Notes from the Womens Entrepreneurship Festival.
By Joanne Lang (Founder & CEO, AboutOne)

Did you know that women invented the cooking stove, refrigerator, dishwasher and ironing board? As well as the Apgar test, the circular saw, Scotchgard, fire escapes, liquid paper, the windshield wiper, the life raft, and the first software for computing? Women have always been change makers.

The festival started with a keynote from Arianna Huffington. She was tall and extremely funny – much more than I expected. Her speech was incredibly motivating with a focus on real life issues and the personal obstacles women face.

My very favorite point was about how when her children were born she felt the doctor removed each child and replaced it with guilt. I face those feelings every single day, and it’s a comfort to know that other women do too. Arianna also stressed the importance of self-care and work life balance (both important topics that I’ve been focusing on lately).

Following the keynote was networking (over wine and nibbles), then the panelists all went out for dinner at the Chinatown Brasserie (site has audio).

At dinner I sat next to Jennifer House, founder of Redrockreports a company that finds funding and runs educational projects. Jennifer, who was on the knowledge maker panel, started her company after she became a grandparent. What an inspiration!

My panel was the next day and was held at ITP, NYU. My co-panelists were great. We had lots of questions from the audience. What humbled me was the queue afterwards to meet me, it took 2 hours to talk to everyone and I felt like a movie star.

Change Makers Panel

The takeaway from this event was the mantra repeated by Arianna, Joanne and Nancy: you need at least one supporter to help you succeed. I really take this to heart and am trying (with limited time) to support other women entrepreneurs around this start up process.

I hope you will check out and support these women:

This post was originally posted at AboutOne’s blog: “Notes From The CEO”.

About the guest blogger: Joanne Lang is the Founder and CEO of AboutOne, an online organizer that not only replaces the file cabinets, notebooks, and various tools that families use to store household information, but also saves time by automatically organizing that information so it’s useful and readily available. She is a former software company executive specializing in cloud technology. Follow her on Twitter at @AboutOneCEO.