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.

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