When I entered into the tech space, the first executive level woman I met was very rude and condescending. Her role was to help early stage startup founders through a program that shall not be named. Instead of offering solutions, she found it more amusing to belittle my ambition, insult my idea, criticize every word that came out of my mouth and laughed at every question or request for clarification of her comments. She made me feel really small that day and I honestly questioned whether I made the right decision to quit my amazing job at Stanford with my amazing female mentors/leadership in the health space. A month after this experience I ended up being invited to demo my app product at a women's event alongside 15 other women led tech companies in various stages. It was an amazing, inspiring, and empowering event. Every woman there only wanted the other to thrive and I realized this was the proper introduction every woman should have when entering the tech space. I decided the next day to form a group for women in tech to find support and a safe space to share their challenges without ridicule. I decided I would help women so that they are always met with positive support versus negativity. It's hard enough being in a male dominated industry, women need to do what we can to elevate and empower each other with no expectation but to succeed together in our professional endeavors.
Runway Startup Restube Launches its Life-saving Products on Kickstarter
“Ten years ago I nearly drowned kitesurfing. It took me almost an hour to get to shore through powerful waves and a strong riptide,” said Christopher Fuhrhop, CEO and Founder of Restube. This near-death experience was the catalyst for the creation of Restube, a startup with the mission to create innovative water safety products for watersports and recreational enthusiasts worldwide.
I hope everyone is enjoying a wonderful holiday season. Last week I was asked by a high school student in San Jose if I could answer some questions for a report he was putting together. One of the questions that he asked me was particularly interesting. “Do you believe that the emergence of the Internet of Things or, more broadly, increased integration of technology in our daily lives, is positive or negative?”
I came back from Japan yesterday, energized and slightly jet-lagged with everything going on there. As I mentioned last week, there are a ton of corporate VCs (CVCs) looking to put money into Silicon Valley. The same is true from my trips to China earlier in the year. All of them have the same requests - they are not sure they fully understand, or have access to, the US startup market.
I'm in Japan this week, meeting with Japanese corporations that are interested in engaging with startups as part of their open innovation initiatives. It’s been an enjoyable journey. There are hundreds of companies here in the world’s 3rd largest economy that are interested in investing in, partnering with and acquiring US startups, and we’ve been meeting with a lot of them.