This week was the fourth and final week of the Girls Who Fund Internship. As we contemplated saying goodbye to each other and all of the wonderful mentors we have met at AOL, we could hardly contain our tears.
Nonetheless, Monday was back to business as usual as we had the honor of speaking on a panel before the Girls Who Code AOL class. NBD, us, speaking on a panel.
They asked us a lot of thoughtful questions about our internships and experiences post-Girls Who Code, and we are so excited to judge their projects at the #BBG Challenge (stay tuned for more info).
We've had to learn a great deal to prepare for the #BBG Challenge. This week we learned about the key parts of a successful startup from Sumeet Shah, a senior associate at Brand Foundry Ventures. His breakdown is people, product and pipeline. These three parts all must work cohesively, and the most important thing is the team. The people at a startup have to be passionate about their work, and you have to be sure that they will be the ones to bring the ideas to fruition. Who knew?
(You have to admit, they're pretty cute!)
Our resumes needed a lot of help: shortening, formatting and an extra touch of class. If you're like us, here are some tips on making your resume as prim and proper as it should be:
- It should only be ONE page long. No more. We know y'all are super busy with activities, but you have to choose those that will truly show the best side of you.
- Everything has to be formatted neatly. When someone looks at it, they should not be overwhelmed.
- Don't use "I"
- Start each bullet point with an active verb (ex. facilitated, supervised, coordinated)
- Try to refrain from using outdated information (despite how tempting it is to put that you were a straight A student in Middle School)
On Tuesday we visited Hire An Esquire, where we learned from the best (lawyers, duh) about how to negotiate, especially as women. Some tips we learned? Start on equal ground - and don't be afraid to negotiate. You're there for a reason - they want something from you. Demand respect. Make your voice heard. If people try to cut you off, call them out on it.Lastly, we did some power posing (superwoman style). Yes, standing like this can boost your confidence and literally change your life.
Ellie Wheeler from Greycroft, a VC firm that makes series A investments ($500,000-$1 million), gave us all the tips on pitching dos and don'ts. Founders need to pitch A LOT. You need to be able to pitch in your sleep basically. Ellie said that each month, they have 300 new investment opportunities, but over 90 percent of companies do not get past the first call or meeting. It's tough out there! There are so many reasons for passing, such as raising an unrealistic amount of money, the market size is too small, or the team just isn't cutting it. What the investors really want to hear is the trifecta: repeat entrepreneurs, low paid-in capital and early traction/growth.
This week, we also got to visit Casper, an up-and-coming, tech-enabled mattress company. Casper is looking to sleep to be the next cycle of the healthy lifestyle movement that has recently become trendy. First food, then yoga, crossfit and pilates, and now sleep. The founders were extremely inspirational: They started the company straight out of college and with limited background in tech. Now, only 15 months after starting the business, they are in charge of managing huge teams of employees.
The Casper staff was amazing as well. They told us about their career paths, how they had confronted sexism in their previous workplaces, and become both their own advocates and advocates for other women in similar situations. Before we left, they let us test out the mattress...and we were quite comfortable:It was the perfect ending to a long day.
These past four weeks have been incredible, and sitting here on our last day talking as usual is bittersweet. We've grown to become great friends, and we're thinking of starting a company together someday.
However, this is not the end of our time here as Girls Who Fund! We will be back in a few weeks to judge the #BBG Challenge, a competition for the new Girls Who Code Summer Immersion participants. They will be submitting their final projects to us, and we will be using the skills we learned in the past four weeks to determine which five groups will be joining us at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco this September.
We can't wait to see all the girls' innovative ideas, and we're so excited to see the finalists pitch before us in September. We won't be gone for long. See you soon!