What an informative night! Last month’s sold out #FemaleTechFounder event saw seven female founders from a diverse range of industries “dream out loud” about 2020, and absolutely riveting it was.
Thank you to sponsors ThoughtWorks for the great food and refreshments – we enjoyed the adventure of being hosted in a different space to what we are normally used to in their fantastic offices.
Thanks again to our incredible speakers for an amazing night, and to our brilliant Q&A host and compere, Claire-Marie Boggiano (@CMBoggiano), director, Lurig Ltd for the great questions. The feedback after the event online was off the chart!
The calibre of speakers was evident from the very start.
The opening panel of the night featured Susanna Lawson (@SusannaOneFile), CEO/co-founder, OneFile and Jo Morfee (@JoMorfee), co-founder, InnovateHer, whose companies both happen to have been shortlisted in the same Small Organisation category for the prestigious Northern Power Women Awards 2020.
As well as their dreams for 2020, both women shared their experiences in starting their organisations – OneFile turns 15 this year and was started in a back bedroom in Burnage, Manchester as Susanna and her husband and co-founder took on the challenge of solving the problem of digitising paper work for apprentices. Now it boasts over a million users!
Liverpool-based InnovateHer’s vision is “to get girls ready for the tech industry, and the industry ready for girls” and co-founder Jo shared some of the pioneering organisation’s aspirations for the new year: “we’re going to employ people down in London”.
Two very accomplished women, it was fantastic to hear what they had planned for 2020.
We all cheered with Tanya as she shared how she had learnt 5 programming languages to develop and launch Tripptee herself, and Elsa’s account of how Jobseekrs aims to support more organisations to tackle unconscious bias in the recruitment process was heartening indeed. Some serious ambition was laid down by both companies for the new year and we hope to be able to profile their achievements very soon.
The final panel of the night saw Saskia Coplans (@ms__chief), founder and Security Consultant, Digital Interruption join Geseth Garcia (@GesethGarcia), co-founder and Director of projects & learning, Digital Training Solutions Ltd and Amy Newton (@InterimAmy) of Inclusively Tech on the stage.
Saskia’s profound words on security: “We can’t be secure if we’re not diverse” struck a chord as did Amy’s rallying call to companies moving up from London to open offices in Manchester to give back to the city’s tech community.
Geseth shared about her experiences in co-founding a tech startup that provides an immersive training environment for preparing people to go into hostile environments.
All three agreed on the difficulty in recruiting talent in the sector in the North West in general.
Twitter quite often tells the story of the night best and so, as always, I’ve replayed the best tweets of the night, as they happened. If you were there, it’s a great way to relive the event!
If you weren’t, you have a tiny taster of what happened!
Fundraising, and in particular, raising investment funding is regularly identified as a topic of great interest among founders, and so, following on from the pre-event polling we did last month, next week’s event sees two leading women from the North West’s venture capital community, Alison Dwyer, Head of Marketing & Communications, Mercia Asset Management PLC and Catherine Thomas (@cthomas0710), Account Manager, GC Business Growth Hub share their advice and insights on engaging with investors.
Here come those tweets!