Viewing entries tagged
female founders

The Freedom of Entrepreneurship

Lorelei Bandrovschi, iFundWomen Alumni & Founder of  Listen Bar

Lorelei Bandrovschi, iFundWomen Alumni & Founder of Listen Bar

At iFundWomen, female founders are being powered up to be the best entrepreneurs they can be - going from bootstrapping to fundraising, becoming confident enough to ask for what they need, and harnessing the freedom of entrepreneurship.

In an effort to better understand what inspires women to take the leap and become business owners, we reached out and asked founders within the iFundWomen community to share the reason why they decided to become entrepreneurs in the first place and this is what we heard:

1. To disrupt the industry

“I was told that I speak beauty as a fluent language. But as a makeup artist for over a decade, I never once witnessed a single person walk up to a mirror, look at themselves, and have anything nice to say. This was a revelation that troubled me, and I knew that this was a bigger issue and would require a brand to come on the beauty scene and change everything we know about the beauty world today.” - Alexis Androulakis, Co-Founder, Fempower Beauty

2. To leave a legacy

“I needed to leave a better legacy behind for my kids.” - Julia Munck, Founder, Saged

3. To solve a problem

“I saw a problem that needed to be solved and thought I was the best person to solve it.” - Megan Capriccio, Founder & CEO, Vikera Tequila

4. To empower women

“I was stuck in a corporate job that didn't respect my contributions and didn't offer the level of growth I was looking for professionally unless I conformed myself to a very narrow (and male) style of leadership. I knew it was time to spread my wings and leap into the unknown, into my next becoming. Additionally, my business focuses on inspiring confidence in women, which I am super passionate about and makes me excited to get out of bed in the morning - a huge shift in the right direction!” - Rachel Moss, Founder & CEO, Subject Swim

5. To make an impact

“I wanted to affect change in the community where I live.” - Brittany Gropp, Founder, FutboLISTAS

6. To take control

“I wanted to create something to support women and have ownership over my own success or failure.” - Lisa Mastela, Founder, Bumpin Blends

7. To start a purpose-driven business

“I wanted to start a brand with purpose-driven practices built-in from the start. Along came a dare to take a month off of drinking. As I started enjoying alcohol-free nights out more and more, I noticed the innovation gap in nightlife and the opportunity it presented. I think blindspots are really great spaces to build a brand from, and the response has proven me right.” - Lorelei Bandrovschi, Founder, Listen Bar

With freedom of entrepreneurship comes responsibility, and no one is holding you accountable but yourself. At iFundWomen, we firmly believe that you shouldn’t have to go it alone, which is why we provide access to the capital, coaching, creative, and connections that empower female founders to take action and grow their businesses. No matter how driven you are, it takes a village (of experts) to help you succeed and, if you haven’t already, the time is now to invest in that support and become the best entrepreneur you can be!









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. 

georgia_grace_ifundwomen.png

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.


These Female Founders Know How to Build Community

heymama-4th-Birthday-EDIT-95.jpg

The fierce female founders behind HEYMAMA, Katya Libin and Amri Kibbler, know a thing or two about building, growing and managing a community. Since launching their Instagram account in 2014, they've expanded to 7 cities with 1200+ members - and this is only the beginning.

We sat down with this dynamic duo to get the scoop on their experience running their iFundWomen crowdfunding campaign (while they're still in the thick of it) and to discuss what's next for HEYMAMA.

Q: What is HEYMAMA?

image14.jpg

HEYMAMA: We’re a community for mothers in business with one goal: to make mamas more successful. What started as an Instagram account meant to inspire moms turned into a powerful supportive community for creative and entrepreneurial mamas in business to connect and collaborate. We put on over 100 events a year in 7 cities and provide digital resources our community uses to stay connected every day.

Here’s the fun part: we get to watch that happen. Every single day we see mamas give each other advice in our forums in real time. Often, members reach out to us and tell us they met at a HEYMAMA event and are now working on a partnership together. We see women in our community asking each other for advice that can be difficult to ask for anywhere else, from how much to pay a social media consultant to how to navigate challenges around bullying. There is a constant stream of genuine support flowing from mama to mama.

Q: Why is a community like HEYMAMA so important for working mothers?

HM: As we raise the next generation of humans while simultaneously building companies, developing innovative products and investing back into our communities, we need support and resources. Women make strong leaders, but nearly half say they they don’t have the mentorship and capital needed to grow their business. Our community is designed to change this by helping mamas in business address critical challenges through mentorship, digital resources, real-time advice, and experiences.

We invest in the success of other mamas because we know that each mama who thrives gives back even more to her community and the world at large. If we want society to thrive, we need mamas to thrive.

image7.jpg

Q: Who are the mama’s that inspire you?

HM: This is a hard one to answer because there are so many and we’re inspired by different mamas every day! We do have a group of incredible mamas participating in our MILF(und) campaign, which we’re running in tandem with our crowdfund to draw attention to the gender gap in funding.

Q: What is your best piece of advice for balancing entrepreneurship + motherhood?

Banish mom guilt.

Q: It’s so important that female founders combat the confidence gap and get comfortable asking for money. Has crowdfunding had an impact on how you feel about making the ask?

HM: It’s easier to make an ask when a “yes” answer feels likely. We’re lucky to be really uniquely situated in that our community is made up of so many women with significant fundraising experience, giving us proof of how much is possible. Their stories help us cultivate the belief that success is the natural progression of all of the efforts we’re taking. Developing the right mindset before making the ask is so critical to bridging that confidence gap.

We’ve been unapologetically bold in all of our messaging around crowdfunding (see: the MILF(und) campaign!). Of course, we’ve felt that fear of failure but rather than letting that drive, we’re leading with our vision for our community and women at large. In a nutshell, that consists of unequivocal belief in ourselves, the women around us, and that we’re capable of more together. To accomplish more together, we need to be completely willing to ask for what we need.

Q: What’s been your biggest learning from this crowdfunding experience?

HM: Before launching our crowdfunding campaign, we knew women, especially mamas in our community, genuinely want to support each other. Through this experience, we’ve seen that this desire to support one another can—and does—translate into the fundraising realm. We’ve been blown away by the support we’ve received both in terms of the money we’ve raised and the willingness of women in our community to help us out by offering their valuable time as rewards for our supporters.

image10.jpg

Q: What’s next for HEYMAMA?

HM: In the immediate term, we’re building out our platform and adding more core cities so we can provide more mamas with access to the benefits of our community digitally and IRL. First up, we want to create an intuitive app and web experience to help our members get all the best of HEYMAMA in one place, and foster more connection and communication amongst our members. We’re also hiring community managers to facilitate events in our current core cities and new markets.

Long term, we’re exploring ways to support entrepreneurial mamas in concrete ways that translate into real business results.

Not only do these ladies know community, they also know how to create some amazing campaign rewards. Don't miss out on a MILF(und) t-shirt, the HEYMAMA gold neckalace, a $600 discount on iFundWomen's Crowdfunding Masterclass and so many more goodies!