I was invited down to Philadelphia to speak at the Alliance of Women Entrepreneurs annual gala. I took the train down to begin the day at lunch. I met with Jane Hollingsworth, the President of AWE and Barbara Schilberg, CEO of BioAdvance who was being honored that night and a handful of other impressive women. We sat around and discussed our businesses and AWE.
In the afternoon I got to sit down with the group of women entrepreneurs who are the 2012 fellows that AWE has chosen including the fellows from last year. Each are doing something completely different so the only constant is that they are all women entrepreneurs. Life Science is very strong in Philadelphia so there was a bent towards that. Yet there is always a constant in regards to how women tend to operate.
One woman spoke of her company, a non-profit. She had spent four months getting a meeting with a guy who ran an incubator as a volunteer and got him to merge with her. Changed the name of the company, started getting investors but after all that leadership found herself not being the person who was the face of the organization but the guy who merged into her company. Through AWE she is going to get support and advice on how to lead going forward and that is a very good thing.
That evening there was a dinner and speeches. I am pretty comfortable on the stage but need to get much better at just talking off a few bullet points. I am not there yet. What I wanted to talk about is not really what I ended up talking about. The past few weeks have been super tough being displaced and so I am a little out of sorts. Lesson learned for me and I will get better at the speech giving going forward. It is mostly about confidence that I won't go off on a tangent and babble.
Bottom line AWE is awesome. Such an impressive group of women who have built companies, are building companies and more important a community that is supporting each other. The next step is getting some of these women to start investing in each other. I felt incredibly to be honored that I was asked to speak to this group.