Vistas: Geri Stengel’s Blog

Changing The World One Period At A Time

Like many other entrepreneurs, Miki Agrawal starts companies based on her needs and the needs of those she cares about. When she sees an unmet need, she fills it.

In 2005, when her twin sister, Radha, had one of those embarrassing moments during a three-legged race at a family barbecue — she got her period and soiled her bathing suit — Miki and Radha had an “aha” moment. With all the innovation in the world, there had to be a better way.

Miki’s second “aha” moment happened when she asked a school-aged girl in South Africa why she wasn’t in school. The girl’s response: “It’s my week of shame.” The girl had tried rags, leaves, mattress filling, and mud, but nothing worked. So, once a month for a week, she stayed home from school, just like 100 million other girls in developing countries around the world.

Read all of Changing The World One Period At A Time on Forbes.com.

How Lucrative Israeli Tech Investments Opened Up To Global Investors

Two women have taken on the task of connecting high-return Israeli tech start-ups with the angel funding they need to take off. It’s been a challenge, despite the track record of such companies.

Angel investors are beating out venture capitalists when it comes to Israeli tech companies. Between January 2011 and July 2014, nearly half of the most profitable investor exits were funded exclusively by angels, according to iAngels, an equity crowdfunding platform. Although angels invested smaller amounts of money than VCs, they reaped the high rewards that VCs crave: 10 to 30 times returns. They also did it in three years or less which is far faster than the five to seven years for U.S. companies reported by CB Insights, a data company that tracks investments in private companies.

To read all of How Lucrative Israeli Tech Investments Opened Up To Global Investors go to Forbes.com.

A Business Vision That Steve Jobs Would Envy

Being the next Steve Jobs requires a bold vision for your company. So when Joanna Drake Earl, serial entrepreneur, angel investor and venture capitalist, told me about Danielle Applestone’s vision for the Other Machine Co. (OMC) I knew I wanted to talk to her. Applestone’s vision captured the imagination and wallets of more investors in Broadway Angels, a group of world-class angel investors, than any other entrepreneur’s vision. Sounds a lot like Jobs!

To read all of A Business Vision That Steve Jobs Would Envy go to Forbes.com

Child Support Doesn't Have To Create Family Stress

Creating a product to meet your own big pain point
In the U.S. alone,  $200 billion in child support and expenses changes hands annually, according to Sheri Atwood, founder of SupportPay. Parents (the vast majority are dads) don’t have a problem paying for their children’s expenses, they just want to make sure that what they pay is for the child. Parents are 90% more likely to exchange child support and expenses when they clearly see what they are paying for, said Atwood. SupportPay makes sharing expenses transparent as well as easy to do.

To reall all of Child Support Doesn't Have To Create Family Stress go to Forbes.com.

How To Create An Entrepreneurial Community When No One Is Nearby

Sara Davidson needed a boost to grow her own business. But, as a woman entrepreneur in the Midwest, she had trouble finding kindred spirits.

The midwest consists of 12 states in the north central United States: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. It does have cities that are among the top 25 metro areas for women entrepreneurs including Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis and St Louis, according to Julie Weeks, president and CEO of Womenable, which researches and recommends policies and programs to promote women entrepreneurship.

To read all of How To Create An Entrepreneurial Community When No One Is Nearby go to Forbes.com.

 

 

Angels Ignite Blazing Growth for Women Entrepreneurs, More Fuel Needed

Venture capital decision-makers don’t seem to recognize the investment value of women-led companies. Women investors do, thank you very much. While male VCs are turning their backs on good investments, women angels are not. More than one in four angel investors are now women, an impressive 318% growth in the last 10 years.

With the rise of female angel investors, angel-backed, women- led companies has risen as well. Again that magic number: more than one in four angel-backed companies are women-led, a dramatic jump of 234% in 10 years. This is the second of a two-part discussion of impact women angels have on supporting the growth of women-led companies.

To read all of Angels Ignite Blazing Growth for Women Entrepreneurs, More Fuel Needed got to Forbes.com.

 

Angels Change The Ratio For Women Entrepreneurs

Women build and leverage the ecosystem
While venture capital’s track record with women makes you want scream with frustration, the new angel numbers will make you want to jump for joy. For nearly all metrics, the numbers hit record heights in 2014, according to the Center for Venture Research, which researches angel investments. In 2014:

  • 26% of all angels were women, increasing by an impressive 43% from the previous year.
  • 36% of all companies seeking funding were women, increasing by a whopping 83% from the previous year.
  • 28% of all companies receiving funding were women-run, a substantial 44% increase.
  • 15% of all women-run companies succeeded in raising capital vs 22% for their male counterparts. “Typically, when there is a surge in the number of entrepreneurs seeking angel funding, the overall yield [success rate] goes down,”  said Jeffrey E. Sohl, director of Center for Venture Research. The 15% success rate is within the historic norms for entrepreneurs raising capital from angels.

To read all of Angels Change The Ratio For Women Entrepreneurs got to Forbes.com

Growing Companies Have Financing Alternatives

Jamie Kent needed money to grow Yoga Download. But she didn’t qualify for the bank loan she wanted and she didn’t want to give up equity to investors. She found another solution — revenue-based financing from Lighter Capital.

Kent started Yoga Download in 2007 to provide yoga that was more affordable and accessible. Someone on the beach or at home could have access. Initially, she provided audio downloads that could be played on an iPod or MP3 player. But when online technology advanced and streaming video became common place, she knew she had to offer video because her competition was. But producing video was much more expensive.

To read all of Growing Companies Have Financing Alternatives go to Forbes.com.

10 Life Lessons For Getting Where You Want To Go

The meteoric rise to the top is a nice story but it doesn’t match reality. Obstacles overcome and setbacks endured are part of every success. It is out of these experiences that life-lessons are learned. I had the good fortune to meet Gillian Zoe Segal at a dinner party. She shared with me her book, Getting There: A Book of Mentors. I’ve summarized some of the lessons that the women entrepreneurs Segal interviewed learned on their rise to the top.

To read all of 10 Life Lessons For Getting Where You Want To Go got to Forbes.com.

Brands Hear Women Entrepreneurs Roar

Target women entrepreneurs and profit
Look out marketers, there is a revolution coming! Women with money, power and influence are tired of having their needs ignored. Consumer-product companies don’t seem to get it and business-to-business vendors are even more clueless.

Faith Popcorn, futurist, author of EVEolution: The Eight Truths of Marketing to Women, and founder and CEO of marketing consulting firm, Faith Popcorn’s BrainReserve,  thinks there’s a huge pot of gold waiting for companies that meet the needs of women entrepreneurs. No surprise, I couldn’t agree more. A vast majority – 79% — of women will try a brand that supports women-owned businesses, according Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the leading certifier of women-owned businesses that sell to corporations and large government organizations.

Read all of Brands Hear Women Entrepreneurs Roar on Forbes.com


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