by Melanie Spring
Being an entrepreneur, regardless of sex or industry, is tough. You have to be an expert in your field, know everything about running your business, and go through hard times without showing it. Most entrepreneurs don't have mentors or anyone to ask when they have to make decisions that affect their futures. Until now! In DC, entrepreneurs have Foster.ly.
Foster.ly is a community of entrepreneurs who share a collective goal for facilitating entrepreneurship in the DC area. When they say they're a community, they really mean it. They host events to get all of us together, they give resources out like candy, and make sure we all connect with each other through the website and in person. If you know me, you know I'm all about community and I love this one.
Yesterday, I attended the first Women Entrepreneur Study Hall hosted by Foster.ly at Verizon Corporate HQ. About 35 women sat around a big table with glowing Apple icons on the back of their MacBooks (Ok, there were a few PCs too) eager to meet each other. Adam Zuckerman (if you don't know him, get on it) started us off with 45sec introductions about what we do and what we need help with. There were women from every industry with lots of experience but also lots of pain.
One of the biggest pains was mentorship. Whether it was financial, marketing, hiring, just asking the "how" stuff. Women have the hardest time finding mentors and this Study Hall allowed these women to connect on a much deeper level than just handing out business cards. They shared the hurts and needs. They put themselves out there and someone was able to walk up to them to help them fix their pain.
By the end of the day, they were kicking us out of the room and there was a flurry of "let's grab coffee next week" & "I'm so glad I met you". I know this was a fantastic opportunity for me and so many other women. I was able to help a few entrepreneurs as well as ask questions and get leads for my pains. I even got called the Branding Queen (is there a dance involved?!). Taking my birthday afternoon off to spend with women entrepreneurs was the best idea Adam could have had. Kudos to him and his team for making this happen and I know we are all excited about this becoming an every-other-month event.
Are you on Foster.ly? You should get yourself and your company on there so others can find you. Go look me up:
Me: Melanie Spring
My company: Sisarina