Lean Startup Machine Part 4: The Women

Lean Startup Machine Part 4: The Women

a winning team
Lean Startup Machine is Not Just a Boy’s Club

Welcome to part four of the Lean Startup Machine series. This post highlights the female mentors and entrepreneurs.

An article on Fast Company Magazine asks a serious question: Where Are the Lady Geeks? This snarky piece of work features pictures of male-dominated startup events, and profiles the typical dudes who attend them. But while the article is good for a few belly laughs, girl geek culture is alive and well and living at Lean Startup Events. In fact, after reading the article about the Javelin Board, you should probably learn something about Grace Ng.

Grace Ng: World’s Youngest Thought Leader on Lean UX

Smashing Magazine defines Lean UX, or Lean User Experience, as “a set of principles that may be used to guide you to better, more desirable solutions for users.” Grace Ng, as Co-Founder and Design Lead of Lean Startup Machine, and Founder and Creative Director of Javelin, is the world’s youngest expert on the subject. Her theories come from first-hand experience. In an article for Smashing Magazine, she writes:
“My first mistake with my first startup was assuming that others had the same problem that I experienced. This is a common assumption that many gloss over. Build products that scratch your own itch, right? But many entrepreneurs realize too late that the problems they’re trying to solve are not painful enough to sustain a business.”

A frequent mentor at Lean Startup Machine bootcamps, Ng has spoken at the White House’s Innovation Fellows, Princeton University, and instructed at Singularity University and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Ng also helped develop Quick MVP, a new Javelin product that helps entrepreneurs store and reference customer insights.

Yasmine Mustafa: I Am Woman, Hear Me ROAR

  • Here are some things you should know about Yasmine Mustafa:
  • She and here family were refugees of the Persian Gulf War.
  • When her family came to the United States, they opened a 24-hour convenience store.
  • Yasmine started working at the store when she was nine years old.
  • She worked two jobs to put herself through college.
  • After college, she founded 123linkit.com, a company that helps WordPress users monetize their blogs.
  • She sold her company to Netline in 2011
  • In 2013, she took a six-month break from her laptop and traveled around South America. She notes on her blog that “The trip was transformative and has opened my eyes about myself, vagabonding, and women’s issues.”
  • Upon her return, she founded ROAR, a company that “utilizes fashionable, safety accessories, mobile technology and educational programs to empower women to feel safer in cities and college campuses.”
  • She co-founded Girl Develop It Philadelphia
  • She often speaks at Lean Startup Machine events.

Libby Tucker: Lean Digital Nomad

If you want to know if lean startup principles could apply to the digital nomad’s lifestyle, check out Libby Tucker, a speaker, judge and mentor at Lean Startup Machine events. Tucker practices what she preaches. While traversing the globe, she founded what she calls “anywhere startups,” including:
Live Work Anywhere
She has lived in Hungary, Nicaragua, Argentina while building new products, running online and offline marketing strategies, and expanding her client base.

The Lean Latinas of Montevideo

Should female digital nomads consider Latin America? Will their male co-workers respect them? The Latina entrepreneurial scene is evolving in Uruguay, and women such as Adriana Bonomo and Catherine Krauss are expediting the process. The two business development professors teach  at Universidad Católica del Uruguay, and play an active role in Nexo, an organization whose goal is  is to promote the realization of business ideas and start-up companies created by students, graduates and postgraduates from the Catholic University Uruguay, Krauss and Bonomo collaborated on a research project about woman entrepreneurs in rural Uruguay. As mentors at Lean Startup Machine Montevideo, they hope to inspire all entrepreneurs, but would love to see more woman-owned tech startups.

Here are some of the other inspiring female mentors and speakers:
Rossina Simonelli describes herself as a “young and creative software engineer,” with skills “ranging from architectural analysis and mobile development to business strategy and startup advisory.” Along with US digital nomad Evan Henshaw Plath, she co-founded Crafted Code, an agile development consultancy.

Rossina Simonelli
Rossina Simonelli: Lean Startup Machine Mentor

Maria Passadore and Josefina Maisonnave founded a hotel management company callled Pura Hotels. Although still in her 20’s, Passadore has visited more than 200 cities in three continents. Maria’s creative combined with Josefina’s business sense contribute to the ongoing success of their company.

So, in answer to the question: Yes, female digital nomads should definitely consider Latin America!

See the rest of the posts in this series:

This post was penned by...

Lisa Marie Mercer

From the heart of New York City, to the hill towns of Italy, to the ski towns of Colorado, to the beach towns of coastal Uruguay, Lisa Marie Mercer has journeyed across the globe, often stopping to stay a few months or a few years. A widely-published writer, she covers topics such as travel, expat living, health and fitness, skiing, social media, Latin America and startup entrepreneurs.

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