Monday, July 8, 2013

Grace Lanni Talks about Avinde

Grace Lanni Talks about Avinde

Where are you from originally?

Syracuse, NY

What university did you go to?

Syracuse University (biomedical/electrical engineering)

What brought you to Austin?

1999 - First S/W StartUp - VP Professional Services & Sales.

What is your group’s mission?

AVINDĒ’s Mission: Educate diverse women who have skills to launch and lead scalable businesses in multiple markets from idea to validation to funding readiness locally, nationally, and internationally; be the go-to voice for scalable women’s businesses.

What need does it fulfill?

AVINDĒ empowers women who know they want to launch their first startup, and aren’t plugged into the Austin entrepreneurial scene. These women are subject matter experts, and are often looking to exit corporate and want to design a $MM business. AVINDĒ is a place where they can learn from multiple seasoned entrepreneurs, share the ride with 25 other new entrepreneurs, and get answers on everything involved operationally to launch their first startup. We also provide relevant women’s considerations regarding self-promotion, IP-protection, fundraising, negotiation, etc.

What exactly does it bring to startups?

In one word, empowerment. Our women founders are supported, challenged, and guided. Many women go from idea to validation to business model design to pitching investors throughout the 15 week program. Others have launched and have revenue, but can’t get their business to the $1M/yr mark. It is wonderful to watch these women entrepreneurs achieve their goals.

What type of startup would benefit from your group?

It’s really for women who want to design, validate, and launch a scalable business. The diversity in product/market and in experience allows us to focus on specific issues in the 1-1 mentoring sessions.

What was the most challenging aspect of starting up the initiative?

This is the first non-profit I’ve launched. There is a lot to learn about the mechanics of the business.
What advice do you have for entrepreneurs?
Be part of a diverse, supportive mentor community.

What Austin-based resource have you found to be the most helpful and why?

Capital Factory & TechRanch Events as partner communities: AVINDE works with entrepreneurs from the time they decide - I want to be a CEO of a $MM company. Our ideation and tech transfer support allows those entrepreneurs who don’t yet have their idea to flourish. Once the idea is validated, Capital Factory & TechRanch might be a great next step for our entrepreneurs. Online local Resource - Bijoy Goswami’s - stay connected to other startup communities.

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