Yesterday we hosted a Hackers and Founders meetup at our offices. What was special about this one is that we put our focus on women in tech. In these past years, the IT ecosystem experienced tremendous growth, and the part women played in that growth was -and is- key.
Startups have always had a rough time getting off the ground, mainly because they lack resources, or they don’t really know where to look for them. That’s why Hackers & Founders exists: to be a gathering place for entrepreneurs and freelancers to exchange valuable information, experiences and resources. And that’s what happened yesterday evening, when more than 20 women showed up bearing gifts of experience, generosity and good humor. The beer and food were not in shortage, provided by the host.
To kick the conversation off, we went around the table and each entrepreneur introduced herself and her project/company. This quickly developed into an ongoing back and forth, with everyone pitching in, very much interested in learning about the others’ experiences and what they were working on.
The first one to speak up was Mara Destefanis, founder and CEO of BigDataMachine, an advanced and personalized online search engine that captures and processes data from the Internet, who told us about how the volatility of Argentina’s economy and inflation can make or break your company when you depend on technology priced in US dollars.
Next, Veronica Fernandez shared some of the challenges she’s facing on her new career path as a freelance information security consultant, after almost 27 years of working for multinational companies such as Tenaris, Falabella and Andreani.
Later on, Mijal Iastrebner, co-founder and General Manager of Sembramedia, and Fer Amenta, founder and General Director of Nnido, got it on with a very interesting discussion on culture, on two levels: on one hand, the challenges of building a sustainable organizational culture, and on the other hand, how different countries in which their companies operate have totally different, and often unspoken, cultural rules that have a very real effect on the day to day work dynamic.
Brenda Gendin, founder & CEO of MiBucle, stepped in after that, to share her experiences on how hard it was to go out and sell without being a salesperson or having any commercial background, Paula Alvarez Pogranizky told us a bit about some of the obstacles she faced along her almost 20-years-long career on multiple countries, that led her to be the Head of Marketing at Pirelli, Mara Schmitman, founder & CEO of Schmitman HR let us peek behind the curtain of her 10-year-old company, and Micaela Tettamanti, founder of Mikkó Studio shared a fascinating look at the backstage of the Face to Face international initiative she co-pilots with her associate, Joosje Duindam.
The night fell upon us as the beer dwindled and conversation topics ranged all the way from commercial difficulties to gender differences, and from art to data, all the while restating the importance of knowing how and when to say ‘no’, of maintaining a learning mindset and of having a resilient attitude. We left the building saying thank you multiple times to everyone around, with the tingling feeling that maybe, just maybe, something larger was sparked in the 3-hour conversations that had just taken place. Hopefully. We’ll just have to wait and see…
At the very least, last night we got to know each other, hear some stories and have our own stories be heard. And that’s important in and of itself.