Startup Resources We Live By

BroadMic Startup Shortcuts Podcast: Get candid advice. Be inspired. Take action.  How many times have you seen or listened to an entrepreneur profiled in the media who is a white male, hoodie-wearing, Stanford engineer? For me, it was constantly…until now. Like many entrepreneurs, I was hungry for startup resources, specifically tactical advice from accomplished entrepreneurs, investors and industry leaders who looked and sounded like me. I know if you are reading this, you feel the same way.

As entrepreneurs, we are constantly looking for advice, mentorship, and inspiration from other women who have been there done that. A few years ago, as I was beginning my startup founder journey, I was fortunate enough to meet entrepreneur & investor Sara Weinheimer, who right off the bat, gave me #realtalk advice on how to think about running a startup. She was candid in her advice, and it was a breath of fresh air.

Sara was one of the first big sponsors of my crowdfunding campaign because she believed in me as an entrepreneur. So when Sara launched the podcast series, BroadMic Startup Shortcuts, I was not only all ears, I was all-in on supporting her right back. So, I guess technically, by the laws of the interwebs, this is a sponsored post, however, I have been listening to every episode of BroadMic long before Sara supported iFundWomen, so it’s important for our readers to know that we only partner with products we actually use. We take our reputation as entrepreneurial coaches very seriously, so we would never suggest using a product we don’t rely on ourselves.

BroadMic’s mission is to inspire the next generation of female entrepreneurs to think big, unleash new market opportunities, and to give us the “picks and shovels” we need to lead startup companies. Sara and I both believe deeply in coaching, mentoring, and strengthening women through shared experience and expertise. Together, we can change the narrative for female entrepreneurs.

My team and I are dedicated listeners. I subscribe to BroadMic and listen to new episodes in my car during my commute. It’s a positive and inspirational respite for me. IMO, all of the episodes are required listening, but in the spirit of curating, here are my top picks for the iFundWomen community:

Majora Carter on Investing in Local Communities: “How do you show that with the right care, feeding, support, and just a basic level of infrastructure you can show that folks can be the economic generators of their own community?”

Heidi Messer on How to Network Effectively: “I don’t want to mislead people and say, ‘Okay, you just walk into a room with a bunch of great people and they’re going to fund you.’ But if you have the right network in place with the right audience, and you remove some of the unconscious biases that I think happen when women pitch businesses, the path gets a lot shorter to success.”

Kathryn Finney on The Real Unicorns of Tech, Black Women Founders: “So my role and what I look for are great entrepreneurs. I look for people who have a vision, who know what it is that they want, who understand the markets, who have a domain-level experience, meaning they have experience in doing what they actually do, in terms of a company, and they have the ability to complete it.”

Yuli Ziv on Bootstrapping: Delegation Tips for Solo Founders: You really have to give people a chance. No one is going to do it as good as you do. They don’t have the same passion as I do, it’s my child, it was my 401k, it was 1 shot, so you can’t expect from other people the same and you have to forget the word perfection.  I wish I didn’t waste years trying to perfect things.”

Susan Lyne on how to Pitch Your Business to an Investor:  “I’m going to try to dig deeper in all of those areas that are part of your pitch deck to make sure you really understand all parts of this business.  Having confidence that you are building something, understand who that end user is, and why you are really going to resonate with the end user. Believing that you can build something that is not just as good or that isn’t just a cool idea, but that it is actually going to make their life better and that you are not going to stop until you genuinely can prove that to them, delight them, and make them a customer for life.”

Olga Videsheva on Building a Cheap Minimum Viable Product, Testing the Market, and IteratingI was kind of convinced at the time that I’m going to start Shoptiques and so the first thing that I needed was a website and I literally had $10,000 in my bank account. I just graduated with $200,000 in debt from Harvard Business School (HBS) so it was kind of not an ideal opportunity to be starting a business but I think it was a blessing because it helped me kind of prioritize the right things. And so got to Indonesia, and in between my maid of honor duties, literally asking everybody, “Oh my God, do you know any agency that can build me a website for cheap, whatever, whatever?” So found these engineers down there that could build me a website for $10,000 and I could launch a private beta.”

Find the Podcast Here:

Website- http://www.broadmic.com

iTunes- http://apple.co/1YmyidC

Soundcloud- http://bit.ly/2aJZh5i

Twitter- @Broadmic

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/broadmic

Medium- https://insights.broadmic.com

How This Yogi Prepared For Her Crowdfunding Campaign

It's all about prep, prep and more prep.  Brooklyn native, Jennifer Coulombe was loud and proud about her upcoming crowdfunding campaign on iFundWomen long before it launched.

I consistently posted on my personal Facebook page for a few months leading up to my campaign, essentially getting people really ready and excited for our campaign!

Jennifer is the founder and CEO of Sat Nam babe, a socially conscious line of play and yoga clothes for kids under five and babies. She set out to raise money on iFundWomen to support her first round of production for her product.

When prepping for her campaign, she knew it wasn't just about when you tell people, but also who exactly you tell.

Make sure your friends and family are ready to support you when you do launch. Tell your company’s story as events unfold so people feel inspired and committed to wanting to support you.

Now, looking back on her successfully funded campaign, Jen realizes that there are certain things she didn't see coming no matter how much preparation she did beforehand.  The crowdfunding campaign road is long and, for Jen, she had to work extra hard to compensate for "the trough" she experienced along the way.

The trough was rough to get through, i.e. trying to keep up that momentum for weeks at a time. I found offering quick 48-hour blitz ‘campaigns within a campaign’ opportunities to raffle off product worked great.
Sat Nam Babe Trough iFundWomen

Jennifer understood that in order for Sat Nam babe to meet it's goal, she needed a crowdfunding platform that offered dedicated coaching and shared her appreciation for thoughtful preparation before launching a campaign.  She did her due diligence and chose iFundWomen as the right crowdfunding platform for her.

As I was doing my research, I thought iFundWomen really stood out from the crowd. I liked the fact that they were much smaller than Kickstarter, so I felt that I would have a greater chance at visibility by being able to live on their homepage for the duration of our campaign. I also liked the individual coaching they offered. So many good reasons to go with iFW!

Thank you to Jen Coulombe for paying it forward! Check out Sat Nam Babe on iFundWomen and now on Etsy.