Bro Culture

I’m the founder of a startup.  It’s a tech startup. I’ve built an online platform that connects real estate developers with investors, and I spend tons of time, energy, and resources making sure this platform is secure, reliable, and easy to use. I love my startup and I love what I do. I am determined to make it one of the best equity crowdfunding platforms in the world.

I wish I could say that l love the tech world as much as I love my startup. But unfortunately, there are some truths in the recent spate of articles about how this industry can be hostile to people who may not look and act like the folks traditionally at the top. The Atlantic‘s April 2017 cover story asks, “Why Is Silicon Valley So Awful to Women?” and a New York Times piece that ran a couple weeks ago tells the story of “Jerks and the Start-Ups They Ruin.”

These articles detail the ways women, minorities, and older workers are paid and promoted less than men, interrupted in meetings more than men, and are much less likely to get funding from venture capitalists. According to the New York Times piece, these are all signs of “bro culture,” which is built on “reckless spending and excessive partying,” values “speedy growth over sustainable profits,” and encourages “cutting corners, ignoring regulations and doing whatever it takes to win.”

All of this makes me feel uncomfortable in the tech world and makes me feel like I don’t belong there. And yet, I know that this is where I want to belong. This is where I know that I do belong. I, and a host of other women, old and young, have plenty to contribute. It’s baffling that we are not embraced.

There is very little that I can do on my own to fix this, but I am doing something small. This Friday, April 21, I’m bringing Bay Area social entrepreneur and financial innovator Jenny Kassan to Pittsburgh for a special one-day workshop for women entrepreneurs. Jenny — a Yale and Berkeley-educated attorney and advisor — has a practice that focuses on helping women raise capital on their own terms and making an impact doing what they love. There is no one in Pittsburgh who has a practice quite like Jenny’s.

So please, come and join me. Come and figure out how to make your business bigger and better. Fly in the face of the “bro culture” by building a spectacular business of your own.

Register for the workshop.

An Interview Jenny Kassan: “Ask yourself what makes you come alive.”

Have you seen this inspiring interview with Jenny Kassan? The Bay Area social entrepreneur and financial innovator spoke with The Courage to be Happy Community ezine about the obstacles she’s faced along the way, and how she’s overcome self-doubt.

Reading the interview, it’s clear just how giving, honest, and positive Jenny is. She’s all about empowering entrepreneurs to help one another, and motivating women to figure out the things that—in her words—”make your heart sing.”

The Yale and Berkeley-educated attorney and advisor also shared one of her favorite quotes, from civil rights leader Howard Thurman: “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

Are you ready to make your heart sing, and help your business come alive?

Jenny will be in Pittsburgh on Friday, April 21 to present her “Fund and Fuel Your Dreams” workshop, which she recently gave as a three-day version in San Francisco. One of the most knowledge sources when it comes to creative capital-raising for social enterprises and small businesses, Jenny will help you learn to:

  • Take your business to the next level.
  • Make an impact doing what you love.
  • Avoid pitfalls and stay in control.
  • Find investors that are the right fit for you.
  • Get clarity and support in a community of inspiring women.

Join us for this special one-day workshop, and learn the tools and strategies for raising capital on your own terms.

Fuel and Fund Your Dreams

Friday, April 21, 2017
8:30 a.m. (registration) – 5 p.m.,
Location: The Shop, 621 N. Dallas Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15208
Price: $99, includes reception following workshop

Wealth Formula Podcast with Buck Joffrey

Buck Joffrey is the host of the “Wealth Formula” podcast. I was introduced to Buck by my friend Jorge Newbery of American Homeowner Preservation.  Buck is an interesting guy – a doctor who on the side hosts a podcast and maintains a website that helps people build wealth and investment strategies. I was recently a guest on his show and we chatted, among other things, about how people can do good while building a portfolio of alternative assets through real estate crowdfunding and catalyzing the (re)vitalization of cities. Click here to listen. And check out Buck’s website. It’s packed full of resources.

Fund and Fuel Your Dreams!

On Friday, April 21, I’m bringing Jenny Kassan, the Bay Area-based social entrepreneur and financial innovator, to Pittsburgh for a one-day workshop for women entrepreneurs. It’s an event for women who want to raise the right money from the right investors. Jenny will show you how to raise capital on your own terms. I can’t wait!

This event is for you if:

  • You want to take your business to the next level so you can have more impact in the world doing what you love
  • You’ve heard horror stories about what happens when you bring on the wrong investors and you want to avoid the pitfalls and stay in control
  • You’re tired of wasting time with non-productive capital raising strategies
  • You want to find investors that are the exact right fit for you
  • You find the whole capital-raising process intimidating and overwhelming and you want clarity and support

This event is NOT about how to raise money in the Silicon Valley style where your investors will expect you to grow as fast as possible at any cost so that the company can be acquired in 5-7 years and the investors make a killing. We will not waste your time teaching you how to make yourself more appealing to this kind of investor! Why? Because in our opinion, that model is wrong for 99.9% of businesses – especially woman-owned and mission-driven businesses.

This event IS about designing a capital raising strategy customized to your unique situation, values, structure, and goals. It’s an approach that works for companies at any stage, any size and in any industry.

The workshop will be at The Shop (where else?) and you can buy tickets here. $99 for an early bird ticket is amazing value. And best at all, at the end of the day we’ll invite investors to mingle with you at an investor reception!  You might have imagined that investors look a certain way.  But they come in all shapes and sizes and we’ll be hosting them all.  See you there?