Women Who Tech Wednesday, May 23, 2012 from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM (ET)

Event Details

The 4th annual Women Who Tech TeleSummit will take place on May 23, 2012 via phone and web. Just like our past three sold out TeleSummits, this one will be packed with some of the most thought provoking discussions led by the most passionate and talented women in tech, startups, and social media including startup investor Joanne Wilson, WordPress usability expert Jane Wells of Automattic, Shaherose Charania, of Founders Labs and Women 2.0, Shireen Mitchell of Digital Sistats, Elisa Camahort Page, of BlogHer, Kaliya Hamlin of She’s Geeky and many more.

Women Who Tech brings together talented and renowned women breaking new ground in technology who use their tech savvy skills to transform the world and inspire change. We provide a supportive network for the vibrant and thriving community of women in technology professions by giving women an open platform to share their talents, experiences, and insights.


Funding Your Own Startup

  • Joanne Wilson, Investor
  • Amanda Steinberg, Founder, DailyWorth
  • Pemo Theodore, Startup Coach
  • Amy Errett, Maveron

Failing Fast and Agile Development

  • Tara Hunt Co-founder of Buyosphere
  • Sarah Allen, Blazing Cloud
  • Shaherose Charania, Founders Labs and Women 2.0
  • Jen Conalvo, Co-Founder, Tech Cocktail

Changing the World with Open Source

  • Sarah Novotny, O’Reilly Media
  • Jane Well, Master of Suggestion, Automattic,
  • Liz Henry, Web Developer, BlogHer
  • Arthur Richards, Software Engineer, Wikimedia Foundation,

Harnessing Your Power

  • Susan Mernit, Co-Founder, Oakland Local
  • Lynne Johnson, Director of Strategy and Engagement, Whispr Group, Inc.
  • Elisa Camahort Page, Co-Founder, BlogHer
  • Jill Foster, Founder, Live Your Talk

Using Technology and Social Media to Build Social Movements

  • Claire Diaz Ortiz, Social Innovation, Twitter
  • April Pedersen, Co-Founder, Salsa Labs
  • Michael Silberman, Global Director of Digital Innovation, Greenpeace International
  • Amy Sample Ward, Director of Membership, NTEN

Digital Rights and Online Privacy

  • Jon Pincus, Co-Founder, Qweries
  • Kaliya Hamlin, Founder, She’s Geeky
  • Sarah Granger, Consultant
  • Laurel Ruma, O”Reily Media

Diversifying your Tech Teams

  • Cathryn Posey, Tech By Superwoman
  • Kriselle Laran, Bullfrog Media
  • Adria Richards, Developer Evangelist, SendGrid
  • Shireen Mitchell, Founder, Digital Sistas

Women in International Tech

  • Beth Kanter, Author and Trainer
  • Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg, Ph.D Founder and Executive Director, Akili Dada
  • Heather Ramsey, Director Women’s Leadership Program, IIE and TechWomen Program

Fireside Chat

  • Moderated by Cathy Brooks
  • DiAnn Eisnor, Waze.com

Sponsored by Rad Camapign, Blackbaud, NTEN, Salsa Labs, Singlebrook Technology, Women 2.0, and BlogHer

Ben White: Crowdsourcing knowledge on doing business in Africa

Dear Members,

The VC4Africa Questions & Answers tool connects you to everything you want to know about doing business in Africa. It is a place for us to solve our problems and to share our own experience and knowledge with fellow members. We invite you to participate as we crowd source an open and accessible knowledge base for the space.

Business Models (8) – http://vc4afri.ca/lm7if
Business Plans (3) – http://vc4afri.ca/mns1n
Diaspora (3) – http://vc4afri.ca/qhmgn
Due Diligence (4) – http://vc4afri.ca/k56l1
Finance (23) – http://vc4afri.ca/fdmli
General focus (19) – http://vc4afri.ca/kgp9i
Government (2) – http://vc4afri.ca/ua0g3
Green Entrepreneurship (1) – http://vc4afri.ca/atk9v
Investing (11) – http://vc4afri.ca/n82mz
Legal (5) – http://vc4afri.ca/4sue2
Marketing (4) – http://vc4afri.ca/zswen
Partners (5) – http://vc4afri.ca/9hawy
Product Development (1) – http://vc4afri.ca/7civo
Resources (11) – http://vc4afri.ca/130cl
Sales (1) – http://vc4afri.ca/hnzzb
Social Entrepreneurship (11) – http://vc4afri.ca/5gqvz
Startups (9) – http://vc4afri.ca/forb0
Strategies (12) – http://vc4afri.ca/gzjwe

Kind regards and Happy Networking!
The VC4Africa Team
Posted By Ben White

2012/2013 Africa-wide Women in Science Competition Call for Abstracts

With a population of approximately 1.03 billion in 2011, and a growth rate of 24 million per annum, Africa’s population is expected to double by 2050. Africa’s chances of halving poverty and hunger by 2015 remain slim. The continent needs to increase agricultural productivity in a sustainable manner as well as find endogenous solutions to respond to the twin challenges of climate change and volatile food and energy prices. Increasing investments in the agricultural sector and more specifically in science, technology and innovation is seen as a viable option for achieving broad-based agricultural led economic growth, equity and prosperity.

This competition seeks to promote excellence and recognize and reward outstanding women scientists who are undertaking scientific and innovative research, technology and engineering related development activities and communicating the outputs (knowledge, technologies and approaches) to improve agricultural performance and socio-economic development in Africa.

NYeC, NYC Investment Fund and the DOH Join Forces to Create Digital Health Accelerator

$4.2M Program to Encourage Health IT Innovation and Create 1,500 New Jobs in New York

Visit digitalhealthaccelerator.com for updates.

New York, NY – Today the New York City Investment Fund (NYCIF) joined the New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC) and the NYS Department of Health (DOH) to launch the New York Digital Health Accelerator (NYDHA), a program that will make New York a hub for the emerging digital health technology industry.

The NYDHA is run by NYCIF and NYeC. In upcoming months the program will choose 12 early- and growth-stage companies that are developing cutting-edge technology products in care coordination, patient engagement, analytics and message alerts for healthcare providers. Each chosen company will be awarded up to $300,000 along with invaluable mentoring from senior-level executives at leading hospitals and other providers in New York. The focus areas of innovation will support the development of products that help the state’s Medicaid Redesign Team and its new “Health Homes” program, an initiative intended to make the state’s treatment of Medicaid patients more coordinated and efficient.

“Health information technology is helping us transform our healthcare system to provide high-quality, cost-efficient, and patient-centered care for the 21st century,” said New York State Health Commissioner Nirav R. Shah, M.D., M.P.H. “The Digital Health Accelerator program will further advance New York’s national leadership in health IT as it will attract leading-edge companies at the forefront of developing the technology necessary for robust electronic health records and digital care coordination systems.”

“When the government and the private sector work hand-in-hand to encourage business growth in our state we see results. This Accelerator will help New York keep and attract businesses that grow our state’s economy and create jobs in our communities,” said Maria Gotsch, President and CEO of NYCIF. “Our initial investment will go a long way towards attracting additional investment into New York.”

“The economy and healthcare are the two most important issues facing the state, and the New York Digital Health Accelerator will allow us to tackle them both at once,” noted David Whitlinger, Executive Director of NYeC. “This initiative represents the best kind of marriage between the public and private sectors. We are leveraging New York’s investment in our statewide health information exchange network and empowering it with the free market.”

The NYDHA’s unique feature is that it offers participants the opportunity to engage directly with a broad network of providers in New York State, including hospitals, long-term care providers, community health centers, and primary care providers. Tech companies accepted into the program will receive direct mentorship and feedback from senior-level executives with the participating providers. In addition, companies will have priority access to the technology platform that is connecting electronic health records across New York State, the Statewide Health Information Network of New York (SHIN-NY).

An application for this program, and more information, is available at digitalhealthaccelerator.com. An informational session for companies interested in participating will be held on May 10, 2012 in New York City. Applications for the NYDHA program are due June 1, 2012.

With its initial investment of $4.2 million, the NYDHA program will create approximately 1,500 jobs over five years. In addition, it is expected that the companies will attract upwards of $150 million to $200 million in investment from the venture capital community post-program. The NYDHA will stimulate a new marketplace, creating the next generation of healthcare tools while positioning New York as the capitol of the health IT entrepreneurial sector.

The investment capital will be provided by a syndicate of investors, including Aetna, Milestone Venture Partners, New Leaf Venture Partners, New York City Investment Fund, Quaker Partners, Safeguard Scientifics, and UnitedHealth Group. The Empire State Development Corporation, Health Research Inc., and NYeC will provide additional funds and/or services to operate the NYDHA.

18 leading healthcare providers have agreed to participate in the program:
Albany Medical Center
Catholic Health System
Community Healthcare Network
Continuum Health Partners
Ellis Medicine
FEGS Health and Human Services System
Finger Lakes Community Health
Hometown Health Centers
Hudson Valley Initiative
Institute for Family Health
Maimonides Medical Center
NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation
New York-Presbyterian Hospital
North Shore LIJ Health System
NYU Langone Medical Center
Stony Brook University Medical Center
Visiting Nurse Service of Schenectady and Saratoga Counties
Winthrop University Hospital

“Aetna is strongly committed to advancing healthcare information technology that will connect the healthcare system to help improve quality and outcomes,” said Lonny Reisman, M.D., Aetna’s Chief Medical Officer and a member of board of the New York eHealth Collaborative. “The convergence of health IT and healthcare expertise will be extremely critical and powerful in making healthcare more effective, convenient and affordable for everyone. Aetna has been actively involved in NYeC since its inception, and we are pleased to support this important initiative.”

“Albany Medical Center welcomes this important initiative that will help develop innovative approaches to improving patient outcomes at lower costs while helping to attract healthcare entrepreneurs to New York State,” noted James J. Barba, President and CEO. “Albany Med has long recognized that the type of collaboration this project is building between healthcare providers, government and the private sector will be the key to reforming our healthcare system.”

“Entrepreneurs require access to potential customers as much as they require access to capital,” said Todd Pietri, co-founder and General Partner of Milestone Venture Partners. “The New York Digital Health Accelerator is the first accelerator program we have seen which provides direct access to key decision makers at potential customers.”

“New York City is the place for the creation of next generation digital health companies. The combination of the digital alley talent, the deep healthcare infrastructure of the state and the availability of venture funding is truly unique,” said Philippe Chambon, Managing Director of New Leaf Venture Partners. “This accelerator effort will help us build further the IT tools that healthcare truly needs. New Leaf Venture Partners is honored to be part of the New York Digital Health Accelerator.”

“Quaker Partners is excited to participate in the NY Digital Health Accelerator program. New York is leading the way in healthcare innovation by bringing together hospitals, medical providers, payers, and investors with its rapidly growing Silicon Alley,” said Adele C. Oliva, Partner at Quaker Partners. “Quaker believes that this integrated approach will catalyze entrepreneurship and deliver the revolutionary technology the healthcare system requires to improve care and reduce costs.”

“We are looking forward to becoming a part of the New York Digital Health Accelerator,” said Gary J. Kurtzman, MD, Managing Director at Safeguard Scientifics. “New York is forging an unprecedented path by pulling together investors, hospitals, and other healthcare advisors to collaborate and offer healthcare IT start-ups access to capital, mentorship and expert insights to help them effectively grow their business.”

“Innovation is a key driver in helping make the health system work better for everyone,” said Tom Vanderheyden, Vice President, Emerging Businesses Group at UnitedHealth Group. “We believe the New York Digital Health Accelerator model will help bring practical solutions to market in a significantly shorter timeframe.”

“New health information technologies will help people get better care. Here in the Capital Region, the Visiting Nurse Service of Schenectady and Saratoga Counties, Ellis Medicine and Hometown Health Center are already working with other healthcare and social service organizations and physicians to ensure that we provide each person with the right care at the right time—and having the right information will help us do that,” stated Joseph Twardy, President and CEO, Visiting Nurse Service of Schenectady and Saratoga Counties.

Andrew Moesel (NYeC)
212-725-2378(w); 347-852-3140(m)

Michael Levoff (NYCIF)

Ben White: 15% establish a joint venture or secure finance via VC4Africa

Dear Members,

People ask the question, does VC4Africa produce success stories? First off, this is the wrong question. VC4Africa doesn’t ‘produce’ success stories rather our members do. In just the same way people make meaningful connections via Linkedin, our members are able to progress their African business interests via connections they make on VC4Africa. We don’t ‘manage’ the networking process, but rather focus on the technology, the platforms, tools and services that make it easier.

This aside, we are working to understand what works and where we need to invest more of our time and energy. Bottom line, we want as many entrepreneurs to find the support they need to realize their potential as possible. We measure both financial and non-financial matches. A key finding was to discover that 15% of members have been able to establish a joint venture partnership or secure finance via the VC4A network. Clearly we will be working to drive this number moving forward. Some other points we have distilled from recent user feedback.

– 86% of our members are registered as entrepreneurs and 12.8 % of our members are registered as investors

– 90% of our members have been a member for less than two years. 55% have joined in the last 6 months.

– 56.7% of entrepreneurs who have registered a venture found it worth their time and effort. 26.7% find the service ‘awesome’ and 43% have gained increased exposure.

– 36.9% of members have attended a VC4Africa meet up. The VC4A services that are the least known include Questions & Answers, Free Feedback Friday, the Mentorship Program and the Booster Program.

– 14.3% of members say VC4Africa does not create any value. 44.9% say we create some value while 26.5% say a lot of value and 14.3% claim the service is outstanding.

– 65% of members have gained interesting insights while 43% have been able to make meaningful connections.

Members in general find VC4Africa an effective tool for making meaningful connections. The site is personal, and the membership is focused and professional.

Moving forward, it was also made clear we need to be doing a lot more. VC4Africa needs to be better known, secure increased exposure, bring on board more entrepreneurs and expand the investor network. We also need to improve the user interface in a number of areas and offer more support in matchmaking, offering dedicated channels for connecting entrepreneurs and investors.

Now is the time for us to double our efforts. Join us on http://www.vc4africa.biz and together we can achieve even more.

Happy networking,
Ben & the VC4A Team

2012 Innotribe Startup Challenge

Happy New Year!

We wanted to give you a quick update about the Innotribe Startup Challenge and remind you about the upcoming application deadline.

Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors SWIFT, Invest in Northern Ireland and Cisco, we’re very pleased to announced a $50K prize purse to be shared by one or more Early-Stage winners selected at Innotribe @ Sibos.

Because the prize was only confirmed in the last week of 2011, we’ve extended the application deadline by a week, until 11:59pm Pacific on next Friday, January 13th.

If you’d like to apply for the NYC Showcase Challenge, taking place on Feb 8, please complete and submit your Challenge Registration and Company Profile, and upload your Pitch Deck on http://www.innotribestartup.com.

And whether or not your applying yourself, if you know of other startups or innovators who are looking for new customers, partners or investors in the global Financial Industry, please let them know abou the Challenge by sharing this message by email, post or tweet!

Warm regards,

– The Innotribe Team

About the 2012 Innotribe Startup Challenge
The Innotribe Startup Challenge introduces the world’s most promising FinTech and Financial Service startups and innovators to a global community of over 9000 financial institutions, venture capitalists, angels and influencers. The leading challengers are invited to meet face to face with potential customers, investors and partners who are actively investing in disruptive innovation. Learn more and apply at http://www.innotribestartup.com

Ben White: VC4Africa takes a look at the progress made in 2011

I think it is fair to say that 2011 was a good year for the VC4Africa community. What originally started as a Linkedin group has now grown into a thriving and productive network. This year we closed the old website and started a new chapter on VC4Africa.biz.

We now have more than 4.300 members who have opened personal profile pages on the new site and over 200 entrepreneurs stepped forward to crunch their venture online ( http://bit.ly/9Yzi7T ). There are promising businesses making progress in over 30 African countries and we have seen members in Cameroon, South Africa, the United States, Kenya, Nigeria, the Netherlands and Somaliland establish partnerships, investments and joint ventures. Increasingly, VC4Africa featured entrepreneurs are being picked up by global media channels like Forbes and BBC World. We have opened a new thread where members are starting to share their successes as their continued progress remains our bottom line – as a community and organization ( http://bit.ly/sWTglN ).

In the past months we have launched a number of new programs and resources VC4A entrepreneurs can tap into for support. For example, entrepreneurs are now calling in on Free Feedback Fridays ( http://bit.ly/s9Xd9j ). These are sessions hosted by business experts and are useful for working through challenges faced in the business development process. We also hosted several Business Modeling Workshops and worked with entrepreneurs to practice and film their elevator pitches ( http://bit.ly/tsItJ9 ). More recently, we launched the ( http://bit.ly/rHbJa9 ) VC4Africa Mentorship Program that connects members for peer-to-peer coaching with some early successes already on the books. We also gave a facelift to the venture profiles and entrepreneurs can now post their video pitches online, one of the reasons ventures like ( http://bit.ly/s2cyCG ) Njorku are top ranked all time. In the year ahead we will be doing even more to support our entrepreneurs as they champion their ventures.

Our team is constantly working to introduce new tools and services that further improve the VC4A networking experience. To foster more effective network building we launched our own ‘dating widget’ that matches members on the basis of complimentary skill sets and forwards recommended connections. How do you tap into a global network spread across 159 countries? This past year saw the release of ( http://bit.ly/w4VuI2 ) Questions & Answers as a tool for crowdsourcing knowledge from across the member base. There are now 68 open threads and 128 responses. We also launched dedicated groups that allow members to come together around a specific country or theme. Some notable groups we look forward to growing in 2012 include ( http://bit.ly/tMHdEC ) Green Entrepreneurship, ( http://bit.ly/vsF8up ) the Social Entrepreneur, ( http://bit.ly/rHbJa9 ) VC4Africa Mentors and ( http://bit.ly/vTS0vG ) VC4A Woman Entrepreneurs.

Far and away, one of the greatest projects we launched this past year was VC4A Badges. Building great companies and an effective network of contacts is a lot of hard work, but it’s also a lot of fun. With great looking badges we look to recognize your milestones and contributions along the way. See an overview of all of the badges and keep your eye out for new ones :) ( http://bit.ly/us5lZs )

Editor: Got me my nifty VC4Africa Officer Badge Rightcheer; woohoo!:

VC4Africa Officer Badger

VC4Africa Officer Badger

We will continue to listen to your feedback and build the tools that enrich your time spent with VC4A ( http://bit.ly/sbph8f ).

These developments aside, VC4Africa had a great year because we have such great members. People who believe in the continent’s potential and want to see its best entrepreneurs succeed. It is remarkable to see more than 30 VC4Africa meetups organized by members from around the world. We already have great events online for 2012 starting with Accra, Oslo and London.

Certainly Africa is a great business opportunity and we all agree the time to make it happen is NOW.

The best part about all of this? We’re just getting started :)

Repost – Wireless Health – New Mentor at Blueprint Health and Lessons from Venture “Assistant”, Vinod Khosla

Paul Sonnier writes:

Group: Wireless Health
Subject: New Mentor at Blueprint Health and Lessons from Venture “Assistant”, Vinod Khosla

Dear Wireless Health group members,

I founded the group to connect people, facilitate knowledge sharing, and accelerate health-related business innovations by entrepreneurs, startups, and established companies. Helping entrepreneurs is something that I’m particularly passionate about. In this context, I am excited to announce that I am now a mentor at Blueprint Health, the health and wellness-focused startup accelerator based in New York City.

In a recent interview, Vinod Khosla – who just closed a new $1B investment fund – stated that he is a “venture assistant”, not a venture capitalist. The hands-on assistance his firm provides to entrepreneurs is a core component of his investment success. A case in point is Jawbone, which was about to go under when Vinod invested in it. Vinod’s partner, David Weiden, made a key introduction to AT&T, whose distribution channel enabled a massive growth in sales, thus saving the company. (It’s noteworthy that UP, the company’s newest product is, you guessed it, a personal connected health solution. Another portfolio company is ZocDoc, the OpenTable-like application for making healthcare appointments.)

Why does this matter? In the relatively chaotic and burgeoning digital health innovation space, the startups that succeed will most likely do so as a result of the hands-on assistance provided by mentors and investors, who partner with them and amplify their talents via strategic advice, key introductions, and the ability to foresee and help guide entrepreneurs through the inevitable pivot points that occur along the way.

In my evolution as a social and business entrepreneur, the Blueprint Health mentor role is a huge step forward and further validation of my efforts. I’m eager to focus my energy on helping entrepreneurs, starting with the inaugural class this January. This is not a full-time role and I’ll continue working with the Wireless-Life Sciences Alliance, serving as a co-chair of the Healthcare Communications SIG at CommNexus San Diego and, of course, curating and building the Wireless Health LinkedIn group.

A brief overview of Blueprint Health:
Blueprint Health is a TechStars affiliated startup accelerator program based in NYC that helps early stage healthcare companies get started. Surround yourself with nearly 100 mentors – healthcare entrepreneurs, VCs and innovators – that want to help you succeed! Over the course of a 3 month program, we support entrepreneurs who are building innovative companies at the intersection of health and technology by providing capital, office space and, most critically, access to the most robust community of healthcare mentors of any accelerator program. We encourage you to learn more and to apply to our Winter program, which starts January 12th, by visiting http://www.blueprinthealth.org/

Mentor list: http://www.blueprinthealth.org/index.php?page=mentors
Recent media: http://techcrunch.com/2011/10/19/nyc-startup-accelerator-blueprint-health-now-accepting-applications/

Also, here’s a link to the fascinating interview with Vinod Khosla: What Cash Crunch? Khosla Ventures Closes Another $1 Billion Fund – http://techcrunch.com/2011/10/13/khosla-ventures-1-billion-fund/

Best regards,
Paul Sonnier

Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/WirelessHealth1
Connect with me on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/psonnier
Posted By Paul Sonnier, MBA

VC4Africa nominated for the Accenture Innovation Award [Please vote and repost]

VC4Africa wants to initiate a shift to business as a key tool in the development of the continent. The VC4Africa social network is aimed at investors and entrepreneurs seeking sustainable businesses in Africa. 1.9 million African persons operate online. 43% of the African population is under 14 years old. This rapidly growing open platform, has members from over 250 countries, and meet ups worldwide.

Please see http://vc4africa.biz/blog/2011/10/10/vc4africa-nominated-for-the-accenture-innovation-award/ and|or http://shar.es/bb0nB