Women Entrepreneur Festival

I'm going to be spending today at the Women Entrepreneurs Festival at NYU's ITP school.

I'll be tweeting out the things that are most interesting to me, and will post all of them to the #wefestival hashtag where there are already some great conversations happening.

I love the idea of an event that celebrates women entrepreneurs. We need more role models, more success stories, and more doing.

#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. Satish Mummareddy

    i thought today’s post would be about ycombinator and sv angel & dst deal. 🙂

    1. fredwilson

      I like to talk about stuff that matters

      1. Satish Mummareddy

        i guess you didnt think the issue through. 🙂

      2. paramendra

        ha ha!

      3. paramendra

        Along the lines of stuff that matters. How Many People Could Mubarak Kill? http://goo.gl/fb/6Dmo7

      4. Mark Essel

        zing!Seriously 150k auto with open terms is cash-a-licious. Now to beg borrow or steal my way into a YC class.

      5. ShanaC

        So no discussions of Social media and the middle east (that matters)

        1. fredwilson

          that does matter, a lotbut i don’t know what i can add to the discussioni don’t live in egypt, i don’t understand it’s political situation, and there has been so much written about it by those who do

      6. Dave Pinsen

        Chris Dixon, Michael Arrington, and a host of others seem to think it’s a pretty big deal. Why do you disagree?

        1. fredwilson

          roger explains it very wellhttp://informationarbitrage…

          1. Dave Pinsen


          2. Ping

            I think this is a HUGE deal as it sets precedent for other investors to follow with any startup not just YC startups. Great for start ups. I expect to see this having a major ripple effect on tech startup investing,NBD is a typical reaction to many disruptions. In fact it is a good indicator for me, if incumbents think a new idea is no BIG deal.

          3. fredwilson

            when things are done for PR, they are rarely disruptive or succcessful

          4. Dave W Baldwin

            Agree. Still remember Conway saying you need to all developing/financing in Silicon for it sucks trying to do it in New York.Me being in the MidWest, my inner voice had a double ‘f’ response.A lot of worthless stuff will be over financed.

          5. Ping

            If this is a one and done deal, then we will know this is for PR. I guess the jury is out on this one.

          6. Ping

            Reading David Lee’s comments on Roger’s blog, I think you are 100% right. It is pure PR and elitism. Thanks for seeing it for what it is.

  2. salchrist

    I couldn’t agree more. We are out there—female entrepreneurs, that is—but it’s not too often that many of us can get together in one place. Have you ever been in touch with any of the women associated with Girls In Tech?

    1. fredwilson

      i don’t think so

    1. fredwilson

      Thanks william

  3. paramendra

    Have fun. I hope they put out videos of the speeches, or at least the highlights, on YouTube. And I hope you link to them.

  4. Dave Pinsen

    Speaking of women in tech, I’ll pass along an observation from my girlfriend re her Girl Develop It! classes: when they went around the room, asking what line of work everyone was in, she was surprised to learn that some of the women in the class had jobs in project management & UX for NYC tech start-ups and didn’t even know basic HTML.

    1. fredwilson

      i hope Sara has fixed thathow did your girlfriend like the class?i’ve been supporting this program by buying books for the students

      1. Dave Pinsen

        She likes the class. I just read this comment of yours to her and she said,Oh, he’s the one donating the books? They told us an anonymous donor was donating them. We’re getting them Tuesday. Tell him I said thanks.

        1. fredwilson

          i want it to be anonymous but i shared that with the AVC communitybecause i think they’ll understand my motivations and not make a bigdeal about it

          1. Dave W Baldwin

            It is good to communicate with a man who does things without worrying about a photo-op.The main thing is in app/program development, the thought structure of the female is needed big time.I’ll send what I’ve promised in the next couple… been sniffing oil primer/paint all weekend.

  5. Donna Brewington White

    “We need more role models, more success stories, and more doing.”word

  6. phanio

    Nice – good to see you promoting something that really does matter. I understand that women back companies are on the rise these days – like it should be. Hopefully you might find a prospect to invest in – making it a win / win.

  7. Carl

    Hey Fred,Would you say that USV is more inclined to invest in a growing internet business that is led by a female?

    1. fredwilson

      no, i would not say thati would simply say that we’d like to see more women pitching us andmore women in the teams that pitch us

  8. Jeanne

    Please tell any dynamic entrepreneur you meet about Astia.org, Golden Seeds and Springboard – three very active groups in the NY area that seek to support women entrepreneurs and each are linked to investors and training to help create success!

    1. fredwilson

      and they were all mentioned frequently and with great praise manytimes yesterday

    2. Kelley Boyd @msksboyd

      Hey Jeanne, as well, this spring you can add Women 2.0 to the list of organizations providing value in our ecosystem. We are working with the organizations listed above quite closely and have exciting opportunities to build on this spring.As for Women 2.0 – Begun in 2006, the five year evolution has resulted in an organization that has well over 35K touch points across the globe but centered from Silicon Valley. We offer three distinct community outreach events and programs. In addition we are creating original content that we will publish across platforms and make available to the whole of the group.Founder Friday – self-organized “meetups” that allow the constitency to meet on a regular basis and share information with one another in support and to encourage successful women led technology companies.PITCH: A day long event that calls women led companies from around the country to pitch in front of investors.Founder Labs: The capstone of our offerings and the program that we are currently offering. Founder labs gathers individuals together pre-team and pre-idea to foster the ideation stages and early prototyping of both business model and product over a period of five weeks, after regular work hours to serve the needs of those who are not able to participate in traditional activities and events.An early iteration and second Founder Labs have produced companies that have gone on to receive funding. One you may know of is FoodSpotting. The third Founder Lab is underway in Menlo Park and is focused on mobile applications.The fourth official Founder Labs will be held in NYC. We are hopeful that the local community will support our requests for support, be it with talent or money or both. OUr official announcement event should be scheduled soon!

  9. Tereza

    The event was terrific. A seriously fantastic group of women (and men) and I think every conversation I had was excellent.It was also a great delight to meet many women I’ve met virtually.It was a totally positive vibe — about what’s possible. There was a strong feeling that something special is going on right now. Also that NYC is da bomb.I didn’t fully realize + appreciate in advance that many of the attendees are pre-entrepreneurs, considering taking the plunge. It felt like many of them, if they were on the fence, now will, in large part motivated by what they saw and who they met. I truly hope that is the case.I didn’t really realize how many were traveling from far + wide to be there.I was surprised to see a number of former colleagues there (3). Unplanned and very cool.A high point was meeting Red Burns, whom I’d wanted to meet for a while. I wanted to tell her my mom worked on the world’s first interactive film (1967) (there’s an ITP prof who’s studied it). Very cool, she’d seen the original.But the crrraziest was a conversation with someone where we discovered we not only went to the same high school…..but lived in the same bedroom. Yes, my parents bought her parents’ house, and I moved into her bedroom.Talk about a small world.

    1. Donna Brewington White

      Thanks, T. A really nice recap, and loved your personal stories.Wish I’d been there.But I was at the @hashable party in Los Angeles which also had a great vibe and allowed me to meet some people IRL that I’ve only known online! Really cool experience that is.Although, something interesting. I met several startup founders — which was so much FUN…some of them were ready to “pitch” anything that moved and because I was genuinely fascinated, I heard a lot of pitches. Loved, loved, loved it. Some great ideas cooking out there. Anyway, it wasn’t until reading your comment that it struck me that I did not talk to one single woman founder. Don’t get me wrong, loved the guys that I met…but still… Oh, well.Just makes the “issue” a little more real, and the Women Entrepreneur Festival just that more exciting and encouraging.

    2. fredwilson

      totally agree about the vibeit was greati go to a lot of events and most don’t have that kind of energy

    3. LisaS

      I completely agree with you, Tereza! The WE Festival was amazing! The panelists and attendees were extraordinary and diverse and so willing and open to offer substantive advice and/or help. It certainly was not the “same old” conference that we’ve all attended. I came out of the weekend so energized and excited to move forward with my venture. And you’re so right, Fred, the energy and vibe were incredible — would like to bottle it and keep that feeling going.