#FemaleTechFounder Night: an online event at Leeds Digital Festival – April event round up

Photo credit: Lauren Riley (@MissLaurenRiley)

Yesterday’s #FemaleTechFounder Night: an online event at Leeds Digital Festival was pretty good. 

Possibly one of the best ever! 

Using the wonders of technology we crossed the Pennines to take part in this year’s virtual Leeds Digital Festival.

There is a great live tweet of the whole event by @TechFemale on Twitter, under the #FemaleTechFounder hashtag.

A big thank you to our brilliant host Claire-Marie Boggiano (@CMBoggiano), director, Lurig Ltd and our fantastic speakers Lauren Riley (@MissLaurenRiley), founder and CEO, The Link App (@TheLinkAppHQ), Georgia Halston (@georgiahalston), founder, Halston Marketing (@HalstonMarketin), co-founder at @RegTechTalks_UKGeseth Garcia (@GesethGarcia), co-founder and Director of projects & learning, Near-Life (@NearLifeTech) and Rachel Morgan-Trimmer (@sparkleclass), Consultant, Sparkle Class.

Thank you also to everyone who attended.  We had 80 registered, all told, and quite a few turned up.

It was an incredibly informative two hours covering everything from how to pace oneself in adjusting to life during the lockdown to knowing which service providers are worth keeping after the lockdown!

The video of the webinar will be up on YouTube in a few days.

What follows is a brief recap of the different sections of the evening, it’s worth watching the full video when it’s up.

Following introductions from the host Claire-Marie, event organiser Chi-chi Ekweozor (@thisischichi), founder and CEO, Assenty relayed the results of the polls we have been running on an Assenty question board in the three weeks preceding the event.

They are an illuminating insight into how startup founders are coping with the very pressing issues around securing funding and growing their businesses at this difficult time.

After the poll results, the evening proper began with a Q&A panel discussion on winning with your startup in spite of the global lockdown due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The panellists for this were Lauren Riley, founder and CEO, The Link App, Geseth Garcia, co-founder and Director of projects & learning, Near-Life and Rachel Morgan-Trimmer, Consultant, Sparkle Class.

Geseth’s company Near-Life has made the decision not to furlough any employees largely because they secured some funding from InnovateUK early this year. They are navigating the lockdown by preparing to take advantage of what happens after it ends.

Lauren’s company made the decision to support the legal community by making The Link App free to use.  This has its challenges because they are bearing the cost but the initiative is already bearing fruit in terms of raising awareness of the brand in the sector and generating leads from companies they wanted to engage with.

Rachel talked about doing a lot in the first weeks of the lockdown and then crashing and burning because she was doing too much.

She talked about how she switched off from everything, recovered and then started going again. In her words “it’s a good opportunity to work out what’s working, for your business. You’ve got less to lose now, because it’s a difficult situation.  You’ve got less judgment, less blame because it is not a normal situation so you have more freedom, a bit more flexibility to try things”.

The lightning talk after the Q&A panel discussion and the brief comfort break that followed was by Georgia Halston, founder, Halston Marketing and she shared what she has learnt from how business leaders from the past dealt with seasons of significant disruption and change during World War I, World War II, and more recently, the global financial downturn in 2008.

A key takeaway from her talk was that the businesses that succeeded then had “an entrepreneurial instinct, where they thought: how can I add value around this next week?

There were a lot more insightful nuggets of information shared and I recommend you set aside some time to watch the full webinar when the video is live. 

We will be in touch to let you know asap!

Save the date for the May event!

The next event is on Monday 18 April May, at the earlier time of 4pm to 6pm, and is in collaboration with Barclays Eagle Lab Salford (@eagle_labs_sal).

It will be virtual, again, so you can attend, wherever you are and we will be promoting the sign up link far and wide.

Till then, stay safe!

Update 1:

There is a lot of interest in the full video from last night’s event but it is rather large so we’ll be editing before posting on YouTube.

It won’t be live for a few days.

We’re going to be putting up a short form for people to sign up if they want to be notified when it goes live. Stay tuned.

Please sign up here to be notified when video from the full webinar is available.

Update 2:

Can we help?

Are you affected by any of the issues highlighted in the pre-event polls? Or maybe you are having difficulty navigating the new funding landscape imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The next event will focus on discussing these issues so please join the Female Tech Founder community on Slack or reach out on Twitter to make your views known. Our handle is @TechFemale.

Finally, as promised, here is the short video we played during the comfort break, created by Geseth’s company Near-Life.