ShEO: Leslie Heyer, Founder of Cycle Technologies

When you think of technology, you probably don't think of how it can help plan or prevent pregnancies, do you? Leslie Heyer, founder of Cycle Technologies, has used innovative technology that goes beyond gadgets and gizmos to help millions of women world-wide. 

Leslie Heyer founded Cycle Technologies with the goal of creating sustainable health care products in mind. When she saw the challenges millions of women face when it comes to health care, especially contraception, she became driven to develop simple and effective contraceptive options. Now in its 15th year of business, Cycle Technologies has brought numerous products to market which are widely used to assist in effectively planning or preventing pregnancies. 

Thanks to Leslie and Cycle Technologies, over 5.5 million unplanned pregnancies have been avoided, with over 1.5 million pregnancies successfully planned using their products. 

We had a chance to talk to Leslie and hear how she grew her business and became one of the “50 Most Talented Social Innovators.”

What motivated you to start your business?

I founded Cycle Technologies to help research organizations and others create successful, sustainable health products. It wasn’t until I learned about the challenges in global family planning that I became laser focused on working to address women’s contraceptive needs.

While researching women’s reproductive health needs and learning about the many negative outcomes associated with unplanned pregnancies, it was clear that more needed to be done to innovate and provide women with real contraceptive options that better met their needs.  I became highly motivated to develop and bring to market simple, effective, natural, contraceptive options.

The first contraceptive product that we worked with was CycleBeads® - a visual tool that helps women use a proven, fertility awareness-based method known as the Standard Days Method®. CycleBeads is now used in +60 countries by millions of women worldwide and offered in health programs, both domestically and internationally. It is also offered as an app.

More recently, we developed Dot™ - a patent-pending, app-only contraceptive method that gives women critical fertility information by identifying daily pregnancy risks and predicting future periods with its highly sophisticated advanced algorithm. Dot Fertility & Period Tracker was launched for iOS in late 2015 and the Dot app for Android was launched earlier this year. We are thrilled that researchers at Georgetown University’s Institute for Reproductive Health, with support from USAID, are conducting the first ever contraceptive efficacy study on a fertility app with the Dot app. To date, 6 million women use Cycle Technologies’ products worldwide; and over 5.5 million unplanned pregnancies have been prevented, and 1.5 million pregnancies successfully planned using these options.

What started as a health and product-focused consulting business has grown into a global, social-impact company focused on reproductive health. It’s exciting because I’ve found a great team of people that share in my passion and bring different skills to the issue of meeting women’s contraceptive needs. This year, we’ll be celebrating our 15th year in business, and we continue to stay highly driven knowing that our hard work helps improves the lives of women around the globe.

What is the number one thing preventing women from taking the plunge into entrepreneurship?

Women are less likely than men to start businesses that require them to seek capital, but women are natural entrepreneurs. We see women starting all kinds of businesses from their homes, while doing other jobs, etc. That said, the biggest issue for women – and many men – is sheer confidence. You have to be a bit of an irrational optimist and really sure of yourself to start a new business.

If I were to start my own business today, what is the first thing I should do to take action? - Where do you start?

 No matter what type of business you’re planning to start, the first thing to do is write the business plan. The business plan is a living document and something that you will refer to throughout the lifecycle of your company. It’s also where you to start to think through the different levers and assumptions about your business. Once you have a business plan in hand, it can give you the confidence to start putting all the other aspects in order.

What was the worst piece of advice you have gotten?

 No advice is really bad advice unless the intent of the advice given is ill-will. But it’s important to know where a person is coming from when they give you advice and to decide if you’ll actually use it. Generally speaking, I like hearing from people and hearing different perspectives. Even if I don’t necessarily think the advice is helpful at that moment, it can help me expand my thinking.

leslie heyer photo 2 jpeg.jpg

Who has always been your mentor?

 My mom has been a huge mentor for me.  She’s taught me to stand up for myself, work hard, and to take care of people.

Do you think the entrepreneurial spirit is innate or can it be learned over time?

I think most of what an entrepreneur does can be learned, but there has to be a small spark that does seem to be innate – or at least fostered from a very young age. The spark is having confidence in your decisions, a clear vision, and being able to manage the stress. But like everything in life, there are lots of skills that an entrepreneur can learn that really do help with all aspects, even the confidence, clarity and stress management part. 

What keeps you motivated when everything seems to be going wrong?

There are two things that keep me sane when things are going wrong: 1) The people with whom I work. We have an amazing positive team of problem solvers within our company and among our partners. Having people you can lean on and who can help brainstorm and address any challenges is key; and 2) Focusing on our end users. Hearing directly from people who you are helping can keep you motivated and focused on the end goal.

Everyone has their two-cents, how do you decide whose advice to listen to?

I try to think about where the person giving advice is coming from. We all have a point of view that shapes what we focus on and how we see the world.

What is your favorite gadget or app that you cannot live without?

I am obsessed with my Bose headphones. I wear them walking to work and on the airplane. It lets me catch up on news and podcasts and creates a little bubble where you can recharge.

At what point did you know you would be successful?

I’m hoping to know that soon!

If you could give your former self one piece of advice that could have saved you many mistakes what would it be?

At the risk of sounding cliché, I’d say, “just do it”. Be bold and confident in who you are, ask questions, don’t be afraid to look stupid, and never assume you can’t do something if you just don’t know “how” to do it yet.

What is the key to building your own voice and brand?

I think you have to first be authentic in who you are. Never try to be something you aren’t. But then really refine your message and brand and repeat it often to everyone in your organization and in all of your materials. In our case, it’s about solving complex problems with simple, effective solutions. It becomes a touchstone that we can come back to whenever we start to lose our way or get overwhelmed with all the potential opportunities and challenges.

What are you most proud of?

I’d have to say that I am most proud of being a mother to two young children who are turning into fantastic human beings. On the work front, I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished. We’re moving the ball forward in terms of expanding contraceptive options, increasing access, and helping women stay in control of their reproductive health.

Your favorite quote?

 “The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.”

Connect with Leslie:

Twitter: @Leslie_Heyer

             @CycleTechGlobal

 

ShEO: Kristel Kruustük, Founder of Testlio

Kristel Kruustük was just 23 when she became disillusioned by how QA testers were treated. She came up with the idea of building a platform that would appreciate the work of testers and elevate the importance of QA within organizations. She shared her idea with then-boyfriend, later-cofounder, now-husband Marko Kruustük and the two entered the world’s largest hackathon Angelhack. Together, they took home first place winning a $25,000 seed investment and their first paying customer. 

Testlio then picked up steam with customers like Microsoft, Lyft, Salesforce, CBS Interactive, Flipboard, Strava, and GoDaddy. Most strikingly for a tech company - over 50% of its employees are women and minorities. Today, Testlio’s leadership team is over 40% women and Kristel believes they will have parity soon.The diversity reflects their fearless leader who believes her company is in a unique position to make progress on diversity by hiring globally.

Testlio’s freelancer network is made up of over 150 testers from 33 different countries assisting customers in 36 different languages. Additionally, in an attempt to eliminate institutional bias the company’s hiring practice involves a rigorous practice test cycle that eliminates 97% of all applicants and ensures talent wins out. 

We had a chance to speak with her and how she became recognized as “one of the most successful female entrepreneurs in the the Baltics.”

 

What’s an important leadership skill that doesn’t get talked about enough?

Running a successful business is about more than the bottom line. It’s about the people who build it, scale it and run it day in and day out. People drive our success more than anything else. A great leader needs to spend the time hiring and empowering her people. The business fundamentals will follow.

Why should young people consider a career in IT or STEM?

Technology is the future; It is allowing us to make drastic improvements to human life. Even looking at the past decade, so much has changed in terms of what people can accomplish on their own. IT / STEM careers also enable young people to innovate and impact their world.

Why is there a need for nontraditional career paths in tech?

I never planned to become a software tester, but I knew soon after testing my first few apps that testing was something that would drive my career. People need the opportunity to discover how technology can transform their lives, and nontraditional career paths enable that. Technology demands innovative, out-of-the-box thinkers. Those people don’t always fit neatly into a box.

How are nontraditional career paths into tech helping build tech diversity and making communities better?

Encouraging diversity ensures companies have employees who bring distinctive, valuable perspectives to the table. Often times these out-of-the-box thinkers need nontraditional career paths to find their place in the technology ecosystem. The bottom line is that diverse companies outperform their competitors. Diversity enhances the products and services tech companies can offer all of us.

Can people really be successful in tech without a traditional education?

Of course! There’s plenty of merit in a traditional educational, but the most important element to success is being constantly curious. Never let the lack of a degree deter you.

What are some of the things that hold women back during their careers? Especially if they decide to pivot mid-career?

Women are underrepresented in tech, which I think leads some women to overcompensate and worry about how they’re perceived. That’s not productive.

 

What are one or two words of advice that you have for women with nontraditional careers, or whom are considering making a change?

Don’t let fear rule you. Never give up when you face obstacles.

What are you most proud of?

I am proud of my life journey and of what we’ve been able to accomplish with Testlio so far.

Your favorite quote?

No pain, no gain.

Connect with Kristel

Twitter: @kristelviidik

LinkedIn: /kristelviidik

Instagram: @kristelkruustuk

 

Featured ShEO: Deloitte's Alicia Hatch

Digital marketing veteran, Alicia Hatch, is building the consulting agency of the future as the Chief Marketing Officer of Deloitte Digital. She is the whole tapestry – from a career that’s taken her to founding a social media startup to working at the technology giant and the leading creative digital consultancy that’s helping the world’s largest brands innovate everything from their business processes to how they connect with their customers.

Hashtag goals, Alicia has been able to do it while raising her family and four kids. Let's learn how our ShEO of the week does it all.


1. What motivated you to work at Deloitte?

In 2013, Deloitte Digital acquired Banyan Branch, the social media marketing startup I helped found. It was a great move for our company, because the potential for social marketing and insights had grown so much that we needed the resources of a larger organization to be able to deliver that for our clients.

The acquisition happened three years ago, and the values that Deloitte maintains have motivated me to stay. Deloitte has chosen to be a leader, not only in delivering client value, but in measurably demonstrating the importance of building a diverse and welcoming workforce. I mean, 66 percent of new hires are women and minorities, and we are consistently named on lists of best companies for women, minorities, and working mothers.

The more projects and initiatives I am a part of here, the more I believe that it’s not in spite of these commitments that we are successful, but it because of them. It leads to creative, insightful teams, that in turn deliver our clients with incredibly high value.


2.  If I were to start my own business today, what is the first thing I should do to take action? Where do you start?

Make your vision and values your foundation. Female entrepreneurs fueled by passion are incredibly powerful.


3. What was the worst piece of advice you have gotten?

“This is just the way things are here.” Complacency is for zombies.   

 
4. Who has always been your mentor?

My Aunt Susan, a pediatrician who is rocket smart, incredibly kind, and has both a generous heart and determined spirit. She took me under her wing when I was in high school and gave me an important model early on for what amazing looks like, before I even knew I needed a mentor. Inspiring women early makes an enormous difference.


5. Do you think the entrepreneurial spirit is innate or can it be learned over time?

Risk tolerance is something that is largely innate, and being business-minded and willing to take big risks to build something speculative, I think that tends to be a motivator for a certain type of person. Yet the creative spirit and a desire to come together as a team to fulfill an inspiring vision, I think that’s human nature. Fulfilling a vision takes a lot of different types of people, with a lot of different types of motivations – some that are motivated by invention, some customer satisfaction, some for creating beautiful products. Great leaders orchestrate those motivations toward business success.

 
6.  What keeps you motivated when everything seems to be going wrong?

The one good thing about getting older is that you stop fighting change so much. You’re thankful when things are going well, and when things aren’t going well, you know it won’t last forever either. I’ve learned that when you buckle down and face challenges, you usually get through them faster. So that’s what I do – and then I hang on and keep my chin up till things are back on track.

 
7. Everyone has their two-cents, how do you decide whose advice to listen to?

I always start by putting myself into the shoes of the person giving their opinion. What is their perspective on the business or problem? What pressures are they under? What is their general temperament for risk taking or addressing conflict?

I believe each person has their unique lens on the world – I have my own as well. Once you can identify how each person’s lens skews, you can start to inform and adjust your own perspective.

You’re never going to make everyone happy, so the best you can do is to show your team that you strive for a fair and strategic path forward, one that sticks to your foundational values as a company and your promise to your customers.

 
8. What is your favorite gadget or app that you cannot live without?

Find my iPhone.  


9.  At what point did you know you would be successful?

For me, success is a mindset. Every project is just a paving stone, and by the time you begin to see real impact, you’re on to the next thing. Of course I celebrate those successes, but I also never assume they’ll last forever. I’ve been proud of many individual wins I’ve had along the way, but I still think I’ve got a lot of my career ahead of me and lots of goals I still want to achieve. I just keep trying, keep pushing, keep experimenting. I always want to stay interested in the next thing, nothing is lasting in this dynamic world, and I don’t dwell on whether or not I’ve made it to a destination.

I assume that sometimes I’ll fail, and sometimes I’ll knock it out of the park. My hope is that when I get to the end of my career I’ll look back and see more successes than failures. I think I’m doing pretty well so far – but I’m not going to stop and think about that for long. I’ve always got more challenges to tackle.

 
10.  If you could give your former self one piece of advice that could have saved you many mistakes what would it be?

Don’t try to make everyone happy. I don’t naturally like conflict, so it’s a hard lesson to keep a hold of. But I’ve also learned that when you know your vision, and know the audience that’s moved by that vision, you change hearts and minds. You can’t lose sight of that. When you hold it as your North Star, you won’t please everyone. But you’ll know who your people are by those that get it and stand by you. Build a dream team who sticks with you while you swing for the fence and you’ll have big impact.

 
11.  What is the key to building your own voice and brand?

Authenticity and an ability to focus your strengths without getting too self-conscious about things you’re not as good at. Instead, find it in other people, build your teams, and lift each other up.


12.  What is your favorite quote?

You can waste your lives drawing lines. Or you can live your life crossing them. - Shonda Rhimes


 
 Follow @aliciahatch     

Featured ShEO: Espree Devora from We Are LA Tech

Love podcasts? Our ShEO this week, Espree Devora hosts WeAreLATech-the 1st Podcast Focused on LA Startups.

Learn more at this top destination for tech and innovation as they feature LA startups, investors and LA Tech influencers on their weekly podcast. 

1. What motivated you to take on entrepreneurship?

I was born an entrepreneur. I remember when I was a little girl dreaming of what businesses I would put into the empty offices I passed by as I walked into Westwood Village with my father.

2. What is the number one thing preventing women from taking the plunge into entrepreneurship and technology?

I like to focus on solutions rather than challenges. I think the one thing that holds us all back is not believing something is possible. Each and every one of our dreams starts with a belief that it can become a reality.

3. If I were to start my own business today, what is the first thing I should do to take action? - Where do you start?

Commit to pushing one thing forward every single day. Even if the one thing isn't perfect like maybe a design being shared with friends and not knowing the best URL. Most things can be updated and changed, but striving for perfection creates stagnant and ongoing pause.

4. What was the worst piece of advice you have gotten?

Hmmm. This is a hard one. Never thought about it before. I'd say the worst advice I've ever gotten is... to hustle harder rather than prioritize my health.

5. Who has always been your mentor?

I look up to my Mom a lot. Her tenacity is inspiring. And author Montserrat Fontes, who was my high school journalism teacher, for not letting me quit and pushing me to give life my all. She believed in me when I didn't believe in myself.

6. Do you think the entrepreneurial spirit is innate or can it be learned over time?

For me it was innate. I think defining who we are as entrepreneurs is something we all need to explore and discover innate or otherwise. Do you want to own Google and have that life or be a nomad with as little responsibility and liability as possible. I think, as new founders, we become entranced with ego and status, but those things don't actually equate to happiness and fulfillment.

7. What keeps you motivated when everything seems to be going wrong?

That's a great question. Building a business is for sure tiring and at times we do, at least I do, feel defeated, but then the sun shines again and a new customer signs up and testimonials ding my inbox. I'm proud of what I've built and believe in my purpose so I just keep pushing forward and will continue to do so unless one day I feel I'm no longer on the right track.

 

8. Everyone has their two-cents, how do you decide whose advice to listen to?

I like to be open and listen. I work on not seeming defensive when I hear suggestions that are strategies I've already tried. At the end of the day my intuition is my oracle. Everyone will have their own point of view and when listening I like to focus on how grateful I feel that they care enough about me to share their insights and time.

9. What is your favorite gadget or app that you cannot live without?

I JUST discovered "Win Streak" app thanks to my friend and powerful super woman behind Passionista  Erika De La Cruz.  It is an app where you can track your daily wins. She and her boyfriend both track and share theirs with one another. I thought that was super cool. So I asked my girlfriend and fellow founder Lisa Magill of Equity Directory to be my share buddy. My absolute can’t live without apps though, Evernote to take organized meeting notes on the go and FancyHands to delegate takes.

10. At what point did you know you would be successful?

Every day that I take action I know I'm being successful. "Success" isn't something tangible you achieve in the future... success is a state of mind and lifestyle you have in the Now.

11. If you could give your former self one piece of advice that could have saved you many mistakes what would it be?

Just because someone is older and seems "seasoned" doesn't mean they'll do the job better than you. Believe in yourself and give the task your all before you decide you're not good enough at that specific thing

12. What is the key to building your own voice and brand?

I have a very vulnerable brand. Not all agree with my approach. They say it may compromise my ability for business partners to trust me, but I think the opposite. You know when working with me you’ll be guaranteed trust, communication, integrity and transparency. I have a yearning to over deliver. So when building a brand it's key to identify who you are at the core as a person, what are your values, and build a brand to magnify that.

13. What are you most proud of?

Consistently challenging myself to become smarter, have more confidence, take risks and being vulnerable no matter what society tells me I should be as a 'perfect business person'.

Share something special: 

We create our own journey. There are many paths. There's no need nor is it realistic to think if we copy someone else’s life path (like Richard Branson’s or Oprah’s) we'll achieve what they have because we all have our own story to create.

And one last thing... My Mom says 'every No is one step closer to a Yes'. So I say just keep opening doors rather than not knocking at all.


Follow Espree: 

Twitter: @espreedevora  @wearelatech  @womenintechshow

Instagram: @wearelatech

Snapchat: @wearelatech

 

Featured ShEO of the Week: Style Salute's Keemia Ferasat

Are you a woman and never know what to wear? Enter Style Salute. This expert-driven and editorially led media company is turning heads by creating interactive and original fashion and lifestyle content aimed at millennials. Keemia Ferasat, a fashion designer in the heart of LA, launched Style Salute in 2016. We're here to hear more from her and her journey to ShEO.  

What motivated you to start your business?

I have been in love with fashion magazines since I was a little girl—in fact, when I was in middle school and even younger, I used to sit on the front steps of my home waiting for the mailman to deliver the newest issue of my favorite magazine (ELLE and Vogue at the time)—so I think the desire to build a magazine that speaks to the modern woman has been there for ages. That passion coupled with my background in fashion and commerce is what prompted me to want to build a company that toes the line between commerce and content.

I knew I wanted to build a brand with a strong ethos—a brand that stands for empowerment, authenticity and personal style. I have always been a champion for woman and it was important for me to make sure that we create a platform that that will empower all women and bring them together. When we launched Style Salute earlier this year, we were driven by the notion that we could inspire women by creating an online platform designed to provoke conversation around personal beauty, style and empowerment.  

What is the number one thing preventing women from taking the plunge into entrepreneurship?

I think the hardest thing for female entrepreneurs today is proving themselves. In a male dominated environment, it’s often difficult to build credibility, but if you are smart and know your business inside and out, nobody can argue with that. My drive to build an incredible of-the-moment brand that delivers the biggest moments, the hottest trends and the tips for the modern woman in all facets of her life is a mission I stand behind.

If I were to start my own business today, what is the first thing I should do to take action? - Where do you start?

Be passionate about your business and love everything you it. If you cannot put your heart and soul into a business, you should not be doing it. You need passion to succeed.

Who has always been your mentor?

I have had several mentors throughout my career.  That said, my parents—who are both successful entrepreneurs in their own right—have been my champions and supporters from the start. They are my forever mentors in life, work and beyond.

Do you think the entrepreneurial spirit is innate or can it be learned over time?

I believe that to be a successful entrepreneur you have to be born with a certain drive to want to want to build and you have to be uniquely wired to want make change. One thing that’s certain in any business and for every entrepreneur is that you will have setbacks—everyone around you will have mistakes. Do not be embarrassed by your mistakes, learn from them and start over.

What keeps you motivated when everything seems to be going wrong?

My family is my backbone and their support is what keeps me motivated always.  I cannot remember a time in my life when my life has not been there for me. They are my everything and they are what keeps me focused and motived through the failures and triumphs.

Everyone has their two-cents, how do you decide whose advice to listen to?

If there is one way to describe me, it’s curious. I’m curious about everything and I’m always seeking advice from my advisors and trusted partners.  In the end, what I learn from listening is what shapes my decision moving forward.

What is your favorite gadget or app that you cannot live without?

iCal. I really don’t know what I’d do without it.

What is the key to building your own voice and brand? 

I believe the key to building your own voice and brand is to know your audience. Our woman is self-made, works really hard, loves her friends and entertains on the weekend. She is curious, smart, loves fashion and uses her personal style as a way to transmit to the world who she is and who she wants to be.  

What are you most proud of?

I’m incredibly proud of that a community of passionate users is identifying with Style Salute’s message of empowerment and personal style and constantly engaging with one another.

Thanks Keemia! Check out all the amazing fashion at Stylesalute.com

Who run the world!? #bossladies Happy #WomensEqualityDay

WomensEquality.jpg

It's great being a woman living in 2016. Today, more women are educated, celebrated and making change. The past Olympics in Rio, U.S. women outpaced men, taking home more Olympic medals than their male counterparts— 61 to be exact. A woman is even running for president.

 
 

As we celebrate Women’s Equality Day, there are still issues, this year we are fighting for equality by continuing to highlight stories of pay inequality.

We would love to hear about your work place pay....Leave your comments below!

Social Influencer & Digital Media Internship

Social & Digital Media Intern

Beverly Hills, CA

About the Role

Are you a master at capturing the perfect selfie? Are you addicted to finding ways to gain more followers on Instagram? Is graphic design and photo styling the wind beneath your wings? Then look no further!

The Social & Digital Media Intern is responsible for supporting and executing social & digital media activities at TechSesh. You will work closely with the TechSesh founder to provide the best in social media engagement and growth.

You will be responsible for regularly maintaining and updating content calendars and overseeing social media scheduling. In this role you’ll have the freedom to create tech-related content for TechSesh’s social media platforms and blog. This is a great opportunity for a college student who’s interested in learning more about tech entrepreneurship & eager to build their digital media / graphic design portfolio.


You are excited for this opportunity because you will….

  • Chance to have creative control. Your skills in graphic design, photo styling, and clever word play won’t collect dust in this position. We want your skills to shine.

  • Be able to experiment with ideas for social engagement and growth. The more tricks up your sleeve, the better.

  • Have a voice in social media strategy. We’re an open-minded group who loves to learn...even if it comes from our interns.


We’re excited to work with you because…

  • You are interested in pursuing a career in tech, digital marketing or digital media

  • You speak digitally. You have some experience in social media, design, basic photography, videography, and you ooze creativity. Because you ooze creativity, it is no wonder you own Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, Premiere, or other digital creation software.

  • Not only are you creative, you are data-driven. Hungry for information, you love monitoring analytics and measuring growth.

  • You are a communication king/queen. You speak well with professionally and can articulate ideas effectively.

  • We love a candidate with a little OCD. Organization and eagerness to achieve more is what makes you perfect for this role.

  • You can roll with the punches. Day in the life of a startup requires adaptability to changes and “multiple hat wearing”. Question is: can you hang?

  • You are a pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Communications, Fine Arts, Graphic Design, other related majors

Why you will love working for TechSesh...

  • We’re a growing company with a start-up work vibe

  • We love a little dash of scrappiness. We are a team who believes in autonomy and getting our hands dirty

  • We always strive to do more and are passionate about growth

  • We live and breathe tech, fashion/beauty, and lifestyle and hope you do too!

  • We’re on the forefront of tech and lifestyle, and are creating a new market for women in tech and entrepreneurship

  • We believe in creating the best quality of work and are open to new ideas

  • Did I mention we are huge believers in creative freedom?

 

This is an unpaid internship position for Fall 2016.
The right candidate will be able to receive college credit from an accredited university.

Sound like the perfect position for you? Let’s connect!

Steps to Apply: Any application without all parts will not be considered.

  • Resume

  • Link to LinkedIn Profile

  • Portfolio or links other media collateral to show us why you’re perfect for the job!

 

Public Relations / Marketing Internship

Public Relations / Marketing Intern

Beverly Hills, CA

 

About the role

Are you a natural story teller? Do you find enjoyment in capturing your audience’s attention with words? Are you an exceptional strategist who loves to problem solve? Then keep reading!

The Public Relations & Marketing Intern is responsible for supporting and executing public relations & marketing activities at TechSesh. You will work closely with the TechSesh founder to provide the best in engaging and gaining new audiences, and ultimately growing more exposure.

You will be responsible for regularly maintaining and updating content/editorial calendars, pitching promotional ideas to potential collaborators, as well as overseeing blog content creation. In this role you’ll have the freedom to pitch and execute tech-related content for TechSesh’s blog and outreach. This is a great opportunity for a college student who’s interested in learning more about tech entrepreneurship & refining their skills in promoting, pitching, and presenting.


You are excited for this opportunity because you will….

  • Support the TechSesh PR teams in coverage reporting and tracking, including competitive tracking and issue response

  • Support new priority endeavors for social media, blog, and other outlets

  • Create various writing pieces for blog

  • Work cross-functionally with the digital media team to secure necessary assets and support for PR activities

  • Maintain team media lists and speaking calendars

  • Become an integral member of a growing team with great learning opportunities


We’re excited to work with you because…

  • You are interested in pursuing a career in PR, journalism, marketing in the tech and lifestyle world

  • You speak digitally. You have some experience in Google Docs, social media managers, blog writing, or even HTML.

  • Not only do you have a way with words, you are data-driven. Hungry for information, you love monitoring analytics and measuring growth.

  • You are a communication king/queen. You speak well with professionally and can articulate ideas effectively.

  • We love a candidate with a little OCD. Organization and eagerness to achieve more is what makes you perfect for this role.

  • You can roll with the punches. Day in the life of a startup requires adaptability to changes and “multiple hat wearing”. Question is: can you hang?

  • You are a pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Communications, Public Relations, Marketing, Journalism, or another related major
     

Why you will love working for TechSesh…

  • We’re a growing company with a start-up work vibe

  • We love a little dash of scrappiness. We are a team who believes in autonomy and getting our hands dirty

  • We always strive to do more and are passionate about growth

  • We live and breathe tech, fashion/beauty, and lifestyle and hope you do too!

  • We’re on the forefront of tech and lifestyle, and are creating a new market for women in tech and entrepreneurship

  • We believe in creating the best quality of work and are open to new ideas

  • Did I mention we are huge believers in creative freedom?


This is an unpaid internship position for Fall 2016.
The right candidate will be able to receive college credit from an accredited university.


Sound like the perfect position for you? Let’s connect!

Steps to Apply: Any application without all parts will not be considered.

  • Resume

  • Link to LinkedIn Profile

  • Samples of writing

 

Crosscut Female Founder's annual event

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How do we create an environment more inviting and appealing to #femtrepreneurs? One way is putting together events to inspire women. 

Incredible female founders are everywhere, and last week, my friends at Los Angeles based Crosscut Ventures hosted an intimate Female Founders event, inviting some of LA's badass female entrepreneurs who are making moves. 

With the rise of women ‘millennipreneurs’, LA-based female founded companies like Honest Co, Laurel & Wolf, and Nasty Gal have paved the way for females in the LA tech community, but we still have a long way to go. Firms founded by women lag behind male startups in the total amount of investment received, according to a report by the Center for an Urban Future, a city-based think tank.

“Women in venture capital are underrepresented and I think that contributes to the lack of funding for female founders,” said Sarah Moret, an associate at Crosscut who had a specific vision for the annual event. Think rose, a band and scenes of the Pacific Ocean with a backyard filled with ambitious entrepreneurs. 

“The idea behind this event was to bring together 100+ badass female founders to help them connect, share resources, and widen their collective network,” said Moret whose role is to evaluate new investments (meet with anywhere from 5-15 startups per week) and provide value and resources to Crosscut’s existing portfolio companies.

As one of Crosscut's venture- backed female founders, Ivka Adam, founder of Iconery Jewelry, partnered with the firm to co-host the event and showcased her jewelry in the home of Crosscut’s Brett Brewer.

“It’s a small community of women, and we all see each other at start-up or investor events, but we rarely get the opportunity to engage in a non-work setting,” said Adam. 

While we still hear conference organizers and investors say they can't find enough female founders to feature or back, events like the one that Crosscut put on show just how many female entrepreneurs there are in the space.

“I’ve found the female founder community to be incredibly supportive. We help each other solve problems, and draw upon each other for collaborations and partnerships,” Adam added.

With experiences like Adam's, when complementary backgrounds could be a massive help to one another, it's easy to say that women have have broken through the proverbial glass ceiling. But, still, so much of "women in tech" is focused on what women DON'T have -- opportunity, compensation, mentorship, respect from peers, access to funding, work-life balance etc.,  

Some women avoid the female-male debate altogether. When Gillian Morris, co-founder and CEO of Hitlist, an app that alerts you when there are cheap flights, first founded her company, she didn't embrace the term 'female founder'. 

“I wanted to be considered as a founder first and foremost, didn't want special treatment, and didn't seek the support or expertise of other women (unless they had a background in the travel industry). As I've progressed in my career, I've found more benefit in the 'sisterhood' - for better or worse, there are unique circumstances we face as women and I've seen tremendous benefit to engaging with other women in tech/entrepreneurship,” said Morris.

For Nadia Genevieve Masri, CEO & founder of Perksy, finding other females to look up to and take after has always been hard. "The truth is, there are tons of women like that; running a business is a feat in itself. I feel like I was able to meet some of those women the other day, and that made me feel good," Masri said.

As we watch the female tech community continue to grow, it's obvious that there are plenty of women working in highly technical, 'unsexy' industries that too many people think are male-dominated.

Highlighting badass women

So much of "women in tech" is focused on what women DON'T have -- opportunity, compensation, mentorship, respect from peers, access to funding, work-life balance etc.

What if we can totally change that discourse by bringing something to tech tailored towards women that doesn't turn into a pity party or treat women like a charity case? It's not "oh, we're women and underprivileged in this industry let's pity ourselves and fix it."

With this blog section I''m on a quest to interview top female leaders and tell real stories of what it took to start their businesses, their struggles along the way and share insights for women who want to excel.

If you're passionate about empowering women, an advocate for female entrepreneurs or want to be part of a community of like-minded creative people on a mission, drop me a line!