Back with part two of my Women of TechCrunch feature and three more founders eager to share their advice and views on women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) startups.
And yes, the breastfeeding tech story. I know you’re curious, I was too! But first….
Let’s import some SEO (search engine optimization) savvy.
That was Lucie Hubert’s TechCrunch mission in representing French-native Mazen, software that streamlines SEO workflow and performance across multiple CMS so digital marketers spend more time driving brand engagement and less time digging through code. Lucie took the entrepreneurial leap straight out of university, joining Impact USA to help French tech startups attract US investors and clients.
Lucie’s Tip: “The tech space is challenging in that you need to talk to technical and non-technical people to help advise and market the products properly, engage investors, communicate value simply. It’s not enough to know the technology; you need to be able to talk about the business model and marketing. And for companies like Mazen who want to launch internationally, you need to recognize that going to market successfully in the U.S. will differ from how it was done in France.”
Keeping it real: “It’s important for colleges, educators and business leaders to continue encouraging women to enter tech roles. Women bring a different sensibility to the tech space. The more women join STEM businesses, the more innovation we’ll see in the marketplace.”
Speaking of, Founder Bobbie Carlton launched Innovation Women after years in corporate PR, watching event organizers churn the same, mostly male speakers from one conference panel to the next. She and her team built a digital community that matches event managers with female entrepreneurs, innovators and technology leaders from a variety of industries and countries. Now a serial matchmaker, Bobbie also founded Mass Innovation Nights, putting category-specific product launches in front of eager buyers.
Bobbie’s Tip: “It’s all about visibility. Women need to take the stage more. That’s the core reason we started Innovation Women, to create more of those opportunities. Every time a women takes the stage to share her expertise with a new audience, she and her company gain visibility.”
Keeping it real: “There’s real work to be done to bring more diversity to the speaking circuit. Let’s be honest; it’s still mostly pale and male. Events like TechCrunch are doing a good job making a concerted effort to change the mix. We need to keep making it easier for women to break in. Event managers play a big role in driving that change.”
Mamava is all about leveraging tech to make life easier for breastfeeding moms. Led by Co-founders Sascha Mayer and Christine Dodson after seeing their own personal experiences mirror a growing trend: the lack of private, clean, comfortable spaces for working mothers who want – and many who need – to nurse and pump was driving a decline in breastfeeding. The two launched and secured funding for Mamava’s first prototype – customizable, private breastfeeding pods — by September 2015. Pods can now be found in 33 US states and moms can find them via the “Where is Mamava” app launched at TechCrunch.
Sascha’s Tip: “Find what matters to you, then focus on pain points and fix them. For us, what mattered was that nursing should be a right and not a privilege. That became our mission. Airports were the #1 pain point so that’s where we started. Now the pods in airports are also serving as pollinators; we get a ton of social marketing from people who see and use them.”
Keeping it real: “Millenial moms are totally connected and they’re not going to pump in a bathroom. They’re on the road, visiting clients and still trying to breastfeed. We want to fix that. It’s our mission and we’re in control of how we get there. The tech world is hungry for that kind of experience, passion and value.”
Great products and services reminding us all there’s plenty of room — and a lot of support – – for women founders in tech.
Time to do our part. Visit these founders’ websites. Connect with them on LinkedIn. Share this story and these companies with your network. Pay it forward, ladies!