How to Master Your Business, Leadership, and Technology Skills in the Tech Industry

An industry as diverse as technology demands you to be up-to-date with everything. Technology does not fall prey to time and neither do the people who run the industry. Although it may seem futile, it is an essential task to always keep up with every new development. 

Technology is the definition of change. Every change in the industry is driven by the market. Customers are introduced to a piece of technology which then becomes an integral part of their daily life. It is, therefore, crucial to understand the market as well as the technology that will be the future of the industry. An industry which is diverse and dynamic can be overwhelming and it does have the tendency to throw people off guard and make them wonder, ‘How does one keep up with tech, where nothing stays the same?’ Trends and patterns are the answer. 

Technical skills often help build the base of the business. To enhance your technical skills and help your business grow into the future market, always keep one foot in the future. DARQ is the future of our industry according to Accenture’s Technology Vision 2019 reports. These are Distributed Ledger Technology (such as blockchain), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Extended Reality (including virtual and augmented reality), and Quantum Computing. Cloud Computing is another major player that is often forgotten. 

The business angle of the tech industry demands you to enhance your communication skills, planning, and financial management techniques. Due to a lack of ideas to incorporate passion into practical business skills in the industry, half the tech enterprises fail before they begin to make their mark. 

Leadership is an extension of business skills. A business leader is a friend, mentor and an employee of a company who are equipped with skill sets to drive change in their field. An employee often encounters executives who extract every ounce of work possible from them and leaves them with nothing to learn. While this may be profitable, this isn’t leadership.

There is no one skill set that is the key to creating the next Microsoft or Amazon. In fact, we are at a point in time where businesses need to focus on sustainable growth rather than just personal or monetary growth.

As a leader, one should often question their authority and learn to differentiate themselves from everybody at the table. It also becomes crucial to ensure contributions to the growth of employees and society at the same time. But how does one strike a balance between switching so many hats? The answer is always the same; Education & Skill Building, Community Building, and Economic Development. 

Women in Cloud is a community that strives to bring these three crucial elements together to ensure the overall growth of an individual as well as society. Women In Cloud focuses on bringing together and nurturing women leaders in tech who contribute to society with their business and technological skills. The community’s aim is to expand our reach to build women leaders all over the world and to create $1 billion in economic contribution. 

If you are interested to be a part of Women in Cloud and learn to enhance all your skills to improve the business as well as contribute to the society with passionate leaders, stay tuned for more exciting announcements regarding our flagship event.


The Secret to Making Powerful Alliances

We as human beings with the ability to converse and build relationships often tend to forget the power of connection and communication.

“The world is such a small place,” are words often thrown around when we meet somebody with a mutual connection. As a matter of fact, mutual connections are how we expand our presence in society and build alliances.

But why is it important to build alliances and relationships with people?
Networking and making alliances is not just about exchanging information. While the hot term “networking” is in trend, the process of building mutually benefitting relationships have been in use for a long time now. Most people assume networking is important for a better career opportunity or to create a business transaction, however more often than not, people tend to forget that powerful alliances contribute to a better society.

Microsoft Inspire is an annual tech event that brings close to forty thousand people together from the industry. Forty thousand people get to cross paths with a diverse network of people and businesses from the world of technology sharing their knowledge and turning it into action. Events like Inspire make people noticeable. A sense of belonging in society is created with people who share a similar thought process as the one you might share. People often go home with a different thought process and higher creative intellect. A major boost in self-confidence and status through support from other people is also a healthy consequence of these events.

Although the benefits sound very cliché, all these traits promote people to think differently and create an impact that is bigger than them.

Kristen Miller’s college dreams were ruined by Computer Science 101 during her time at the University of Illinois. While throughout college she maintained a 4.0 GPA as a psychology major, a “C” broke her streak. To this day she says, “I could not differentiate between magicians and technologists! I found it extremely difficult to understand the essence of technology.”

Today, however, Miller is a leader in the tech world as a CEO of Stylyze, a Seattle-based software-as-a-service startup focused on the home décor and interior design industries. Kristen Miller’s entrepreneurial journey dates back to her college days and she has found four companies since then including Stylyze.

What changed for Miller? She found her belonging. While one might hate or love something, it becomes important to find the right place to grow. Networking is important, but networking with the right people to find an ideal place for your growth is the key.
Kristen discovered Women in Cloud and realized that is where she can grow and overcome her bitter relationship with technology to build one of Seattle’s most successful startups as a psychology major!

Women in Cloud leaders made it their purpose to reposition themselves and help Kristen and everybody else who joins the community, as individuals who are not just building cloud businesses but contributing to an inclusive economy to create a billion-dollar impact all over the world.

A sense of belonging brings to light a purpose that is bigger than just you. While building power alliances are important for personal and professional growth, it is essential that you find the right fit for you. 7 billion people will not be impacted if you build alliances and network with 100 people. But you might just impact 1000 lives if you meet one right person. That is the secret people often tend to ignore.

Therefore, find your network and find people you belong with. Look for people who inspire you and who share an idea that is similar to yours and yet, who tend to take you out of your comfort zone. Because you just might find your purpose to make your society a better place than when you found it.

Collaborative Action: Coming Together to Create Impact in the Lives of a Family Affected by Hurricane Dorian

Hurricane Dorian was a devastating force that seriously impacted the lives of so many in the Abaco and Grand Bahama Islands of the Bahamas.The islands were ripped apart, leaving a desperate and desolate situation, including the family members of one of our own team members, Raisa Noelle.

Some of her family members were missing for days as the storm ripped through their islands. As of yesterday September 5, Raisa’s 10 family members in both Abaco and Grand Bahama have finally all been found, but some of them are now homeless, seeking refuge, and in need of medical care due to Hurricane Dorian’s assault on their normal lives.

But that was not going to be the end of this story. We at Women in Cloud made a call out to the community to band together to take care of one of our own by giving to make a significant change in their lives.

While her family in Nassau was working to send supplies and clothing on the mailboat, many, needed to relocate quite quickly to Nassau or other islands. We asked for your support to help them start fresh in the midst of this tragedy.

This hurricane, the worst of its kind in the history of The Bahamas has leftover 2,000 people missing, 13,000+ homes have been completely destroyed, and 60,000+ people are without running water, electricity, food, and other basic amenities.

Our mission was to reach a goal of $5,000, to provide $500 worth of relief to each of Raisa’s family members and help them to safely get to another location when able.

As of September 24, we are delighted to report that we have reached the goal of $5,000!

“I have always gone through life with the idea that problems should be kept private and if anything ever happens, just figure it out for yourself. Women in Cloud as a whole has completely shaken my belief system for the better. In addition to just being a mix of good people all working to change the world for female entrepreneurs, seeing the community come together for me brought tears to my eyes. I can’t begin to thank all of you enough. I am so moved by people even reaching out to check on me and my family after the storm. This is unbelievable. You all are absolutely incredible. Thank you so much. I know my family will really appreciate it.” – Raisa Noelle

Thanks to the 45 donors that made it possible in just 17 days. Your kindness has been overwhelming.

Susana Alvarez Vitale | Silvia Ammerman | Sampada Basarkar | Harsha Bennur | Shari Burk | Stuart Butler | Holly Condos | Karen Fassio | Katy Forster | Dina Grimstead | Dominic Halpin | Sue Hill | Edwin & Elizabeth Hincapie | Russell Janney | Patricia Keiran | Sheryl Kline | Vinay Kumar | Erica Leigh | Cathy Light | Claire Lindsey | Maureen Lindsey | Sharon Martinez | Lena May | Alecia May | Karlaida Morales | Rohit Nallapeta | Colleen O’Brien | Erin Papworth | Natee Pretikul | Michelle Pruitt | Linda Rose | Alejandrina Salaverria | Melissa Strawn | Stacy Tatem | Peter Thomsen | Frank Valdivieso | Elisabeth Vanderveldt | Chaitra Vedullapalli | Wendy White | Kate Whitman | Anonymous | Anonymous | Anonymous | Anonymous | Anonymous

Here are just some of the ways that your GoFundMe donations helped:

  • LifeStraws for those without access to clean water
  • School fees for a young boy that had to relocate and start at a new school
  • Rent for a single mother that lost her home
  • Clothes for a relative that was left with only the clothes on her back
  • Flights for four people and their pets to relocate to another island
  • One month’s worth of pet food for five dogs and nine cats

With all your help, we have been able to make a positive impact on the lives of those who really need it.

Top 5 Experiences that Created a Sense of Community at Microsoft Inspire

This past week while attending the Microsoft Inspire conference in Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, there were crowds of enthusiastic attendees all ready to hold meetings, make connections, and really drive the momentum on their decision making. Partners gathered to learn about each other and all the advances that Microsoft was primed to share with the world. While navigating a massive event such as this, it can sometimes be hard to find your footing and make significant connections. Valuable learning opportunities were endless so there were many chances for people to participate and seek out the answers they needed and even some that they didn’t know that they desired. 

While taking part in this large ecosystem, the Women in Cloud community held and took part in intimate experiences in order to harness the real power behind all of the learning opportunities.  Here are the top 5 community experiences at Microsoft Inspire that left a lasting impression:

Archive360 Executive Roundtable

Dan Langille, Global Director – Microsoft, Archive360 and Erika Trenkle, Director of Channels – Americas, Archive360 led a discussion moderated by Chaitra Vedullapalli, President & Co-Founder of Women in Cloud sharing about how Archive360 conducts enterprise deals with Microsoft.

Learning moments:

  • Becoming successful with Microsoft Partnerships
  • Go-To-Market opportunities with Archive360
  • Winning Contracts using D&I Levers



WIC Executive Dinner powered by M12 – Microsoft’s Venture Fund

Women in Cloud hosted a dinner event for a group of 30 women entrepreneurs and thought-leaders to discuss alignments on access to investments, talent, and customers via corporate contracts in an intimate setting. The dinner experience at La Veranda, Four Seasons was generously sponsored by M12 – Microsoft’s Venture Fund. The overall intent was to foster meaningful connections that would last far beyond the Inspire event. Colleen O’Brien, VC Marketer, M12 also moderated a talk within the Inclusion Lounge in the Community Zone on the topic Women in Cloud: Make Your Business Fly. A highlight of the dinner included the exchange of anonymous motivational messages from other women in attendance. 


Women in Tech Luncheon featuring Sutherland Global

Microsoft has been working closely with Women in Cloud (WIC), the International Association of Microsoft Partners (IAMC), and The WIT Network (TWN) to create an event optimized for partners to recognize both the advances and opportunities as we work together for greater inclusion of women in the tech industry. Sutherland Global sponsored a table with Women in Cloud at this powerful luncheon featuring talks by Satya Nadella and Gavriella Schuster. 



Create Smiles Gratitude Boxes powered by Meylah

Create Smiles is a youth service project located in Sammamish, Washington. It empowers youth entrepreneurs to create opportunities with inclusion, diversity, and community impact. The Create Smiles gift box is a community program and fundraiser which allows the group to continue to provide  programming and education services with social impact and commercial-community integration. Complimentary Create Smiles boxes were offered to Microsoft Inspire attendees to encourage them to share it with someone else and acknowledge their efforts, show appreciation, or brighten someone’s day. The Create Smiles gratitude box giveaway was featured in the Inclusion Lounge within the Community one of Microsoft Inspire. 



The Female Quotient Inclusion Lounge

The Inclusion Lounge that was featured in the Community Zone provided to the attendees just what it boasts – a place of belonging. Various activities to inspire connection took place in the lounge and thought-provoking panels took place in the adjacent open-theater. Throughout the course of the week of Inspire, over 2,000 people attended the Inclusion Lounge. While offering a space to elevate your promotion game with the digital first business card experience, or step into the shoes of someone else with the VR for empathy experience. This relaxing area, across from the main meeting location for pre-scheduled meetings, really allowed for people to meet, connect, and discuss their experiences.



The support of our Women in Cloud sponsors aided in more visibility and some key moments that we can all be proud of as a part of the Women in Cloud community:

  • Announcement of 2020 Women in Cloud Summit – January 25, 2020 – Microsoft Conference Center, Redmond, WA. Early bird tickets on sale now until September 15, 2019
  • Global Expansion announcement to Microsoft US Sub
  • 200+ new Women in Cloud connections made
  • Presence on 10 panels or experiences throughout the week
  • 30+ TechNative Videos created (7M Reach)

Finding a sense of community can be an overwhelming environment to the first-timer or long-time return guest. It is really something quite valuable to an Inspire attendee. As a part of the #WICtribe we aim to enter spaces with a sense of community and connection that everyone desires. Thanks to our sponsors Archive360, M12, Meylah and Sutherland Global for helping us in going beyond the standard of conference and tradeshow encounters.

For more information on how to get involved with the Women in Cloud community throughout the year as we continue to work towards global expansion and  $1Billion in economic impact for female technology entrepreneurs, follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

Announcing the WIC: Microsoft Cloud Accelerator – Cohort 2.0 Class

The start of our latest Cloud Accelerator program began with a buzz of excitement. After receiving, reviewing, and selecting the participants for the 2.0 Cohort, the eager entrepreneurs, advisors, and speakers assembled in Bellevue, WA to begin at the WIC: Microsoft Cloud Accelerator Kickoff Meeting on June 3, 2019.

The WIC: Microsoft Cloud Accelerator Program is an immersive 6-month program to assist women-led companies to co-build, co-market, and co-sell with Cloud hyper-scalers and their distribution channels. Twelve companies led by female entrepreneurs at the prime stance to uplevel their businesses were chosen to participate.

The Kickoff Meeting agenda was packed with specially curated talks by subject-matter experts and thought leaders to aide the group at the starting line of acceleration. The docket, led by Women in Cloud co-founders Chaitra Vedullapalli, Karen Fassio, and Carrie Francey featured input from Microsoft game-changer – Gretchen O’Hara (Microsoft), action-focused advocate – Gillian Muessig (Outlines Ventures Group), energetic visual goal-setter – Patti Dobrowolski (Up Your Creative Genius), and results-driven OKR-guru – Brea Starmer (Tribal Team), among others.

The 2.0 Cohort of the WIC: Microsoft Cloud Accelerator Program (WIC:MCAP) is proud to announce the new class:

Throughout the journey of the 6 month program, the participating entrepreneurs, armed with:

  • Proven Methodologies, Resources and Tools
  • Access to Microsoft GTM Investments
  • Learning earn from industry experts, our selected panel of coaches and advisors

This enthusiastic cohort is beginning their journey on the heels of an incredible announcement. Read more about the Global Expansion of the WIC Cloud Accelerator Program here:

Stay tuned to Women in Cloud for more information on the Global Expansion.

Women in Cloud is a community-led initiative supporting female technology entrepreneurs via private-public partnerships with innovative companies and leaders in tech.

For more information on the WIC: Microsoft Cloud Accelerator program, contact