“We are so afraid to expose ourselves–truth is once you ask you get that valuable information,” said Heidi Roizen, Corporate Director, Venture Capitalist and educator to a room full of women at the third annual BlogHer Entrepreneurs conference.
Roizen captures part of what the BlogHer organization has done for women entrepreneurs—created an environment where they can be free to expose themselves—and connect with other women in business.
This year’s BlogHer Entrepreneurs conference featured a line-up of women ranging from VCs to entrepreneurs to media moguls–even “intrapreneurs.” BlogHer Entrepreneurs is any entrepreneur’s dream event—with information ranging from how to raise money and find a co-founder to building confidence.
BlogHer has the street cred to shape the conversation for women on entrepreneurship. Just this month they won the Infusionsoft Innovation Summit award for Innovator of the Year and Women Owned Business Innovator. They have paid out more than $25 million to 5,000 bloggers and social media influencers from 2009 to 2012 and attract 55 million women every month. Needless to say they are walking the walk.
Personal Development and Perfection
What was unique about this year’s conference was the focus on personal development—in addition to focused business advice.
Perhaps it was the feeling one gets being in a room chock-full of like-minded women, but there was a sense of openness and connection one would never find at any other Silicon Valley event.
For example, one of the sessions candidly explored the topic of pitching to VCs—and how to not only get more women in VC offices, but make them successful once they are pitching ideas. At a few different points during the conversation, the notion of perfectionism came up.
Heidi Roizen, a Silicon Valley executive, venture capitalist, and entrepreneur suggested that women don’t apply for opportunities unless they fit the role perfectly. VCs see this perfectionist quality frequently as well in the delivery of a pitch—women often seem “over-rehearsed” according to Ann Winblad Co-Founder and Managing Director of venture capital firm Hummer Winblad Venture Partners.
“The quest for perfection is rampant with women,” said Winblad. She said, “pitching a VC is not an SAT test.” She encouraged women to rehearse with someone who won’t be a prospective investor and get feedback from that person.
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