Forums and Roundtables
Women@Austin brings exclusive Forums and Roundtable events for women entrepreneurs and executives. They are always sold-out, high-energy experiences bringing female founders of all stages together to share stories, give advice, and make connections. Organized to drive connections not just networking, these events will also expose you to actionable tips from the trenches by successful entrepreneurs, investors and topic driven experts.
Whether you’re looking to broaden your network, seek funding or a co-founder, or just want to connect — come join us and be inspired by stories and lessons learned from Austin’s female entrepreneurs at all stages.
- May 13, 2019 | 11:30-1:00pm May Women@Austin Roundtable Vice President of Global Business Group at Facebook, Katherine Shappley. Katherine Shappley leads Facebook’s North American Global Business Group Account and Partner Management teams. A eight-year veteran of Facebook, Katherine oversees sales and account management for businesses who use Facebook to connect and grow. Register Now!
- April 17, 2019 | 11:30-1:00pm “A Founder’s Journey” Co-Founder of YourEarnedIt & Tech Entrepreneur, Autumn Manning.
- March 8, 2019 | 7:00 – 10:00pm “Women@Austin Happy Hour” Our 5th annual happy hour happening during SXSW, celebrating female founders and entrepreneurs making an impact in Austin and beyond. This invitation-only event is curated for female leaders and entrepreneurs in Austin, their supporters, and those visiting Austin for the conference.
- March 8, 2019 | 8:00 – 10:30am #SheMeansBusiness Female Founders Breakfast with Facebook & Civic Dinners 80 female entrepreneurs met for breakfast, community, and structured conversation, as we shared stories central to women’s success.
- February 27, 2019 | 11:30 – 1:00pm “Entrepreneurship Meets Design Thinking” Founder of Women@Austin and Executive Director of Entrepreneurship & Innovation at UT, Jan Ryan.
- February 21, 2019 | 6:00 – 8:30pm Venture Dinner Series sponsored by JP Morgan Chase. These private dinners are not a pitch event, but serve rather to bring female entrepreneurs and investors together to have authentic conversations, receive actionable advice, and build new connections.
- January 17, 2019 | 11:30 – 1:00pm “Finding Your Niche: How Curiosity Helps You Hone Your Message” with Annie Hardy, Founder & Managing Dir. of Zeet Insights, a Market and Design Research firm.
- December 6, 2018 11:30 – 1:00pm “Customer Success Strategies from the Ground up” This round table will be lead by Beth Yehaskel, Vice President of Customer Success at Jungle Scout.
- October 26, 2018 | 11:30 – 1:00pm “Demystifying Financials for Entrepreneurs” At this roundtable lunch, we will feature guest speaker Lynn Atchison, Chief Financial Officer at Spredfast and former CFO of HomeAway.
- October 2, 2018 | 9:30 – 10:45am “How Austin Becomes the Nation’s Capital for Diverse, Homegrown Tech Talent“In this Austin Startup Week session, you’ll hear from a panel of local leaders moving the needle on diversity and inclusion in Austin’s startup ecosystem. Listen to individuals and organizations on the frontlines of training, engaging, and recruiting diverse tech talent in Austin. Let’s start a bigger dialogue about creating diverse, homegrown tech talent in our city, and help Austin rival top technical markets like the Bay Area and New York with respect to the diversity, quality and regional ties of the technical talent pool.
- August 16, 2018 | 11:30 – 1:00pm “Three Pillars of a Great People Strategy: Recruiting, Rewards, and Engagement” At this roundtable lunch, Lori Knowlton, current Chief People Officer at Silicon Labs and formerly at HomeAway, dives into building the right team, hiring, and explore pragmatic ways for teams of all sizes to benefit from the three pillars of a great people strategy.
- May 3, 2018 | 11:30 – 1:00pm “Starting Your Business — The Legal Perspective: What to expect in legal issues and fees the first two years” At this roundtable lunch, Cassandra Cuellar of global law firm Shearman and Sterling leads us through nuggets of wisdom which will save you from headaches later on. Bring your questions! You will walk through the beginning legal issues, documents and costs for the first year (or two) of starting a business. We will discuss topics like entity formation, financing, hiring and intellectual property issues.
- February 23, 2018 | 11:30 – 1:00pm “Getting a Seat in the C-Suite of a Startup” At this roundtable lunch, Lisa Pearson, CEO of Umbel, shares her amazing story and the wisdom she has learned along the way for women who seek leadership positions in entrepreneurial ventures. As always the greatest insights often come through trial and error, and in her funny and engaging style Lisa will talk about fast tracking women’s careers with a mix of her own experience (and mistakes) combined with general principles.
- November 2, 2017 | 11:30 – 1:00pm “The Journey from Early Stage to Scale: Lessons in Marketing” At this roundtable lunch, Shaku Selvakumar, VP of Marketing for Cognitive Scale, an award winning AI-powered cognitive computing company, will discuss lessons learned and what to avoid at each stage of growth. Whether you’re a founder or a marketer, come bring YOUR top 3 questions or issues that are currently impacting your company’s progress for a lively interactive discussion.
- September 21, 2017 | 6:00 – 8:00pm Venture Dinner Series sponsored by JP Morgan. These private dinners are not a pitch event, but serve rather to bring female entrepreneurs and investors together to have authentic conversations, receive actionable advice, and build new connections
- August 17, 2017 | 11:30 – 1:00pm “Actionable Tips from a Startup CFO for Women Entrepreneurs” In this lunch Roundtable, Patti Soch, serial start-up CFO, will lead us through lessons learned from the trenches and practical tips in setting up and running your business. As an entrepreneur, money is likely to be your biggest concern. Yet, many have little experience in raising funds and managing cash flow. It’s no secret that the most commonly voiced regrets of successful women founders are not about early product challenges, but rather the structure, setup, and capitalization of their business.
- June 22, 2017 | 11:30 – 1:00pm “Negotiation Skills & Strategies – Secrets to Success” At this roundtable lunch, Jan Ryan will discuss how to strengthen negotiations skills and become a better leader and dealmaker in business. Negotiation is closely linked to leadership, and as such is a critical skill for women entrepreneurs. Led by an experienced negotiator, software executive, and entrepreneur Jan Ryan.
- March 10, 2017 | 6:30 – 9:00pm VIP SXSW Party to celebrate leaders in the women entrepreneurship space who will be in town for the conference. Our hosts are Women@Austin, a group 100% focused on advancing women entrepreneurship and comprised of some of Austin’s most experienced entrepreneurs & leaders.
- February 24, 2017 | 11:30 -1:00pm “How to create compelling messages that generate demand” In this interactive lunch, guest speaker Yvonne Tocquigny will be leading a talk focused on techniques to define which messages you should deliver about your business, and the order they should be delivered in. The goal is to have audiences leaning in, asking for more information. Yet many companies repel their audiences with too much information that doesn’t resonate. We’ll discuss how you can get control your audience’s attention through your messages.
- December 13, 2016 | 11:30 – 1:00pm “Investor Pitch Bootcamp: How to build a great pitch” Successful entrepreneurs and investors know the power of a great pitch. It conveys the power of your idea clearly and quickly and makes the investor want to hear more. Many will tell you WHAT makes a good investor pitch – a compelling story, a great deck and make sure you own the room. But, no one tells you HOW to do it. In this lunch and learn Monique Maley, President and Founder of Articulate Persuasion, covered the 10 biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make when pitching and some tools to help you avoid them. Everyone walked away with specific strategies to build and delivery a great pitch.
- September 21, 2016 | 6:30 – 8:00pm Public Forum: Financial Tips from the Trenches -CFO Panel There’s already a sense of excitement about what we’re covering — financial perspectives and advice for women launching or scaling a business. What are the most common mistakes an entrepreneur makes financially? Everything is on the table, so bring your operational questions — Are there areas of weakness more common to women? Strengths to capitalize on? What are best practices around cash flow and forecast analysis that I will need for investors?
- July 21, 2016 | 11:30 – 1:00pm “Sales Acceleration” Adding customers and growing revenue is one of the biggest challenges any startup faces. Why do some startups succeed with an increasing trajectory of revenue while others with similar products stumble and fail? Cindy Goldsberry, Author, industry-recognized Sales leader and strategic Advisor, shared her time-proven ZFactor methodology for growing revenue and improving the perceived value of your product/service. With interactive Q&A at the end of the session, Cindy joined by Jan Ryan to address specific sales questions with tactical recommendations and best practices from their extensive joint backgrounds in Sales and scaling companies.
- May 12, 2016 | 11:30 – 1:00pm “The Neuroscience of Storytelling ” Humans have always told stories to understand, share and recall knowledge. Deb Gabor of Sol Marketing showed us how the brain reacts to information. She also covered proven methods for connecting emotionally with buyers to stimulate the irrational unconscious brain and harness the power of storytelling.
- March 11, 2016 | 6:30 – 9:00pm VIP SXSW Party to celebrate leaders in the women entrepreneurship space who will be in town for the conference. Our hosts are Women@Austin, a group 100% focused on advancing women entrepreneurship and comprised of some of Austin’s most experienced entrepreneurs & leaders.
- February 26, 2016 | 11:30 – 1:00pm “Product Positioning.” There is a mistaken belief that product positioning is as simple as understanding how your product is different from your competition. If only it were that simple. The most effective product positioning shifts a prospect’s mindset, challenges their assumptions, and drives action. Liana Frey walked us through best practices in how to do this…building on market insights, understanding the prospect’s point of view, and identifying your product’s unique differentiators. Be prepared to have your existing assumptions about product positioning challenged!
- January 28, 2016 | 11:30 – 1:30pm “5 Steps to Data-driven Marketing Planning & Optimization.” Munira Fareed took us through an important topic for any marketer today – data driven marketing. Munira is a technology startup executive who drives cutting edge marketing to deliver real revenue for businesses. She is experienced in marketing new, disruptive technologies – from launching HD into the videoconferencing industry (LifeSize), virtualization into the contact center infrastructure space (Ineto), to bringing the first internet appliance to market (Netpliance). Munira is currently the chief marketing officer at Hive9, the marketing performance management company. Before joining Hive9, Munira founded and ran Appleseed Partners, a B2B marketing company providing fractional CMO services to technology companies.
- December 4, 2015 | 11:30 – 1:00pm “Marketing Roundtable: Pricing Strategies.” For many founding teams, Pricing is one of the most difficult and complex decisions for the business. New markets often evolve quickly and consequently so must Pricing. But how do you justify what you’re charging your customers? Are there proven best practices that would benefit early stage entrepreneurs? Ed Perry, our featured guest speaker on this topic, shared his vast wisdom at the Dec. 4th Marketing Roundtable, drawing from years of operational experience and as a venture capitalist. Ed is also a teacher in the Acton MBA program, and has a lifetime passion for supporting entrepreneurs.
- December 1, 2015 | 6:30 – 9:00pm W@A Holiday Party The girls party of the season for female entrepreneurs! It’s time for Women@Austin’s community to celebrate the year in an evening of networking and fun. Come toast the holidays, make new connections and interact with other female entrepreneurs and leaders in Austin.
- November 19, 2015 | 11:30 – 1:00pm “Being a First-Time Startup Exec.” Autumn Manning, CEO of YouEarnedIt, and Jennifer Parker, CFO of NSS Labs led a discussion on being a first time executive in a start-up. Whether starting a new business or taking on an executive leadership role for the first time, the challenges can be both daunting and exhilarating. Autumn and Jennifer shared their experiences and insights learned from the front lines on executing rapid growth with limited resources, how to operate a strong business, building a compelling team and culture, and navigating the unknowns of first-time executive leadership in a startup.
- September 24, 2015 | 11:00 – 1:00pm “Marketing Roundtable: Customer Success is the New Marketing.” Pam O’Neal, CMO of Ryft, focused on the all-important topic of Customer Service, or Customer Success as it is now called. The discussion was based around how we as business leaders and marketing executives, in partnership with customer success teams, can deliver remarkable customer experiences to encourage customer feedback, advocacy and loyalty. Our special guest speaker is accomplished Austin entrepreneur and customer success consultant Aruni S. Gunasegaram.
- July 1, 2015 | 11:30 – 1:00pm “Corporate and Functional Team Goal Setting.” Heather Brunner, CEO of WP Engine, and previous COO of Bazaarvoice, led a discussion on best practices and tips for planning, prioritization and goal setting at both the company and functional team level (sales, marketing, engineering, etc.) In order to build a high performance culture, having a predictable, repeatable process of planning and goal setting is critically important.
- May 27, 2015 | 11:30 am – 1:00pm Marketing Roundtable, continuing series. “Emerging Growth Marketing Strategies.” Guest speaker Matt Papertsian, growth marketer and practice leader at SiriusDecisions, took on the challenges marketers face in new ventures, including insights learned from inbound and outbound campaigns to elevate the performance of sales, marketing and products.
- March 25, 2015 | 12:00 – 1:30pm Marketing Roundtable, continuing series: “The 411 on Competitive Intelligence.” Guest speaker Laura Young, CEO of Bizologie and April Kessler, Chief of Research, sharing unique insights for due diligence and competitive intelligence research you’ll need to out-maneuver your competition.
- March 13, 2015 | 6:30 – 9:00pm W@A SXSW Party to celebrate leaders in the women entrepreneurship space who will be in town for the conference. Our hosts are Women@Austin, a group 100% focused on advancing women entrepreneurship and comprised of some of Austin’s most experienced entrepreneurs & leaders.
- January 29, 2015 | 12:00 – 1:30pm “Low Cost Lead Generation Strategies that Drive Revenue.” Pam O’Neal led the group in a discussion dear to every business owner’s heart: low cost lead generation strategies that drive real, measurable revenue growth.
- December 4, 2014 | 11:30 – 1:00pm“Funding for Early Ventures.” Led by Laura Kilcrease, Women@Austin Steering Committee member and Founder, Managing Director of Triton Ventures. Laura is continuing her talk on everything an entrepreneur needs to now about raising capital.
- November 19, 2014 | 11:30 – 1:00pm “Create Compelling Messaging for Your Startup.” Led by Yvonne Tocquigny, Steering Committee member at Women@Austin, and Founder/CEO of Tocquigny, one of Austin’s top digital marketing firms.
- October 23, 2014 | 11:30 – 1:00pm “How to Find Paying Customers in the Early Stage: Your Early Adopter Profile.” Led by Jan Ryan, Serial Entrepreneur, Founder of Social Dynamx (acquired by Lithium Technologies), Founder of Women@Austin.
- August 27, 2014 | 11:30 – 1:00pm “Marketing for Cash Strapped Start-ups” aka “Growth Hacking.” Led by Pam O’Neal, CMO Data Design.
- July 22, 2014 | 12:00 – 1:30pm “Perfecting Your Pitch,” led by Monique Maley, Angel Investor & CEO of Articulate Persuation. Bring the elements of your pitch or particular challenges for your company’s investor pitches for discussion.
- June 17, 2014 | 11:30 – 1:00pm “Funding Options for the Early Stage,” Led by Laura Kilcrease, Founder of Triton Ventures