Women 2.0 Conference – The Rest Of The Story
May 16 2008

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So here’s the rest of my Women 2.0 Conference story.  If you want to see tons of pictures (which sadly I and my deep pink Banana Republic shirt don’t appear) please check out the official Women 2.0 Conference Wrap Up post.  You can also see Sophia Perl’s (another semi-finalist) post on it here.

Friday – May 9, 2008
I took my rented yellow car and drove around the Palo Alto/Menlo Park area to meet some people.  I met Jeff Nolan, who was one of the venture investors in my first company, for lunch at a place called Buck’s.  We only just got to know each other while at my last company before I left, but he seemed to be one of the good guys.  I mentioned him in a post I did about angels and venture capitalists a while back.  We might get to work together again and this time in hopefully a more creative and collaborative way.

I tried to meet up with Guy Kawasaki later that afternoon but he had something mildly important to do like make some sort of silly book submission deadline, so we traded tweets and emails instead.  Then I went to the Stanford mall.  I’m not a big shopper, but since I had a few hours to kill, and my husband wanted me to get him a Stanford t-shirt (It’s one of his alma-maters) I wandered around a bit and read The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, but was not feeling in the “now” at the time so didn’t make much progress.  So I got some hot chocolate, my rings cleaned, and happened to find a couple of light-weight jackets at really good sale prices to protect me from the Bay Area cool evenings!

Later I had the pleasure of meeting up with Maryam Scoble for wine and fabulous brie with a flakey crust. Yum! Maryam and I met through our blogs.  I initially heard about her and her husband Robert Scoble from our very own Austin based Connie Reece.  Robert even did a Qik video of me at SXSW but I don’t think that many pregnant moms or parents with newborn babies, preemies or twins are watching those videos.  Go figure!

Saturday – May 10, 2008 (conference day)

You can see the agenda for the conference here.  It was an interesting day in a tent near the Stanford golf course.  Walking in grass was a challenge for many of us who were wearing heels.  Those wearing pointed heels especially suffered by sinking into the grass/dirt, but since I would trip and fall on my face in pointed heels, I wear more flat ones.

The most interesting sound bites, in my opinion, came from the Power Panel: “Igniting the spark through strategies taught and lessons learned”

Terri Ghio, Unique Solutions and TBS Connect said: Make sure you have an audience, a secret sauce, strategic alliances, and ability to build the blocks and barriers for success.

Amy Love, Protégé Performance Group said: Build an inner circle, share your dream, think big, and have the confidence & energy to move forward.

Dr. Jwala Karnik, JwalaCo said: Be open to inspiration, tell people what you want to do, and just take the first step!

Dr. Maggie Haertsch, VOICEMAP said: Have passion and be totally committed, focused, and fearless!

Pat McEntee, AuxoGlobal said: Women entrepreneurs are different and that’s OK.  Women look at things they want to spend their time on differently.  Women build different companies. The fact that many retail companies are currently dominated by men is not going to last long, but women should build companies that men feel comfortable in.  By the way, Pat is a guy!

I mentioned the winners of the napkin business plan challenge in my yellow car post, so I won’t mention it here again, but I did want to mention one company and founder who was on one of the panels: Erica Estrada of d.light design.  She is impressive and her company is very cool!  They make affordable, small, solar power lighting units for people in third world countries who have no access to electricity.  So the kids in who live in shacks can study/read after dark and parents can cook or work after dark without having to use a kerosene lamp that not only stinks and has to be bad for your lungs, but also doesn’t last very long.  I really do wish her and her company great luck, good partners, fabulous investors and perfect timing!

I ended the day by eating sushi with the friends I was staying with.  They even took a picture of me (see below) drinking this huge cup of sake! The waitress finished the bottle on me, so the sake overflowed into its holding bowl.  I was glad I wasn’t the one driving us home in my rented yellow car. :-D

Coming soon I’ll post an update on my SEO experiences, so you might want to subscribe to read more about the birth pains of a web business.  It’s not pretty.

 

Author: | Filed under: competition, conferences, diversity, entrepreneurship, silicon valley, venture capital | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Going to Cali for Women 2.0
May 7 2008

You might have heard, I was a semi-finalist for the Women 2.0 napkin business plan competition.  Well, they informed me on May 3, I didn’t make the finals.  Sigh.  But trying to look on the bright side, I’m actually kind of relieved because now I can focus on networking and learning instead of being stressed out about giving my pitch!  I’m starting to think I’ll have to get a job to support my entrepreneurial addiction.  Too bad I didn’t get rich off of my first entrepreneurial endeavor…

I’d like to profusely thank Sylvester Becker (a.k.a. German Cowboy) of Dana Lynn Media for helping me pull together a very cool 2 minute pitch video which I can’t share with the world yet, but maybe soon.  Sylvester was awesome to work with and so creative!  We used crayons.  We used Little People to illustrate our future customers as well as small figures of Dora the Explorer and her friends Boots and Benny.  Although I think Boots got cut out in editing.  My daughter loves Dora and in fact some people say she looks like her especially now with her new haircut.

I had already decided that even if I didn’t make the finals, I was going to the Women 2.0 conference (check out the site for the fabulous list of panel speakers – entrepreneurs and venture capitalists) this weekend in the Bay Area where the skies are blue, the weather is usually predictable, the money made in tech is gigantic, and everything is way too expensive.  Except for, oddly, the reasonably priced rental car I got from Hertz.  Thankfully, some friends are letting me crash at their place so I can save money by not getting a hotel.

Anyway, in case you are interested in the names of the finalists, here you go:

 Women 2.0 Napkin 2008 Pitch Finalists

I’ll do a post about it after I get back, so Subscribe Now so you don’t miss a thing about my sure-to-be idyllic, fantastic, jaw dropping trip to Cali!  I wonder if I can find a way to eat some sushi while I’m there…

Author: | Filed under: competition, conferences, diversity, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, venture capital | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »