Women in Cloud (WIC): Out and About, Driving Impact: September Roundup

Image may contain: 5 people, including Chaitra Vedullapalli, people dancing, people on stage and text

September has been busy and amazing times for Women in Cloud community. As a board, we are driving forward on several fronts to continue outreach to develop on-going partnerships and driving access for Women leaders, entrepreneurs, and intrapreneurs.

On the heels of UN IdeaGen, Women in Cloud communicated participated as the delegation in some amazing Industry Events to help share learnings, drive awareness and action on developing business in the Cloud.

WIC at NewTech Northwest https://www.newtechnorthwest.com/

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Jacqueline Touma, a co-founder of Women in Cloud and CEO of her own start-up Curious Enterprises, spoke at the NewTech Eastside, Women in Tech Night at eBay in Bellevue Washington. She spoke about the WIC mission, the success of the initial WIC Accelerator companies and upcoming ways for women and male allies to get involved to support entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs in businesses of all sizes.

A call for sponsors, speakers, and volunteers is going out for the upcoming Summit on January 26th in Redmond Washington. She spent time on the need for organizations like Women in Cloud, citing the disappointing statistics and trends lines that continue to persist and a call to action.

A key message she focused on was that “Working together, women with male allies are taking deliberate micro and macro steps to drive momentum and lasting change towards diversity, inclusion and economic growth, not only for Women themselves as individuals but for their communities locally and globally. We can enact real change and have seen it in less than a year when Women in Cloud was formed, with $50M in opportunities on the horizon coming from our WIC accelerator.”

WIC at Amazon-AWS, Women@Compute https://aws.amazon.com/

Image may contain: 7 people, including Yardley Ip Pohl, Sandy Carter and Chaitra Vedullapalli, people smiling, people standing

Sandy Carter, Corporate VP at Amazon hosted their quarterly Women @Compute, an internal event to help Amazonians to learn and explore new ways to engage in the community focused on digital transformation. Product management, Entreprenuership, Girls In Tech, Intrapreneurship and Customer Obsession was part of the conversation.

Chaitra Vedullapalli and Jacqueline Touma were invited to participate in Women@Compute at Amazon HQ in Seattle to help inform on what Women in Cloud were all about. Chaitra presented on the WIC mission of helping more female #entrepreneurs and women leaders’ access and gain more from Cloud business and technology opportunities.  She emphasized created right access to women entrepreneurs to build their business will have a direct impact on the company’s bottom line.

In addition, Yardley Ip Pohl, the founder of Women in Product and Chief Product Officer at Thrive Global, presented a talk on Product Management Excellence and hosted a roundtable with AWS product managers.

We are committed to an industry-wide initiative to drive awareness and adoption leading Cloud-based technologies, programs, and resources for Women. AWS is a leader and critical influencer in the Cloud, dedicated to enabling Women entrepreneurs, technologists and leaders to drive business success.

WIC at 451 Research, Hosting & Cloud Transformation Summit https://451research-hcts.com/

451 Research each September hosts the premier forum for executives in the hosting, cloud, data center and managed services sector in Las Vegas, Nevada. The agenda is carefully crafted by 451 Research analysts and industry experts to provide timely, actionable insight into the competitive dynamics of innovation. The three-day schedule provides a plethora of networking opportunities and fosters industry-changing relationships.

Women in Cloud were invited to take part in the overall conference and a specific panel on Opening the Closed Loop: Increasing Diversity in Cloud.

Panelists included: Kelly Morgan Research Vice President – Infrastructure, 451 Research; Melanie Posey Research Vice President – Voice of the Enterprise, 451 Research; Chaitra Vedullapalli Chief Marketing Officer, Meylah & Co-Founder, Women in Cloud; Karen Fassio, Director of Marketing, Microsoft & Co-Founder Women in Cloud and Meg Ramsey Vice President – Cloud Services Product Management, SunGard AS.

The conversation focused on the immense opportunities of Cloud-based technologies and how unlocking access was critical for Women in technology to fully succeed. As Chaitra discussed ‘There is no opportunity with access to financing, business resources and mentorships to make it real. Citing 451 Research Insights on the status of VC funding, Women in the Corporate Boardrooms and Women Entrepreneurs, she surmised that only by ensuring this equitable access will create the right solutions in the market”

Karen Fassio added that “By connecting women, entrepreneurs with women mentors, with programs like Cloud Accelerators with access to corporations for co-sell and co-build opportunities is the right supportive environment where women in business can flourish’

Our sincere thanks… with more to come

The Women in Cloud community and the team are thankful to these organizations for the opportunity to speak and participate in these events and gatherings to further support Women in technology.

We will keep you in the know about more outreach events and partnership on the horizon. We invite you to learn more about Women in the Cloud and opportunities available to you, by visiting www.womenincloud.com and to connect with any of our board members.

Don’t forget to register for our Annual Summit on Jan. 26th, 2019 in Redmond Washington. More information coming soon!

Join us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

IdeaGen/United Nations Summit: Enabling Women To Access $1 Billion In Cloud Opportunities

Women in Cloud, Microsoft, and UN through IdeaGen partner to drive economic empowerment for Women and Girls through Cloud-based technologies.
We live in a rapidly changing world. Technology is disrupting almost every aspect of our lives at breathtaking speeds. We are at the onset of a profound period of transformation all centered on the Cloud. Women in Cloud has partnered with IDEAGEN, Microsoft and the UN to advance gender equality and empowerment for Women & Girls by supporting economic empowerment through entrepreneurship and innovation.

UN General Assembly

The Cloud opportunity topples $1B and yet while 40% of all new businesses are started by Women only 5% of Technology Start-Ups are global.

We all the know the statistics far too well – 20% of C-Suite leaders are Women buy fewer than 3% are Women of Color, 2% of Women Tech Entrepreneurs access the Cloud Opportunity and only 1% or less are awarded corporate contracts.

Many studies findings highlight the benefits of diverse organizations in both growth and impact to overall growth and Country GDP. The path to these opportunities is not without challenges, but by working together we can better and more rapidly overcome.

Women in Cloud is wholly aligned to the UN and Microsoft Goals for closing the Gender Gap.

Gretchen O’Hara (Vice President, Go-To-Market Strategy, One Commercial Partner at Microsoft), Karen Fassio (Director of Marketing, World Wide Partner Group at Microsoft) and Chaitra Vedullapalli, Co-Founder & CMO, Meylah are part of a larger co-founding team for Women in Cloud (Carrie Francey, Wendy White, Linda Lowry and Jacqueline Touma).

This delegation at UN Idea Gen shared their stories, lessons and the focus of Women in Cloud in supporting diversity to drive innovation and disruption.

Women in Cloud Mission:
1. Provide and supporting access to customers, funding, and resources
2. Accelerate business through policies resources and readiness
3. Drive action to create innovative solutions, partnerships, and communities

Gretchen explains that for her this is about making a lasting impact and having the GRIT to see it through, “We cannot be competitive without Women, and we need diverse perspectives in business which drive innovation and disruption”.

As Chaitra adds, “Without access, you cannot create opportunities. With the help of Microsoft and the UN, we are thrilled to be able to support empowering Women and Girls to reach their goals and dreams for the benefit of themselves, their families, their communities and their countries”

That’s why we are here at United Nations Idea Gen, states Karen Fassio “to inspire Women & Girls to pursue careers in technology and to support them in their careers whether as entrepreneurs or as corporate leaders. This work, for me, is rooted in Microsoft’s broader mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.”

Jill Angelo, a tech exec turned women’s health care advocate and CEO of Genneve recently graduated from the Women in Cloud Co-Sell/Co-Market Accelerator, sponsored by Microsoft. Jill represented the Women in Cloud delegation at UN IdeaGen. She is developing the first Women’s health solutions that use the power of AI and telehealth to empower women to take control of their health and well-being in the latter half of their lives. Plus Jacqueline O’Hara represented the need to bring more girls into the STEM.

Beyond UN Idea Gen, the Women in Cloud team host an Annual Summit (Jan. 26th,2019 Redmond WA) brings together women leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, community groups and public organizations, to provide access and the right environment for opportunities to thrive. A new Accelerator for 2019 will be announced shortly, along with a new event series and speaker participation in several communities leading events.

To learn more about Women in the Cloud and opportunities available to you, visit www.womenincloud.com and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Annual Summit Jan26th, 2019, learn more! Early Bird Discount ($30 off the retail). Use code “WICEarly

 

Bitlume @ Microsoft Build, Game Changer Event

Bitlume an emerging leader for the premier live and on-demand secure streaming for all types of event. We are in an exuberant phase of identifying the right market that can scale our innovation in live stream distribution, monetization and viewer engagement.


To get off the ground we subscribed for the bare metal server from IBM SoftLayer, whipped up the box with CentOS and developed our base app on MEAN Stack. As we continue to build for the market, we are constantly evaluating our cloud architecture, how it integrates with external apps and to build for scale. We are currently evaluating whether to migrate to an affordable cloud offering that enables product build at scale without burning our pocket. We had a great opportunity, as part of the Women in Cloud Accelerator to attend the Microsoft Build Conference.

It was a spectacular and game-changing event for us, especially with our decision to migrate to Azure PaaS from IBM Cloud.




There were some advanced takeaways that we didn’t understand before: Cortana integrates with Alexa to facilitate seamless cross-platform meeting setup; a serverless state is to become midstream in app development in the near future, looks promising. Many interactive booths were intriguing and made the experience interactive and fun. I caught up with some expo presenters to understand their offering and how their service integrates with Microsoft offerings. Such discussions offered valuable information on the opportunity to plug and play with Microsoft cloud solutions.

Overall the vibe in the conference offered an open forum conversation between both the participant and the organizer. At the end of the conference, we were able to conclude our evaluation and have decided to port our product to the Azure PaaS offering which offers enough flexibility in open source application integration.

The entire Women in Cloud team also surprised us with an exclusive opportunity for Accelerator participants to attend the Microsoft Startup Build Welcome Reception with Satya Nadella, held after hours at Miller’s Guild in Seattle.

It was a pleasure to meet with Satya Nadella for a handshake and make a 10-second pitch about my startup Bitlume. He was receptive and spent about 10 minutes listening in to Entrepreneurs patiently.

The access that Women in Cloud have provided to companies like mine in the Accelerator is invaluable and their on-going support is amazing. Here’s to growing in the Azure Cloud!

Women in Cloud Accelerator – Class of 2018

On March 2nd, Women In Cloud Accelerator was launched with the Class of 2018 participants.

We congratulate and extend a warm welcome to the following companies who were qualified and attended the immersion session:

  • Clever Databases
  • Stylyze Inc.
  • Plantmatch, LLC
  • RightSciences
  • Daysaver
  • Agile Impact Group
  • Bitlume Inc
  • Computing Kids LLC
  • genneve
  • Automaton Marketing Inc.
  • Red Sky
  • Visual Media Group, DBA

The Women in Cloud, an organization dedicated to fostering women-led businesses to leverage cloud solutions and services to inspire their success and growth, launches their new Accelerator Lab.  The Lab is an immersive 6-month program to assist women-led companies to start and build their businesses with Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Microsoft distribution channels.

“Super excited to accelerate our business and learn more about how we can learn from the Cloud and improve our business proposition, and I hope to get more clients,” said Amelia Neighbors, from Clever Databases.

The Accelerator Program has proven methodologies, resources, and tools to grow a business in the Cloud.  What is “Cloud”? According to Microsoft, “cloud is the delivery of computing services-servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and more-over the internet, the cloud”. What is it about Cloud computing and why is it so popular? The Women in Cloud Accelerator Lab, answers these questions and coaches women-led businesses, who want to accelerate their B2B solutions using Cloud Computing. The Accelerator Lab includes a 1-day workshop, targeting coaching, free migration to Azure, up to “100 hours of interactive training to discuss strategy, lead generation, co-selling, deal negotiation and pitch preparation”, and much more.

Feedback from the participants of 2018 Class:

“When successful women come together great things happen. Red Sky is thrilled to be part of Women in Cloud Accelerator program sponsored by Microsoft, HPE and hosted by Meylah. This is the missing link for our growth and boost in revenue leveraging the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program and secret sauce of the mentors. This is a huge opportunity for us to build our cloud business and utilize the support of these great partners along this exciting journey.” Sharon A. Davison, Ph.D. CEO Red Sky

“For the first time, I can see tangible ways to leverage the expansive networks of Microsoft and HPE to take my business to a B2B audience. They’re helping me visualize what a go-to-market cloud partnership looks like to grow my business.” Jill Angelo, CEO of genneve

“The journey to building a business in the cloud requires both a willingness to learn new ways of thinking about our business and a deeper understanding of the opportunities available.” Rebecca Ralston, CEO of Agile Impact Group

 

Gretchen O’Hara, VP Go-To-Market Strategy, One Commercial Partner at Microsoft, and one of the driving forces and founders of Women in Cloud, declares,  “We are deeply committed from Microsoft on this initiative, one of the things I am very excited to announce, is I have been working personally to get a Microsoft Executive assigned to each and every one of you as a mentor and advisor of this incubator, and I have been able to accomplish that.”

To learn more about Women in Cloud and the Accelerator Lab, go to www.WomeninCloud.com

Stand Up. 100 Cloud Commitments

When we started our journey with Women in Cloud last year,  we knew we wanted to ignite a conversation and drive action around diversity and inclusion.  We had a sense that a rising tide was coming and our timing was right for “less talk, more action,” but I’m not sure we could have predicted the amazing momentum in the national consciousness around these issues that have emerged in the last handful of months.

Perhaps I should not admit that I tuned in last week to the Oscars primarily to see the beautiful gowns.  I did. But I also listened with the hope that Hollywood would bring focus to the conversation around diversity in their industry.  I was not disappointed. When Frances McDormand asked all female nominees to stand up, I leaned forward in anticipation of what my gut told me would be a special moment.  Stand up she told the women, be recognized.  But then she went on to tell the powerful men and women in the room to support those standing by taking action — don’t just chat tonight at a party she admonished, but take real action and invite these women who stand to a meeting, give them access to opportunity.

I had what I’m now going to think of as my “Frances McDormand” moment  (sadly, without the fabulous gown) at the recent Women in Cloud Summit.  I looked around the room of almost 400  business leaders and amazing emerging talent and I asked them to figuratively stand up and take an action — make a pledge to give women access.  Access to mentorship, access to resources or tools, or access to programs and funding — there are so many ways to contribute.

We named this call to action the “100 Cloud Commitments” and our goal was to get the leaders in the room and those in our broader network to take 100 actions in 2018.  One hundred actions that create access for women entrepreneurs in Washington.

So how did we do? I’m happy to say we have great momentum with more than 50 committed actions to date from individuals pledging their own time to companies of all sizes committing resources for internal and external initiatives.  Here is a sample of some of the amazing commitments we’ve seen so far:

  • Microsoft and HPE jointly funded a 6 month accelerator program for 15 women-led companies to grow their ability to sell into the channel.
  • “I would mentor women to lead, to find their voice and claim a seat at the table,” said one leader who volunteered as a Women in Cloud mentor.
  • Gretchen O’Hara has been actively promoting the Women in Cloud efforts with leadership within the UN and local state initiatives
  • VC Gillian Muessig announced the $100M Sybilla Masters Fund to invest in women-led start-ups. The fund is named after an inventor whose corn milling device was the first invention to receive a patent in the American colonial era.
  • Multiple women have signed up to be technical mentors in leading-edge cloud technologies such as containers, Kubernetes and Docker.
  • Carrie Francey, VP at HPE, signed up to lead an “opportunity circle,” a networking program where women come together to help others achieve their business goals.
  • Michele Keeffe, the veteran entrepreneur and technology marketer, pledged to connect women in technology to the people, leaders, jobs, and companies that will move them closer to their dreams.

I also took a pledge that day.  With a college-age daughter, my interests lie in advising and helping young women carve their career path into tech, particularly into product-oriented roles and I’m mentoring several young women who are starting their career.

So, are you ready to stand up?  We can help. Let us connect you to one of the many women who raised their hand as part of the Women in Cloud Mentor Network. Or, do you have a pledge of your own ready to put into action? Are you ready to support women with access to opportunities? We invite you to help the community hit our 100 Cloud Commitments goal. Reach out to Wendy White here.

Want to hear more about 100 Cloud Commitments?  Check back regularly as we’ll be announcing more each month.