Shifting Perspectives {UVANY Venture Forum}

by Katelyn Block on January 24, 2013 · 12 comments

suit-selfie

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:

First Impression

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.

After networking, we went in to the conference room and heard from StartUpLabs Founder Clint Nelsen and two of Rounded Development‘s partners Eric Hinman and Andrew Farah.


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.

Side note:

Thank you to RueLaLa for their Chef Katelyn shoutout!

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)?
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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Linz @ Itz Linz January 24, 2013 at 8:44 AM

i think this is the first time i’ve seen you in “real” clothes and not workout clothes! haha! pretty lady!

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Katelyn Block January 31, 2013 at 2:47 PM

Haha! Thanks lady. I’m trying to wear more REAL CLOTHES lately and it’s working out pretty nicely. (i.e. NOT wearing CrossFit clothes all day long)

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NYC Fit GIrl January 24, 2013 at 9:52 AM

Since I work in NYC the corporate culture is very strict. Although there are plenty of women in my company we only have 1 women executive which is annoying. I am going to work hard and hopefully will be there someday!

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Katelyn Block January 31, 2013 at 2:49 PM

You can do it, lady! I BELIEVE IN YOU.

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Marissa January 24, 2013 at 10:05 AM

This was an amazing post! Ever since you mentioned “know your value” a while back it has been at the front of my mind. Every time I experience self doubt- I think of that phrase. I just recently started a blog (after dreaming about it for months) and it’s difficult NOT to compare myself to successful bloggers out there that I read on a daily basis. Its a little nerve wracking not knowing WHAT to post about. However recently, the phrase “know your value” has given me the courage to hit the ‘publish’ button on more than one occasion, to write just because I love doing so. Thank you for truly inspiring me to do something that I love. You’re going places, girl!!

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Katelyn Block January 31, 2013 at 2:53 PM

Girl I am SO. GLAD. Never ever compare yourself because we are all constantly learning, and you have something unique to bring to the table. Always have the gusto to write what’s on your mind and hit publish; there will always be more people that appreciate it and love your point of view than those that don’t! ;)

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Samantha January 24, 2013 at 12:05 PM

Those are cute shoes. I like the way they cut on the top of the foot. It’s been awhile since I’ve been back to the blog world and didn’t realize I had to click “continue reading” hahah! But good thing I did because there was a lot to read :) I’m so excited for you and your new adventures in life!

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Katelyn Block January 31, 2013 at 2:54 PM

Haha thank you! Aren’t they lovely? My Mom has always had a great sense of style. ;)

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Emily Gage January 24, 2013 at 2:07 PM

While I always enjoy reading your posts, I found this one particularly inspirational and moving. I feel like all women have experienced cattiness both in the workplace and in their personal lives, and it’s always good to be reminded that it doesn’t have to be that way. If we all supported each other a little more often, and chose to focus on the positive contributions that our fellow women make in and out of the workplace, I think we would all be a little happier!

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Katelyn Block January 31, 2013 at 2:57 PM

I love you and miss you. It’s so true – it doesn’t have to be! It all comes down to love and support. Fist-bump.

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Fel January 28, 2013 at 9:01 PM

Say it sister! I have thought that so many times in my life, “Where the girls at?” I once heard a female coworker say something along the lines of “I just don’t feel like I’m there yet” in terms of being able to network. Um, whaaa? Why? We def need to support each other and help each other fly. love that you wrote about this! xx Fel

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Katelyn Block January 31, 2013 at 3:04 PM

Haha exactly! PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE. So much simpler.

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