Techweek NY kicked off a great conference day on Oct. 2. From panel discussions to launch competitions. Here are a few highlights from the first half of the day:
Cheryl Contee participated in the LAUNCH Competition first round where she pitched her startup Attentive.ly, what she called the future of social media automation. The District of Columbia-based company yielded $1.7 million in revenue this year with projected earnings of $37 million by 2017.
Women Leaders: From Issues to Opportunities
While attending the Women Leaders: From Issues to Opportunities panel Jocelyn Leavitt, founder and CEO of Hopscotch, offered the following advice to fellow female entrepreneurs, “Sometimes you question your team. You question your pitch, your company. You just have to be brave and hopefully one day Hopscotch will take over the world. I totally subscribe to the whole shine theory, if I shine we all shine. There’s a lot of posturing but sometimes it’s great to sit down with other entrepreneurs and collaborate.”
Other panelists included Lucy Chung, Reshma Saujani, Eve Ellis and Nisha Chittal.
Lioness had the opportunity to speak with the cofounders of SpareStub Stephanie MacConnel and Nick Drane. The platform allows users to sell extra tickets for events while building connections and new friendships through profiles. MacConnel noted that the lean launch will take place in New York next year, followed by a national launch into 10 markets.
Women Tech Entrepreneurs: Increasing Impact; Driving Results
Women Tech Entrepreneurs: Increasing Impact; Driving Results with Rose Marie Glazer, general counsel, Americas Siemens Corp., Laura Sherbin, EVP and director of research with the Center for Talent Innovation and Karen Sumberg, diversity pod lead at Google. They began the panel discussion by defining diversity: inherent diversity, characteristics with which you were born versus acquired diversity, learned traits.
When asked about the benefits of a diverse team and a diverse organization, Sumberg replied,”For any company what got you here won’t get you there. As we move from being a startup we know that when we have more thought in the room we’re coming up with better ideas. It’s about putting the user first and we’re not representing them well if we’re not diverse. There’s not one kind of user. To truly tap into that, we have to reflect that.”
Keela Robinson, general manager and senior vice president of Urbanspoon lead a solo discussion on Established Innovation: Staying Relevant in a Sea of Startups.
“[Consumers] will ask you to fix or evolve your product but they won’t want you to innovate. We need to continue to develop in order to innovate,” she advised. “I personally believe that it’s incredibly important to have access to your data and to do something with it. Once you’ve prioritized your needs you need to create a culture of innovation.”