The Final Days Are Near

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As we near the end of the Women Startup Challenge, I am preparing to head out to the Google i/o conference in San Francisco for the next few days where I will meet and mingle with many industry peers.

But before I make my way to the City by the Bay, I want to share with you a few conversations I’ve had about the crowd funding component of the Women Startup Challenge.

A few questions that keep coming up — “Why is it important to crowd fund in the Women’s Startup Challenge? Why not just submit your application and let the judges choose you based on your pitch deck, video, and application?”

The answer is simple and it is standard in many Startup Challenges.

Our ability to inspire and motivate people to take action by contributing money to our startup is heavily weighed upon in the semi-finals selection process. The judges want to see that we are capable of raising not only awareness for our startup, but also funding.

They know how difficult it is to ask family, friends, and colleagues to open their wallets and donate to an idea or a vision that may not yet be tangible.

They understand how laborious and challenging it is to ask people to support and contribute to a software product without having seen a demo.

The idea is if we, as a startup, have success in crowd funding during the Challenge, then our chances for success as a product-based business are greater.

Among many things, they are looking for hustle, grit, and a fearless asker. 

So, with just a few days left in the Challenge, I am asking you once again to support us if you haven’t already by making a contribution today.

Your donation will help us move one step closer to pitching Actionplanr Web Mobile in Washington D.C. in June for an additional 50k.

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Looking Back At The Women Startup Challenge

As we wrap up the Challenge, I want to share with you a few highlights over the last few weeks.

As someone who has fundraised hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years on behalf of family, environmental, and social causes, I must say that it is very different when crowd funding on behalf of my own startup.

This experience has stretched me far beyond my comfort zone — in a good way.

It has pushed me to my outer limits on many levels and has tested my resolve. I’ve done my best to stay in the forefront of the Challenge out of 180 Challengers, but I’ve had some difficult moments during this time.

I share this with you not to gain your sympathy, but to be transparent about my experience during the Challenge.

It is my hope that if you ever find yourself striving for something, whether it be a dream, or a vision, or a desire to scratch that itch, I hope that you stay the course no matter how hard things get because life always has a way of throwing some curve balls and the fit will inevitably hit the shan.

And when it does, your focus and willpower will no doubt, be tested in more ways than you can imagine.

May you keep your eye on the target and continue to reach for your goals.

On the morning of the launch of the Women Startup Challenge, I was packing my bags as I prepared to leave for San Francisco to attend the launch party. I was super excited and filled with anticipation. And suddenly, my enthusiasm quickly turned to anger and frustration.

I accidentally dropped a speaker on my cell phone and shattered it.

My cell phone is like an appendage to my body and breaking it on the morning of the launch did not give me a feeling of confidence.

 

Brenda's broken iPhone 6+

Thankfully, I had a traveling companion and she was able to assist and help navigate my way around.  Thank you Teri Dane. 

Then, five days after the Challenge began, I had a serious family emergency that required much of my time and attention over the course of ten days. I was consumed with this personal crisis most every waking moment, but I somehow managed to keep moving forward with the Challenge.

I would tend to the family matter one minute and the next minute I would put on my A-game to meet with a prospective contributor to tell him/her about the Women Startup Challenge.

I felt like I was juggling knives. 

I lost a few e-newsletter subscribers (that’s to be expected) during the Challenge, but I gained a lot more supporters and beta testers along the way.  

On the bright side,  Actionplanr was featured once again as one of the top Challengers on Craig Newmark’s blog, (founder of Craigslist and sponsor of the Women Startup Challenge) and I made the front page of our local newspaper last week, which brought us more awareness and more contributions.

Brenda on Front Page of The Union Newspaper

I also won the Bonus Challenge #3 where our developer will attend a 4 day Web Conference in San Francisco in July.

The Challenge experience was much about perseverance, persistence, and purpose and no matter who wins, I am proud to be participating with 180 other women-led startups!

My heart has been cracked wide open with gratitude for all the support and contributions.

Thank you for believing in Actionplanr Web Mobile. Thank you for believing in us.

I have received many private and public messages of encouragement as well as appreciativeness for the inspiration to step out on their own and build their dream business.

What I have come to realize is that this Challenge has become much bigger than crowd funding.

It’s a movement and when one tide rises, we all rise together. 

As of this blog post, there are THREE days left in the Challenge.  Please join me and let’s finish strong together. Click here to contribute now.

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