By Joanne Wilson (Blogger & Angel Investor, Gotham Gal)
Last year’s Women Entrepreneurs Festival was a big success. I have thought a lot about what made that event so intimate and powerful so we could replicate it again. I am a big believer in having an event and then doing it again the next year with just a few tweaks of course if the event is successful. Our line up this year is amazing and the theme is Makers.

So what is it that made the WEF so good? I think there are a few things. The audience really wanted to be there. Every person who attended had to submit their bio and picture which went up on the website prior to the event so every attendee could read about each other before they got there. I know that there were people I saw across the room and thought to myself, I want to meet that person after reading about them. That created the desire for cross mentoring regardless of the age group.

All of the attendees were on a listserv prior to the event and the community met up the first night on their own and have continued to talk to each other since. That is pretty powerful. Last and certainly not least is the panelists. This year there will be 5 panelists on 6 different panels, all women including a panel of women investors at the end of the day. Each of them are entrepreneurs. They are all approachable and although you might not know who they are or perhaps have just heard about their businesses there is something about each of their individual drive that makes every person in the audience say to themselves, “hey, I can do this.” That is exactly what this festival is about. Supporting women to be entrepreneurs through this festival. I also love that the event takes place at ITP where so many entrepreneurs in NYC have begun as well as pivoted their careers.

We are taking applications now for WEF on Tuesday, January 17, 2012. Hope to see you there.

This post was originally posted at Gotham Gal.

About the guest blogger: Joanne Wilson is an advisor and investor in startups, including Curbed (Eater/Racked), Food52, Red Stamp, Catchafire, DailyWorth, Editd, Ricks Picks, Cacao Pietro, Editions 01, Hot Bread Kitchen,, Gotham Gym, The Moon Group and MOUSE. Her most successful venture is being married to her best friend Fred and raising her three kids, Jessica, Emily and Josh. Joanne blogs under the name Gotham Gal. Follow her on Twitter at @thegothamgal.