Month: April 2011

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ILearnedToProgram Shows Computer Science Diversity

By Emily Goligoski ("In Conversation" Video Producer, Women 2.0)

Part motivator and part story showcase, the new ILearnedToProgram project has earned nearly 500,000 pageviews from developers, students and general Internet users in its first weeks of existence.

By inviting people to share their experiences and finish the sentence “I learned to program…”, it’s capturing and sharing the work of featured programmers, a third of whom are women.

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Fresh Off Her Appearance on the White House Website, Raissa Nebie Talks Startup Incubators and Node.js

  Women 2.0: Great participation on the Startup America panel last week, which was held at Facebook HQ after President Obama's Town Hall. Did you get to meet the President?

Raissa Nebie: I did not get to meet the President in person, but it was an awesome experience to watch him from only a few feet away. Overall, the event was great. I really enjoyed connecting with my co- panelists and learning about their experiences. Scott Case, the CEO of the Startup America Partnership was a fantastic moderator and made the experience a lot of fun. I think I speak for everyone when I say that we all enjoyed sharing our founder stories. Hopefully, we each inspired someone to pursue an entrepreneurial dream somewhere.

Women 2.0: Our favorite line from the event was your joke: "[I thought] you come to San Francisco, you throw a rock, you hit an engineer, you start a company". Jokes aside, did you share any words of wisdom at the Startup America panel?

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Notes from AppNation 2011 by Eventabulous Developer Sophia Perl Who Pitched Her Mobile App Onstage

By Sophia Perl (Founder & Developer, Eventabulous) AppNation 2011 was fun. I got a free pass, a demo pedestal, and a chance to pitch on stage. My 3 minutes of fame on stage was up so fast, but I loved the opportunity. What more can a girl ask for?

Also, my Eventabulous iPhone app got more downloads. Thanks to Women 2.0 for hooking me up!

Here are my notes from AppNation:

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A Midwest Entrepreneur’s Ride from Idea to VC Funding

By Katie Hill (Founder, Commuter Advertising) Started with an Idea on a Train in Chinatown

The idea for Commuter Advertising came to us on a "L" train in Chicago coming back from a White Sox game. The train stopped at Chinatown and it dawned on us, "Wouldn't it be cool if a restaurant could distinguish itself by broadcasting a message that would pull people off this packed train and into their restaurant." At the same time, the Chicago Transit Authority was facing funding challenges so it seemed like a good way to get money into transit and a viable new business venture.

We voluntarily left our jobs in the midst of the worst economic crisis in 30 years

Leaving wasn't easy; I loved my company and my role as a technical manager at Arc Worldwide, an affiliate of Leo Burnett. Friends and family thought I was nuts to leave a corporate job two weeks after the stock market went bust. But I was encouraged by the three-year contract we had just secured with our first transit client, the Greater Dayton RTA, in Dayton, OH. With a lot of passion but no guarantee of revenue we moved our business and our life to Dayton. I'll never forget collecting our first check for the new media product we created. Even better was getting our first renewal from an advertising client and the sense that it's working.

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Ask The Wrong Question, Get Meaningless Answers

By Chris Shipley (Co-Founder, Guidewire Group) Oy. My head is about to explode. I'm at an event listening to a panel that had such wonderful potential. I suppose it was inevitable, though, that an audience member would ask that question that makes my eyes roll like an exasperated teenager: "Why are there so few women in tech?"

For some seemingly interminable time, the audience member and the panelist (when she can shoehorn a word in) discussed the question. Amid the not-so-veiled hypothesis that women are back-stabbing bitches who perceive all other women as competitors who must be crushed under their stiletto heels, Sara made an insightful observation. As graduating men and women enter the job market, they are at relative parity in pay and status. "But somewhere along the line, a choice is made. Things change. I don't know what it is."

Really? This from a woman who is pregnant? I'm going to guess that the birth of that child might help identify the "choice."

Which leads me to my point. Beyond being tiresome, this relentless questioning of why not more women entrepreneurs or why not more women in tech is fundamentally the wrong question. We should be asking why more men aren’t choosing full-time parenting. The fact is that women stop out of their careers to raise children at a substantially greater rate than do men. And they tend to do it at exactly the time most professionals hit the inflection point of their careers.

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Partner event: APPNATION 2011 for Mobile Developers

APPNATION (April 27 - 28 in San Francisco) is an ambitious and bold thought leadership conference and exposition focusing exclusively on the consumer applications revolution and global app economy. Featuring speakers and exhibitors including Digital Chocolate, Marvel Entertainment, Jumptap, Nielsen Mobile, RIM, Intel, Outfit7, Sequoia Capital, WIP, Fox Broadcasting, Greystripe, Norwest Venture Partners, and Wall Street Journal. On Thursday, April 28 (1:15pm - 1:50pm on the 2nd Floor Mezzanine at Moscone South @ APPNATION) join us for the "Monetization Strategies" panel with open Q&A - presented by Women 2.0 & Founder Labs!

Shaherose Charania (Co-Founder, Women 2.0 & Founder Labs) will be leading the discussion on monetization of mobile apps with the following panelists:

  • Cathy Edwards (Co-Founder & CTO, Chomp)
  • Jean Hsu (Android Developer, Pulse)
  • Rob Coneybeer (Co-Founder & Partner, Shasta Ventures)
  • Raj Singh (Entrepreneur-in-Residence, SRI)

Check out mobile developer Sophia Perl presenting her mobile app Eventabulous at the AppCircus on Wednesday, April 27 at 5:20pm.

We will also be showcasing 5 mobile developers from the Women 2.0 community in at the APPNATION expo with their own developer demo pods:

DEVELOPERS: Submit your app and have a chance to pitch at the AppCircus@Appnation on April 27! Powered by dotopen, this is a unique global traveling showcase of the most creative and innovative apps presented by their creators during some of the most influential international events in mobile/web. AppCircus is open to developers, startups and any other organization and offers each participant a chance to get a nomination to the annual Mobile Premier Awards at Mobile World Congress. Click here for full details, rules and submission information. Deadline for entry is April 17.

Women 2.0 members save 40% with discount code "APWN40".

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From Acquisition to New Beginning: MVPs & Marketing

By Poornima Vijayashanker (Founder & CEO, BizeeBee) About a year and a half ago, I left my first startup job at Mint.com (where I was the second employee and sole femgineer) and founded my own startup -- BizeeBee. The decision to leave Mint post-acquisition was because I had seen a project through, and because I wanted to return to the startup scene. Graduating with degrees in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering has given me an insatiable appetite for creating and innovating. I desperately wanted to return to the roots of startup where I would have the freedom to build from scratch. Coming from being an early employee at Mint and seeing how Aaron Patzer put the product and company together, I felt confident in having my own startup. Having been in the Bay Area for nearly 7 years, I had built a large support network of advisors, colleagues, and friends willing to help me out.

My vision and goal for BizeeBee last year was to start a company focused on helping small businesses and to successfully launch a prototype with paying customers. The inspiration for BizeeBee came out of practicing yoga and working with studios for nearly 7 years. Every studio I visited had the same pains, and I thought that they could easily be solved using software. I spent 5 months doing market research, paper prototyping, and talking to a a variety of small businesses before I began building the initial prototype.

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Facebook Town Hall and Startup America with Jessica Herrin, Lynn Jurich, Raissa Nebie and Adriana Neagu

By Shaherose Charania (Co-Founder & CEO, Women 2.0) Entrepreneurship panels will follow President Obama's Town Hall livestreamed from Facebook on Wednesday, April 20. The panels on "Women in Technology" and "Startups in America" feature women entrepreneurs like Jesssica Herrin (Founder & CEO, Stella & Dot), Lynn Jurich (Co-Founder & President, SunRun), Adriana Neagu (Co-Founder & CEO, Formotus), and Founder Labs' own Raissa Nebie (Co-Founder & CEO, Spoondate)!

The event will be streamed live at WhiteHouse.gov/live and Facebook.com/WhiteHouse. Women in Technology Panel (April 20 @ 3:15pm)

  • Sheryl Sandberg (Chief Operating Officer, Facebook)
  • Jocelyn Goldfein (Director of Engineering, Facebook)
  • Theresia Gouw Ranzetta (Partner, Accel Partners)
  • Jessica Herrin (Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Stella & Dot)

Startup America Panel: Winning the Future through Entrepreneurship (April 20 @ 4:30pm)

  • Austan Goolsbee (Chairman, White House Council of Economic Advisors)
  • Michael Schroepfer (Vice President of Engineering, Facebook)
  • Lynn Jurich (Co-Founder & President, SunRun)
  • Raissa Nebie, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Spoondate)
  • Adriana Neagu (Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Formotus)

Videos of the panels taped by the White House after the jump!

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The Lean Startup: A Review of Eric Ries’ New Book

By Elizabeth Yin (Co-Founder, LaunchBit) I've read a lot of business books over the years -- for school, for *fun*, for work. Most of them are just ok -- largely intuitive and too high level to be useful. I wouldn't recommend most books I've read to anyone. But, I just finished reading a draft of Eric Ries' new book, The Lean Startup. This is a must read for all internet entrepreneurs and a compelling read for anyone who's ever wanted to cut waste out of new projects... including stuffing envelopes!

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Partner event: Wise Talk on Open Leadership

"Wise Talk" will be featuring Charlene Li on Tuesday, April 26 from 2-3pm PST -- Wise Talk is a free monthly leadership forum hosted by Founder & CEO Sue Bethanis of Mariposa Leadership. Social media and leadership expert Charlene Li will talk about how social technology is forcing leaders to be more open - making for better, more equal relationships with customers and employees. Charlene is founder of the Altimeter Group, author of the New York Times bestseller Open Leadership and co-author of the critically-acclaimed bestseller Groundswell, which was named one of the best business books in 2008.

RSVP before April 24 to Allison Adams at allison@mariposaleadership.com for call-in info.

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