‘Innovation Women’ Is Changing The Way We Conference

I used to avoid the events targeting female entrepreneurs, the women power roundtables, the Girl Geek events. I wanted my events diverse and all too often the events targeting women were smaller, too one dimensional, and dare I say it…whiney. Was there a real need in this day and age? Maybe. Maybe not.

I’ve made up my mind.

At SXSW I attended a panel on funding women-lead companies. The panel was held in one of the biggest rooms at the Austin convention center because the panelists were first class and the topic hot…there were 15 people in a room meant for 800.

I went to a panel on women founders in Maine. At the Masonic Temple, where the sign on the ladies room door was temporary and a blue velvet curtain covered up the row of urinals. Still trying to decide whether the location was genius or desperation.

I watched yet another panel of all white males of a certain age, with another male as moderator, talk about building great products. I went back through the organizer’s list of events and finally found a woman panelist…in March, on a panel about HR.

I attended the Babson event where the team from the Diana Project announced the updates to their landmark study of venture capital and female entrepreneurs. If you recall, between 1996 and 1999, venture capital went to more than 6000 startups. The Diana Project determined that 95 percent of those companies funded did NOT have a single woman on their senior management team, never mind the stats on companies started by or lead by women.

The updated study covered 2011 to 2014 and the final results will be issued later this month. The good news is that the outlook has improved…now only 85 percent of the VC funded companies have no women on the senior team. And the panel assembled to talk about the study – a panel of male VCs because none of the VC firms had a woman partner. (PS – I give these guys huge props for showing up for a pretty hostile audience.)

They claim they just don’t have the deal flow to fund more women entrepreneurs. They don’t see the companies with women at the helm or even on the team. The organizers of those panels? “I don’t know any female VPs of Engineering.” Well, look around you. I see plenty of smart, fundable women who can hold their own on a panel, give a talk at a conference or build companies.

Over the last five years, we’ve gotten to know a few people in town. We’ve helped to launch almost 700 new products. We know that visibility makes opportunity. So, because this is the right time and place to do so – say “hello” to Innovation Women. InnovationWomen.com will be an online speakers bureau and showcase for entrepreneurial and technical women. We’re looking for corporate sponsors and to be connected to other organizations with compatible missions. And, most of all, we’ll need you to help us expand our network and find the right women to showcase.

We have less than a week, during the busy holiday season, to fund this thing. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/innovationnights/innovation-women-technical-and-entrepreneurial-spe

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: BOBBIE CARLTON

bobbieI am the founder of Carlton PR & Marketing and Mass Innovation Nights (MIN), and am an award-winning marketing, PR and social media professional.  The MIN community and I have helped to launch more than 650 new products.  Every month, we provide 10 entrepreneurs with a free 30-day marketing program, featuring the products in social media campaigns, in a weekly newsletter, on the organization’s showcase website and at a live event.

More about and from the author: Bobbie’s WiLab Profile


 

Originally posted 2014-12-19 08:00:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter