Women in business is something far too often gets overlooked, so we decided to dedicate an entire RTP180 to celebrating and highlighting some amazing women from the Triangle area. We invited mothers, young entrepreneurs, and those who have failed once but got it right the second time to share their stories, passions, and aspirations to a room full of 200 eager ears. Below is my recap from the evening:
Sarah Glova – Reify Media
Sarah Glova, owner of Reify Media, started her business here in Raleigh. While she’s surrounded by a strong creative team, as the entrepreneur she’s the one who has to make the decisions and answer the tough questions. During her presentation, she spoke about how having a team is wonderful, but at the end of the day, she’s the decision maker. Which brings us to why she’s talking at 180. To explain how we got to where we are today, Sarah took us through a trip down memory lane which included a callout to the year 1987. In 1987 female business owners could be required to have a male relative cosign for loans. Even if she was the 100% owner of her business. Things are different now, so what changed? Well, as Sarah informed us, in 1988 H.R. 5050 passed which was the Women’s Business Ownership Act. This act removed the requirement for women to have male relative cosigners on a loan. The group behind making this possible was called National Association Women Business Owners (NAWBO), and they were the first advocacy group for women in business. Here in Raleigh, there’s a very active NAWBO chapter to support women business owners.
To learn more about the Raleigh chapter, you’ll have to watch Sarah’s talk HERE.
Kim likes to say she is a mother of four. Not four actual children, but two businesses and two real children. After hearing this, people always ask how she can have all four at the same time. Her reply? “It’s simple. I have the same goals for both – independence and a contribution through hard work.” Kim believes her small businesses are a great contribution to our local community. When starting both of her businesses, she decided to look beyond the risk of being an entrepreneur and focused on the independence her businesses could bring her. No one can tell her not to bring her kids to work, which is extremely important to her. Kim’s path is an incredible journey filled with twists, turns, ups and downs. I encourage you to watch her 180 talk to learn more about her four children and how they all get along and co-exist.
Reid Miller – Owner, Reid Miller Apparel
Reid had a problem. As she biked to work on a daily basis, she noticed that her clothing wasn’t holding up to the movement and routine of her bike commute. There wasn’t a line of clothing on the market that was professional but also durable for an alternate commuter like Reid. So, what do entrepreneurs do? They solve their own problems by launching their own company. She took to the drawing board by designing a complete outfit for commuting bike riders, launched a Kickstarter campaign, and traveled the nation showcasing her outfit to bike shops. It was a complete failure. Reid explains that her original market was way too small, almost even a market of one person (herself). While most people would have given up, Reid was determined to learn from her first mistake and went back to the drawing board. Through countless meetings and conversations with her target audience, Reid is ready to re-launch her apparel line and I’ll be one of the first ones to tell you that it is going to explode.
Do not sleep on watching Reid’s inspirational 180 talk HERE.
Stephanie Scotti – Professionally Speaking
Stephanie opened up with an illustration showing us two sets of email addresses in an important outgoing email. She asked, “Can anyone spot the difference?” Someone in the audience shouted, “there’s a semi-colon in the first list and not a comma.” The semi-colon was indeed the reason why her important email never made it out of her inbox. That one small difference was pivotal to her achieving the desired results. Much like the comma, sometimes it’s the small changes that make the pivotal difference in our own success. To prepare for her 180 talk, Stephanie reached out to 40 women who she’s worked with over the years and asked for them to share the “comma” or the small change that made the biggest difference for them. These forty women had three overarching common tips as their reply to Stephanie’s question. Of course, I don’t want to spoil it for you, so you’ll need to watch Stephanie’s talk to hear the three tips.
Dr. Mary Dell Chilton – Syngenta
We ended our women in business night with a RTP legend, Dr. Mary Dell Chilton. Dr. Chilton is one of the founders of modern plant biotechnology. She’s a pioneer in the ag-bio space and was a key figure in the decision to bring ag-bio to the Research Triangle Park. She’s written over 100 scientific publications, elected to the National Inventors Hall of Fame, presented with the Cop Science Society of America’s Presidential Award, a laureate of the prestigious World Food Prize, and too many more accolades and achievements to list. During her time on stage she outlined her career and her involvement in bringing ag-bio, which eventually led to Syngenta merging and locating right here in the Research Triangle Park.
You are in for a treat when you watch her talk HERE.
Don’t miss next month’s RTP180 as we talk travel. However you get there, plane, train, or automobile – I hope to see you there!