With Sam in the Bay Area and Heather in New York, Team GGR has been busy, busy, busy! We started off the week with a reading and panel in Sam’s neck of the woods: Book Passage Corte Madera. Friends and family enjoyed a discussion and a demo of some of the cool tech toys for girls we feature in Chapter 7 of the book. Speakers Sona Dolasia, UC Berkeley computer science student and founder of Reaching Out with Robotics, Jamie Corley, co-founder of TheBridge, and Kristen Koh Goldstein, CEO and co-founder of HireAthena, talked about the need for more women in the startup world, and strategies for inspiring the next generation of girls to pursue STEM studies and careers, particularly in computer science and engineeringSee more here.
Then, it was off to Nashville for Heather and a reunion with some of the managing partners of The JumpFund, the Chattanooga-based investment firm featured in Chapter 3. The fund invests in women-led tech startups from across the Southeast. Heather had the pleasure of sharing the mission of the book at their “Women Investing in Women” cocktail party where she met female angel investors and entrepreneurs from Memphis, Knoxville and Atlanta.
And the next morning, she moderated an incredible panel at Launch Tennessee’s 36:86 tech and startup conference, addressing the growth of tech and entrepreneurial hubs far away from Silicon Valley and WHY that can be a boon to diverse founders. Among the rock star line up: Lori Feinsilver, head of corporate responsibility for the investment bank, UBS and the architect behind Rent the Runway Foundation’s Project Entrepreneur, the pitch competition, accelerator and summit for female founders; Leslie Miley, chief engineer of Slack, who also runs Venture for America’s program that matches tech execs with cities that have burgeoning startup hubs like Detroit and Baltimore; and Nick Smoot, founder of Mountain Man Ventures and the Innovation Collective, a boot camp to help communities stimulate local businesses and recruit local talent. Their advice to founders outside of the Valley? Don’t chase funding. First find champions in your own backyard who can help you build the fundamentals of your business first. And, recognize the distinct advantages to building a company outside of the “group think” of SV. Lots of food for thought.
Later in the week, Heather was honored to be featured in a live interview with Grown and Flown‘s Mary Dell Harrington while Sam was interviewed on Femgineer, the web interview show hosted by its founder Poornima Vijayashanker. We kicked off our Coach of the Month series with ELLE, CSPAN’s Book TV featured GGR and our very first book talk and finally, GGR capped off a fun week with Heather’s fireside chat at the Rye Free Reading Room on Thursday night!
And there’s more to come! Heather will be speaking at the BooksNJ Festival on Sunday, June 11th at the Paramus Public Library. Team GGR will reunite on the West Coast next week with events at Visa, Google and Facebook! It’s been whirlwind and we are ever so grateful to our friends and family for all of your support.
Heather and Sam