Commentary & Perspective

#GHCI16 Daily Download: December 9, 2016

GHCI 16 ended Friday. It was an exciting day with offerings from multiple tracks and sessions addressing entrepreneurship, management and achieving success in your career. Although we’re sad it’s over, we’re certainly glad to be part of such an inspiring and eyeopening experience! Read about final day at #GHCI16.

Women Entrepreneur Quest Award

GHCI is all about celebrating the achievements of women technologists, and we are very excited to announce the winners of this year’s Women Entrepreneur Quest (WEQ) Award. This award honors the top technology startups founded by women. Our top 10 winners receive an all-expenses-paid visit and learning experience to Silicon Valley in the U.S. See who are winners are.

Becoming an Entrepreneur

Panel speakers on stageSpeaking of startups, many GHCI attendees wanted to learn the best approach to starting their own companies. Although female entrepreneurs face many challenges, more and more resources are becoming available to them. Maitreyee Nanda, Scientist “G” of India’s Technology Development Board, discussed the growing number of government initiatives dedicated to promoting women entrepreneurs during her talk Cyber Security Product Entrepreneurship in India – Need of the Hour. These programs provide women with the support and opportunities they need to pitch their ideas and start their own ventures.

So how exactly do you pitch your idea to venture capitalists? Here’s what the Pitch to MNC Accelerators workshop suggested:

  • Focus on one unique selling proposition of the venture rather than overwhelming your pitch with too many objectives
  • Relate the venture to a need and highlight its benefits
  • Highlight your team upfront in the presentation
  • Highlight any revenue traction since the inception of the venture or present the revenue model

Lavina Mahbubani of Lumos Design Technology also gave an excellent piece of advice for entrepreneurs during her presentation How to be Customer Centric“Keep investors close, and customers even closer.”

How to Manage During a Merger

Group of women on stairsGHCI attendees not only learned about starting their own companies but learned the best ways to manage them too, thanks to the panel New Age Management: Standing up to the TestSo many organizations deal with mergers and acquisitions, and managers need to learn how to best run their company during this time of change. Some managers turn to new age mantras (“Unlearn what you have learned to stay relevant,” for example). Others act as mentors, facilitators and guides to their employees, intervening only to guide the process towards a goal.

However, employees cannot rely on their managers for everything. The panel also stressed the need for individuals to envision and create plans for their own career development.

The (Unorthodox) Keys to a Successful Career

Women at expoOf course, creating a plan for your career development may sound like a daunting task. But don’t worry– there are many tips to help you succeed. Perhaps one of the more unconventional of these tips is laughing. The presentation Why so Serious? Live, Laugh and Learn explained that doing nonsensical and laughter-evoking activities reminds us to chase our dreams and passions. Once we understand what we really enjoy doing, we can incorporate it into our work and career plans.

A perfect example of this is Dr. Robert Lang, who left a career in NASA to pursue his passion for folding paper, (yes, folding paper) and eventually discovered the fascinating mathematics behind origami. He then returned to NASA where he used his knowledge to help make solar panels.

Dr. Lang’s story also proves that taking a break from your career isn’t a bad thing at all, and that you can always jump right back into action. In fact, the panel Jump Starting the Career After a Break reminded attendees that many women “jump start” their careers by upgrading their skills and networking with others in their field. There are also multiple back-to-work programs and online platforms that help women start their second career.

Remember: it’s never to late to follow your dreams, so don’t let anything stop you. We hope to see you all again next year!