Women 2.0 PITCH NYC 2012 Event: View From The Audience

Maker Panel: Kickstarter Success Stories For Hardware Startups” with (from left to right): Adafruit Industries, Roominate, Everpurse, GoldieBloxLaura Greb, as reporter for The Next Women, visited The Women 2.0 PITCH NYC 2012 Conference and Competition; it marked a jam-packed day of empowering speakers who have started and successfully led companies in the tech space. She reports:

Women entrepreneurs are starting to take the industry by storm and as Natalia Oberti Noguera, Founder and CEO of PipelineFellows, stated: 

“If you have an opportunity to -- just say YES” 

Studies have proven that successful women entrepreneurs start their businesses as a second or third profession. Studies also showed women are assembling into business networks, where members pull together resources and expertise. Time and time again, women have proven to be driven, ruthless, storytellers, cheerleaders, remarkable communicators and mentors. 

A few significant quotes said during the day conference were the following: 

  • “Not all good business ideas are good ideas.” : Sandy Lerner (Co-Founder, Cisco & Founder, Urban Decay) 
  • “Stop calling them users, they’re people.": advice given to Amanda Steinberg (Founder & CTO, Daily Worth)
  • “The exit is just another beginning.”: Sandy Jen (Co-Founder & CTO, Meebo addressing exit strategies)
  • “Done is better than perfect.”: Sarah Petersonette (Director, Global Agency Relations at Facebook)
  • “The thing about women is we tend to remember the good things.”: Geraldine Laybourne (Founder of Oxygen Media)

Panel Highlight: Turning an Idea into Reality

Lora Kolodny, from the Wall Street Journal, moderated the “Maker Panel: Kickstarter Success Stories For Hardware Startups” featuring Roominate, GoldieBlox, Adafruit Industries and Everpurse. This panel was extremely fascinating as each entrepreneur spoke candidly about turning an idea into reality with the help of Kickstarter.

One entrepreneur from the panel continues to gain a great deal of attention after launching her Kickerstarter campaign on September 18. Hailing from San Francisco, Debbie Sterling, an engineer graduate from Stanford University, Founder and CEO of GoldieBlox said, “the scary truth is that only 11% of engineers are women and girls start losing interest in science as young as age 8!” 

Debbie successfully raised $285,881 - well over the $150,000 goal by October of this year. Her mission is to inspire young girls ages 5-9 to learn the basics of engineering through book and construction storybooks. The first storybook is called, “GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine” available beginning April 2013.

Pitch Highlight: Problems & Solutions & Money

As pitches began, David McClure, Founder of 500Startups, sent a tweet out reminding founders of the following:

and noted to stay clear from “buzzword bingo” or words often overused like “outside the box”. Pitching live onstage can be a bit nerve-wracking as each finalists have seconds to capture interest with only a few minutes to productively pitch. 

Competition pitch finalists included: Clear Returns, ActivityHero, The Muse, Newlywish, Maternova, Alike, EatDrinkJobs, Citizen Made, Whit.li and LightningBuy

Networking and catching up with fellow-entrepreneurs

I coincidently ran into a dear friend, Carissa Ganelli, Founder and CEO of LightningBuy during a break. I use the word “coincidently” as we both attended the Founder Institute in New York (a startup accelerator with a high male to women ratio) earlier this year. A few moments later, Carissa was pitching on stage saying, “I’d like to thank the Academy…” in a humorous yet genuine tone capturing attendees attention right away and finished in high spirits. 

At the end of the day, Geraldine Laybourne left us with some wonderful advice to remember, “if you can’t toot your own horn, toot another woman’s horn.”

Toot, toot, women, toot, toot! 

All images courtesy of Laura Greb.

Laura Greb lives in New York and foundedArtmeme, investing time in emerging to mid-career creative entrepreneurs to help develop and market their professional brand effectively in order to connect with their target audience. She also provides business resources and workshops. For more information about Laura, see her profile. 

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