While we have made a lot of progress, the tech industry remains male dominated.
My mantra has always been: Do not strive to be a great female entrepreneur. Strive to be a great entrepreneur. Period.>>>
Is entrepreneurship different for women entrepreneurs?
Is there bias against women entrepreneurs?
Is the increasing presence of women investors changing the venture capital industry?>>>
Tim Berry is the founder and chairman of Palo Alto Software, and he is also the originator of plan-as-you-go business planning. He writes at Planning, Startups, Stories, one of the most popular small business blogs.
Sabrina Parsons has served as the CEO of Palo Alto Software since 2007. Prior to this role she co-founded a software company with her husband in 2001, a company that was purchased by Palo Alto Software in 2002. She is the president of the Princeton Entrepreneurs Network and a significant supporter of entrepreneurs. She blogs as MommyCEO.org.
Sramana: Tim, let’s start at the beginning of your story. Where are you from?
Tim Berry: I started adult life with a masters in journalism. My goal was to have a great journalism career. I started with United Press International, which was very well known back in the 1970s. It was wire service journalism, and I was in Mexico City covering hurricanes, volcanoes, earthquakes, kidnappings, and so on. I was young and it was a fun job. It did not pay anything, but I loved it. >>>
Today’s roundtable was a women-only affair, with WITI (Women In Technology International) San Diego entrepreneurs leading the way.
But before we dive into the pitches, let me point you to the opportunity with BlueSnap and Elance, which are awarding 12 1M/1M scholarships to digital commerce and subscription businesses. Deadline for applications is May 11.
First, Felena Hanson from San Diego, CA, pitched Hera Hub, a co-working space in the San Diego area that has 140 women working together in what she calls a ‘spa-like’ environment. Many of these women are freelancers, solopreneurs, writers, etc., and enjoy the community that Hera Hub has created. Felena will be launching two more hubs in San Diego and then wants to franchise the concept in other cities.
Victoria has been an entrepreneur since her early twenties and has developed three companies. As founder and CEO of Wildfire (www.wildfireapp.com), Victoria led the company to profitability in just one year and has built the company to tens of thousands of customers, over 250 employees, and eight offices worldwide. Clients include major brands and agencies such as Facebook, Pepsi, Unilever, Sony, AT&T, Ogilvy, Publicis, and Digitas. Wildfire is a two-time winner of the fbFund; investors include Summit, Facebook, Accel Partners, and the Founder’s Fund. Victoria has been featured in several publications including The New York Times, CNN, and The Wall Street Journal. She was named one of the ’25 Women to Watch in Tech’ for 2011 and 2010 and was named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for New Zealand. Victoria has spoken at numerous events, including Le Web, SXSW, OMMA, AlwaysOn, Ad:tech, and Web 2.0.
Sramana: Victoria, let’s start at the very beginning of your story. Where do you come from?
Victoria Ransom: I grew up on a farm in New Zealand in the middle of nowhere. There were 25 students in my primary school. It was a wonderful upbringing, and it was very beautiful. It was a very supportive environment and a small environment. I felt I could do anything. >>>
Do you dream of starting a business? Have an idea but not sure what to do next?
Sramana Mitra will be moderating a panel, Entrepreneurship: The Real Stories of Getting Started, during the University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business’ Women In Leadership Conference on Saturday, March 3, 2012, at 10:30 a.m.
This panel will share the real, honest stories of successful women entrepreneurs. Whether they got venture funding, participated in an incubator, or bootstrapped their venture, they’ve all had exciting successes and tough challenges. Hear about both, and learn how to find your own unique path to entrepreneurship. You can find more details and REGISTER HERE.
The topic of women and entrepreneurship has been getting a lot of attention of late. Vivek Wadhwa has been leading the charge from TechCrunch. Yesterday, I read an article by Penelope Trunk on TechCrunch that argues that you cannot be an entrepreneur and bear and raise children, have a successful relationship, and have a balanced life.
I generally avoid commenting on this issue, but Vivek has often egged me on to say things, at least in private discussions. Vivek is a good friend, and I believe that he is trying to do something meaningful to help move this debate forward.
So, today, I am going to say a few things on the topic. >>>
Check this out on YouTube. Especially for my readers who are women entrepreneurs, this may be an interesting clip to watch.
Women have made their presence felt on the Internet and if you don’t believe it then check the numbers below. Today, 51.7% of Internet users are women and they are growing. In 2006 the total number of women online in the US was 93.9 million compared to 88 million males. According to eMarketer, currently there are around 97.2 million female Internet users and the numbers are expected to rise up to 109.7 million in 2011, constituting 51.9% of the total online population.