Last spring I was having coffee with a business journalist in Palo Alto, and we wandered onto the topic of why women find it hard to obtain institutional investment, how difficult it is for women to be taken seriously, and finally, how not “looking like them” can preclude consideration of a candidate company, because it’s easier to talk to people you relate to like yourself. So, what do we do about it to “level the playing field”?
The Forum for Women Entrepreneurs (FWE) Venture Dinner upcoming in Newport Beach, CA is one of the very few opportunities for women to pitch their companies to investment, with FWE-provided infrastructure and bootcamp. In contrast to other venture forums such as Art of the Start (sponsored by Garage Ventures), this is a venue where women are presenters, organizers, and judges, and where being a woman doesn’t mean you’re virtually standing alone.
Well, a few weeks back I got to participate in two events. One was watching Rick Bentley, CEO of Connexxed, do his elevator pitch – not in an office, but in front of a plane at the Palo Alto Airport. The second was attending the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs farewell party to Susan Hailey, their retiring CEO, after a successful tenure.
What was neat is that both events were captured with Valux’s video service (“MinutePitch – Your Video Screen on the Web!“) simply and easily. Rick’s pitch is simply great. There’s nothing like watching a second-time CEO take the helm.
It was so easy to take a digital camera and capture Susan’s farewell captured in Kick-off to Fall (“Forum for Women Entrepreneurs – Bay Area Chapter“).
Well, I was chatting with Karl Schoenberger of the Merc about the dismal state of the industry, and he had a great line I just had to pass on: “I am among the 0.35 percent of Americans between 50-54 who are shunning the Internet and re-reading Raymond Chandler novels. No, we don’t have a chat room or blog about it either.”
Lest people think I never have time to read books, actually I do read books – all the time. Give up random TV sessions – the great time waster – and you’ll have plenty of time to use the Internet, read. and even work in media.
I take my kids to the library weekly and we go through about 5 books apiece. I just finished “The Birth of Venus”, a 2003 best seller, noticed today they have a new Sharpe’s rifles book and a prequel to the Mist of Avalon, along with a new Skolian series book (the author is a Harvard physicist, and I always read books by physicists, esp. women, even though Berkeley physics is better since it’s my alma mater).
But that’s not all. My husband William has a large collection of classic scifi from the 30’s-50’s as well, if you’re into unique short stories. Look up “A Logic Named Joe” by Leister if you’re down on the Internet. Totally predicts the craziness (it’s a funny story) and it was writtten in 1946 (appeared in Astounding).
Finally, I also do video commentaries as well. It’s quite different to speak an opinion piece than write one. Good exercise for the mind of a writer and a reader.
So, since it’s Friday, read a book. You’ve got the weekend to enjoy it.