need to increase funding for women-led startups.

However, an increase in the actual numbers and dollars isn’t exactly being realized outside of a handful of high-profile cases.

With that in mind, most of us can agree that funding more women entrepreneurs is important and seems to be supported philosophically, but there are clear hurdles that are keeping it from being realized and actualized.

This panel will discuss the current state of investing in women-led startups and why it’s important to do so, and point to some of the existing problems and solutions.

We feel it’s important for everyone – male or female – to join in this conversation.

Several takeaways came from the session:

  1. Networks are important. People with the same values and people of like-minded views are important to have around you.  This is why women’s organizations can be helpful.  At Girls in Tech, I know we’ve gotten feedback from around the world that simply providing  a forum for women to come together, to realize there are others like them and have mutual support has been incredibly beneficial.  Additionally, simply knowing people to help you in your venture when you need it – especially in funding – can be invaluable.  Many VCs and angels take these network connections seriously when thinking about funding.
  2. Pitching is scary, but incredibly important. Unfortunately, women like pitching a lot less than their male counterparts, and are often sidelined in the process when in front of funders.  There are large differences in pitching styles between males and females – storytelling, big thinking, determination – that often leave women at a disadvantage, and I’ve had so much feedback in the past year about what a difficult process this is for many women. This points to a huge opportunity in training, preparation, etc for women entrepreneurs.
  3. There’s mentorship, and then there’s sponsorship. This is loosely connected to networking, however, there tends to be a difference in how men and women handle “mentorship”.  Women are excellent at career advice, guidance, encouragement and nurturing of mentees, but they often lack in truly “sponsoring” them, which is something men are generally seen as good at. “Sponsorship” takes it the next step further and adds a component of active and deliberate “door-opening”, if you will.  It’s not only guiding and coaching, but it’s seeking out opportunities for mentees, connecting them to influential people, and turning around and acting on their behalf.
  4. Women tend to not like to ask for money. This was pointed out by an audience member who’s been working in the startup field for many years.  She’s found that women have a real problem being direct and asking for money.  I don’t need to point out how inhibitive this can be when you’re literally asking for money from VCs and angels. How do we solve this? Is it a confidence issue?

There were a lot of great topics brought up during the process, and hopefully some that we’ll be able to tackle here at Girls in Tech in the coming months.

What else have you noticed – positive or negative – concerning getting funding as a woman entrepreneur?

Girls in Tech at SXSW – Panel on the On-going Issue of Funding Women Entrepreneurs

We’re excited about our SXSWi panel this year – “The Ongoing Issue of Funding Women Entrepreneurs” – featuring our President Kate Brodock and held on Saturday March 8th, from 11am-12pm in Salon G in the Hilton Austin Downtown.

Come join us!

#sxsw #fundwomen

There have been persistent discussions in the entrepreneurship and technology spaces in the past several years about the need to increase funding for women-led startups.

However, an increase in the actual numbers and dollars isn’t exactly being realized outside of a handful of high-profile cases.

With that in mind, most of us can agree that funding more women entrepreneurs is important and seems to be supported philosophically, but there are clear hurdles that are keeping it from being realized and actualized.

This panel will discuss the current state of investing in women-led startups and why it’s important to do so, and point to some of the existing problems and solutions.

We feel it’s important for everyone – male or female – to join in this conversation.”

Moderator: 

Christine Osekoski
Publisher of Fast Company
@
cosekoski

Christine-OsekoskiAs publisher, Christine Osekoski is responsible for driving the brand management and leadership of Fast Company’s advertising sales, promotions and marketing. She has been with Fast Company since 2006 serving progressively as advertising director, associate publisher and publisher. During her tenure, she has been instrumental in the title’s reinvigoration following the brand’s purchase by Morningstar’s Joe Mansueto in 2005.

Since Osekoski became publisher in 2007, Fast Company has been named to AdWeek’s Hot list three consecutive years (2008 – 2010) and once to AdAge’s A List in 2008. She was also named one of MIN’s 21 Most Intriguing People. Before joining Fast Company, Osekoski was eastern advertising director for Car and Driver and Road & Track at Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S. and prior to that, she was the integrated sales and marketing director at Parade magazine. She also held positions of Midwest account manager at Parade, and account executive at DDB/Chicago.

Panelists:

Jesse Draper
Creator & Host of Valley Girl Show
CEO of Valley Girl
@valleygirlshow

Jesse-Draper-Valley-GirlJesse Draper is creator and host of “The Valley Girl Show” and CEO of Valley Girl, Inc. She has produced and distributed over 150 interviews with some of the greatest minds in business, entertainment, government and technology including; Ted Turner, Mark Cuban, Sheryl Sandberg, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, MC Hammer and Eric Schmidt, the former CEO of Google. Valley Girl has been called “Must see startup TV” by USA Today.

Previously a Nickelodeon star, Draper has used her comedic and acting talents to bring an approachable feel to the business world. Through Valley Girl, she has helped pioneer the way in the digital media world and has created a new distribution model for online shows. Recently named “The Tech World’s Queen of Networking” by GENTRY Magazine, Jesse recently founded a women in business organization in association with Valley Girl which holds exclusivequarterly events across the country for cross industry networking and support of women in business. Draper is also an angel investor through her fund, Valley Girl Ventures where she does early stage seed investing in startups that have a female in the founding team.  Jesse splits time between Silicon Valley and Santa Monica and is a graduate of UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television.

Draper is a regularly featured speaker on digital media, women in business and entrepreneurship at business conferences around the world, including; SXSW, DLD, TEDx, TechVentures and Universities such as Stanford and the University of Edinburgh.  She is also a regular contributor to such news sites at Mashable, Forbes.com, Huffington Post and Glam.

Kate Brodock
President of Girls in Tech
Director of W2O Group Center for Social Commerce at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School
@just_kate

Kate-Brodock-CNYWomanKate is President of Girls in Tech, a global nonprofit for the empowerment, engagement and education of influential women in technology and Director of the W20 Group for Social Commerce and Adjunct Professor of PR at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School. She is also the Founder and principal of the Other Side Group, an integrated marketing and communications firm with strengths in marketing strategy, social media marketing, brand management and content production.

She is the former Executive Director of Digital and Social Media for Syracuse University and has worked at and with a series of startups in the technology space in Cambridge, MA.

She is heavily involved in the entrepreneurial space both regionally, nationally and internationally. She has held research positions in the history of science department at Harvard University, and conducted research on digital activism through The Meta-Activism Project and the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative.

She has written for publications including Forbes, Entrepreneur and Mashable, and authored a book chapter for“Digital Activism Decoded: The New Mechanics of Change.”

Kate holds an MBA from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, and MA in International Relations from Tufts University’s Fletcher School and BAs from the University of Rochester.  She’s a very non-professional musician, loves a good glass of bubbly or craft beer, is starting a hops farm with her husband, enjoys hilariousness and life.

Megan Quinn
Investment Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
@msquinn

Megan-Quinn-Kleiner-PerkinsMegan Quinn joined Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in 2012 and focuses on consumer Internet investments. Megan specializes in designing, building and scaling transformative consumer products and companies.

Megan joined KPCB from Square, the company revolutionizing payments for buyers and sellers. As Square’s director of products she led strategy and development of the company’s products across merchant and consumer audiences.

Prior to that, Megan spent seven years at Google where she held various leadership positions in communications, business development and product management. She oversaw the development and marketing of some of the company’s most successful products, including Google Maps. Her team’s work continues to serve as the foundation for Google’s location-based consumer and advertising products.

Megan also previously worked at Genentech. She received her degree in political science and history from Stanford University.