Women of Silicon Beach

By Julie MacMedan, Vice President of Investor Relations, Demand Media, Inc.
Broads Circle Premier Member and President of Executive Broads group

Silicon BeachFrom the LA Times to SoCalTech.com to the Wall Street Journal, LA’s vibrant entrepreneurial scene – branded “Silicon Beach” – is making headlines.  And for good reason: AngelList, a community of startups, lists 1400 startups and 1300 investors in LA and that’s just a subset of the total number. Represent.la shows a map of more than 600 startups, 15 accelerators, 28 incubators and 47 investors. It’s no wonder that we are seeing articles on Forbes.com titled “Why Los Angeles Will Outpace Silicon Valley As The Tech Startup Capital.”

Standing out among the success stories of Silicon Beach are several women entrepreneurs who will be featured on our May 22nd Panel: “Women of Silicon Beach”:

Deborah Benton, President and COO of Nasty Gal, an online new & vintage clothing website recently recognized as 2012’s fastest-growing retail company according to Inc. 5000. Inc. 5000 also recognized Nasty Gal as the fastest growing company in Los Angeles, mainly due to its tremendous 10,000% growth from 2008 – 2012.

Susan Feldman, Co-Founder/Chief Merchandising Officer of One Kings Lane who brings her passion “for all things home” to the leading online marketplace for the home, where consumers can find exceptional value on an extensive collection of top-brand, vintage, and designer items. Feldman and her partner Alison Pincus launched the business in early 2009, and have experienced explosive growth, with revenues on track to hit $200M, doubling revenue from 2011.

Courtney Nichols Gould, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of SmartyPants Vitamins who has built an Internet brand from the ground up to market and distribute healthy gummy vitamins.  Previously, Courtney was the founding COO of Clear, the fast pass for airport security.

Therese Tucker, CEO and founder of BlackLine Systems, formerly CTO of Sungard Treasury Systems, who has successfully grown her company into a multi-national SaaS provider that has achieved numerous awards for growth and innovation, most recently recognized by Software Magazine for the second year in a row as one of the largest and ‘best performing’ software and service providers in the world.

Each of these amazing women underscore the powerful role that women are playing in LA’s startup scene.

Our May 22nd Broads Circle program will feature these exciting women on a panel geared towards how they translated their vision to get their companies off the ground and expand on their initial success, and how they approached capital raising to finance their various stages of growth.  How did they balance the desire to maintain significant ownership with the need for capital?  Did they need to leave LA to secure financing and if so, is that trend shifting as LA builds a stronger startup ecosystem?

We look forward to hearing from this impressive group of women entrepreneurs in May. Look for your invitation to arrive in early 2013!

What’s on tap for 2013: Power Networking Plus

Power NetworkingJoin us for 5 Bigger and Better
Power Networking Plus Events:

  • February – Women on Corporate Boards
  • May – Women CEOs of HOT Companies
  • July – Women Raising Capital
  • October – Power Players
  • December – Annual Philanthropy Luncheon

Bottom Line Broads

IF YOU ARE A WOMAN WHO HAS THE ECONOMIC POWER TO DRIVE REVENUE AND GROW CAPITAL FOR YOURSELF AND OTHERS, WE INVITE YOU TO BECOME A BOTTOM LINE BROAD.

Who is a Bottom Line Broad?

  • She has Bottom Line Responsibility
  • She can be a Business Owner
  • She is a woman in the C-Suite
  • She can be a current or aspiring Corporate Board Member
  • She can be a TOP level Service Provider
  • She is a Woman Leader
  • She can make things happen for other women
  • She wants to collaborate with other women to build our Collective Money and Power!
  • In short, she Drives Revenue and Grows Capital!

Application and approval is required for Bottom Line Broad membership – apply online here.

What you get for your membership:

  • Post-cocktail event private dinners to build relationships with other Bottom Line Broads and event panelists
  • Members-only networking events bi-monthly
  • Become part of and contribute to a Broads Pod niche networking group that is industry or role-focused

Join us!!  Let’s keep the conversation going!

Be part of the “in crowd”!

Broads Circle is a MovementKick up the commerce! Join us in driving revenue and growing capital for women!

When you first try something new, like a new dance move, it’s a bit uncomfortable and feels unnatural, but after a while you get the moves down and it becomes second nature.  Like Derek Sivers’ video of the small change required to turn a “lonely nut” into a leader, once you add a follower – and other brave followers join in – it transforms into a movement.  With a movement, you can change the world!  The Broads Circle movement wants to see:

  • More women driving big revenue and growing big capital for each other
  • More women who run big business, and have P&L roles
  • More women on corporate boards
  • The pay gap disappear!

The best way to make a movement, if you really care, is to courageously follow and show others how to follow.

When you find a ‘lone nut’ doing something great, have the guts to be the first person to stand up and join in.  Check out Derek’s video:

Women Leaders Wanted

networkingBuild confidence, establish rapport, ask for the business, ask for the bonus, ask for the promotion…

Women leaders wanted:  When it comes to driving revenue and growing capital, ask a woman to do the job.  We have established that women are the undervalued asset!!!  But we Women–Bottom Line Broads, Money Magnets–all agree that we need to be the change we want to see:

  • We want to see Equal Pay for Women.  How do we get there?  DRIVE MORE REVENUE!
  • We want to see More Women CEOs.  How do we accomplish that?  Put yourself in a P&L job and Bring in the Profits!
  • We want to see More Women on Boards.  What’s our strategy?  Network and build relationships, and establish your Money and Power credentials!
  • We live in a capitalist system.  Money is the means of exchange.  We determine the value and worth of things in terms of money.  So if you want to get to equal pay, C-suite jobs and more board seats, you need to focus on the Money, the Revenue, the Profits and the Power!

If you get into a business situation where you are the only woman sitting in the room, and money is about to change hands or capital is being created or revenue is being generated, try to find a way to bring other women to the table.

  • Ask service providers if they have women who can be assigned to your engagement.
  • Ask vendors and suppliers if they have any senior-level women you can deal with.
  • Ask the companies that you invest in if they have any women in leadership positions, executive ranks, P&L roles or on the corporate boards.

Change your perception: it’s not about what is missing.  Look at the big picture, think positive, focus on the Money, ask for what you want, and demand what is YOURS.

Buy the CEO Spot

By Renee LaBran
Partner, Rustic Canyon/Fontis Partners, LP

Whether because of a glass ceiling or other reasons, women may find themselves wondering what else they can do to obtain the CEO title.  Or maybe they have been a CEO and want to figure out their next move.  In these situations, few women think about “buying” the spot.  What do I mean by that?  As a private equity investor, we look for strong operators to back.  These executives come to us with a company that they have identified to acquire and are looking for investment capital.  These executives are almost always men.

Where are the women?  I believe that there are a number of reasons for the dearth of women seeking to do a private equity backed acquisition.  For one thing, women are less likely to take risk than men.  Buying a company is risky, no doubt about it.  But it can also reap big rewards, personally and financially.  Second, women tend not to be as self-promotional as men, and you have to be willing to put yourself out there with a high degree of confidence when you go ask someone to invest millions of dollars into your plan.  Finally, women tend not to be connected into private equity networks in the way that men often are.

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Broads Circle, Los Angeles

Broads Circle is an informal network of top level, professional and business women in Los Angeles. We meet for breakfast, bi-monthly, the second Wednesday of the odd numbered months, and discuss business issues with a featured guest, usually a woman CEO, CFO or other top female professional.

The mission of the group is to increase the revenue that women generate, and thereby increase our economic power. Through this organization, we will connect women where there are revenue synergies. While our guest list for our breakfasts is ever increasing in numbers, and currently stands at over 500 members, we limit our breakfast events to 25 women (first RSVPs accepted). We also host larger evening cocktail events on a quarterly basis.

The focus of the cocktails in 2009 is Women Innovators in fields such as Health Care and Medicine, Consumer Products, Energy, Technology and Government.

To our mutual success,
Darya_sig
Broads Circle Founder and Chairman
www.BroadsCircle.com

“Driving Revenue and Growing Capital for Women”

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