By Katrina Salas-Padilla (Contributing Writer, Women 2.0)
To a budding entrepreneur what could be sexier than intimate contact with the coveted almighty power of a willing investor? One might argue that a computer engineer and UX designer duo might give networking with an angel investor a run for its money on the ‘sexy’ meter.
However, it would only be a matter of time before your team ran out of beer and electricity in the comfort of your soon-to-be-evicted abode without the security of funding; there is nothing sexy about running out of business.
Investors are at the nucleus of entrepreneurship at all levels and stages of any growing venture. From angel to VC, the ingrained DNA of the entrepreneurship nucleus is in investors’ hands — they are a critical component to any living and growing cell. That is why I am most excited about meeting and working with investors at Women 2.0 Conference on February 14th.
I received an undergraduate degree in the Humanities and Social Sciences from Stanford University in 2011. To most people outside of the Silicon Valley it is the latter part of that sentence that legitimates my “Entrepreneur” LinkedIn headline. To most people within the valley, where the Stanford bubble is all too impenetrable, it is the first part of that sentence that de-legitimizes my entrepreneurial efforts at the hands of a non-technical background. Here, companies only make business-side hires for ‘pros’ with track records.
Taking all of this into account, it is difficult to fathom whom on earth would ever try to cut me a check for any valiant effort I am pioneering or supporting by other means.
Thus, I have had two options to stay afloat in this industry: settle for any low or non-paying position filling in to make ends meet for any eager, early-stage company one can pick up at your standard networking event, or fight for what I am deeply passionate about no matter the boundaries.
In order to feel as though I am encouraging the difference this world deserves I need to touch product, speak in planning meetings and strategize investment pitches — not simply make ends meet. Thankfully, regardless of location in or out of the valley, the Stanford University degree is a clear indication of one thing alone, which is that settling for less is not in my business model. Failure is only an option after trying with 200% effort.
Women 2.0 has not only made it more possible but more enjoyable for women like myself to try. I’m happy to say that I going to the Women 2.0 Conference to support and meet other young women who want to pioneer their own dreams.
Women 2.0 encourages me to build a healthy nucleus for a cell that aspires to thrive. I am most excited about networking with and learning from leading investors, but it would still be great to meet a software engineer and UX duo just for kicks.
Women 2.0 readers: Are you attending the Women 2.0 Conference on February 14?
About the guest blogger: Katrina Monet Salas-Padilla is a budding entrepreneur and Marketing Strategist from the San Francisco Bay Area. Katrina works extensively on strategy with local non-profit organizations, is on the Board of Directors for California Poets in the Schools, serves on Stanford Alumni community leadership committees, and writes poetry for publication. She received her B.A. from Stanford University in 2011. Follow her on Twitter at @katrina_monet.