Top Takeaways from September’s #StartupChat with Katie Gage of SpringBoard

As director of business investment with Arlington Economic Development, I’m honored to host a monthly chat on Twitter dedicated to women in entrepreneurship – men and women alike - participate and continually add to the rich conversation.  Each month, the chat takes on a wide variety of topics, ranging from how entrepreneurs manage work-life balance, to some of the unique challenges that women face when taking on the role of entrepreneur, with individuals from throughout Arlington, the Capital region, and beyond offering their own insight and experiences.

This month’s special guest was Katie Gage with SpringBoard, a national non-profit dedicated to the support of female entrepreneurs. To date, the organization has 547 alumni from across the country that have raised $6.2 billion in capital – much of it in-part to Katie’s dedication and contributions.

@ItsKatieGage: @SpringboardEnt is all about investing "human capital" - @KayKoplovitz SpringBoard Chairman on this #startupchat

@IamJives: To date @SpringboardEnt has 547 alumni that have raised $6.2 billion in capital. #startupchat#startup

@Startup_VA: NICE @IamJives @SpringboardEnt@itskatiegage AMAZING stats. Clearly doing tremendous work w startups all over! #startupchat

@IamJives: Yes, relationships and disruptive biz plans to attract VCs @itskatiegage @SpringboardEnt  #startupchat #startup #pitch

@ItsKatieGage: Springboard doesn't invest $ in companies-we provide personalized coaching, resources + connections #startupchat

The conversation touched on work/life balance, as that’s always a hot topic when women discuss the idea of having it all.  Some interesting perspectives discussed:

Question: [email protected]itskatiegage What advice can you give women in entrepreneurship about work/life balance?#startupchat

Answer from @ItsKatieGage: Is there such a thing as work life balance? haha It's different for everyone!#startupchat

@ItsKatieGage: I like this article - " I'm not Balancing my work and life and I feel great"#startupchat

Answer from @EthosGold: I've found 6:00am yoga helps me keep perspective thru the grueling day of an entrepreneur. Great for balance. #startupchat

Another topic that struck up some attention-grabbing conversations during this particular chat was the idea of pitching advice – and pitfalls.  I hear frequently from VCs around Arlington and across the country about seemingly-harmless habits that can make all the difference in that all-important pitch meeting – those habits that seem to be more common amongst women. Carla Valdes, a general partner with, and someone who knows a things or two about pitching and funding, chimed in with some great advice:

@IamJives: DO NOT TOUCH YOUR HAIR WHEN PITCHING! @VivaLaCatt @CarlaMValdes #startupchat

@VivaLaCatt: @IamJives @CarlaMValdes Is this just because it shows nervousness? Timidness? How about dress code? #startupchat

@CarlaMValdes: @VivaLaCatt Dress code should be what makes you feel like a rockstar! Don't over think, what you say is more important than what you wear

@CarlaMValdes: Be confident! Avoid the likes and up speaking... @IamJives @VivaLaCatt

@VivaLaCatt: @CarlaMValdes What do you mean up speaking? #StartupChat @IamJives

@IamJives: Ending every statement as if it was a question.

@CarlaMValdes: @VivaLaCatt correct. Be confident. Strong and factual. Never seem to doubt yourself or your responses.

@CarlaMValdes: @VivaLaCatt We are harder on ourselves that our friends will be. Watching yourself on video, although painful is the best way to improve.

An incredibly helpful aspect of these chats is the resources that are shared with fellow entrepreneurs.  Individuals who have become #startupchat regulars are, quite simply, a wealth of knowledge, and I am proud to call them my colleagues amongst the country’s incredible entrepreneur community. For anyone looking to embark on the exciting world of entrepreneurship, male OR female, I invite you to join us for our #startupchat each month.  The insights alone are amazing.

@IamJives: @Forbes released a list of 10 best websites 4 women entrepreneurs. Do u have some favs? #startupchat #startup

@ItsKatieGage: @IamJives Great list!-author, @Meg_Casserly has great articles for#womenentrepreneurs #startupchat

@AEDBizLaunch: @IamJives @Forbes My friends from @WomenPresidents Great information & #startupchat

@ItsKatieGage: I always read @women2, @ladieswholaunch also love @onethingnewand anything on @FastCompany #startupchat

@ItsKatieGage: Another important tip - "personal branding" - check out this great article @Forbes

To follow the entire conversation, just check out #startupchat.  Don’t forget to join us on Twitter on the third Thursday of each month at 2:00 p.m. to be a part of this exciting and growing conversation!  Carla Valdes will join me on October 17th to discuss the art of pitching and securing funding for your startup. And of course, for news from Arlington, Virginia and its entrepreneur community, follow me on Twitter at @iAmJives and our business investment team at @AEDBizInvest.

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