Viewing entries tagged
female entrepreneurs

Making Moves: How Lauren Beasley Got Funded Twice on iFundWomen

Lauren Beasley,  iFundWomen  Alum & Founder,  MOVE Inclusive Dance

Lauren Beasley, iFundWomen Alum & Founder, MOVE Inclusive Dance

Lauren Beasley came to iFundWomen with an idea for a dance program for people with special needs - a concept she wanted to bring to life out in Nashville, TN. After successfully reaching the funding goal of her first campaign within 24 hours of launching, she knew she would be back to crowdfund again. Lauren put that first round of funding towards testing her idea, and after experiencing what a huge hit her first summer camp was, she was ready to come back to iFundWomen to raise even more capital in order to build out the very first studio for MOVE Inclusive Dance in Nashville. Spoiler alert: Not only did she reach her goal, she managed to secure Carrie Rezabek, the Founder of Pure Barre, as a $50K backer for her campaign - putting her over the funding finish line and helping her make her vision a reality. In an effort to pay Lauren’s success story forward, we reached out and asked her to share her journey.

What is MOVE Inclusive & why did you start this company?

MOVE Inclusive Dance is a dance program for individuals of all ages with special needs. We are based in Nashville, TN and later this month, we are opening our first studio! In this space we will offer year-round programming to our students. It’s the first of its kind in our area. I started MOVE because I knew there was a need for it. Dance transformed my life for the better and I wanted to share that same experience with a group of people who may not otherwise have the opportunity. 

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“Dance transformed my life for the better and I wanted to share that same experience with a group of people who may not otherwise have the opportunity.”

-Lauren Beasley, Founder, MOVE Inclusive Dance

When did you know it was time to go out and raise money for your business?

When I realized you couldn’t become a verified non-profit for free, ha! My friend (and attorney - God bless her) suggested I do a crowdfunding campaign to cover the costs. I remember thinking “Who would donate to me? I don’t even have a product yet!” In fact, at that point, I hadn’t even spent anytime with anyone with any type of special need. It was just something I felt lead to do. It was just an idea. After a coaching call with iFW and lots of brainstorming, I decided to set a goal of $5K to cover my start up costs and launch my program... and to my surprise, we hit the goal in just one day!

Why did you decide to crowdfund and how did you choose iFW?

iFW was a no brainer for me. I stumbled across them on Instagram a while back and loved their vibe. After looking into their website and everything they have to offer, I knew it was the right option!

What did that first round of funding through iFW enable you to do?

My first round of funding enabled me to put my idea into action and get the ball rolling. We had a lot of milestone moments in our first year and all of that was made possible by the funding I received from my first iFW campaign!

We hit a lot of milestones moments in our first year and all of that was made possible by the funding I received from my iFW campaign.
Lauren with her students & team at  MOVE Inclusive Dance

Lauren with her students & team at MOVE Inclusive Dance

When/why did you decide to crowdfund a 2nd time?

I knew as soon as my first campaign was wrapping that I’d be back. I just wasn’t sure when. After we launched with our first summer camp, I knew it was time to take this full-time. It was then that I started making a plan to open our first studio, which meant I needed more funding. Way more this time.

What are some of the key strategies that led to your crowdfunding success?

Social media was key for me. In the months leading up to the campaign, start amping up your activity. Posts, stories, even replying to comments, DM’s, etc. These posts are not campaign-related. You just need to be actively using the app! Learn to work that #algorithm. Closer to time, start teasing the campaign. Once you launch, keep it up. Screenshot your campaign page each time you reach a funding milestone and post it to your story challenging your followers to get you to the next milestone. Tag people who make large contributions! This inspires followers to contribute more.

Screenshot your campaign page each time you reach a funding milestone and post it to your story challenging your followers to get you to the next milestone. Tag people who make large contributions! This inspires followers to donate more.
MOVE Inclusive’s second funded  iFundWomen campaign .

MOVE Inclusive’s second funded iFundWomen campaign.

How did your second crowdfunding campaign lead to Carrie Dorr, Founder of Pure Barre, contributing $50K to your campaign?

About half-way through my second campaign, I hit a major plateau. I had been sending cold email after cold email to potential donors with little success for weeks. Carrie was at the top of my list but I hadn’t reached out yet. Honestly, I think I was just nervous. What if she doesn’t respond? How will that make me feel? Carrie has been my CEO-boss babe-idol for years now. I didn’t want to feel let down if it didn’t pan out. Then one day I woke up and realized you only have one shot in these moments. And sure, maybe she wouldn’t respond, but I’d never know unless I went for it. So I guessed her email address and hit send. The next day I received a response. I couldn’t believe it! Not only was she interested in what I was doing, but she asked me to come to Denver for a meeting to learn more about MOVE. And as they say, the rest is history! All of this absolutely would not have been possible without the help of my iFundWomen coach. Not only did she help me strategize and build out the campaign, but more importantly she gave me the confidence I needed to go out and get the funding!

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“All of this absolutely would not have been possible without the help of my iFundWomen coach. Not only did she help me strategize and build out the campaign, but more importantly she gave me the confidence I needed to go out and get the funding!”

-Lauren Beasley, Founder, MOVE Inclusive Dance

Any advice for entrepreneurs who are thinking about or are currently crowdfunding on iFW?

  1. Make a plan. Figure out what your idea looks like and how it will benefit the world. Then start talking to people in your community. Do they see a need for your idea? Are they interested in it? If so, it’s time to jump. 

  2. Set up a coaching call with iFW and take notes. They will provide you with so many tools and ideas you haven’t thought of yet! I can assure you of that. 

  3. When the going gets tough, think outside of the box. Who needs to know about your idea? Who would find interest in it? Hunt those people down and educate them on what you are doing. 

  4. It’s half strategy, half heart. The strategy and plan will land you the meeting. Your heart and passion will bring in the funds.

Thank you to Lauren for sharing her funding journey! You can check out her funded iFundWomen campaign here and learn more about her Nashville-based studio at moveinclusivedance.com.

Ready to utilize the iFundWomen coaching program like Lauren? Start your free trial today.

How SheFly Raised $50K on iFundWomen and Then Kept Winning

Charlotte Massey & Georgia Grace Edwards,  iFundWomen  Alumni & Co-Founders of SheFly

Charlotte Massey & Georgia Grace Edwards, iFundWomen Alumni & Co-Founders of SheFly

Georgia Grace Edwards, Bianca Gonzalez, and Charlotte Massey founded SheFly with the firm belief that everyone deserves to answer nature’s call without baring their bums to mosquitos, cold winds, cactus pricks, or even other people. So these Vermont-based co-founders invented a layerable line of outdoor pants, allowing for a comfortable, safe, and easy way for women to relieve themselves in the outdoors.

It all started when Georgia Grace worked as one of a handful of women glacier guides on the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, Alaska. Spending 8–12 hours a day on the ice, Georgia Grace realized the serious disadvantage she faced when it came to using the bathroom on the glacier. In comparison to the guys, whose flies allowed them to simply turn around to answer nature's call, she was forced to trek across crevasses until she could find privacy, completely remove 3–4 layers in sub-zero temperatures, do her thing, put it all back on, and hike back. It was a waste of time and energy, and it often left her feeling cold for hours after, to the point where she started cutting her water consumption—a story not uncommon among women adventurers in group settings or cold environments. 

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At that point, Georgia Grace knew this was no longer just a “me problem,” this was a “she problem.” After all, 1 in 3 women have reported having a pee-your-pants accident outside. That’s right. Grown women, peeing their pants (and you can hear more about these stats and the SheFly story by checking out SheFly’s TedX talk). Enter the solution to the pants patriarchy: SheFly.

SheFly hiking pants

SheFly hiking pants

After a year of  pitching, prototyping, patenting, and getting press, the SheFly team was ready to crowdfund. The timing could not have been better as iFundWomen Vermont had just launched in partnership with Governor Phil Scott.  iFundWomen is the only crowdfunding ecosystem designed specifically for female entrepreneurs and this local cohort was a unique opportunity for female entrepreneurs to raise capital for their startups and small businesses in the State of Vermont. 

Not only was the SheFly team ready to raise money on iFundWomen, but they knew that, in order to successfully bring SheFly to market through a rewards-based crowdfunding campaign, they needed to lean into the expert coaching and community that iFundWomen had to offer.  It was no secret that those who take advantage of iFundWomen’s proprietary coaching services raise 22x the crowdfunding industry average. So, Georgia Grace, Bianca and Charlotte invested in dedicated crowdfunding coaching and utilized the iFundWomen Method Playbook to ensure that they were ready to get the $15K they set out to raise.

It was no secret that those who take advantage of iFundWomen’s proprietary coaching services raise 22x the crowdfunding industry average. So, Georgia Grace, Bianca and Charlotte invested in dedicated crowdfunding coaching and utilized the iFundWomen Method Playbook to ensure that they were ready to get the $15K they set out to raise.

On March 14, 2019, SheFly launched their iFundWomen Vermont campaign and, as a result of all of their hard work and dedication to doing the crowdfunding prep work, 5 days later, they were funded. At that point, there was no stopping this funding exPEEdition. Georgia Grace and her team decided to introduce a stretch goal of $25K and 5 weeks later, they had raised over $50K (and more than tripled their original goal) to produce their first official line of SheFly hiking pants, with hundreds of pairs pre-sold through their campaign.

SheFly iFundWomen funded campaign

SheFly iFundWomen funded campaign

SheFly now had the funds needed to manufacture their signature hiking pant in partnership with a fair trade and zero-waste facility, and had also become qualified to participate in the iFundWomen Vermont Pitch Experience - a virtual pitch competition hosted by iFundWomen where entrepreneurs who had reached their crowdfunding goals through the local cohort would have yet another opportunity to infuse more cash into their businesses. Thanks to iFundWomen Vermont sponsors Milk Money VT, The Vermont Women’s Fund, Vermont Works, Mamava and Dagne Dover, there was $3,500 on the line (plus a Dagne Dover backpack - the perfect accessory for an entrepreneur on the go!). 

On July 16, 2019, the virtual pitch event took place and SheFly was joined by three other female-led businesses that were funded through the iFundWomen Vermont cohort: StrollRunner (founded by Heather Dalton), Subject Swim (founded by Rachel Moss), and Birdhous (founded by Jes Scribner).

Each founder brought her A-game and pitched to a selection of expert judges from the Vermont area - Meg Smith, Director, Vermont Women’s Fund; Christine Dodson, Co-Founder & COO, Mamava, and Louisa Schibli, Co-Founder, Milk Money VT.

The caliber of pitches heard from the four founders was exceptional and choosing a winner was no easy task for the judges, but in the end there was one company that did an outstanding job at presenting the problem, solution, market opportunity, business model and traction for their product thus far. That company was SheFly!

SheFly  presenting at the iFundWomen Vermont Virtual Pitch Experience on July 16th, 2019

SheFly presenting at the iFundWomen Vermont Virtual Pitch Experience on July 16th, 2019

iFundWomen was thrilled to announce SheFly as the winners of the iFundWomen Vermont Virtual Pitch Experience live on Facebook and Instagram, and we encourage all female entrepreneurs out there, whether you are ideating, prototyping, launching, or pivoting, to take a page from these pee empowered founders - get out there, get coached, and get funded.

These Female Founders are Empowering Their Customers with Freedom

This month we are celebrating the female founders who are crowdfunding on iFundWomen to fund products and services that are empowering their customers. These entrepreneurs have created solutions that enable others to live more independently, with freedom and access to the goods & resources that make their lives better.

Dr. Kari Williams, iFundWomen entrepreneur & founder of  Beauty by Dr. K

Dr. Kari Williams, iFundWomen entrepreneur & founder of Beauty by Dr. K

As a trichologist & stylist, Dr. Kari Williams is on a mission to help her clients keep moisture in their strands and prevent breakage. She founded Beauty by Dr. K to give her customers access to salon quality products that guide you to healthy hair at home.

Alex Ingalls, iFundWomen entrepreneur & founder of  Pilot Kombucha

Alex Ingalls, iFundWomen entrepreneur & founder of Pilot Kombucha

Alex Ingalls is the Founder of Pilot Kombucha, a livelier local brew that she formulated to bring gut health & immunity support to her probiotic-loving customers!

Babba C. Rivera, iFundWomen entrepreneur & co-founder of  HER USA

Babba C. Rivera, iFundWomen entrepreneur & co-founder of HER USA

Babba C. Rivera is the Co-Founder of HER USA, a community that connects conscious, driven and impactful women in 19 global cities on a local scale. This North American arm of HER Global Network is giving their community the freedom to be vulnerable, unfiltered, and connected.

Rachel Moss, iFundWomen entrepreneur & founder of  Subject Swim

Rachel Moss, iFundWomen entrepreneur & founder of Subject Swim

Rachel Moss founded Subject Swim to empower her customers with the freedom to feel confident in their own skin with feminist swimwear that fits well, covers where it counts, and celebrates her, no matter what shape or size.

Julia Munck, iFundWomen entrepreneur & founder of  Saged App

Julia Munck, iFundWomen entrepreneur & founder of Saged App

Julia Munck is curating practical woo with her mobile app, Saged, and is giving her customers access to oracle readings, crystal magic, and astrology that empowers them to get connected to themselves, their intuition, and their community.

Each of these founders have live crowdfunding campaigns right now, so head on over to iFundWomen and empower them to continue to empower others.

The Emotional Rollercoaster of Entrepreneurship

A day in the life of a female entrepreneur

A day in the life of a female entrepreneur

When you ask any female entrepreneur if she can relate to the emotional ups and downs visualized above, you’ll hear a resounding “yass,” possibly followed by a few of these: 🙋🏽‍♀️.

There are 111 Million female entrepreneurs around the world, yet somehow this journey of launching and running your own business can feel lonely, spending significant time each day in your own head and experiencing high-highs and low-lows along an unchartered path. That may all sound a bit dramatic, but the truth is there is probably nothing else you would rather be doing than realizing your dream and bringing your vision to life.

Alongside every founder stands a product or service that they created to solve a problem and fulfill a need in the market. The only way to keep your wheels on the track and manage this emotional rollercoaster long enough to actually determine if you’ve created a viable business is by surrounding yourself with the right support and mentorship along the way. We firmly believe this at iFundWomen and have made it our mission to provide female entrepreneurs with the access to the capital, coaching and community that is critical to launching and growing your business.

In fact, when it comes to expert mentorship and guidance, we know coaching works. Entrepreneurs who lean into our proprietary coaching program called The iFundWomen Method raise 22x more than the crowdfunding industry average.

We also know that successfully navigating the ups and downs of running your own business is about so much more than access to funding. This is why iFundWomen offers on-demand coaching services that meet the needs of entrepreneurs across all aspects of business-building. Our coaching memberships include private coaching sessions (on topics ranging from pitch honing and network mapping to startup founder therapy and building community), virtual workshops, classes & webinars, a monthly Founder Support Circle, and an invitation to our Slack community where thousands of female entrepreneurs are in the hustle together, celebrating, collaborating, and commiserating through their startup journeys.

iFundWomen is providing the support that so many female entrepreneurs have had a lack of access to. In fact, almost half of all women cite lack of mentors and 31% citing lack of a support system as hurdles to running a successful business. So, we’ve developed these resources for you, the entrepreneurs, because you shouldn’t have to go it alone, and no matter where you go to find it, the most important thing is that you get the coaching & community that you need to take along with you on your entrepreneurship ride.