Success means…raising just enough money for early-staged entrepreneurs to get their ideas off the ground.
Three adjectives that deserve me are... unafraid, steadfast, confident
You can’t run a business without…domain expertise
In the next 10 years I will be…The Oprah of American Entrepreneurs
iFundWomen is on a mission to increase access to capital for female entrepreneurs, empowering women to start and grow better businesses. iFundWomen drives funding to startups and small businesses through a flexible crowdfunding platform with a pay-it-forward model, expert startup coaching, professional video production, and a private community for our entrepreneurs. iFundWomen is changing the business of how businesses launch.
What were you doing before this?
I was working at big tech companies like Google, YouTube, and AOL.
How did it prepare you for the entrepreneurial life?
These jobs did not prepare me AT ALL for entrepreneurial life. Working in a cushy corporate job at a place like Google makes you feel protected, and that anything you do later in life will automatically be a smashing success. This could not be further from the truth.
Was it difficult get capital/investors?
The difficulty is just the amount of meetings and flying around the country it takes to go get the money. I always tell my team, "The money is out there, not in our office." So, we have to get out and get that money, find those investors who believe in our mission for increased access to capital for women entrepreneurs, AND we have to have the traction and numbers to get anyone to take us seriously. Fortunately, we have a good MVP, and we are putting up solid numbers for a 1-year-old startup, so we have been able to secure some great VC partners who are on this journey with us. As a single parent with tweens and teens who need me now more than ever, it's been especially hard to travel to get funded, but I'm doing it. We need to have the conversation around single moms and how much harder it is to raise a round of VC simply due to the travel, arranging overnight child care, and the hours it takes to get your round closed. Working nights when you should be spending quality time with your kids who want their mom is a reality that many women face and nobody's talking about it. But building real relationships with VCs is important because at the end of the day, they are betting on you as a Founder, so you have to show up. It's hard work. And the Mom-guilt will kill you sometimes.
Has anyone underestimated you as a female entrepreneur? If yes, how did you handle it?
Honestly, I don't feel like I've been underestimated as a woman. What we're up against are the buzzwords of the moment: AI, Robotics, Crypto, Blockchain, etc. At least in the Valley, if you don't have any of these words on page 1 of your deck, you aren't getting funded. I learned that early on, so I've actually been focusing efforts on VCs outside of the Valley, and we have seen more success that way.
If you were a book, what would your title be and why?
The No-BS Guide to Getting Your Startup Funded
Who is the one super successful person you look up to? Why?
I look up to Oprah because she's a mega-brand, mega-mogle, and she did it, literally, all on her own. No rich parents, no privileged advantages whatsoever. She is a visionary, and has true grit. Oprah is my spirit animal.