Entrepreneurship goes beyond gender

Lauren Cascio, COO and Cofounder of Abartys Health

When it comes to gender expectations in business world, “I can’t care” says Lauren Cascio, COO and Cofounder of Abartys Health, a tech startup working toward a globally centralized healthcare.

“Yeah, I’m a woman,” says Cascio, “but that’s not what you’re selling.”

According to Entrepreneur Magazine, women are founding companies at a historic rate, with more than 9 million women-owned businesses in the U.S. today.

The article also highlights that, over the past 15 years, these women-owned firms have grown at a rate 1.5 times other small businesses and are estimated to provide more than 5 million jobs by 2018.

“When you get results, people respect you,” assures Fabiany Lima, founder of Timo Kids an educational app for children with multilingual stories and games, “[being a woman] it’s just a detail.”

Fabiany Lima, Founder of Timo Kids

Undeterred by cultural and family expectations, both Cascio and Lima assure that they haven’t been stop or bothered by gender expectations. Their mentalities are shaped by their business goals and how to improve their product.

“Yeah, I’m a woman,” says Cascio, “but that’s not what you’re selling.”

A support network is non-negotiable

Though emotional support is a necessity for everyone, for these businesswomen support in their household and with their families is of the utmost importance.

“There’s no such thing as balance, it does not exist”, affirms Cascio. But that does not mean that either side, business or professional suffers. With the company in place, a reorganization of priorities is a must.

“Everything that I can give away, delegate, I do,” says Lima, referring to her personal life. For her, prioritizing important business meeting is as necessary as prioritizing important moments with her family. Which is why she decides to forgo some day to day control on one end, to deal with the rapid growth of her business.

In a candid conversation, both entrepreneurs recognized that technology and a good support network has allowed them flexibility. They admitted that while the entrepreneur never clock out, having a village behind them helps concentrate in the future ahead.

And just like with their support network on their personal life, they both recognized that to further their companies a new perspective was necessary

The Puerto Rican Experience

As members of the second cohort class of Parallel18, Cascio and Lima have been able to take advantage of the startup accelerator tools to improve their companies and exponentially grow.

“Everything that I can give away, delegate, I do,” Fabiany Lima, Founder Timo Kids

“We are so focused on what’s going on inside,” says Lauren “that we never take time to look polished”. By joining the accelerator, the businesswomen have learned first-hand what image the outside world has of their company and through the mentorships and events tailor said image to their advantage. “Parallel 18 was a great wake up call,” she continues.

Fabiany has had the opportunity to be part of other programs, but noticed an important difference with Parallel18. “Other programs want to decide for you or do nothing,” she explains. “I think Parallel 18 has made a huge difference. They’re committed to help companies,” says Fabiany, adding that this is a time to try new things and make mistakes while better learning how to fix them.

Both businesswomen recognized that Parallel18 is a different type of accelerator that requires serious commitment from the entrepreneurs and ready to scale to a global level. Or as Lauren describes a “local company with global hopes.”

If your company is ready to take a step into another level, apply to be a part of the third class of cohorts at Parallel18. Deadline is December 13.