The upcoming live event WomanCon 2013 at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City will feature powerhouse female professionals who have courageously challenged the status quo to reign as thought leaders within the business, technology, and media industries. Each panel at the conference will focus on a major challenge of building a successful empire.
One challenge that every entrepreneur, marketer, or salesperson must face is effectively executing the classic elevator pitch. Conference attendees will have a rare opportunity to put their elevator pitch to the test before seasoned media relations professionals during the panel, “Pitch the Media Live.” PR Newswire’s Senior Manager, Media Relations Brett Simon (@savisimon), an ex-TV reporter in her own right, will offer her extensive insight on media pitching as she moderates the panel.
“Working at PR Newswire offers a chance to work on ‘both sides of the fence’–with members of the media who use PR Newswire for Journalists and ProfNet to get story ideas and sources, and clients who use our services to send their content to audiences including journalists, B2B and consumer buyers,” she says, “I’m really excited to use this unique perspective as I moderate WomanCon’s Pitch the Media Live panel, which will offer women entrepreneurs and small business owners in attendance the opportunity to use their elevator pitch and get feedback on the spot.”
The accomplishments of this year’s speakers are a true inspiration for aspiring women entrepreneurs who, at times, are still subjected to discrimination within the workplace. Prior to WomanCon 2013, several of the highly-anticipated speakers shared their personal advice with PR Newswire for those who hope to face their greatest challenges and push the boundaries of success.
1. Focus on building a strong brand
“You need to think about your brand promise, what sets you apart, and then use every single touch point at your disposal to communicate a consistent message” says BrandTwist Founder and CEO, Julie Cottineau. Defining a brand and its strategic criteria before website development is most important because trial and error “can end up costing entrepreneurs a lot of money they don’t have, or money could that could be better invested elsewhere in their business.”
Ms. Cottineau will be presenting her “5 Strategies to Build Your Brand” using case studies from global giant, Virgin Enterprises.
2. Be persistent
“It takes persistence to become successful, when you believe in an idea that will never let you go, never, ever give up,” urges Kay Koplovitz, Chairman and Co-Founder of Springboard Enterprises. Ms. Koplovitz endured 7 long years before she saw her dreams come to fruition as the first female CEO in television for USA Networks.
She will be featured in the panel discussion “Angels, VCs and More: Getting Money for Growth” discussing the value of human capital and building out your network.
3. Be confident, not defensive
Yao-Hui Huang, partner at Pereg Industries and founder of The Hatchery believes “It’s not just about how smart you are or how great your business is. It is how you answer the questions, how you interact with others, it is how you respond.” She attributes this lesson to spending over a decade building one of New York’s largest networks in technology through various people, projects and deals.
Ms. Huang will share her expertise during the presentation “Turning Ideas Into Companies,” which will cover how to transition your passions into tangible creations.
4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
“Many times we don’t tap in to the most valuable resource we have, which is our network and connections” advises WomanCon Founder and Producer, Laura Leites. “People will help you, you just have to ask.”
Ms. Leites founded WomanCon as a way to provide educational and inspirational resources for aspiring entrepreneurs. She credits her trusted and loyal network for helping turn her dreams into a reality.
5. Reach out for support from advisors, mentors, and fellow entrepreneurs
“Being an entrepreneur can feel like the loneliest job in the world” admits Geri Stengel, president of Ventureneer and Forbes contributor. “When you hit an obstacle, get out there and talk to advisors, mentors and your fellow entrepreneurs. Your peers in particular understand what you’re going through. Their advice and encouragement is invaluable.”
Ms. Stengel will be monitoring the panel discussion “Angels, VCs and More: Getting Money for Growth” which will educate, motivate, and inspire women to fuel their growth with outside funding.
6. Attend as many networking events for women and entrepreneurs as possible
Colleen DeBaise, director of digital media at StoryExchange, realized the importance of attending networking events after interviewing successful African-American entrepreneur, Judi Henderson-Townsend. Ms. Henderson shared her fear of being mistreated in an industry that lacked diversity, but believed that she learned how to have confidence after observing the behaviors of white businessmen. From this story, Ms. Debaise encourages others to “Surround yourself with entrepreneurs who may have a completely different perspective than you. It can be an eye-opening experience.”
Ms. Debaise will share her insights on how to pitch the media in her presentation “Pitch the Media Live.”
7. Take it one step at a time
After serving as CEO and Co-Founder of BatchBook Software while balancing life as a proud mother, Pamela O’Hara appreciates the value of stepping back and reflecting. “Take it one day at a time,” she says, “understand that entrepreneurship is a constant juggling act and you’ll constantly need to re-prioritize. Change is the only constant, so just embrace it!”
Ms. O’Hara will discuss the challenges of balancing work and life in her presentation “How to Stay Human in a High Tech World.”
8. Be flexible and willing to modify your plan
“It is so important that entrepreneurs validate that they are truly filling a customer need” says Peggy Wallace, managing partner at Golden Seeds. “Listen to the customers and develop products with their needs in mind.”
Ms. Wallace will be featured in the panel discussion “Angels, VCs and More: Getting Money for Growth” addressing the different types of funding for start-up companies
The speakers of WomanCon 2013 prove that while life as a female entrepreneur poses unique challenges, it is not impossible. Their stories are powerful reminders that any goal is attainable as long as you have the confidence in your ideas, the patience for progress, the humility to listen, and the drive to succeed.
Author Shannon Ramlochan is a proud Brooklyn native, a pop culture enthusiast, and a member of PR Newswire’s marketing team.