A Yellow Car and Women 2.0
May 14 2008

So I lost the memory stick with the pictures I had taken while in the Bay Area for the Women 2.0 conference.  That’s why it has taken me this long to do my first post about it.  OK, so it’s not that long because I got back Sunday and it’s now Wednesday, but it feels long in Internet/blog time!  I had to harass the friends I stayed with to email me the pictures I took with their camera because, yes, I forgot to take my camera with me.  I guess when your brain is also trying to keep up with two kids, things like cameras get forgotten from time to time.  Thank goodness we live in a time where lost memory sticks can be backed up by good friends and email!

As you may know, I was selected as a semi-finalist but not a finalist, and decided to go to the conference anyway.  I’m glad I did.  I saw the 5 finalists present and was quite confident that my company, and several others I met while there, would have probably been better (i.e., more fundable) than at least 2 of the teams that presented.  But hey, it would be hard for most people to decide what teams are the best based on a one-page summary and 2 minute video.  

Koollage was the winner and their tag line is Kool, Kolorful snippets of your digital world to go.  The People’s choice award was Gaiagy and offers residential and commercial building owners recommendations for how they can most economically make their operations more eco-friendly. To see a full write-up on the winners on TechCrunch go here.  But I digress.

It all started with a yellow car.  I reserved a car at Hertz and got a pretty good $22/day rate and the lady at the counter asked me if I wanted a yellow car.  I had expected a compact Hyundai or something so I said sure, but what do you mean by yellow?  She said it was sporty and the notes said it was yellow.  She told me if I didn’t like it I could exchange it for something else.  I half expected it to be some sort of light yellow, champagne color, but it was in fact bright yellow and here’s the picture to prove it.  I smiled when I saw it and figured everyone could see me so chances of my being hit in California traffic would be significantly reduced so I took that Chevy Cobolt, sporty, 2-door with sun roof car and headed towards highway 101!

 

Stay tuned for the rest of the Women 2.0 and yellow car story by subscribing to this blog.  I’ll be writing about who I met and what I learned in the days to come.

Author: | Filed under: conferences, entrepreneurship, networking, silicon valley | Tags: , , , , , | 2 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 »

I’m a Semi-Finalist for the Women 2.0 Napkin Business Challenge!
Apr 17 2008

Go to www.women2.org to learn more

I made it to the semi-finals for the Women 2.0 business plan competition in California for my company Babble Soft! It’s so exciting because it’s a great opportunity to meet people who ‘get’ what I’m trying to do.  People in Silicon Valley live & breathe social media and social networks which is very different than here in Texas.  The grand prize includes some money ($1500) but more importantly access to a network of people with great experience!  Here’s the email I got this morning:

Congratulations! You’ve made it to the semi-finals of Pitch 2008. This is the next step you should take.

Please log into your application via Angelsoft and upload a 2 min video pitch. Any pitches that are more than 2 mins will be disqualified.

Upload your video by Apr 20 2008, 11.59PM (PST). If we do not receive your video pitch by Apr 20 2008, you will be eliminated from the competition.

If you have already submitted a video, please ignore this message. You are only required to upload a 2 min video pitch. Do not upload any other files or presentations.

Please RSVP to this message so that we know you have received this email. Thanks.

All the Best,
Women2.0 Team

I guess my napkin handwriting skills were better than I thought! My husband, who has much better handwriting than I do, didn’t have time to help me, so I ended up doing it myself.

Now I have to submit a 2 minute video for a chance to make the finals.  I haven’t done a video pitch for Babble Soft before so I’m not exactly sure what to do.  Actually, I have never done a video pitch.  Should I be formal about it? Should I have my kids in it? Should I walk through a slide deck? Should I beg, borrow, or steal a professional to help me with it? Should I just use our digital camera and record something in our house or should I do it outside, etc., etc., etc.?!?

Help!

Author: | Filed under: babble soft, competition, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, fundraising | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments »

I’m Applying for the Women 2.0 Napkin Business Plan Competition
Apr 7 2008

Go to www.women2.org to learn more

I’m applying for the Women 2.0 business plan competition in California for my company Babble Soft.  Thanks to Angie Chang for leaving a comment on my recent Economy and Entrepreneurs post letting me know about it.  At the time the deadline was April 1, but they’ve since extended it to April 15.  They encourage companies located outside of California (and the Bay Area) to apply so we’ll see if they will actually select a company from l’il ‘ole Austin, Texas.

It’s a pretty short application form that challenges even the most frequent twitter user (i.e., type your thoughts in less than 140 characters) with maximum character requirements between 210 to 410 characters to describe things like your target market, business summary, or competitive advantage!  It sure made me focus on picking what I believe are the right words.  The online application form is run by Angelsoft, which I mentioned in one of my SXSW posts.

I will be submitting my application later today and then mailing in my paper napkin with my best paper napkin handwriting ability (UGH!) soon thereafter.  I might have to ask my husband to write it for me because his napkin handwriting talent is much better than mine. :-)

Wish me luck!!

Author: | Filed under: babble soft, competition, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, fundraising | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »