In October we hosted our second Ladies Who Launch meetup. The aim of these meetups is to provide a platform for female entrepreneurs to tell their stories and offer others advice on the journey to entrepreneurship.
Forecasting a Career in Cloud
FinTech Start-up & Venture Capital BD at AWS, Kathryn Van Nuys, started the evening by talking about forecasting a career in cloud.
Kathryn highlights that during the process of looking for a new role, a key lesson she learned was always being open to new opportunities. After being contacted about a role within a start-up, and originally planning not to go to the interview due to her background working for larger organisations, having been convinced to attend the interview, she ended up liking the people and getting the role. Gaining her first experience with start-ups and – in Kathryn’s words – changing the course of her career.
Working for this start-up allowed Kathryn to take on new responsibilities, move across continents and make a personal connection.
Whilst at her previous role, having been contacted by a friend about a role at AWS, initially again, being uninterested in the role after wondering how her skillset would fit in to a cloud technology company, after being urged to meet the team, Kathryn ended up getting the role. Although you might not get every role, Kathryn highlights that being open-minded to opportunities allows you to expand your network.
Moving on to discuss cloud computing, Kathryn indicates that what made her enthusiastic about her current role was the value proposition that cloud offers start-ups – low cost, easy to use infrastructure. Particularly when focusing on financial service industries, the cloud provides global, secure, and reliant infrastructure for companies to build. Kathryn goes on to mention that when looking at the innovation that is occurring within the financial services sector, she is excited by the fact that the cloud is powering these disrupters in the financial services space.
Highlighting the AWS Loft, a co-working space with technical resources and programming, Kathryn emphasises that through her role and her team, AWS don’t just support start-ups with cloud infrastructure, they also provide access to a wealth of resources and support.
When speaking to investors Kathryn mentions that understanding the technology and how things work can make you a lot more effective on the business side of a venture.
Steps to Starting a Technology Consulting Company
The second talk of the event was given by Founder of Platinum Cubed, Brittany Hart.
During her talk Brittany focuses on three key lessons that she learned when starting her own consulting company, that those looking to start their business should consider.
The first piece of advice was: ‘give it a full body yes’. Wanting to play a more complex role within a company and actively shape that role, Brittany changed her mindset to a ‘full body yes’. Allowing her to become the CEO of a thriving consultancy. To give it a ‘full body yes’ you must remove the doubts from your mind about your capability and tackle any boulders you might face along the way. Talking about her own experience, Brittany mentions the guilt she felt around being a working mother. To overcome this her family relocated to another state to be around a support system that would help her launch the business.
Transform strangers into advocates. Brittany indicates that this strategy is applicable to people in any stage of their business, whether they are just starting out or attempting to maintain their position in the market. Brittany highlights 3 group of ‘strangers’:
- Salesforce Partner Alliances
- Salesforce Account Executives and RVPs
- Your customers
Watch the full video here to discover how these connections helped Brittany during the process of starting her own Salesforce consultancy.
The final piece of advice given by Brittany was to join forces, not compete. When launching a technology consulting company, Brittany indicates that you are quite likely to have a surplus of resources and a lack of sales. Joining forces with other companies is a great way to redistribute your resources, grow your own company, and help others do the same. This also helps to build relationships that can lead to referrals.
During the networking session after the presentation both speakers spoke about their top tips for others looking to start their own business, as well as the best piece of advice they have received throughout their career.
We’d like to thank both Kathryn and Brittany for taking the time to talk at our event, as well as everyone who attended, for making the event a real success.
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