Empowering Women through connection and community: When Toss met EnrichHER
After a midwestern upbringing in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Marissa Swanson packed her bags and moved to Atlanta, GA where she would create her budding entrepreneurial career creating the fashion app Toss.
While Toss simplifies the task of “getting ready” for the fashion conscious millennial, the development of Toss has come with it its challenges when identifying capital resources that are in line with a women focused target market. As Marissa states, “I had to break the barrier initially because a majority of the mentors and investors are male and I always had to play my audience in terms of thinking about if they were the daughter, wife or sister of who I was actually pitching.” No small feat.
Luckily, Marissa found a great community of support and a lifetime of introductions when she met Dr. Roshawnna Novellus who created the EnrichHer Platform. Because of the resources provided by Dr. Novellus and the EnrichHer, Marissa was able to take advantage of a diverse network of women led ventures as well as investors specifically looking to invest in women founders. Toss was also a contender during one of the EnrichHer pitch competitions and Marissa was interviewed on Dr. Novellus’ podcast which increased Toss’ reach.
Marissa’s biggest lesson while accessing other female founders and funders: “There are so many people who have already gone through what you have gone through” in any and all stages as a founder. Marissa’s advice to other new founders, “I have grown through connecting with people. So many people are worried about talking about their idea because someone has the capacity to steal it or they could be criticized. Going at it with an open mind is important”. We couldn’t be more excited for Marissa to be part of the EnrichHer family and look forward to watching her scale up her presence in the market!
Katie Shannon is a team member of EnrichHER, a platform that helps women get funding to grow incredible ventures through ecosystem building (EnrichHER Spark) and capital (EnrichHER Funding). EnrichHER enables accredited and non-accredited investors to lend to women-led businesses
How can you be involved?
Invest in a female founder here.
Apply for small business funding here.