I had the wonderful opportunity to participate and take part in a conference today called “Project Entrepreneur“.
Led by Rent the Runway and UBS, the ultimate goal of the event held in NYC on October 17th was to foster and motivate female entrepreneurs to continue on with their quest of building their brand and business.
Starting with the first key note session with Rent the Runway Founders, Jenny Fleiss and Jenn Hyman, attendees were immediately able to collaborate and understand the challenges that many startups will
have to experience moving their business forward. Perhaps the most difficult roadblock that many female founders will have to experience is having their venture capitalists fully understand and grasp their thought process, something which may be completely foreign in their minds.
Rent the Runway used the example of initially pitching their concept to venture capitalists. Many VCs are made up of older men that would use their wives as a primary example when deciding to invest money into projects. In the case of Rent the Runway, the target and prospective customers will not be a target demographic for their business model.
To allow investors to be put on the same page, they decided to share their story and pitch through a series of videos and visual campaigns which allowed investors to see what their consumer demographics are saying. This resonated well with several investors and, well, the rest is history. (Rent the Runway is a multi-million dollar business).
From there, two break-out sessions were created where attendees were able to attend sessions with such speakers such as Birchbox Founder and CEO, Katia Beauchamp, and VC Fran Hauser.
I had the opportunity of participating in two sessions which contained vital information to pitching to investors. There were some interesting take aways that I got and were critical to my campaign.
All in all, I had an absolutely amazing time here at Project Entrepreneur. This project goes beyond the typical “Pay It Forward” concept and the fact that it was a free to attend event made it so much more impactful. (Kudos to Jenn and Jenny from Rent the Runway who made it a mission to explain that this project was targeted for those that were not the stereotype to get funding. Amazing way to put things into perspective.)
In conclusion, Rent the Runway and UBS truly has created a solid platform and tools that many of us would have never been able to utilize had it not been for this event. Truly inspirational and rewarding. I firmly believe that after this event, we will see a lot of traction with many of those that were attendance.