Learnings shared at the Launchpad Female Founders Summit

Compiled by Clarissa Bukhan

The community of female founders is relatively small, with women making up just 17% of startup founders today. To ensure the growth and success of this community, it is critically important to come together to learn from each other and support one another through the unique challenges that face women entrepreneurs. With this goal in mind, last week Google Launchpad held its first ever women’s conference, the Launchpad Female Founder’s Summit, in San Francisco.

The event brought together an inspiring group of women, each in varying stages of their entrepreneurial journeys. The Women of Silicon Valley team was there to capture and share their stories, challenges, and motivations. Here are a few of the founders that we met:

“Starting a company is hard. Being a woman in tech is hard. Building a successful business is hard. However, what I’ve come to realize, is that almost everyone shares the same issues and challenges. The solutions may be different from startup to startup, but the pains are similar. Therefore, it is extremely helpful to come together with other women founders to share, teach, learn and inspire each other. Once you gain the understanding that other people are also facing the challenge that you are trying to overcome, it makes the fear a little smaller, and that builds the strength to keep going.” ~ Nitzan Cohen Arazi, Co-founder of Jolt.us


“When I created my first company, I was the only female founder of a web development agency I could find. I’ve since started a second company. As an immigrant, I am living the dream. I was told I couldn’t, but I did. You don’t have to be overly intelligent or technical, you just have to be willing to learn and quick to start. When women put their mind to something, they can achieve it.”

~ Anastasia Wegbreit, CEO of Integrations.io


“Leadership requires a willingness to endure fear. People will say you lack what’s needed to succeed- know they are talking about their success not yours- stay hopeful and excited about your dream.” ~ Margo Ellis, Founder & CEO of EELA Consulting


“EyeMenu helps visually impaired people access restaurant menus. The idea for EyeMenu came from my then 12 year old son who is visually impaired. Being a CEO and startup founder is is new to me and the learning curve is steep but there are resources everywhere. No matter how daunting Silicon Valley can feel at times, I have to make EyeMenu succeed. My son is counting on me.” ~ Emilie Bard, CEO & Co-founder of EyeMenu


“It’s always been a goal of mine to mix the arts and sciences. My journey pursuing that vision has led me to founding RecRoom, but it also hammered home the fact that rigor and excellence are what carry you through the pivots and iterations. Find your point of excellence and use that as much as you can.” ~ Adwoa Boakye, Founder at Recroom.io


“Bad companies are destroyed by crisis, good companies survive them, great companies are improved by them.” This Andy Grove quote is also applicable to people. Every hardship I have faced has made me better because I did not allow it to defeat me, instead I took it as an opportunity to grow! Adversity is inevitable, our reaction is a choice.” ~ Parris Moore, CEO & Founder at Love and Trust Property Solutions


“There’s so much truth in this Roald Dahl quote: “I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. If you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it at full speed ahead. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good. Hot is no good either. Extremely hot and passionate are the only things to be to excel.”

Genuinely allow yourself to believe in the beauty of your dreams.” ~ Gloria Pecot, Founder of Reddera


“I use technology to solve a social issue: enabling police officers and people with mental health issues to interact safely. It is exhilarating to be on the forefront of helping first responders to save lives, yet the subject matter is also exceptionally tough. I have a close family member who has cycled through hospitals, jails, and homelessness because of a severe mental health issue. For me, this is a personal issue as well as a professional challenge. When times get hard as a founder and I feel drained, I remember that RideAlong is about building a safer and more empathetic future. And there’s no job I would rather have.” ~ Katherine Nammacher, Co-founder & CEO of RideAlong


“Someone wants to build walls, but I want to build bridges, that connect cultures, create empathy and opportunities. My mission is to empower people to be world class communicators and true global leaders so that they can use their positive impact, be the change they want to see. Born and raised in China, I was fortunate to step out of the tradition and lived in India, Turkey, Brazil and right now in the U.S. I fell in love with being a cross-cultural communication & leadership coach. Silicon Valley is the BEST place to start my mission business — Yingfluence. Would love to see more female founders joining in using our “soft power” strength to be great “bridges.” ~ Yingying Li, founder & CEO of Yingfluence

Women of Silicon Valley

Celebrating accomplished women and genderqueer folks in tech. The Women of Silicon Valley team consists of Clarissa Bukhan, Lea Coligado, Tamar Nisbett, Jessica Sullivan and Marianne Abreu.

Women of Silicon Valley

Written by

Telling the stories of resilient women & genderqueer techies, especially those of color.

Women of Silicon Valley

Celebrating accomplished women and genderqueer folks in tech. The Women of Silicon Valley team consists of Clarissa Bukhan, Lea Coligado, Tamar Nisbett, Jessica Sullivan and Marianne Abreu.

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