Women 2.0: Great participation on the Startup America panel last week, which was held at Facebook HQ after President Obama’s Town Hall. Did you get to meet the President?

Raissa Nebie: I did not get to meet the President in person, but it was an awesome experience to watch him from only a few feet away. Overall, the event was great. I really enjoyed connecting with my co- panelists and learning about their experiences. Scott Case, the CEO of the Startup America Partnership was a fantastic moderator and made the experience a lot of fun. I think I speak for everyone when I say that we all enjoyed sharing our founder stories. Hopefully, we each inspired someone to pursue an entrepreneurial dream somewhere.

Women 2.0: Our favorite line from the event was your joke: “[I thought] you come to San Francisco, you throw a rock, you hit an engineer, you start a company”. Jokes aside, did you share any words of wisdom at the Startup America panel?
Raissa Nebie: My word of wisdom to women who want to become tech entrepreneurs was to embrace the Nike slogan and “Just do it”. Don’t let your gender stop you. Thinking that you are at a disadvantage because there are very few people who look like you in the space is a self-imposed barrier. With that mindset, I would have never mustered the courage to start a tech company as West African woman.

If you live in the Bay Area, Women 2.0 events are actually a good way to get started as they provide an opportunity to be around other women who share your aspirations. Also, startup incubators like 500 Startups and Founder Labs offer a unique opportunity to start and grow a tech company in structured and guided environment. My entrepreneurial journey began at Founder Labs and I most recently graduated from the 500 Startups Inaugural class.

Women 2.0: And how is Spoondate coming along?

Raissa Nebie: Spoondate is coming along well. We’re building an entirely JavaScript stack – from client to server to database. My co-founder, Van Nguyen, is a huge proponent of Node.js — We’ve built for JavaScript what Rails is to Ruby. Van is actually teaching a 4-week course on Node.js at CodeLesson.com that starts on May 9, 2011 – find out more about the course here.

Women 2.0: Awesome! When we join and use Spoondate?

Raissa Nebie: We are days away from our private launch. Yay! We’re really excited about all the amazing people who have signed up to join Spoondate. We will send out the first batch of invites on Monday and continue to release invites on a weekly basis as they become available.

We are launching in San Francisco first and would love to extend invites to the awesome Women 2.0 community. Please sign up at our website.

Follow us on Twitter at @spoondate and read our blog to stay up to date with the latest Spoondate news.

About the guest blogger: Raissa Nebie is the co-founder and CEO of Spoondate. Spoondate offers an easy way to meet and eat with exciting people who love food. Prior to founding Spoondate, Raissa pursued a career on Wall Street. She also attended the French Culinary Institute and worked at high-end restaurants in Europe. Raissa is passionate about exploring the various ways in which food can be used to encourage social interaction and cultural exchange between people from different backgrounds. Raissa is an avid traveler and bread-baking enthusiast.