Innovator Series: Founders & Panelists at Girls Raising
For this edition of our Innovator Series, we attended Girls Raising at the Hattery in San Francisco, for which Revel CEO Lisa Falzone took part in a panel. As part of her dedication to helping young entrepreneurs succeed, Lisa mentors high school students and is a regular contributor to Women 2.0. She regularly talks to founders about their startups and often speaks on the issue of women and entrepreneurship.
Last Tuesday, February 28th was an evening of startup pitches and tips at Girls Raising. The event provided a dynamic and supportive environment for female entrepreneurs to pitch their startup ideas. These entrepreneurs were in turn given actionable feedback by a panel of women in the industry, including our very own Lisa Falzone. The event gave guests an excellent opportunity to hear about new startups and ideas on the horizon, and to hear from some very influential women in the entrepreneurial and startup space.
Before we heard the pitches, the audience got to hear from each of the panelists–Cindy Padnos, Managing Partner of Illuminate Ventures; Lisa Falzone, CEO of Revel Systems; Angela Tran Kingyens, VC at Version One Ventures; and Danielle Morrill, Founder at Mattermark. They each gave a bit of background on their companies, as well as what it took for them to get to where they are today. Although we may be biased, Lisa Falzone gave a particularly good piece of advice: She cautioned entrepreneurs to find the right fit when looking for investors. “It’s a mutual relationship,” she said. “It’s like getting into a marriage. Make sure it’s a right fit, and that you find the right investor, with the right vision, who understands both your product and the market.”
With this piece of advice in mind, attendees of Girls Raising then heard from the 5 following promising founders:
- Katrina German- OneStory, a platform for creating and sharing videos
- Anjali Kundra - Partender, a streamlined inventory management app
- Nancy Quan - Dsg.nr, a community-driven platform for interior design
- Alison Dale - Flip Cause, an accessible & easy to use fundraising tool
- Christina Bognet - Platejoy, a personalized recipe & meal delivery service
Each founder had a unique story to tell, and received insightful feedback on her startup from the panelists. One valuable takeaway was “figure out how you’re different,” from panelist Cindy Padnos, managing partner at Illuminate Ventures. This serves as both a cautionary tale, and a way for entrepreneurs to really hone their idea before seeking funding.
Lisa also had an excellent piece of advice after one of the founders had downplayed her earlier successes. “Women entrepreneurs are too humble,” she said. “Guys will just come out and say it.” She emphasized that you shouldn’t sell yourself short: “You’re awesome!” Judging by the awesome startups we heard from, this piece of advice is right on target, and it will be exciting to see how they develop and grow. A huge thanks to the Hattery and Girls Raising for putting on this event, and we look forward to more events down the road!
Check out some of the photos from the event below, and view more photos here. Photo credit: Sierra Jewell, www.thecoolcreative.com