Business Speed Dating for Entrepreneurs
By A. Shah
03 JUNE 2017
Women in Technology (womenintechnology.org, @WITWomen) organized a unique “speed-dating”-like speaker’s format at the Lessons from the TechTank program on June 15. The format gave budding entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, and professionals a unique opportunity to learn about a range of business areas from marketing to operations, and fundraising. Irene Lane, WIT Board Member and Emcee for the evening stated, “The goal of the event was to assist aspiring entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs who were facing a challenge in getting their project or company to the next level of growth.”
Eleven subject matter experts (SMEs) shared their lessons learned and provided targeted advice on sales strategies, non-profit strategies, leadership characteristics and more. Over 80 women and men attending the event shared their own experiences. Lane explained, “Whether it was trying to secure funding for their venture or making those crucial first hires or ensuring their precious marketing dollars were being utilized to full effect or trying to achieve work-life balance, our speed coaching format allowed for maximum connection points given everyone’s busy schedules.”
I spoke as an expert in designing and building operational resilience in a growing small business, highlighting my experiences at Artemis Consulting. I explained the importance of ensuring that business growth is matched with operational maturity and that the culture of the organization is imbued in each aspect of operations.
I truly enjoyed sharing my lessons learned – the good and bad – with the amazing attendees, mostly women, who participated. I was genuinely humbled by the caliber of the SMEs leading the sessions, many of them with very successful careers already under their belts, and the equally successful participants. One woman I spoke with was looking for ways to improve operations in her small business. Upon probing a little deeper, I learned she was on her third business, having already grown and sold two others. Another participant had already secured several rounds of venture capital funding and was in the process of launching her technology product. She was at the event trying to prepare herself to lead through the coming organizational growth.
I look forward to other events that help women, like myself, with our growing businesses and allow us to share our experiences.