Geri Stengel

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What's Ellen Pao Got to Do With Crowdfunding?

Ellen Pao, former venture capitalist and now CEO of Reddit, lost her gender discrimination lawsuit against her former employer, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. However, “even with her loss in the case, Ms. Pao’s suit succeeded in prompting debate about women in technology and venture capital,” said Deborah Rhode, in The New York Times. Rhode is a law professor at Stanford University. “This case sends a powerful signal to Silicon Valley in general and the venture capital industry in particular. Defendants who win in court sometimes lose in the world outside it.” Traditional and social media are keeping the heat on this story.

It’s not just Silicon Valley, venture capital or technology where gender bias lurks. It’s everywhere. After a year and quarter’s worth of data, it’s clear that women are sitting on the sidelines of raising money publicly through equity crowdfunding and not participating, even to the degree that they do in raising money offline from angel investors. Equity crowdfunding was suppose to level the playing field for women and other underrepresented groups, but it is not living up to its promise.

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How Lean Startup Can Work For Brick-And-Mortar Stores

If it breaks, someone needs to fix it. The rising popularity of expensive, damage-prone smartphones has made cell phone repair a big business — $1.4 billion in the United States alone, according to IBISWorld’s Cell Phone Repair market research report. These devices have fragile LCD touchscreens, inaccessible batteries and other breakable parts that make them more susceptible to damage and more in need for repair. The industry is highly fragmented and small operators dominate.

Lauren Fairbanks and her partner, Alex Mouravskiy, recognized an opportunity. This is where they wanted to make their mark.

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Connectional Intelligence Helps Crowdfunders Succeed

Connectional Intelligence is the ability to combine knowledge, ambition and human capital, forging connections on a global scale that create unprecedented value and meaning. It is the secret sauce for crowdfunding success.

The book Get Big Things Done: The Power of Connectional Intelligence by Erica Dhawan and Saj-Nicole Joni explains how connectedness give us the power to solve big problems, turn dreams into realities, create products and much more. The women I interviewed for Stand Out In the Crowd: How Women (and Men) Benefit From Equity Crowdfunding, have connectional intelligence.

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Inspiring Women To Be All They Can Be

“The times they are a- changin’.” Women are starting more than 1,200 new businesses a day, up from an average of 740 a day in 2013, according to The 2014 State of Women-Owned Business Report. Four out of 10 new firms are now started by women.

What is not changing is the percent of women who are growing their businesses beyond $1 million. It is one-third the percent of men who make the break-through. As they say, seeing is believing. “Women and girls aren’t seeing enough successful women entrepreneurs in the media, especially women of color,” said Erin Bagwell. She’s changing that by creating a film, Dream, Girl, showcasing 12 women entrepreneurs who are strong, effective, savvy leaders.

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Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs in Europe

Being a woman entrepreneur with a high-growth business ain’t easy in the U.S. — the #1 country in the world for women entrepreneurship according to Gender GEDI — but it’s even harder  in the Europe.

Gender GEDI is diagnostic tool that comprehensively identifies and analyzes the conditions that foster high potential female entrepreneurship development. Broadly speaking, Entrepreneurial Environment focuses on assessing the “entrepreneurial spirit and culture” of a given society as well as the presence of institutions to support entrepreneurial startups.

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Equity Crowdfunding: Growing But Not Yet Of Age

Need less than $5 million to make your business dream a reality? Good luck with that! Banks regard startups as risky — unless you put your home up for collateral. A loan for growing your company? Not unless the bank thinks you can pay the monthly interest payments. And for most venture capitalists, a company raising less than $5 million isn’t worth their time.

Equity crowdfunding can fill the gap for those of us who don’t have any 5-percenters in our immediate circle.

Equity crowdfunding pools money from a group of investors via the internet, using social media. Currently, only friends, family, and accredited investors (a.k.a. wealthy people) in the United States can invest in a company for share is the company. They can do this through websites such as AngelList, CircleUp, Crowdfunder, and Portfolia. Equity crowdfunding has the potential to level the playing field for anyone raising and investing money, but its impact may be the greatest on under-represented groups, such as women and minorities.


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How Entrepreneurs Turn The Tide On Waterfront Erosion

Some people head for high ground when a storm is coming. Not Shimrit Perkol-Finkel and Ido Sella. Both marine biologists, they head for the sea. With climate change, extreme weather events like Superstorm Sandy are likely to happen with greater frequency and force. Finkel and Sella have a practical solution for coastline protection.

Their solution is to change the composition, texture, and design of concrete so that it fosters growth of native flora and fauna while increasing the operational life span and stability of the concrete structure. ECOncrete reformulated a product used to build marine infrastructures so that nature itself makes the structures stronger while reducing wave action along the coast. Marine plants and animals — oysters, barnacles and coral — deposit calcitic skeletons that add weight, stability, and longevity to the infrastructure.


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The Strategies Women Use to Rev Up Business Growth

In a year when sales for privately held companies grew at the slowest rate since 2009 -- 5.4% -- the fastest growing women-led companies grew astronomically faster.

Yes, that’s right. The 2014 Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO) 50 Fastest Growing Women-Owned/led companies racked up $4.9 billion in combined 2013 revenues and collectively employed 22,000 people. Compared with last year’s list, the combined revenue of the winning companies grew by a dramatic 53%.

6 Common Misconceptions About Equity Crowdfunding

Only a tiny percentage of wealthy people—less than 3%—who qualify to become angel investors actually do so. When people decide to claim their accreditation wings, angels are the most likely investors to focus on early-stage companies.

In 2014, angels invested $24.1 billion in 73,400 U.S.-based ventures, according to the Center for Venture Research. There is now a new way to reach angels that centralizes, streamlines and brings transparency to the financing process for both entrepreneurs and investors: equity crowdfunding. This is done using platforms like AngelList, CircleUp, Crowdfunder and Portfolia. Yet, only $787.5 million was raised via equity-based crowdfunding in 2014, according to Massolution’s 2015CF Crowdfunding Industry Report. What gives?

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Champion For Women Entrepreneurs Realigns For The Times

Help for women entrepreneurs who want access to capital and markets.


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