It always starts with an idea, with a ‘what if’ and a ‘why not’ and the passion to make it happen. Ignite WA as an organization is focused on helping small business and entrepreneurs in Washington State develop and grow by technology transformation. Ignite WA has hosted and delivered events from Innovate Her in partnership with SBA.Gov, held roundtables on digital equity, developing initiatives around digital transformation and rural access and others. However, during this work, Chaitra Vedullapalli, Karen Fassio, Gretchen O’Hara, Jacqueline Touma, Carrie Francey, and many Ignite WA members identified ideas to address the challenges businesses face every day such as:
- Insufficient access customers market and investment via enterprise distribution channels (co-sell opportunities)
- Difficulty to create monthly recurring revenue model (MRR) – no leading models
- Unaware of who key contacts in the cloud industry leaders are, limited availability mentors
Over breakfast in downtown Redmond Washington, over many cups of coffee, we started the conversation with ‘what if’, ‘why not’ and ‘how can we’ and formulated a plan to focus on assisting women-led businesses to take advantage of cloud solutions and services to drive their success and growth.
We knew we couldn’t do it alone. We had seen too many women associations, groups, and network meet-ups come and go in our area. Other groups had a ‘special session ‘on women but we knew that they didn’t go far or deep enough. We needed to get tech leaders, women entrepreneurs, community leaders and associations involved to get to impact and provide a long-term offering that helps not a few but hundreds if not more.
So, we did what any enterprising business people do, we went to do our homework to put virtual ink to screen so to speak. We reached out to our network, to women executives we’ve known and know from past corporate lives, to women who were starting up a business and to women already in business but just not where they wanted to be. Over lots more cups of coffee and maybe some french fries (ok there were lots of french fries), over a bunch of late-night hours, we developed the Women in Cloud initiative.
Women in Cloud celebrates the female entrepreneurs in the tech world; a source of inspiration and support that connects and empowers women in Washington and beyond, helping them to realize their potential and reach new growth through leading cloud industry, community, and government partners. We bring together the voices and insights of a diverse range of female luminaries from the worlds of business, technology, and politics for the betterment of women who are carving their path in technology and the Cloud.
Join us and make an impact for yourselves, for your colleagues, and for your community.