Leah Busque

Today, I am excited to share that I, along with my long-time friend, Jamie Viggiano, have launched a new initiative, called Shine Together.

Shine Together is an organization dedicated to celebrating and amplifying the awesome impact women have every day while simultaneously creating measurable opportunities for them around the world.

How it started

It all started with a dinner back in November of 2017. I was just entering the world of venture capital and my partner, Chris, asked me how I wanted to celebrate joining Fuel. Did I want a big party? A dinner? I immediately had a vision of getting an inspiring group of women around a table for an intimate dinner of celebration and learning.

The 1st #ShineTogether Dinner

That night, I shared how inspired I’ve been about the concept of ‘Shine Theory’ as well as the stories of the women in President Obama’s administration who made a promise to amplify each other’s voices and support each other.

We had a lovely evening celebrating each other. I left inspired, optimistic and energized by this incredible group of badass women and so grateful to be starting a new career with an incredibly supportive community.

For the holidays, I gifted a bracelet to my friend Jamie with the words #ShineTogether inscribed inside. Jamie and I worked together at TaskRabbit where she ran all of Marketing and Communications. We were partners in crime for many years. It was her job to work her magic behind the scenes and always make me look good [on camera]. I thought the message of #ShineTogether was a fitting gift for someone who didn’t usually stand in the limelight but should.

It was really Jamie, along with some brainstorming and encouragement from Chris, that envisioned taking this Shine Together idea to the next level. The three of us started to ask the question, what if we were able to amplify the voices of women everywhere? What if there was a platform dedicated to shining a light on the everyday heroes? What if women and men had a place that they could celebrate the amazing women in their lives?

#ShineOn to Valerie Jarrett, Former Senior Advisor to President Obama

Shine Together was deeply inspired by Valerie Jarrett and the women of the Obama Administration. These impressive leaders were relentlessly dedicated to shining a light on the successes and contributions of their female colleagues. In 2013, the cultural journalist Ann Friedman and digital strategist Aminatou Sow gave this concept a name — calling it “shine theory” and challenged women everywhere to consider whether success might be contagious.

To ground this campaign, I wanted to talk to Valerie, who practiced the concept of “shine theory” at the White House. I was compelled to hear from Valerie how the women in President Obama’s cabinet started shining, how it worked, and what impact it had. Jamie and I were lucky enough to get on the phone with her and then meet her in LA to hear, in her own words, the “story behind the story.” We are so grateful for Valerie’s incredible support and energy for the #ShineTogether campaign.

Leah Busque, Valerie Jarrett, Jamie Viggiano, photo credit Howard Min @ Tacori

We declare 2018 the year of women shining — together.

A year where we celebrate how women AND MEN are supporting each other, making everything and everyone brighter in the process.

Together, we can do this. We are at an incredibly pivotal point in our history. At Shine Together, we believe that our success is limitless, contagious, and, in the end, will inspire and ensure our future success.

So, today, I couldn’t be more excited to launch the Shine Together platform to celebrate and elevate women globally.

Shine Together is organized around three core beliefs.

  • First, we believe storytelling is among the most powerful tools for change — so our stories spotlight everyday heroes accomplishing extraordinary things.
  • Next, we believe a combination of genuine mentorship and meaningful networking can fundamentally change a woman’s life and career — so we’ve committed ourselves to providing access to these crucial ingredients with high-impact community events.
  • Finally, we believe in touching real lives with more than words — so we dedicate resources and funding to organizations that provide opportunities to women and girls around the world.

At launch, our #ShineTogether series will showcase the stories from incredible and inspiring women, including Valerie Jarrett (Former Senior Advisor to President Obama), Nastia Liukin ( Olympian), Ann Miura-Ko (Investor), and Selina Tobaccowala (Entrepreneur).

We are grateful for our fantastic advisors, Adam Grant, Author & Wharton Professor, and Meighan Stone, former President of Malafund and Director of Bono’s ONE Campaign.

Our launch partner Tacori, has been incredibly generous in getting this off the ground. They share our vision of shining a light on the brilliance of women everywhere.

To learn more, visit our website at www.shinetogether.us or any of our social feeds: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook.

We hope that you will join us in spreading the shine! We encourage you to use the hashtag #ShineOn to shine a light on the amazing women in your life — the everyday heroes whose stories deserve to be celebrate and amplified.

Let’s all shine together!

Leah Busque

Written by

Engineer -> entrepreneur -> early-stage investor, Boston native -> SF transplant. Founder, TaskRabbit. GP FUEL Capital. Mother of two 👩‍👧‍👦

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