Women Inspire Technology has proven numerous times to provide, not just your average networking gathering, but a true means to an end. The mission of this speaker series is to increase the number of female leaders in the tech industry. As a recruiting firm, we act as the facilitator for this goal and are the common denominator in bringing all these hard working women together. The Talener Group simply provides the means to facilitate the introductions.
Mara Lewis, CEO and Co-Founder of Stopped.at, was our keynote speaker for the August gathering. She inspired and empowered the room filled with like minded women by telling us the story of where she came from and how she got to where she is today. The event was held at the acclaimed advertising agency, BBDO SF. It was so great to see so many familiar faces among our regulars and so many fresh new faces!
Mara’s story was inspiring. She has overcome a lot of adversity and just that morning received her first check from investors. She started her first tech company, SpeedFeed Live, in 2010. Speedfeed Live was a live video chat network on Facebook where you could meet new people using targeted affinity channels and connect based on shared Fan pages, ‘likes’, locations, school networks, interests, hobbies, and more. Individuals could host public video chat events, schedule invite-only video conferences, and direct video chats with any of their Facebook friends! Mara exerts extreme confidence in herself and her ideas. Based on her stories it appears that she is deeply focused and has a lot of passion for what she does. Unfortunately, Speedfeed live did not get a lot of traction in the market. Though, she kept it going as long as she possibly could and did not shut it down until both of her co-founders left for other jobs.
A couple months later she woke up in the middle of night with the idea behind Stoppd.at. She found a dry cleaner hanger and wrote the idea down with lipstick. The first thing next morning she called up one of her friends, mentors, and advisors from Speedfeed Live to pitch the idea. Not only did he believe in the idea but he quit his job at Yahoo to turn the lipstick writing into reality. Stopped.at is similar to FourSquare but for websites not physical locations. One can check-in to your favorite websites, discover where your friends go online, and unlock deals from the places you visit the most. Mara realized this need back in college when she lived in a house with her best friends. She knew everything about them all the way to what shampoo they were using, but could never keep track of all the awesome websites they were checking out and going back to on a daily basis. Stopped.at allows the user to discover so many more useful websites that your friends and family have been visiting!
As her story unfolded it was clear that Mara is gutsy and determined. She has realized that investors have taken her less seriously and they have doubt in her ability as a female CEO. In order to compensate for that she is gutsy and makes it a priority to get their attention and prove to them that she is serious and focused.
Our next event will take place Thursday, September 27th at 6:30pm. Our hope is that through this continued grass-roots initiative, women professionals will inspire each other to reach higher and speak louder. If you are interested in attending, please R.S.V.P. to Sophie Levy at firstname.lastname@example.org