Success means... self-fulfillment.
Three adjectives that deserve me are... reliable, thoughtful, driven.
You can’t run a business without... a solid team, advisors calling you out, integrity, and patience.
In the next 10 years I will be... running a global community empowering woman all over the world.
“WE Talks” (“WE” standing for Women’s Empowerment, Encouragement, and Entrepreneurship) is a monthly event series co-produced with With Zuri for female entrepreneurs and professionals.
What makes us different is that we’re trying to achieve balance in everything we do. Our audience is from all different industries and all of our events are around all different topics but we still try to stay relevant to everyone. We try to design educational / informative agendas but balance it with fun venues like Topshop + Mailroom. Whenever we invite a professional to speak we search for people who are not only at the top of their industry but also are approachable. We want connecting and networking to happen organically, we don't want to push it.
How did you come up with your business idea? What inspired you?
I came up with the idea attending an intellectually stimulating but very intimidating women-focused summit event where the host cut me off after I got the guts to speak on the microphone - I was mortified.
Even though that event left its mark, I was able to turn it into something good - I reached out to my friend at Zuri, an experiential marketing tech startup out of NYC that believes in "bringing people together in real life should be easy and frictionless" to create a new type of event series that supports women in entrepreneurship from all walks of life.
At WE Talks, we are inclusive. We embrace diversity and individuality and aim to help others with careers and life matters in general. We welcome women from all backgrounds. Our doors are open to those who are thoughtful, caring, ambitious and respectful: if you possess some of these characteristics we would love to hear your opinions at our microphone!
What is your greatest fear? How do you manage it?
WE Talks began as just an idea and quickly became a rapidly growing community. We expected around 30 attendees at our first gathering and were delighted to host over 50 guests. Since then, our monthly growth rate has exceeded 50%. WE Talks just had an event in partnership with TOPSHOP, in which we hosted over 100 attendees, including more than 30 female founders and entrepreneurs. My current challenge is to keep growing at a sustainable pace and to choose the right strategic partnerships for us.
If you were a book, what would your title be and why?
That’s a really tough choice among Kafka’s “Castle” (with a happy ending though), Fisher’s and Ury’s “Getting to YES” (the top negotiations book out there), and Rand’s “Fountainhead.” At different stages in my life, I would have chosen different books. Right now, “Fountainhead” resonates more with me. I find its principles of intellectual independence, integrity, and individualism paramount to success in entrepreneurship.
What is your proudest accomplishment of this year? What are you looking forward the most in the next 12 months?
So far, we’ve hosted panel discussions - interactive platforms for successful women to come together and discuss topics like Fundraising, Branding, and Digital Marketing. Each month we grew event attendance by 50% and we’ve partnered with awesome brands like Minibar, Peter Roth Skincare, Zeel, and TOPSHOP (where we hosted a panel in their flagship store with over 30 entrepreneurs and a total of 100 attendees).
These events validated the research we’ done around female founders - women struggle to get money and exposure for their startups. Female founders receive only 2% percent of all venture capital funding even though they generate more revenue. Our event attendees expressed their frustrations with us and because we’re committed to linking female entrepreneurs with the right resources we’ve decided to try a new event format. In November, we will be hosting a pitch competition for female founders to win $10,000 for their new ventures.
Our idea is to redefine the typical “Beauty Pageant” in a sort of “Techcrunch disrupt” for women. We’ll first have interested entrepreneurs apply for the competition then select five finalists to present a 5 min pitch in front of a live jury at the event. Finalists will not only get a financial reward, but also receive significant exposure to investors and media we maintain in our network through WE Talks. Female founders should have equal opportunities and resources to their male counterparts. We hope that our event, and programming overall into the future, will encourage other female entrepreneurs in order to help them advance in their careers, both this fall and beyond. If you are a woman and interested in applying or just attending an event, please join us by visiting our website or social media to learn about future programs and events. We want to help you dream big and achieve your goals!