Tag Archives: womeintech

Nonprofit donations for Women's Causes Grew Exponentially

Girls in Tech – it’s time for a REAL change. Invest in women, here’s why.

The women’s revolution has definitely been heating up in the past few years. Here is the staggering proof. Look at the chart! The giant spike in donations to female related causes is because of many female leaders and activists that are not afraid to ROAR!!! Female business leaders, entertainers, spiritual leaders and women everywhere are all joining forces to amplify the volume of our voices. Organizations like Women Moving Millions, Code Pink, NOW, TEDxWomen and many more empowering all of us to seize the day.

Today unlike any other time in my lifetime, the feminist movement is raging. I am so excited to be in San Francisco for all of this. In this city, people are open minded and liberal, in the same wave length as I. I feel very at home here. However, the tech industry which is dominant in the Bay Area, is totally a BOY’S world! Even though we represent 51% of the populations, at every event I find myself being one of the few women in the room.

There are many organizations devoted to empowering women in the tech industry. Girls in Tech, Geek Girl Dinners, Women2.0, Girls Who Codes, etc. are some of the organizations paving the way in this movement. They gather together, mentor and nurture each other. But where are they when it comes to taking a stand? Making a pitch? Taking a seat at the table?

Women, we need to rise up. It’s time. The time is now. Stand up. Scream. Shout. Blaze a path that few other women have gone. Give back, mentor, help the next generation of girls so they could rise above societal oppression….even in America in 2013. Make it count, we only have one life!

Did you know?

The high-tech companies that women build are more capital- efficient than the norm. [2011]*

Despite often being capital-constrained, women-owned businesses are more likely to survive the transition from raw start-up to established company than the average company. [2011]

Organizations that are the most inclusive of women in top management achieve 35 percent higher returns on equity and 34 percent better total return to shareholders versus their peers.

Read more

Continue reading “Girls in Tech – it’s time for a REAL change. Invest in women, here’s why.” »

safe activist win

Team Safe Activist at DeveloperWeek Hackathon – Conference & Festival 2013 San Francisco

The DeveloperWeek Conference & Festival 2013, February 1-7, 2013, combines a 3-day hackathon (Feb. 1-3), 3-day educational conference (Feb. 4-6), technology-specific app development contests, developer tech exhibitors, 1-day app pitch day (Feb. 7), with keynote talks from the top engineers across app development, data science, and mobile deployment.

The DeveloperWeek API+Mashups Hackathon is a 43-hour app-building contest in downtown San Francisco from Friday February 1st until Sunday February 3rd – and is also the official kick-off of DeveloperWeek 2013! The purpose of the hackathon is to give developers, designers, and entrepreneurs the chance to pitch app ideas – form teams – build a prototype of their app – and present to the hackathon judges for a chance to be one of the top 5 hackathon winners who get “incubated” during DeveloperWeek.

There were 27 projects. You can build any app you want to – however you get ‘extra points’ from the judges if your app integrates an external API. That can be anything from google maps or twitter OAuth to one of the sponsor’s API’s!

I’m proud of Will Mason, Senior Software Engineer at Twilio and Jimmy Duong, Art Director/Graphic Designer for their first hackathon. They had a great time learning as they joined up with Marjorie Green, Jamie Nadle and Gabriel Adauto to become Team Safe Activist. During the hackathon, they developed a mobile donation app that vets nonprofit organizations. Each were assigned each a specialty to focus on and all went at it. Jamie and Marjorie are both from Cisco and received the PayPal scholarship that included $500 to pursue their idea, which they plan to do. I didn’t join the hackathon but provided the nonprofit industry info and plan to help them in the future to see this product go through.

Prizes include..
-PayPal: PayPal will offer the top (5) teams $10,000 in waived transaction fees, totaling $50k
-Mashape: $100 x 5 teams
-New Relic: New Relic Certificates offering a year of New Relic free at the Pro level (a $1788 value)

…and more!

Read more… Continue reading “Team Safe Activist at DeveloperWeek Hackathon – Conference & Festival 2013 San Francisco” »

Good to Great – Can any company make the leap?

“Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t” by Jim Collins, recommended to every business person, entrepreneur and non-profit, . I read it while I was consulting with a “good company.” One of their partners said to me “It bothers me that we don’t do anything great.” I could see it in the passion in his eyes that he could see the potential in his company but for some reason couldn’t make it there. The answer was so obvious to him once I passed along this book to him. I believed in this company, one of the partners DID in fact have the potential to be a “great” leader. However, he wasn’t “The Man” in charge. Funny enough, leadership styles is what was most discussed during my time at this company.

I watched patiently as “The Man” exuded with brilliance but also thrashed around in anger making rash judgment calls, burn bridges, make up facts and figures with each sales pitch, etc. Around the same time, I saw within The Man’s circle of friends, they were achieving some astronomically amazing feats in this world, changing history forever.

Read more Continue reading “Good to Great – Can any company make the leap?” »

My Fifty Shades of Grey at the Office

After reading one of my favorite new books Fifty Shades of Grey, I somehow manifested my fifty shades into my professional life. (Mind you, everything was non-sexual just purely done for correlation sake.) Like Anastasia, I was seduced into a professional relationship with a powerful man infamous in his industry for his “quirks.” Needless to say, when given the opportunity to work alongside this phenomenal businessman, I jumped at the opportunity. My mentor and advisers all tried to steer me away since his reputation is big in this area. So, I assumed there will be some growing pains as I learned from him.

As uncomfortable and sometimes painful as the learning experiences were, I somehow enjoyed the growing experience. I felt much like Anastasia through much of the book, even though I had 10+ years of professional experience it was my first time in this industry. So like the virgin bright-eyed bushy-tailed character I pranced to work each day. Each evening I would return and emotionally bruised but somehow found a way to enjoy nugget of knowledge gained that day.  I guess I was looking at the long-term benefits through rosy glasses.  Throughout the book, Anastasia discovers her own powers and starts to take control of the situation as I did. Just needed to stick it through to be able to learn what I needed to learn.

All this made me question what other people are putting themselves through for what they believe is the long- term benefit. Here in the bay area, seems like every twenty-something person has a tech startup. The stats are shocking when it coming to the success rate and long-term success rates of these entrepreneurs. I have watched countless people sacrifice today for a perceived benefits in the future. They coin it with cute terms like “bootstrapping a lean startup living on ramen noodle budgets.” They are dreamers hoping to become the next Zuckerberg and Dorsey by meeting Conway and McClure by coding all night and pitching until they are blue in the face. They are know the stark realities of the startup world but they the push on. They push on because each have a dream they he or she can change the world. They are willing to suffer now for the benefit of tomorrow. Each are hoping to change the way we all live in some way so their names can be revered like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates.

Everyone has their fifty shades of grey learning experience. Seize the day. Dream big, dream hard or go home. To each entrepreneur and dream out there…”Never Give Up” ….the tattoo on my butt.

Peter-Chen-and-Bryan-Pelz

GMIC SV 2012 – Connecting Global Innovators

GMIC SV 2012 in San Jose, I was lucky to experience it with a VIP pass which allowed me to join their VIP dinner reception the evening before the conference began. At my table I met some interesting VIP movers and shakers from the local area as well as those visiting from all over Asia. It was an impressive group of executives in the mobile industry who optimized their opportunity to rub elbows with investors, vendors representatives, government representatives and many more. It was interesting to see everyone’s hyper focus on exchanging business cards, shaking hands and working the room. There was so much synergy in the room it was palpable.

Here’s a quick summary of their wrap-up

This year, our vision of “Connecting Global Innovators” was brought to life at GMIC SV as we brought together over 5,400 attendees from 58 countries for 2 days in Silicon Valley.  GMIC SV was clearly not just another tech event. Our hope was that through GMIC SV, you would be able to better understand and connect with the global mobile industry and ultimately, grow your business.   And, with the support of over 60 partners, 45 advisors and 20 sponsors, we successfully fulfilled that vision.

9 stages with 200 speakers
From the Main Stage to the Global Stage to stages dedicated to startups and apps, we built a platform for attendees to hear from all aspects of the mobile industry. Attendees were able to learn from mobile-industry leading companies and thought leaders.

My experience connecting Global Innovators

The variety of seminars and speakers were impressive but their attendees were what really set this conference apart from other conferences I have experienced. I noticed the high caliber of Asian tech and mobile startups represented as well as the myriad of established sponsoring companies that want to strengthen their presence and alliances with the bay area and American tech companies. This was not just an expo where attendees march like zombies but they are actively listening, asking questions, exchanging knowledge, longer conversations and obvious business deals being hashed out.

At the conference I spent much of my time in the VIP lounge meeting and chatting with the fellow VIPs. I always skipped the VIP dinners because I was able to connect with some interesting people including successful billionaire expats, the social media king of Vietnam and a prodigy startup tech founder. The fact that I was able to connect some of these men who and the potentials of their future collaborations make this a very unique and eye-opening experience.

 

 

My vision for women in tech

Recently sat down with a girlfriend who quit her job from Yahoo and decided to follow her passion to be a life coach. Today, she just finished going back to school and started her own business. So, I decided to make a vision board of what I wanted from my future. It’s been a few years since I stopped dreaming big…really big. This time I”m being less of an artist and more of a geek. Instead of creating a vision board table, I’m making this on Pinterest. I dare to reach for the stars, I dare to dream. I am at a place in my life where I truly feel nothing is impossible. Everything we go through is a step towards where we are meant to be. Don’t be afraid and envision what you want out of your life.

Already things are starting to shape up. First, I put up Oprah, I wanted to meet her live! So I pinned and image of her. In hunting for the image I decided to go onto her webpage. I poked around and voila! I found she had the “O You!” Conference at the LA Convention Center on October 20th when I was already planning on being in town. Coincidence or destiny?

I’ve been obsessively sharing Sheryl Sanberg’s Ted Video: Why we have too few women leaders, with anyone that could read or discuss it with me.  At work, I reviewing admissions at the tech accelerator but noticed a sad trend in the number of applicants that were female. Given that for the first time the graduating class in the Silicon Valley is graduating 50% women, I was hoping that there would be a higher representation in the applicants. So I stuck Sheryl Sanberg on my board. I will meet her one day, if I’m lucky, I get to work with her! I appreciate that she is building her name and reputation on female empowerment in the workforce and trying to start a cultural change to allow men to contribute more at home.

Luckily, my male boss says we have access to a number of high-caliber female mentors locally to boost women in the community. Third on my vision board is my brainchild – similar to Oprah’s Lifeclass, I envision a fireside chat with the female leaders and executives in the Silicon Valley mentoring women entrepreneurs internationally. Not only do we start a dialogue but an action plan about what we could do change this industry. The ripple has already started now how do we ride the wave? I’m envisioning that world now but I also hope to help shape it, there’s plenty of space on my vision board.

Lots of hope amongst tech community during the crisis in Spain

During my recent trip to Spain, I fell in love with the people, culture, music, food and sites. The experience was amazing! I loved that in each town we had Spaniards and locals to meet and hang out with. The locals were excited to share their culture and show me how they actually lived, ate, drank, communicated, conducted business. While in Spain, I traveled with Luis, a climbing buddy I had climbed with in Los Angeles for a few years. He’s moved back to Madrid and is a physics teacher in the school system facing wage cuts so he was very enlightening to chat politics with. They are facing a 25% unemployment rate nationally and the younger generation, the graduates are at 50% unemployment. The highest in the European Union.

I also met for tapas and cervezas with Alex Mason, a budding Canadian entrepreneur I met in San Francisco but moved to Madrid to pursue a business venture including joining a tech incubator.  Miguel Galera, CEO of Grupo IntegralCom and Director of the local chapter for Founder Institute, treated us to a wonderful local lunch of Spanish style. They all acknowledged even though they are in a crisis, there are still some cultural challenges they need to overcome to truly grow the tech community . One thing they both mentioned is the slower pace Spaniards adopt new technology. They have hope they can overcome that and be part of the growing tech community there,thus creating jobs and boosting the economy.

Continue reading “Lots of hope amongst tech community during the crisis in Spain” »

Greg Kidd, Jeffrey Paine, Peter Chen, Brian Wong, Andrew Chen (top) & Trip Adler

Men teaching the boys to fish – building a legacy vs. a tech startup

The proverb goes “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” After several weeks of intense fishing lessons from some of Silicon Valley VIPs, founders and investors, it leads me to ask are you a man or are you a boy? Are you creating a tech startup hoping for a fat exit? Or are you a man building a legacy? In speaking with some of these high level achievers, the one biggest difference I noticed is their thinking. They don’t just see the trees but they see the forest. While people are asking them fundamental question on the building blocks of a successful startup, these men are scheme to build a legacy that will be resilient to the test of time and go way beyond them in this lifetime. While some are plotting their next step, these men are miles ahead.

What is the larger picture? What are the true questions you should be asking? If I am lucky enough to have a mentoring session with anyone I respect, I often ask questions that try to get in their head, behind their thinking, understand their decision making, their motivations, their inspirations, their strategies for the higher level questions, etc. Even if your startup isn’t going well and you will need to pivot later down the line or quit all together, the higher level advice is what will last you forever.  Realizing that these men probably already made enough money already, so what motivates them to continue? They are inspired to build a true legacy business. Pitch them what you have has what it takes, know your shit and back it up. They can tell a winner vs a loser from a mile away.

Be inspired by something true. Be motivated to make a change in the world. Live with intention. Build something you are truly passionate about. The pieces will fall into place if you keep working your ass off to create your own luck. Learn how to fish.

IMG_2638

Founders Showcase 2012 – International tech startup pitch competition

The Founder Showcase is a quarterly startup pitch and networking event that gathers over 300 top technology CEOs, investors, and seed-stage companies in Silicon Valley to hear talks from leading CEOs, and help launch a promising startup to greatness. The 11th Founder Showcase was Wednesday, July 25th at the Microsoft Silicon Valley Campus. Guests were treated to an entertaining Pitch Competition featuring 8 of the best seed-stage companies graduating from Founder Institutes globally; as well as talks by Kevin Rose (Founder of Digg, Venture Partner at Google Ventures), Aaron Levie (Co-Founder & CEO of Box), and Hiten Shah (CEO of KISSmetrics). Appetizers and drinks will also be served in a networking hall full of other hot startups demoing at the Demo Table Competition.

Continue reading “Founders Showcase 2012 – International tech startup pitch competition” »

Mashable’s 3rd Annual Social Medial Day – San Francisco

It was a full house at The Box SF for Mashable‘s third-annual Social Media Day celebration in San Francisco on Saturday, June 30, 2012. The sold-out event featured networking, dancing, gadgets and, most importantly, commemorating the importance of social media in the world today.

I noticed three things. First thing I noticed, cool party. Second thing I noticed, lots of girls…at a tech party. Why? It’s just another reason to gather, drink, eat & tweet.

Mashable does know how to throw and nice Saturday happy hour complete with 2 open bars, house music, bad ass female DJ’s dreadlocks DJ duo A Plus D — a.k.a. Adrian and Mysterious D, photobooth, large spread of hors d’oeurves…and plenty of female attendees.

My male buddies needed to know what brought the women? These tech networking events are usually a sausage fest. Is it because it’s social media and marketing? No. After a quick survey the mystery was solved…  plenty of girls were there hoping to catch a glimpse of Mashable’s attractive founder, Pete Cashmore.

Continue reading “Mashable’s 3rd Annual Social Medial Day – San Francisco” »