Event: Women, Innovation and Technology (WIT) Rendevouz #7, Octobre 14, 2015
When I heard about this event for the first time it was already sold out. So there was no other chance as to subscribe for the waiting list. On the day of the event I learned that one third of the registered attendees did not show up and so it was easy for me to make it to the guest list (just show up early).
The event took place at the Facebook Office in Miami and I was curious to see the location. To make it to the office I first had to register at the front desk of one of these 40 floors high office buildings in Downtown Miami. A second registration was needed to enter the Facebook venue. The hosts did their best to impress us with yummy fingerfood and drinks. Before the panel session startet we had enough time for networking.
Laura Gonzalez-Estefani (Facebook) moderated the panel and introduced the panelist to us:
- Viktor Kong (Cisneros Interactive)
- Melissa Medina (eMergeAmericas)
- Luciana Lotze (Millicom Marketing)
- Silvina Moschini (Yandiki)
- Michael Samway (Georgetown University)
The round of introduction promised an interesting interactive discussion about Women and entrepreneurship, Innovation and Technology.
Luciana put in a nutshell what entrepreneurship means…its people who are absolute passionate about changing the world….simple as that. These words describe in my point of view so clearly the impression i got during the last two weeks here in Miami. There is really something going on here, they call Miami the city of the future where everyone is asked to help to build this future. The ambition is defintely to build a huge tech hub and develop Miami towards Silicon Beach (following Sillicon Valley). It seems as if everybody here has aligned with this goal and willing to think the big picture.
Silvina commented that with all the current developments in tech the next wave of the internet is for women. To get an idea that this is not only a phrase we just needed to look around…the (co)-founder of various local startups are women and this room was full of women who have either a job in tech or run a business in tech.
Asked about the success factors of startups are described as follows. First and most important is to have a good idea for a product or service. Absolutely necessary are problem solving skills and the will to make the step to the unknown, not to be afraid and not to worry …just do something. Which steps do have entrepreneurs to face? Have a vision. Take risks. Show your stuff to as many people as you can. Develop your idea. Participate at elevator pitches and learn from the feedback you receive. Make clear what is your competitive advantage and make clear if its the right time. Timing is everything in business. How to find out if the timing is good? Test the market. Start small. Meet your first customers. Work with them. See how they receive your product and find out what are their needs. Be prepared for Ups and Downs. Its not a linear curve to success. And with a good team it is possible to overcome problems together.
So what about Innovation?
The real advantage of startups in comparison to big corporations is their flexibility and their will to take risks…these are the seeds for real innovation. Google, a company which is known for its innovations, has regognized this as well and decided to found Alphabet and to support innovation inside the company with an adapted company structure.
The advantage of startups is that they have the chance to think outside the box…to think ahead. But always know when its necessary to cut something off…this needs an instinct.
Finally Laura points out that from her perspective the four areas in which something is really going on and where innovation is needed are:
- virtual reality
We are all curious about the next WIT-Event which will hopefully take place in november.
Thanks to the speakers and all women who make a difference in tech.