Investor, Be Mine

i_heart_innovation_feb_14_2013_women2_conf

On Valentine’s Day, entrepreneurs are encouraged to rub elbows with investors at the Women 2.0 Conference in San Francisco!

By Angie Chang (Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Women 2.0)

Mentorship is a popular topic of discussion, and more difficult to do. Instead of fretting about how to find the perfect mentor and establishing a lifetime bond to last through your career, you can do something now to improve your situation as an aspiring or current early-stage entrepreneur.

It’s pretty simple – come to the Women 2.0 Conference on Valentine’s Day in downtown San Francisco and meet tons of investors who are there to support women entrepreneurs. Learn from talks from successful women entrepreneurs, startup executives and investors as they discuss what it takes to get to the next level. Meet hundreds of fellow entrepreneurs at all stages of the startup life cycle. Network, meet, and greet entrepreneurs and investors in one full day of Women 2.0. Last year, everyone left with a full brain, inspired heart and warmed soul – and tons of new friends.

But I digress… Mentorship is available in many ways at the Women 2.0 Conference. Let me count the ways -

  • There will be 10 judges present for the PITCH SF 2013 Startup Competition finals. These judges are all investors in early-stage companies. They will be present at the conference, onstage and sitting in the audience. It is your job as an early-stage entrepreneur to find them and talk to them. Study their headshots, find them in the crowd, make it a point to say hi and introduce yourself.
  • Another 12 early-stage investors will be attending the mentorship lunch to talk with early-stage entrepreneurs. Take advantage of this opportunity by purchasing your ticket now – limited seats are available for this mentorship lunch, so get your ticket to join us on Valentine’s Day for the Women 2.0 Conference now!
  • The afternoon panel discussion on the “Series A crunch” includes aforementioned judges, including 1 Andresseen Horowitz managing director on said panel, bringing our total of invited investors to a whopping 23 total investors attending the Women 2.0 Conference as of today. We’re still confirming investors for lunchtime mentoring – and we’re not even counting investors who have purchased tickets to attend the conference because Women 2.0 is a proven source of deal flow!

So how do you get speed mentored by an investor? Easy. Investor headshots are posted on Women 2.0 and you know who to expect, what they have invested in and what they are interested in. Go up to the investor, introduce yourself and shake their hand. Give them your best elevator pitch for your startup, no matter what stage it is at.

Try to make a good first impression. Gauge their reaction and follow up with questions on their interest. Try to understand why they are interested (or not). Learn from the conversation. If the conversation goes well, give them your business card and request to meet over coffee “soon”.

Continue the mentor relationship if everything clicks, much like dating in real life. This is investor dating with a similar courtship process, and raising a round of seed or Series A will resemble a very long engagement. Expect it, expect failures and aim high for success.

In case you didn’t catch it the last time (and you enjoy a good old-fashioned bulleted list), the investors coming to judge the live Women 2.0 PITCH SF 2013 Competition are:

  • Andrea Zurek (Founding Partner, XG Ventures)
  • Ann Miura-Ko (Partner, Floodgate)
  • Charles Hudson (Partner, SoftTech VC)
  • Christine Herron (Director, Intel Capital)
  • Jenny Fielding (Head of Digital Ventures, BBC Worldwide)
  • Joy Marcus (Partner, DFJ Gotham Ventures)
  • Kevin Laws (Board Member & COO, AngelList)
  • Nikhil Kalghatgi (Principal, SoftBank Capital)
  • Thomas Korte (Founder, AngelPad)
  • Wesley Chan (Partner, Google Ventures)

Also then joining us for lunchtime mentoring are more investors:

  • Adam D’Augelli (Associate, True Ventures)
  • Brendan Baker (Director, Greylock Partners)
  • Brian Dixon (Associate, Kapor Capital)
  • Christina Brodbeck (Co-Founder, theicebreak)
  • Cindy Padnos (Founder & Managing Partner, Illuminate Ventures)
  • Dave Kochbeck (CEO, Embark Systems & Angel Investor)
  • Freada Kapor Klein (Partner, Kapor Capital)
  • Jay Jamison (Partner, BlueRun Ventures)
  • Jenny Fielding (Head of Digital Ventures, BBC Worldwide)
  • Prerna Gupta (General Manager, Smule)
  • Roseanne Wincek (Associate, Canaan Partners)
  • Stephanie Palmeri (Principal, SoftTech VC)
  • Ullas Naik (General Partner, Streamlined Ventures)
  • Wesley Chan (Partner, Google Ventures)
  • More about the attendee lunch with investors here

Either way, get your ticket now to join us soon because ticket prices are going up in February for the Valentine’s Day conference. This is the biggest Women 2.0 event of the year and not one to be missed!

Photo credit: Erica Kawamoto Hsu, taken at the Women 2.0 Conference in 2012.

Women 2.0 readers: Will you find a mentor (or two or three) on February 14 at our annual conference?

Angie Chang is Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of Women 2.0, a media company offering content, community and conferences for aspiring and current women innovators in technology. Our mission is to increase the number of female founders of technology startups with inspiration, information and education through our platform. Previously, Angie held roles in product management and web UI design. Angie holds a B.A. in English and Social Welfare from UC Berkeley. Follow her on Twitter at @thisgirlangie.