Post by Nora Poggi
While the majority of the U.S. workforce and over 50% of college students are female, they still only represent 35% of US startup business owners. The numbers are even lower in Europe. One reason for that could be, as famous Venture Capitalist Cindy Padnos stated, that “entrepreneurship is portrayed as a young man’s sport".
However, we are witnessing a new movement today, more women rising to the challenge of starting a tech company and being successful at it (obviously). How can we encourage more girls to start successful businesses and contribute to global innovation and a stronger economy?
One way to change perceptions, is by bridging the visibility gap and telling the stories of women who take the leap. I launched a documentary project, She Started It, to do just that, and as Jess Erickson put it, encourage women to “take a slice out of the tech industry that they deserve.”
There are a lot of amazing women in Berlin blazing trails for their fellow entrepreneurs, and She Started It definitely plans to take a trip to the city that has been called “The European Silicon Valley". Some of them include Denise Philipp and Jess Erickson of Berlin Geekettes, Zoe Adamovicz, founder of Xyologic, Caroline Drucker, Country Manager for Etsy, Inês Santos Silva, a 23-year old entrepreneur from Portugal, Daniela Schiffer, co-founder of Changers, and the list goes on. It is very exciting to witness such a vibrant entrepreneurial scene of women in tech in Berlin. Berlin Geekettes has built a hub and a stage for them and it’s only logical that our documentary should showcase that.
She Started It aims to portray women tech founders across the US and Europe. The questions we asked ourselves were simple:What life does a woman tech entrepreneur lead? What made her choose this path against all odds? Even more, what does it take to go after the market of billions?
For girls out there wondering what major or career path to take, this will give you a glimpse into a different life, full of incredible highs and lows. We have all wondered more than once, if we had “what it takes"; these women will tell you what made them take the leap and how to sustain that kind of career.
I also launched a crowdfunding campaign to finance part of the project and we are very close to reaching our goal. We still have to spread the word to make this happen and need all the help we can get! Tell your cousins, sisters and bosses about She Started It’s Indiegogo campaign!
Meet some of the incredible women on board for the US part this summer:
Thuy Truong, 27, moved from Vietnam to Silicon Valley on a week’s notice to join the prestigious startup accelerator 500startups with the team of her company, GreenGar. She is a serial entrepreneur, having run and sold a chain of frozen yogurts in Vietnam. She was a computer science major at USC. GreenGar is producing mobile apps such as Whiteboard: Collaborative Drawing, which surpassed 12 million downloads in 2012.