I propose that we ignore the messiness of this room (and the open suitcase, sorry bout it) and focus on this blazer and those shoes. First, blazer. Check. Now, LOOK AT THOSE SHOES. They were Madre’s at her WEDDING and has let me have them. Dang they are so classy. Circa 1991 and I am loving the pointed toe and wide heel. Thank you Mama, you always have had a knack for style that I somehow managed to inherit.
Let’s talk about why I was dressed so fancy in the first place. On a Monday night, mind you.
You’ve heard me talk a lot about Syracuse and the Tech Garden, Rounded Development, business and entrepreneurship. That’s because, in recent months, I have realized that entrepreneurship, tech, and start-ups are quite possibly some of my favorite things in the world. We’ll get deeper into those topics in another post, but for now, let’s talk about the UVANY Venture Forum.
Don’t snooze. I know that sounds boring. It wasn’t. The night went a little something like this:
- Meet the 5 #StartUpLabs finalists
- Network, cash bar, and h’orderves
- Panel with Start-Up Weekend and #StartUpLabs founder Clint Nelsen
- RoundedCo. Management Team Q&A
- More networking and Tech Garden open house
The event ran from about 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm. The food was delicious (they had meatballs), and I was able to meet some incredible people. Good people and good food tend to go hand-in-hand, don’t they? The amazing thing about these events is that the attendees are always so open-minded and ready to meet new people. This is expected, since it’s essentially a networking event, but to be truthful, I was not expecting how creative, excited, open to change, and ready to connect you with the right people that everyone was. That’s a darn beautiful thing.
I have to say though, one thing I notice at a lot of these business-y events is that mostly men are in attendance. Which is fine (wink). But, I woud like to know… Where are all the women?! We are a powerful, creative-thinking bunch, and I can only hope that there are ways for women to get more involved in business and the tech start-up scene in the future. Most of this involves women having a way to connect to one another in a very real, exciting, and professional way. I may have some insight into that in the future. Stay tuned.
Hearing from Startup Labs Founder + RoundedCo.
Adding Women to Your Network
We spent a good amount of time networking in the beginning, and I met Bea, one of the #StartUpLabs finalists. She runs Pretty Padded Room, aptly subtitled A nice place to go crazy. The Pretty Padded Room is an online therapy service that allows clients and therapists to communicate via video chat or online journal. Upon first hearing about the service, I immediately thought of the word: “Accessible”. Bea and her team make their service accessible, fun, and quite literally at your fingertips. No driving to a (usually) cold office. No blocking out 90 minutes to include travel and chatting. Take a break, close your office door, and open your laptop (which was probably open anyways). Bea has succeeded in making therapy both glamorous and convenient. And, no, I was not paid to say any of these things.
Upon meeting Bea, she immediately offered up her resources to connect me with the right people. We need more women in the world like this. One thing I have learned from reading various books and articles on knowing your value, women in the workforce and mentorship, men help men, but women don’t always help women. It’s a sad fact, but to be honest, there are so many women in the workforce right now that are threatened by the women around them. Instead of using their resources to be an effective mentor and help those with potential to climb the ranks, they often sacrifice valuable time to keep other women from succeeding. Have you ever heard of cattiness? It extends past high school and sorority rivalry. Yes, it’s true: Businesswomen can be catty. The more of us that lift up the women (and men!) around us, the better we will all be. I’ve been very fortunate and have had incredible mentors in the ranks of Kelly Olexa, who have lifted me up, given me opportunities I never would have foreseen for myself, and encouraged me to embrace my passions use my talent for the better. For the greater good.
Ladies, find like-minded women who have been (or are) where you want to go. Where you want to be. How you want to live. Learn from these women and take charge in your own life, and in helping others.
Everyone rocks. I left happy and having even more faith in the city of Syracuse. We are one big, beautiful, creative community, and I can’t wait to talk more about Syracuse and the potential it holds. I hope you’re as excited as I am.
I would like to know….
- What event have you attended recently that shifted your perspective on things?
- What’s the corporate culture like in your city?
- Do you prefer blazers or dresses (ladies)?