What an incredible turn out at the #FemaleTechFounder Night on Tuesday 11 June! It was practically a full house!
Thank you to amazing host and sponsor ThoughtWorks for use of the event space and the yummy food and refreshments.
It was particularly heartening to see such a mixed audience, we’ve come a long way since the first event in February where only two men were in attendance.
For this, fifth event, we trialled a new format with fewer lightning talks (two rather than four) and a pitch practice session around the midway point and it worked!
There was a much greater depth of audience involvement and interaction throughout the evening, from the Q&A on pitching to investors at the start right through to the Q&A with the two lightning talk speakers at the end.
As always, Twitter tells the story of the evening much better – scroll down for the tweets if this is too long already!
The event started with a Q&A discussion on pitching to investors with Jessica Jackson (@jessandthehive), Investment Director at GC Angels and Geseth Garcia (@NearLifeTech), co-founder and Director of projects & learning, Digital Training Solutions Ltd.
Geseth has recently secured funding for her startup Digital Training Solutions while investment director Jess is building an ecosystem around female capital, so both were well qualified to answer the questions from the audience, and from Q&A host Claire-Marie.
A key takeaway from their riveting discussion was the importance of being able to answer the question ‘What are you using the money for?’ when pitching.
You may recall we ran a pre-event poll on Assenty asking people what their top concern was when pitching to investors. According to the chart below, which showed the results before the event, a whopping majority of 40% felt “Having a great elevator pitch” was a top concern.
During the discussion, Jess responded to this to clarify that we need multiple elevator pitches depending on who we are speaking to and the particular interest of the audience. Keep refining it, was the advice.
Within minutes of concluding she had received an offer from Jess to introduce her to a potential investor interested in the travel space, and a great deal of helpful suggestions from the audience on improving the service, including one that took into account the macro-economic trends in the travel industry!
On to the lightning talks.
New founder, Amy Newton (@InterimAmy), shared candidly about setting up a company that stood for something and re-iterated some much needed advice to the women in the room: “don’t work for free”.
Susanna Lawson (@SusannaOneFile), CEO/Co-founder, OneFile expertly compressed 14 years of experience into 15 minutes, sharing the journey from bootstrapping the company in the spare bedroom to managing an 80 strong employee work force.
As you can imagine, after hearing from such inspiring speakers, the Q&A with the founders at the end was, absolutely compelling. Questions from the floor ranged from dealing with handling maternity leave as a female founder, to what men could do to help women be themselves in the workplace. It really was unmissable.
We weren’t able to cover the questions submitted on the question board before the event during the evening but, thanks to the wonder of Twitter, we were able to continue the Q&A on social media for a couple of days after!
Here come a selection of answers to the questions submitted. Do read the full thread on Twitter for each question to take in the fantastic responses from the speakers.
We’re taking a short break over the summer so the next #FemaleTechFounder Night is on Tuesday 10 September, 6-8:30pm, and we’ll be back at Federation House, Manchester.
Please save the date in your diaries and follow @TechFemale on Twitter for updates!
Our compere Claire-Marie is involved in the WIN Manchester 2019 conference on 28 June and has kindly invited the #FemaleTechFounder community to attend. It looks like a really good event, do sign up here.
Your feedback most welcome
We want your feedback on the topics we’ll cover in the autumn series of events. Please take a few seconds to vote in the following quick polls by clicking on the poll question in the tweets below. No registration required.
Here come those tweets!