As a woman in technology, passionate advocate of STEM and founder of my own tech startup, I believe strongly that Technology is the greatest equalizer of the 21st century. In today's innovation economy, resources are vast and opportunity is abundant so all you need is an idea and you are set to design, build, automate and make millions! Right?
Not quite. Starting a business is fun but it takes a lot of good old fashioned hard work, sweat, and cash...also known as capital in the startup circles. And, too often, entrepreneurs have to choose between building their product and growing a business or pounding the pavement to raise capital from investors.
But, investor boardrooms and offices have a new look and feel. Today entrepreneurs can raise startup cash in digital hallways powered by popular Technology tools geared specifically towards raising capital. In addition to raising money, through the use of these tools, entrepreneurs have the ability to connect with multiple investors in one fell swoop while generating maximum visibility for their idea. Tools such as AngelList and Kickstarter make this possible, along with communities of experts such as Astia who are focused on helping women-led startups innovate and succeed.
When I started Root Square in 2010, I self funded my product because I didn't want to hear "no" from investors or have to spend my precious time on figuring out how to raise capital. I just wanted the quickest path which would allow me to obsessively build my product and innovate. But, looking back, I might have gone the investor route if my options on how to raise, and which tools to use, were more clear.
Fast forward to 2013, and last month in July, I was appointed to the National Women's Business Council. I realize not everyone has the option to self fund or even raise from friends and family when starting their dream venture so as part of my platform at the National Women's Business Council, I am committed to helping more women start their own businesses and bring transparency to the process of raising capital. I, along with the entire Council, am hosting a panel next week on the Use of Technology to Raise Capital for Startups, and hope that you will join us to hear from renowned experts in the field on how to raise, which tools to use, and how we can connect more women with the resources they need to start businesses and grow our economy.