Interview Women 2.0


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Women 2.0 is committed to increasing the number of women entrepreneurs starting high growth ventures by providing the resources, network, and knowledge for the launch and growth of their company.

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Interview Women 2.0

  1. 1. Interview Women entrepreneurs at Silicon Valley Shaherose Charania co-founder of Women 2.0 By Lené Tourn I have had the possibility of knowing Shaherose Charania in one editions of the 22@ Breakfasts, who acceded very gentlely to be interviewed about the organization that she have founded three years ago join to other collegues on Silicon Valley: Women 2.0 is committed to increasing the number of women entrepreneurs starting high growth ventures by providing the resources, network, and knowledge for the launch and growth of their company. To create a company is a complicated thing anywhere, but who can resist to this incredible adventure. L.T. ¿How came out the idea of founding WOMEN 2.0? S.C. After attending several networking in Silicon Valley, I wonder why always in these events there was little presence of women. After talking with some professionals of the sector we decided to carried an event out, as a pilot test, which they attended one hundred where we hosted a panel discusión with female cofounders of startups such as Meebo, LimeLife and others. In just a few short weeks we recieved a call from the Santa Clara County’s status on the comisión for Women. We had been awarded recognition for supporting entrepreneurship for women in front of five hundred business leaders in Santa Clara. This award, to our surprise was endorsed by members of the US Congress. After this day that we, the founders, decided to commit our time, while still keeping our full time Jobs with various startups, tp build Women 2.0 into an influential organization and to truly impact the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Thus little by little, Women 2,0 has not stopped growing from the first event organized in April of 2006. We how have a mailing list of ten thousands community members, monthly networking events, Workshops for those who have ideas, small events for startup founders and an annual startup competition called PITCH.
  2. 2. Over three years, the annual startup competition called PITCH has recieved over three hundred submissions. The submissions are from all over the World, majority in the US but also from Canada, the UK, India, Pakistan, Singapore. The submissions represent early stage startups in ‘beta’ with at least one female cofounder in web, Mobile, clean tech, Biotech and retail. Women 2.0 is run like a startup itself, we keep costs low and always innovate to provide the best products and services for our customers - an in our case the customers who aspire to launch a startup or are running an early stage startup. As a Business we are thrilled to have broken even in 2008 for the first time! L.T. ¿ What are the main objectives and activities of WOMEN 2.0 organization? S.C. As young women with aspirations in making a contribution to the world, we recognize in the enterprising spirit a way to satisfy our goals in the life. Therefore, we must like main objective support the enterprising spirit of the women who work in Silicon Valley and beyond. In the United States we have not an organisms like Barcelona Activa, that impel from the qualification and the customized consultant's office to the entrepreneurs who approach with wonderful ideas, but that in the majority of the cases they do not know how to materialize it and to let it grow in the time. In this sense, we organized lectures and seminaries with the collaboration of the universities of Berkley and Stanford, for those people who look for qualification at the same time we offer a place of networking with other entrepreneurs. We organize a seminary for five weeks with the professor of entrepreneurship from Berekely University’s Haas Business school in which are seen all the sections necessary to make a business plan. As previously mentioned we host monthly networking events for all to attend – those working at startup, show with ideas and founders of startups. The networking events help build community. In addition I mentioned smaller events for startup founders and the annual startup competition called PITCH. In the end, Women 2.0 measures its impact in the World by measuring the number of female founders – the latest offical
  3. 3. statistic was in 2005, where less than 5% of Silicon Valley Startups had a female founder. Today we are seeing more and more young female cofounders of tech startups. The winners of the Facebook fund included four startups from the women 2.0 community, out of eighteen Winters: Funji, SamaSource, Geckogo, Weardrobe. And as previously mentioned we’ve seen more than 300 early stage ventures over 3 years from all over the World and each team has at least one female founder. Change is happening and we are thrilled to be a catalyst in this. Women 2.0 will be launching a research study on Women and entrepreneurship in 2010, stay tuned! L.T. ¿What are the future plans in order to became a catalyst for change as said vision’s community? S.C. Oh the future of Women 2.0 is always changing and always adapting to the needs of our community. Right now we can’t share too many details. We do plan a slow global growth and if anyone is interested in learning more I invite them to contact me. L.T In this days that you are visiting Barcelona ¿Can you participate in other networking groups of women? S.C. I had very just a short time to be able to participate in other events of networking, something that is pending for my next visit to Barcelona. L.T. Do you think that the way to do networking here in Barcelona is different to California? S.C. In California networking comprises of the daily work. It Is something natural that the people interchange business cards openly. The objective is to present what each other does so that in the future concrete collaborations can be established. Since it has to me lacked time to participate in other events of this
  4. 4. type I am not very safe as it is the practice of networking in Barcelona. I have heard that people here are a little more shy. L.T. A group of businesswomen angel would be different from a masculine one? S. C. Not necessarily the women must be more shared in common with the women, since there would be to hope. Finally “business are business”, which means that if they must bet by a company will do it by which is more lucrative, independent of if is presided or not by a woman. Nevertheless, a group of businesswomen angel is not a bad one idea a who could support to their same gender. L.T. What Could be your advice for someone who whats to lunch a start up? S.C. Crisis’s times are the best one to undertake because it is taken care of plus the accomplishment of the idea. There is no much space for mistakes when the money is more expensive like in the present international situation. It is very important not to fall in love with the idea that is had, to conserve the objectivity and the deep analysis in the business model. During my talk at 22@ Breakfast I highlighted the differences between what I call a “Lifestyle 2.0″ company; the kind of startup that investors always look at me and say “They don’t need funding, tell them to bootstrap, build, release, iterate and make money from day-one.” Content heavy sites, social networking sites, mobile applications often fall into this category and are big part of the Women 2.0 community. Then you find the disruptive innovations, development heavy startups, often light on the business model, much fewer these days. Then of course there is that needle in the haystack, the next Google, *needing* VC money to scale operations and truly innovate on their current product and/or go global. Report by Orange Labs about Women in Silicon Valley Video by Orange Labs TelecomTV video b0411d-a355-4e94-9a0f-bf7954bb0a4e#