Monday, April 16, 2012

First Quarter 2012 VC Firm Funding Lags

A recent article in the LA Times said that Venture Capital Fundraising in the U.S. dropped 35% in the first quarter of 2012.

However, the article goes on to say that despite that, the amount raised was the third highest since the "end of the recession." Additionally, they found that California leads the way in landing venture capital investment.

Despite the dip, growth is expected. Hopefully, that will mean more good companies being funded.

What does that mean for me and other women founders of start ups? I don't really know. Hopefully, funding to our companies will continue to grow despite significant lags behind male counterparts. Perhaps even, VCs and other investors may begin to see how we do business differently as a positive, not a negative. Maybe then (and only then?) will not only investments begin to see an upturn, but business and the economy in general might see an upswing.

Food for thought. Here's to getting more good companies funded, either way!

You can find me at and twitter @pilarstella.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Our Time Has Come...Women Founders

I thought I'd share this article from a group called Women 2.0 ( that is helping more women to become founders of start ups.

Being a woman founder of a technology start up is not a walk in the park. In fact, some days it is down right debilitating. But somehow I keep on because I am committed not only to the success of my own vision and start up (, but also to the broader movement of women's success - in business and in transforming the planet through business.

One of the stats that served as a reminder of the uphill battle we face is that less than 5% of technology startups are founded by women. And even less than that are funded by Venture Capitalists.

So what does that mean? We have to bootstrap more, we have to struggle more...yes to some degree. But how I see it, is we have to innovate more. We are women after all, we know how to innovate, adapt and change. THAT is what we are good at. We have been under capitalized, under resourced and honestly under valued (by ourselves as much as others) throughout history.

Now is our time to turn that around. It really is our time. Why? VCs and many businesses that were run by men have a very linear, transactional approach. This will get them so far. Often women owned business get criticized for being too multidimensional and not focused enough. But this is how we shine as women - multi-tasking and thinking about the interrelationships and interconnectivity of everything. This is our gift. So why try to shift our gifts into a package that men understand. What if we just learned to follow our gifts and use our talents at multidimensional approaches for success.

Look at the case of Sheryl Sandberg and of many startups. Before Sheryl, Facebook was doing great...but it hadn't mastered its monetization. Sheryl has helped Facebook to identify new revenue streams that aren't the traditional linear advertising approaches. She looked at the interconnectivity between Facebook and other partners to leverage those relationships, resources and transactions to find new opportunities to monetize Facebook.

These are the gifts that we as women bring. While it isn't the good ol' boy way of doing business, I believe it is the future. When investors and VCs start to see the trends in how women do business differently and don't discard them because it is being done differently, but embrace them, we might actually begin to see business change and the economy grow...for the better!

Here's to women founders of start or otherwise. Here's to BEing the change...our time has come!

You can find me at and twitter @pilarstella.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Secret Sauce is in Who I Am…Not What I Do!

Every day, I am finding myself more and more amazed at the power of me. I spent so much of my life living up to expectations. Whose expectations? My own expectations, those of others and even those that I thought others had of me.

I was given a healing years ago and at one point the healer whispered in my ear, “You are in a prison of your own making.” Wow the truth in those words broke me open. How had I been imprisoning myself with my own thoughts, rules…expectations?

A few years later I had a realization that I was afraid to be me – that is to fully express me – my light, my strength and my wisdom. Somehow, I realized that when I fully expressed who I was, people left. At least that is what I told myself. So I spent so much of my life doing things so people would love me, rather than being me. I did things at half of my light, to make sure they wouldn’t leave, or judge me.

Only recently have I begun to truly embrace the power of me and allow the light that is within me to shine bright. I have started to realize that I don’t have to DO anything. I know have been told that for a long time and I even have gotten it on an intellectual level. But it hasn’t been until the most recent days, weeks and months that I have viscerally, kinesthetically truly felt what that really meant and known that truth.

You see I still thought I had to do something. Even with my company, dream and vision of OneGiving®, I felt like I had to show or prove an idea…hence do something. Until recently, I realized I just have to be me…that my gifts come whether I am doing OneGiving®, consulting, surfing, smiling or whatever. And while I am committed to OneGiving®, the motivation and drive behind it has shifted. Inherently, the common denominator is not any one of those things, rather it is ME! Wow! Now that is a powerful thought…and that is the power of being me!

You can find me at and twitter @pilarstella.