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Women in tech startups mobile apps

8 Steps to launching a tech startup

First of all, what is a startup? In simple terms, it describes any small tech-related company that has the potential to become something big. It can be an app such as Snapchat. It can be a combination of an app and a platform (website) such a Pinterest, and it can belong to any industry: health, fashion, food, entertainment, social good, etc.

tech startup mobile app

If you have an idea for a tech startup, I will be discussing how to launch one in a few steps. Make sure to stay tuned for this 8-part series:

  1. Planning
  2. Leveraging Contacts
  3. Team Formation
  4. Business Strategy
  5. Execution
  6. PR & Marketing
  7. Pitching & Funding
  8. Exit Strategy

Part 1: Planning your tech startup

So you’re a woman and you have a great idea. But maybe, like many other women, you lack the necessary support system or don’t know how to execute your idea and turn it into a viable business. And sister, if you are a woman of color, it’s even worse. Who are we kidding?

Don’t worry. You’re not alone.

It’s 2016, and although we live in a world where 54 percent of college students are women, the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) majors are still overwhelmingly male dominated.

It’s not really surprising. I mean, how often are little girls really encouraged to go into business, math, and science?

But this disappointing trend is on the mend! Thanks to the efforts of Sheryl Sandberg’s LeanIn Organization, Nely Galan’s Adelante Movement and Angelica Perez-Litwin’s Latinas Think Big Innovation Summits more and more women seem to have embraced the entrepreneurial surge across the country.

You might be interested:
Latina entrepreneur Nely Galán SELF-MADE an inspiring story of empowerment and self-reliance

Ok, Monica. Get to the point. How the heck do I launch my own tech startup?

Planning, Planning, Planning.

First of all, what is a startup? In simple terms, it describes any small tech-related company that has the potential to become something big. It can be an app such as Snapchat. It can be a combination of an app and a platform (website) such a Pinterest, and it can belong to any industry: health, fashion, food, entertainment, social good, etc.

Women in tech startups mobile apps

Remember Facebook’s story? Who would have thought that a simple idea in a college dorm room could lay waste to MySpace and Friendster and become the social media giant that it is today? Other sites you’re currently using such as Twitter, Instagram and YouTube began as “just an idea” and became a tech startup. It took a lot of trial and error and a LOT of planning.

It may sound tedious, but this was perhaps the phase I enjoyed the most when I developed ClipYap. If you haven’t read about my upcoming app, you can do so here.

I was excited, but I was also very secretive and mistakenly thought that if I shared my idea with a lot of people, someone might steal it.

Wrong.

In fact, let me really tell you what a dork I was and how I learned about the beauty of careful planning.

I started developing my idea backwards. Instead of methodically following the steps that I will be focusing on in this blog series, (Planning, Leveraging Contacts, Team, Business Strategy, Execution, PR & Marketing and Pitching & Funding) I went straight into execution. What a novice! Better yet, #dummy! I started building the darn thing without doing the necessary research. I spent money and lost it because I didn’t plan well.

Planning involves asking the right questions and diving into research, whether online or “in the field.”

Consider these questions:

  • Does your idea already exist?
  • What makes your idea unique?
  • Who are your competitors – and what’s worked for them?
  • Who are your users? (Millennials? Women 18-34? Gay men?)
  • What will your Minimum Viable Product (MVP) be? (A fancy term for the first feature your users will see in your startup.)
  • How will you measure your MVP’s success? (Metrics: Number of users in the first 6 months or first year? Raising $500K in the first 6 months from angel seed investors?
  • How will your idea be profitable? (Hey, a business is supposed to make money, right?)

These questions are incredibly important because they will allow you to look ahead and from a critical thinking standpoint. Do research! Get on Google and research how many startups out there are similar to yours.

After all, why would you want to launch another social media site similar to Facebook or another disappearing app like Snapchat? Who the heck wants to reinvent the wheel?

My friends, innovation is key, but saving money is cooler and planning helps you do just that!

Till next time!

For tech & money tips, follow Mónica Taher’s blog at: www.monicataher.com

 

 

Pipeline Fellowship Natalia Oberti

Pipeline Fellowship Conference in the making of women angel investors

Natalia Oberti Noguera, CEO and Founder Pipeline Fellowhsip

Natalia Oberti Noguera, CEO and Founder Pipeline Fellowhsip

The Pipeline Fellowship conference is an all-day event on angel investing open to the public. Panels and presentations cover topics ranging from angel investing in action to due diligence, structuring the deal, valuation, and the post-investment relationship.

UPCOMING CONFERENCE

2015 Bay Area Pipeline Fellowship Conference

Friday, October 9, 2015, 8:30AM – 6:00PM (PDT)

Surprised? Curious? Each year, the Pipeline Fellowship selects five to ten women  in cities around the country to learn the skills of becoming an angel investor. The program includes attending monthly workshops and being mentored by seasoned male and female financiers.

The architect behind this initiative is Colombian-Italian Natalia Oberti Noguera, an unstoppable LGBT Latina who aims at “changing the faces of angel investors” in a White male-dominant industry.

“There are enough white guys investing in other white guys and I decided to change that,” she said at the Latinas Think Big™ Innovation Summit when prompted why she decided to start this women-led for profit social venture. That statement caught my attention for sure!

When I contacted Natalia for an interview, she immediately responded. “We target our potential investors through people like you who are genuinely interested in having a great conversation and sharing the message about this topic, and also through social media,” she said.

Growing up in Latin America, Natalia did not have entrepreneurial role models around her. “My father worked for the United Nations and we moved around a lot: I lived in Ecuador, Colombia, Honduras and the Dominican Republic. Quoting Marie Wilson from The White House Project, ‘you can’t be what you can’t see’.”

Years later,  she finally took permanent residence in New York City. “I hold a BA in Economics and Comparative Literature from Yale University –I like to say that I majored in extra-curriculars. I didn’t realize that what I was doing was being entrepreneurial,” she said.

Pipeline Fellowship Natalia Oberti

 

The same way, when she meets her potential angels in training, she encourages them to become role models for other women.

“In 2011, at our first bootcamp in NYC, a woman of color approached me at the end of the session and said, ‘I was raised skeptical that women can be investors but you are right, I could be an angel!’ Those are the type of stories that keep me going. While women of color investors’ numbers are low –only 19 percent of investors are women and 4 percent are minorities–, they are not zero,” Natalia said.

She firmly believes that seeing other Latinas and women of color on the panels is a powerful message that motivates women to act. “I ‘hate’ non-profits,” she said boldly. “The perception this society has about the concept of money is different for men than for women. When a woman wants to help change the world, she starts a charity. When a man wants to do it, he builds a billion dollar business. Creating a self-sustaining venture that invests in women entrepreneurs’ projects and startups is the best way to advocate for doing well while doing good, and it should be the only way to make a profit,” Natalia assured.

For that purpose, the Pipeline Fellowship bootcamp includes three important aspects of becoming an angel investor: education, mentoring and practice. “Women who are interested in investing their money in exchange for equity in companies they believe in are helped to make the best decisions through our program,” Natalia explained. “We try to match local entrepreneurs with local investors but sometimes it is hard. We receive thousands of emails from women starting their own business who are looking to access capital but fewer are willing to step up and provide funding,” Natalia said. “Additionally, it is relatively accessible once the applicants meet the requirements,” she said. Each fellow pays $4,500 for tuition and commits to investing $5,000 toward a $50,000 investment in a start-up that meets the Pipeline Fellowship Pitch Summit criteria.

So what are you waiting for? Get your investors’ juices going and out in the real world to help other women fulfill their dreams. Latinas we tend to think that we need to keep our wealth to help our children; however, building someone else’s dream today might make that person pay it forward to our own children in the future.

After all, it takes a community of women investors to raise a successful woman entrepreneur.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NI_RAEdKvTk