WOMEN 2.0: ONE OF 15 FOUNDERS TO WATCH
I had the privilege, recently, of presenting at the Springboard Enterprises Venture Forum in New York and attending their annual Awards Dinner. Women 2.0 covered the 15 of us who presented in this article. For me, the experience was incredible, largely due to the people and other companies I became acquainted with over the course of the two days. So this post is about the ones I think would inspire the S&A circle as well.
First, I want to say that, as an engineering major, my undergrad classes had 10 guys for every one of me, and my early corporate experiences were mostly working with men. So I tend to be gender blind — to just not think about whether colleagues are male or female — meaning the fact that these events celebrated female entrepreneurs wasn’t what inspired me as much as the sheer levels of accomplishment, smarts, creativity, energy and drive that surrounded me there.
Springboard Enterprises is a non-profit organization with a mission to help female founder CEOs to raise capital and grow successful businesses. After applying to the program in the Spring, I participated in their bootcamp and mentorship process that led up to the Venture Forum. I believe true development requires a little discomfort, so when bootcamp kicked our butts and mentors critiqued candidly, I knew I was benefiting in ways the typical workday doesn’t afford. So thanks to Kay Koplovitz and Amy Millman who are giving back in a massive way.
The difference they’re making goes beyond developing individual entrepreneurs. They’re supporting the creation of businesses that are changing the world. They have some great success stories to highlight and the awards dinner celebrated two women in the Springboard Circle that are awe-inspiring — Lauren Flanagan (serial entrepreneur who led the creation of new categories and has since founded and led two large investment funds) and Wenda Harris Millard (media industry pioneer, President & COO, MedialLink, former DoubleClick co-founder and Yahoo! head of sales).
And from this year’s class, the ones listed below stood out for me – check them out…
Other high-potential, for-profit businesses with a social good component:
- Practically Green, Susan Hunt Stevens, @Practicallygrn
- POPVOX, Marci Harris @POPVOX
- ConsumerBell, Ellie Cachette @ConsumerBell
- Sweet Riot, Sarah Endline @sweetriot
These, that are just insanely clever and fun:
- Evil Genius, Tracy Kobeda Brown @EvilGeniusPGH
- Cull TV, Katherine de Leon @culltv
- Gracious Eloise, Eloise Bune @GraciousEloise
- Second Glass, Morgan First @SecondGlass
And these, that represent significant technological advancements:
- Merlin Mobility, Margaret Martin @MerlinMobility
- Radish Systems, Theresa Szczurek @RadishSystems
- TRX Systems, Carol Politi @TRXSystems
I wish great success to all of this year’s Springboard companies – it was an honor to be chosen along with you.