I have tended not to go to conferences or events in the last year unless I am speaking at them. I used to go with high expectations- hoping to be provoked, dislocated in some way. The reality is that all too often, I was hearing the same old stuff (albeit with a new flickr image) said by the same old people (mostly 40 something men), done in the same old way (one way broadcast). And if I am going to sacrifice putting my children to bed, I want to feel a connection.
Last night was a real exception.
It was The Next Women Funding and Pitching event. The first part of the night was inspiring female entrepreneurs such as Sarah McVittie (founder of Texperts) and Karin Loeffen (founder of Libersy) who told their story from the heart. The mistakes they made. The challenges they faced. The lessons they learnt. The hard way. And the sacrifices and trade offs they had to endure.
It was real. It was from the heart as well as the head. No ‘commandments’. No ’5 principles’. No ‘long lists.’ Real stories. From real women.
And just when I started to feel guilty about the bedtime story I should have told my children, things hotted up where ‘Pitch-Preneurs’ who did a 3 min pitch for funding in front of angel investors. I watched in awe at some of the great ideas presented.
I felt empowered.
I felt part of something.
I felt a connection.
Innovation is thriving. Its an exciting time to be in business.