Geri Stengel

 
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Geri Stengel's blog

Need Quiet? Optimize Your Office for Improved Focus

Introverts often get a bad rap, especially in entrepreneurship. Investors, employees and vendors who provide goods and services at a discount to startups are attracted to people who have the gift of gab. Even our work environment has been optimized for extroverts. Open space design, for example, has been heralded for optimizing collaboration and nurturing a strong culture while saving on rent.

While that sounds smart on the surface, it’s a shame when you consider that one-third to half the population are introverts, according to Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. Introverts do their their best work in quiet. Introverts are just as likely to contribute to a company’s success, but they need an environment with fewer distractions. In quiet spaces, we can listen to our own thoughts and that can be very productive, even for extroverts.

Read all of Need Quiet? Optimize Your Office for Improved Focus on myturnstone.com.

8 Tips For Crowdfunding Success

Whether you’re a startup or an existing business, a rewards-based crowdfunding campaign offers debt- and equity-free money to launch a product. That’s right! You don’t have to give up a piece of your company in exchange for money or pay interest on a loan.

Women are proving that they have the right stuff to be successful at rewards campaigns. I know this from first-hand experience and from women I’ve interviewed. I raised 71% more than my $7,500 campaign goal.

Women are organized, diligent, clear communicators, good storytellers and skilled marketers. The result: Women had a 70% success rate in reaching their Kickstarter goals vs. 61% for men. Further analysis showed that it was not women’s more modest financial goals that accounted for their higher rate of success, according to research conducted by Hebrew University, the Kauffman Foundation, and UC Berkeley.

I recently connected with Shelley Prevost of Torch, who exceeded her goal of raising $150,000 by 8%. Two thirds of parents want to limit or guide their children’s use of the internet, according to Alexandra Samuel, who researches the way we use the internet.Torch is a simple-to-use, smart router that allows parents to guide their children’s use of the internet.

So how do women do it?

Read all 8 Tips For Crowdfunding Success on Forbes.com.

How to Get Funding for Your Startup Online

Banks have been reluctant to lend money to startups and small businesses, but that doesn’t mean funding is unavailable. The truth is, even before the financial crisis, banks were holding back. According to  The State of Small Business Lending: Credit Access during the Recovery and How Technology May Change the Game, the economic crisis from which we are emerging only accelerated the banks’ reluctance to lend. But luckily for startups everywhere, the void left by banks has been quickly filled by online financing options.

Read all of How to Get Funding for Your Startup Online on myturnstone.com.

Tech: An Opportunity For Black Women and Investors

Black women who start tech-based companies represent an unnoticed but potentially lucrative investment for funders.

Read all of Tech: An Opportunity For Black Women and Investors on Forbes.com

What Dating and Angel Investing Have In Common

Like any long-term relationship, the match between entrepreneur and investor takes work and communication.

Read all of What Dating and Angel Investing Have In Common on Forbes.com.

 

5 Ways to Grow Your Business With A Little Help from Your Friends

After interviewing women entrepreneurs for the past four years, one fact stands out: Successful ones don’t do it alone.  Support comes in many shapes and sizes and from many different sources. I was reminded of this when I reconnected with Diana Lovett of Cissé Trading Co. who takes advantage of several different kinds support. We originally spoke about raising money when you’re pregnant or a new mother.

Cissé produces cocoa baking mixes, hot cocoa and ready-to-eat treats. Lovett has grown the company from a small regional player that sold in speciality markets to a national company selling in traditional supermarkets. She’s expanded her product line from foods you make to include foods that are ready to eat. All products are absolutely scrumptious.

Lovett built her company using a wide range of support systems.

Read all of 5 Ways to Grow Your Business With A Little Help from Your Friends on Forbes.com. 

Why The Force Will Be With Women Entrepreneurs In 2016

What’s good for women is good for the economy.

Economists and academics agree women entrepreneurs are an under-tapped force that can rekindle economic expansion. Women are becoming more entrepreneurial. Women own 36% of all businesses, according to the 2012 U.S. Census ‒ a jump of 30% over 2007.

My 10 reasons the force will be with women entrepreneurs are a mix of marketplace trends, expanding financing options, and the growing recognition that support is needed and is effective. The biggest challenge women face when starting and growing their businesses is access to capital, especially equity financing, as I was reminded by Sharon Vosmek, an economist and CEO of Astia ‒ a nonprofit that identifies and propels high-potential women-led companies with expertise and money. Female entrepreneurs start companies with 50% less capital than male entrepreneurs, according to Access to Capital by High-Growth Women-Owned Businesses, research commissioned by the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC). So no surprise, money is a large focus of the article. I’ve also included resources in case you want to go deeper into a topic.  

Read all of Why The Force Will Be With Women Entrepreneurs In 2016 on Forbes.com

Photo credit: © Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

Stress: Friend Not Foe

Several months ago, I stumbled across a Ted talk called How to Make Stress Your Friend by Kelly McGonigal. It’s been viewed 9.7 million times so I’m not the only who is impressed by the content.

McGonigal is a Stanford psychologist and author of The Upside of Stress: Why Stress Is Good for You, and How to Get Good at It. She specializes in providing practical strategies for health, happiness and personal success.

For most of her career, she advocated eliminating stress to be healthier and happier. She believed that stress increased your risk of getting everything from the common cold to cardiovascular disease. However, several research studies changed her view of stress. These studies suggested that if you embrace stress, it can make you stronger, smarter and happier.

With the added stress that the holidays can sometimes bring and our desire to make resolutions for the New Year, I thought this was a particularly good time to share the reasons for resolving to befriend stress in 2016.

Read all of Stress: Friend Not Foe on Forbes.com.

Diverse Angels Breed Innovative Companies

Innovation doesn’t just happen. It is the result of making unexpected connections based on things we already know. This is as true for investors as it is for entrepreneurs. Investors are more likely to invest in things they understand first hand.

Natalia Oberti Noguera understood that the way to increase the number of successful innovative companies was to increase the number of women angels funding them. These investors recognize investment opportunities that white guys don’t. That’s one of reasons she started Pipeline Angels in 2011. Back then, only 12% of angel investors were women and 13% of all angel-backed companies women-led, according to the Center for Venture Research, which tracks angel investments. The percentage of women angels has more than doubled to 26% and so has the percentage of angel-backed companies that are women-led — 28%.

To read all of Diverse Angels Breed Innovative Companies go to Forbes.com.

4 ways to control rising real estate costs

Good news! The United States is adding jobs. The bad news is that the competition for office space is driving the cost of real estate up. This is especially true in places like the Bay area, New York City, DC, Los Angeles, Boston and Chicago. 

“People, followed by real estate, are a company’s most expensive assets,” said George Grace, managing partner of Mohr Partners, a commercial real estate firm. “Your location plays an important role in attracting people.” By being strategic, you can determine ways to control real estate costs. Here are four suggestions.

Read all of 4 ways to control rising real estate costs on Myturnstone.com. 

 


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