I am so impressed by Springboard Enterprises, which truly goes above and beyond to promote women entrepreneurs, living up to its vision and mission to be a "venture catalyst" for a historically underserved and under-represented group. The group has consistently maintained a relationship with me via its alumnus circle and consistently promoted me to relevant capital and connections to move my business forward. Springboard is a not for profit in spirit and approach filling a need in the capital and connections marketplace. It's held with the highest regard by all those I speak to about it.
Women believe they are breaking through the glass ceiling in the workplace, but their achievements and contributions are not recognized equally with their male counterparts. In 2000, a colleague enrolled me in a Springboard Boot Camp and I met Amy Millman, Kay Koplewitz and Denise Brousseau, among many others. I had already raised capital for one business but it was a painful experience. Springboard surrounded me with exceptional people that invested time and effort to form and support my personal vision for success in business. Springboard introduced me to investors that funded other companies and other professionals that helped me develop my career in business and science. Through Springboard I have developed the entrepreneurial tools I need, a reality check on the world around me and brought forward my inventions and other peoples inventions to the public. The Springboard motto is Women, Capital, Connections. This is the heart of the organization.
I am a co-founder of a small technological company based in Israel. Springboard took me and a dozen other women like me to a bootcamp where we learned how to talk to investors, how to present ourselves and our companies and what are the rights and wrongs on the US market. After that we came to Washington DC to meet with funds, angels and VCs.
Springboard not only afforded our company the opportunity to present to prospective investment groups but taught me personally the best and most efficient way to present the key aspects of our company. In addition, the coaching afforded us the opportunity to focus on the best of what we could accomplish. As a result we were one of the companies that grew and were eventually acquired. I am now participating as a coach and as an alumnus to give feedback and recommendations to new companies.
Springboard takes fledgling female entrepreneurs (and some not so fledgling) and turns them into polished presenters and executives. At a time when women owned businesses were/are getting only a small sliver of VC money, Springboard taught us the hot buttons and savvy skills to maneuver in this mine-infested territory. And, throughout the process and beyond, they stimulate networking with other women with similar challenges in growing their businesses. Springboard's ongoing communication is thorough and welcoming. Even though I've changed industries, I'm still part of their network and wouldn't hesitate to ask for help! hallie