A few weeks ago I was formally introduced to the world of Tech. The auspiciously nerdy, superiorly intelligent and competitively young universe that, until a year ago, I thought was confined to Silicon Valley.
The event that emerged as a catapult into this strange microcosm was Tech Open Air. It took place in the city I now call home, Berlin, Germany. It was a gathering unlike any other I had been apart of. Where a new generation of celebrities walk around in ripped up jeans, black T-shirts and New Balances and women stick out like a glass of red wine at an AA meeting. We went from talks by Erika Lust to seasoned Nasa scientists showing us never before seen intergalactic images. The hours turned into days of honorary speakers teaching us how to optimize SEO, pitch to investors, build your own VR technology, and navigate the intricate but hard to fill gaps between the genres of tech, investment, innovation, hardware, software, public policy, and social/environmental consciousness. Oh and of course always included was the endless supply of coffee, red bull, and BEER. Lots of beer. (Hello Germany!)
My background is 6 years in formal education with an athletic background and a Masters Degree in Communication. I then jumped straight into a career in costumes on the TV show “Hawaii Five-0”. Gave up a burgeoning career and left my home of 7 years (Hawaii), packed up my new family and moved to Berlin. My knowledge of the Tech industry and the city that I was now claiming to be part of, was infantile. I had to ask myself, do I really belong here?
I realized that what many simply call tech is really an organism that is growing at a rapid pace. Engulfing every sector. Propelling our archaic ways into the future until one day we all wake up and realize this “faraway” concept consumes and animates all that we do.
From this organism bubbles genres of interests and focus'. One of the most prominent factions I’ve come to notice, is that of women banding together and there is a very strong movement going on, ladies. I’ve experienced it first hand, and it’s wunderbar. There is no other industry in the world that I know of right now where women are being monetarily endorsed and collectively rewarded to enter the market. People are starting to realize that women in tech are dreadfully underrepresented.
This Satellite Event by TOA was called "Rising Female Founder Stars" and it was awesome!
The technology world is literally giving women free tickets to ride. My $700 ticket to Tech Open Air (TOA)? FREE! My $900 ticket to Web Summit in Lisbon? A whopping total of $85.
Why? Because I’m a #FemaleFounder.
I want to iterate that the propulsion to inhabit this sector is not for the money or freebies. I am just astonished by this moment in history I have found myself in. The tides seem to be slowly turning in our favor, and what a luminous feeling it is to be surfing the wave. The question has now become, what is my role in contributing to this organism?
I would like to extend an empowering hand towards other young women who fancy challenging the status quo. That the “roles” we as women have been taught to play since we were old enough to re-enact have no anchor except for in our own minds. Believing in the concept that tech is a man’s world is holding it at arm’s length to remain that way. While I am still rookie to this myself, I would like to help other women enter this industry and join me in shaping the future of this generation of #femalefounders. This is an industry that is no longer in it's infancy, BUT we have the opportunity (dare I say duty?) to be part of what the future looks like.
What an exciting and important place to be.
The introduction to this world was alien at first. But now I feel as though I have a place in it all. If you have any questions or want to reach out to me about entering the world of tech as a #femalefounder please send me an email through the contact form. I would love to hear from you.
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