Month: August 2011

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Get a Sponsor to Fast-Track Your Career

By Christine Silva (Director of Research, Catalyst) By now, you probably know how important it is to have a mentor -- someone who provides career advice and suggestions. Indeed, recent Catalyst research shows that women were actually more likely than men to have mentors -— so we’ve got that message loud and clear. What not everyone realizes, though, is that a sponsor -— someone who is senior in your organization, has clout at the decision-making table, and actively advocates on your behalf when it comes to promotions or development opportunities —- is critical to getting ahead.

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Interview with Elaine Kunda, CEO of B5 Media, on What I Know Now

By Christina Vuleta (Founder, 40:20 Vision) I had the pleasure of interviewing Elaine Kunda, CEO of B5 Media, home to Crushable and The Grindstone, on her advice for 20-something women entrepreneurs. An experienced entrepreneur, Elaine has a history of transitioning growth companies to profitability.

When she joined B5 Media as CEO in 2009, it was a 3-year-old online media startup. Her challenge was to re-structure the company with a focus on intelligent, honest content for real women. Elaine had to make some difficult decisions when she came ion board from cutting staff to changing the editorial direction.

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5 Ways to Take Advice from an Investor or Board Member

By Nilofer Merchant (Contributing Writer, Harvard Business Review) As an investor, a corporate board member, etc, my role is primarily that of achieving growth by asking (hopefully smart) questions, and giving advice.

After many years of giving advice, I can say people “take” advice in five ways. Four waste the effort (time/money) and one works.

It’s a skill to know how to give advice. However it is ALSO a skill to take advice. I believe this skill to know how to take (good) advice is a key differential between those that cross that finish line

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Open Source Yumminess: DIY Sous Vide Arduino-Based Kits from Lisa Qiu of Lower East Kitchen

By Lisa Qiu (Co-Founder & CEO, Lower East Kitchen) When I was little, my parents were obsessed that I “develop good habits.” It was as if I was a little bonzai tree that needed constant pruning and a calculated amount of water and sunshine. Were I to go astray just a little would mean the destruction of my entire form.

This was actually beneficial to me because during my prerequisite adolescent rebellion phase I turned against it all. Ambiguous work environments where I switched up what I’m doing everyday became my favorite kind of atmosphere.

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Lynn Jurich Joins All-Star Cast of CEOs, Founders with Startup America Partnership

By Lynn Jurich (Co-Founder & President, SunRun) As the co-founder of a fast-growing company -– home solar company SunRun –- I often look for ways to impart helpful knowledge and advice to aspiring entrepreneurs.

In particular, I welcome the opportunity to mentor other females because successful women entrepreneurs are still less common in the business world.

This week I joined the founding board of an organization designed to support entrepreneurship, and I’m excited to share

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Post Acquisition: First-Time Entrepreneur Shares Lessons Learned

By Deena Malkina (Founder & CEO, BeautyBloc) BeautyBloc was founded with the mission of connecting consumers to high quality beauty vendors through exceptional deals. We help our customers discover great new beauty brands, products, and services at a fraction of the cost while generating exposure and new business for our vendors. In August of 2011, BeautyBloc was acquired by Spaphile. More information is available at BeautyBloc and Spaphile.

The last year has been an incredible and exhilarating learning opportunity. In this post, I share ten of the most memorable lessons from my experience as a first-time entrepreneur.

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Not Just a Question of Self-Esteem or Gender Roles

By Victoria Pynchon (Co-Founder & Principal, She Negotiates) Even when women are overqualified, they question their ability to do the job -– a lack of confidence she does not see in male prospects even when they’re under qualified. So there’s no question that part of the problem for women IP lawyers is self-esteem.

But as a good friend of mine used to say, you build self-esteem by doing estimable things. That’s what this posse of women lawyers is asking their sisters at the bar to do.

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How to Choose the Right PR Solution in a Crowded Market

By Maura Lafferty (Chief Happiness Officer, Maura Lafferty PR) A couple of months ago, I picked up a copy of Bait and Switch, Barbara Ehrenreich's follow-up to Nickel and Dimed.

Like the original, she goes "undercover" as a middle-class laid-off worker seeking a lower-level corporate position. The story details several months of job-hunting and the various travails she comes up against, including the dreaded consultants who try to make money off job-seekers' desperation. Some are mildly sympathetic, especially the guy who lost his own job and got into "coaching" to bridge the gap, others are just out to make a buck, and none of them provide any actually useful help.

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In Search of the Right Co-Founder (Finding Ms. Right)

By Karen Zeller (Contributing Writer, Women 2.0) This is the first in series of three advice articles with Mauria Finley, Founder and CEO of Citrus Lane, a social ecommerce company dedicated to new (and experienced) parents.

As a former eBay executive, Mauria Finley exudes the enthusiasm and passion you would expect of someone who has dedicated years to consumer ecommerce.

Her new Mountain View based company, Citrus Lane, has raised over a million dollars in angel and VC funding

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Interview with Lockerz Founder and CEO Kathy Savitt about Gen Z

Women 2.0 talks to Kathy Savitt, Founder and CEO of Lockerz, a social commerce site with the mission of being the homepage of Generation Z (born between 1992-2010). Kathy has decades of experience at Fortune 500 companies, including Amazon.com, where she served on Jeff Bezos' elite senior counsel of advisors. Kathy has raised nearly $70 million in VC in the past two years, largely from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, which is known for rarely funding women-led companies.Women 2.0: How did you get the idea for Lockerz?

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Happy Business Marriage Part 1: The Background Check

By Heather N. Shafer (Intellectual Property Attorney, Independent) The creative endeavor is one of the most beautiful relationships that two or more people can enter into together. Creative ventures thrive on collaboration and there is no law against how many can join the venture. However, it is important to know a sobering effect of joint works and inventions under both the patent and the copyright laws:

If there is more than one inventor or creator -– each inventor or creator owns an equal and undivided interest in the whole invention or creation.

This means that each of the co-inventors or co-creators can

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Disrupt Yourself: Throw Out Your Current Performance Metrics

By Whitney Johnson (Founding Partner, Rose Park Advisors) Notwithstanding the considerable career and financial (I am the primary breadwinner) risks involved, it was time to leave my comfortable perch and become an entrepreneur. Time to disrupt myself. We typically define disruption as a low-end product or service that eventually upends an industry. But I've found that the rules of disruption apply to the individual too. Or as thought leader Jennifer Sertl writes, "innovation ultimately begins on the inside."

Six years into my mid-career move, here are some lessons learned from my personal disruptive trajectory:

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Changing the Ratio at SXSW 2012 Starts with the Vote

By Emily Gannett (Co-Founder, Change the Ratio) So what constitutes an amazing panel? Well, great content presented by smart people, of course, but another initiative important to the SXSW 2012 planning team this year is diversity. As the tech industry continues its rapid evolution, diversity of voices has been key in this growth with women-lead initiatives leading the charge.

Which means that in 2012 we should be seeing even more amazing panels led by women, right? Right -- but it couldn't hurt to vote for a few, just to be safe. To that end, Change The Ratio has

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Silicon Valley’s Scarcest Resource: Technical Founders

By Laurie Segall (Reporter, CNN Money) Tiffani Bell, a NewMe participant and founder of online appointment booking site Pencil You In, relied on her coding chops to get her startup ready in time for Demo Day -- an event where Silicon Valley investors gather to field pitches from companies seeking funding.

Bell studied computer science at Howard University and went on to intern at IBM and Hewlett-Packard before working as a Web developer for a government contractor.

"It's important to have a technical background to make

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