Sitting in this chair, I had to laugh - maybe it was the makeup they were caking onto my face or the audience of people watching me get done up, or maybe it was just my uncontainable joy at how far Astia has come. A year ago I wasn't envisioning Astia being on Bloomberg TV, but you know - if someone had told me this is where I would be today, I would have believed it because that's what our community is capable of.
What brought Astia to Bloomberg TV today? Was it the stellar entrepreneurs that are building our reputation? The all star team of advisors that supports our community? The sponsors who empower us to do what we do and to do more of it? I'm sure you know the answer, it's all of the above.
So how do I manage to balance myself on the stilt-like seat I'm given and serve as representative for all the aforementioned and do it justice in 7 minutes flat? Well, that's just not possible but I did my best to express the Street Smart hosts Carol Massar and Matt Miller just what we're made of and why the viewers should stay tuned for more from the Astia community.
I was joined by Astia client Alexa von Tobel of LearnVest who has been remarkably successful and continues to stay engaged with the Astia community. Alexa spoke on the fact that "in general it's hard to start a business, and I started during a recession." And Astia was there to help, that's what a community does. Sometimes you switch hats - sometime you are the one offering the help and sometimes you are receiving, and that's what keeps Astia alive.
It was easy to gush with enthusiasm when I explained that Astia clients are exceptional. Carol Massar asked me why something like Astia is needed, and simply said men and women are in separate business networks and 98% of venture capital is held by men. How do we address that? Build a support community of men and women.
That's where the pain point lies. It's not that women entrepreneurs, like Alexa couldn't have done it on their own, it's that she's in a high growth market that requires fast capital, fast growth, and real commitment to milestones, which is very unique business process and there are 'been there done that folks' who can aid in finding shortcuts to pathways to success.
Matt Miller wanted to know, why are we doing this? What's the big picture?
Jobs, Innovation and Economic Growth
We're looking for innovation and we're looking for a recovery, and we know that if women had the same access to capital as their male counterparts, we would see 6 million jobs added to the economy in the next 5 years, 2 million jobs in the next year alone (thank you Babson for the numbers). That's our economic recovery right there. Just ensuring that women were able to gain access to capital.
The interview closed with a simple question for Alexa, so is LearnVest hiring? Yes, yes they are.
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