"I beg you, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer."
-- Rainer Maria Rilke, 1903; in Letters to a Young Poet
For the last eighteen months my experience in NYC has been incredible; so many powerful women helping one another. The wealth of knowledge in NYC is hard to explain as so many women come from high powered backgrounds and insights into the one and only Wall Street.In what started as a trip to explore the city turned into an epic cross-country move, followed by the addition of Esther Dyson as an investor then quickly hitting the ground running setup an office on Park Avenue and going on a journey to find the best product fit. We presented in May 2011 at the NYEBN receiving feedback that I “pitched like a girl” and by summer of 2011 I was accepted into Springboard Enterprises and took the mistakes I Iearned from, to give a solid pitch at the Levin Institute alongside three other female founded startups. Marketing To Women Online noticed, calling me a “Marketing to Women Online Success Story” and the hard work continued to pay off when we were listed as one of the 15 Springboard companies to watch later in the year. I shared my journey to speaking in a project called evolution of pitching and even shared my thoughts on project management with Reorg. Along the way there were lessons around fundraising and product, how to scale and get in touch with customers. The intensity of the corporate world can be felt at any moment in NYC and I discussed with Forbes the female movement exploring different schools of thought around the female presence in boardrooms and opportunities in corporate business.
(You can read more about my passion and inspiration for founding ConsumerBell here)
The Big Apple at the Start
We started to really get deep in the data of product recalls (the focus of my start-up) publishing infographics and easy to share content for mom bloggers. NewsOnWomen took note of my interview with TheStreet about trends involving recalls and business markets and around the same time female founders started coming out of what seemed to be the woodwork: women on Wall Street, entrepreneurs from other incubators nation-wide, women willing to make the leap from the corporate world.
NYC and Funding for Women
New York budding and seasoned entrepreneurs coming together on friday nights for what seemed to be magical. I got to ring the Nasdaq opening bell with Payal Kadakia of Classtivity, Hayley Barna of Birchbox, and Shara Mendelson of Plum Benefits. Six of the eighteen founders featured in Mashable’s Only in the Alley calendar were women. The New York Daily News did a story on the female founder experience on the east coast covering the “Golden Ladies of NYC.”
Early January, Deborah Jackson and I sat down with Diana Williams on ABC News and talked about female founders, funding and the large scene in NYC and what makes it unique. There’s always been a dialogue about the differences between fundraising on both scenes (Read more here). About the same time NY Convergence wrote that funding opportunities were more “female friendly” and GigaOm highlighted companies that skipped Silicon Valley for New York.
Around Spring this year ConsumerBell (my start-up) moved into General Assembly and that’s when things both in the female founder community and in my professional life became overwhelming. I remember trying to take an already small team and be in several places at once: product recall conferences, tech conferences, client meetings. Once I was in Orlando learning about food labeling and allergen risks within packaged products and how they can be contaminated and recalled while a new-ish employee in my hometown of SF at a tech conference. This started to happen more and more as the demands of start-up life often have a mind of their own and after flying many miles back and forth for clients and meetings I have moved back to San Francisco for several reasons leaving the beautiful and flourishing group of women in New York in need of a special women to help take things to the next level. Between all the fantastic groups that integrate around female founders its going to be amazing to see what the next year brings.
And it couldn't have felt better to end on the note of being one of Six Women in Tech To Follow.
NYC: The Next Chapter
NYC has an unparalelled amount of women and energy and its time for the next chapter of growth. New York is always going to have a special place in my heart as I still visit often and mentor a couple female founded startups NY Based. I think about all the startups that move across countries and continents, founders learning on each other for support and all the new experiences that happen throughout this process of building dreams and its really not about any one particular city at this moment, but the philosophy that everyone is motivated more than ever to be successful and help others be successful.
Almost two years ago in 2010 I started with a small idea and a simple site. Now we have major clients, two solid product to offer and plenty more room in the recall space we hope to conquer. NYC has been amazing having slaved away on Park Avenue for a full year of it, but now its time to bump things up to yet another complex level of business and for me that means being by home around support and some special people I hope to grow my company with.
Ladies, its your turn. Make New York city what you want it to be.
If you need me, I’ll be in San Francisco.
Software. Sailing. Writing Stuff.