Archive | January, 2012

3 Growing Trends in Women Entrepreneurship: Fashion, Music, Family [CASE STUDY]

20 Jan

For you who are looking for start-up ideas, these case studies might be just for you. 

It is the technology era that we live in today. Businesses are trying to integrate and utilize technology into their business model in order to provide the most cutting edge services and products. They strive to offer a simple solution to our unsatisfied need(s) and cure to our pain.

Statistics say that 40% of small businesses in the U.S. are owned by women. It has now become an inevitable discussion that women hold the future of our economy. One way to ensure and secure our bright future is by accelerating these start-ups led by women. 

In 2012, more and more start-up accelerator have been focusly designed to promote and support women entrepreneurs. Our earlier post, From Women to Women: Building Stronger Female-Led Start-Ups, elaborates more on what the accelerators do to start-ups and how it help them grow. 

As I was browsing through the web trying to find a growing trend in women entrepreneurship, I dig out many interesting Women Entrepreneurs, such as: Tara Hunt – Founder of Buyosphere, Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Fleiss – Co-Founders of Rent the Runway, Shaherose Charania and Angie Chang – Co-Founders of Women 2.0, and many more. However, I decided to take a closer a look at these three interesting women and their business start-up.

Prerna Gupta – CEO of Khu.sh Inc

A co-founder and CEO of Atlanta-based Khu.sh. which releases iPhone apps to change the way music is made. She started her career in management consulting. But not long after, she realized that she is far too independent to work for some corporations. She jumped into the entrepreneurship world.

Through her passion in music, she teamed with her husband to create an iPhone application named LaDiDa. It is described as “reverse karaoke.” Here’s how it works: A user sings into the iPhone mic, and the technology composes unique background music to match, automatically employing pitch correction and other vocal effects. In May 2011, it was the No. 1 free music app in the U.S. and 14 other countries. Right now, LaDiDa has more than 2 million downloads.

Elena Silenok – Founder of Clothia

Elena is a Russian woman who fell in love with the States after she won an academic scholarship that was sponsored by the US Government. After finishing her studies, she accepted at job at Abacus in NYC as a developer and stayed there for a year. She thought that having a full time job was more stable but after working in a start-up she realized that it wasn’t so scary going out on her own.

Clothia is a fashion site with embedded the technology to put one’s body on line and then try on the clothes virtually. Designed to give as a better idea on how each item will look on one’s body before she press buy, Clothia takes the concept of mix and match to a whole other level.

Curious about how it looks like? Check the demo out here.

Lynn Perkins – Founder of Urban Sitter

Lynn grew up in a family of entrepreneurs in San Diego. She went to Stanford for college and had experienced a very rich career path from commerce to GAP to hotel groups. It was the time when she had two twin boys at home that she found the idea for Urban Sitter.

It happened like this: one day a friend asked her if she could ask her nanny to help her get a babysitter quickly.  She trusted Lynns nanny so she trusted that who ever she got to come would be good.  Of course in the case of leaving children to somebody, trust is the key word.

In short, Urban Sitter is an army of babysitters for parents through direct connections, references and friends.

Whether it is music, fashion, or family matter that you’re passionate about. It is never too late to take the risk and go on your own feet. Yes, the road to success might be filled with hardwork and perseverance. And as women, we tend to be more afraid to failures than our male counterparts. But despite our fears, we can always do it, especially after knowing that the idea starts from a pain or a desire that you feel, or maybe millions of other people feel. Moreover, the advancement of technology is here to help us in realizing our dreams. 

From Women to Women: Building A Stronger Female-Led Business Start-Ups

19 Jan

ForbesWoman’s article, “Do Women Have a Unique Genome for Startup Success?” mentions that in overall, women are less likely to venture into entrepreneurship than men; this trend is magnified in particular economies. Knowing the consequences of the finding, the article closes with the three-policy recommendations for promoting women entrepreneurship. 

It is time for women to get hand in hand building a better future of women entrepreneurship. The following events and start-up accelerator programs have been initiated by women and desired to assist women-run business start-ups by making opportunities and resources available and support women’s business growth with technical assistance and education.

Women 2.0 
Founded by Shaherose Charania (@shaherose), Angie Chang (@thisgirlangie), Women 2.0 has a mission to increase the number of female founders of technology startups. It enables entrepreneurs with a network, resources and knowledge to take startups from idea to launch. The Co-Founders Shaherose Charania and Angie Chang were named “Most Influential Women in Technology” by Fast Company magazine in April 2010.

One of its biggest events of the year Women 2.0 PITCH Conference will be held on February 14, 2012 in Mountain View, CA. Along with over 800 members of the digerati, women in startup business can learn from the leaders of technology startups and companies as they share best practices, growth strategies and stories of disruptive product development.

Click here to know more about the event.

Astia 
Astia is a global not-for-profit organization built on a community of men and women dedicated to the success of women-led, high-growth ventures and to the eradication of the need for the organization within the decade.

The Astia method is designed for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs who understand the value of extraordinary relationships and believe in giving back.

Designed for high-growth companies at all stages, the Astia offering is implemented by more than 1,200 volunteer members of the Astia Advisor Network that includes more than 300 former and current CEOs and 300 investors. Astia is an extremely committed community of advisors, investors, industry leaders, and entrepreneurs.

RockStart Accelerator
It is a new accelerator program based in Amsterdam that helps the most promising teams from around the world to launch their startups and break through on a global scale. Seed investment, 6-months of office space, 99 mentors, coaching by entrepreneurs in residence and a 3-week road-trip to Silicon Valley are the features of the program.

The goal is to get startups ready for international expansion and growth funding of between 100,000 and 1,000,000 EUR. Even though, most of the founders are not women. This program welcomes both women and men startup fanatics and give them equal opportunities to be a great startup.

Click here to read more about the program.

Women Innovative Mobile Accelerator 
Founded by Veronika Sonsev, the co-founder of inSparq and the non-profit Women in Wireless, Deborah Jackson, founder of JumpThru, and business strategist Kelly Hoey.

This new startup accelerator for women, the Women Innovate Mobile (WIM) Accelerator, is looking for women who have entrepreneurial spirit in mobile applications. The program will start off small, offering two to five companies seed funding of $18,000, plus mentoring, support, and free office space in New York during the course of its three-month program.

These women behind these events and organizations have been contributing to the start-up scene today. If you feel that your business need more support, funding, or mentoring, join an accelerator program now. Who knows it is the push that your business might need to get you to the top of your game.