thebeacondc thebeacondc

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BEACON  A community-led campaign to make Washington, DC the most influential and supportive city for entrepreneurs in the United States.

Are you ready to debunk myths, clear the smoke and understand your financing options? BEACON is excited to bring you Startup Finance 101 during @dcstartupweek, a four-hour workshop featuring TED-style talks + interactive engagements from experts in venture capital, crowdfunding, bank loans, and more! •
Curious about what financing options exist, when to begin fundraising, how to prepare financial documents or when/how to connect with lenders + investors? •
Then don’t miss out on this free opportunity to learn from Penny Lee of @1776vc, Dale Pfeifer of @goodworld, Danielle Tate of @missnowmrs, Deborah Owens of WealthyU, Diana Radu of @hsbc, Fonta Gilliam of @investsousou, and William Manger of @sbagov! •

To register, go to • depending on your browser, you may need to use a computer (rather than phone) to register!
#startupfinance101 #dcstartupweek #beacondc #accesstocapital

#Ladybosses - we need you! Showcase your goods/services at the BEACON Grant Awards on 9/27 at Pepco Edison Place Gallery. At least (5) women-owned businesses will be selected to participate. Apply by 9/20 to receive notification by 9/21! Oh, and did we mention that it’s totally free? Apply today! #beaconawards #beacongrant

Thanks, @adweek for recognizing BEACON and our amazing partners as integral in DC’s development as a top city for inclusive, female-driven entrepreneurship! •

BEACON was founded in November 2016 with a goal to amplify DC’s women founders through four pillars: 1) increasing access to capital, 2) providing resources and support, 3) generating new business opportunities, and 4) inspiring the next generation. In addition to our capstone programs including #StartupLaw101 and #StartupFinance101, a grant portfolio supporting local #ecosystembuilders, and partnership-based activations connecting #ladybosses to the mentors, capital, customers and the support they need, BEACON also produces research to better inform the development of DC’s ecosystem and align the unique needs of diverse founders to the support offered from resource-based organizations. Through publications including “Building Inclusive Ecosystems with Intentionality” and the “Resource Guide for Legal & Business Support,” in addition to our directory of women-owned businesses, resources, and a biweekly newsletter, we strive to close gaps, connect founders and identify needs + act on them — building on-ramps for opportunity and scale for all #ladybosses. •

So, join us! And support the collective work of our awesome partners including @vinettaproject, Project 500, @blackgirlventures, @revolutionllc + more! #beacondc #inclusiveecosystems #ladyboss #ecosystemdevelopment #adweek

We couldn’t agree more, @arlanwashere! Looking for women-owned companies to invest in or support? Check out our directory of over 350 #ladybosses right here in the District! #beacondc #ladyboss #supportwomen

Cast your votes!
Over 70 ecosystem builders have advanced to BEACON's Community Voting Round. Now it's time for your feedback! Do you have a favorite proposal, has an initiative piqued your interest, or do you wish to help your hard-working ecosystem-building sister make her name known? Click the link to register and cast your vote! The winner of this round will receive a three-month co-working package at Hera Hub DC, a feature on the Get Found/Get Funded podcast, a strategy session with Pipeline Angels DC and special recognition at the BEACON Grant Awards. So, what are you waiting on? Go vote! #beacongrant2k18 #beacongrant #ladyboss #beacondc #ecosystembuilders #entrepreneur

Are you a member of the BEACON community that has experienced (and overcome) challenges related to intellectual property rights? Send us a short paragraph of your story by 8/13 and you may be selected to speak during #StartupLaw101! #beacondc #amplifywomen #learnfrommistakes #shareyourjourney

Congrats to Liz Sara, @thebeacondc Advisory Board Member, for her appointment as Chairperson of the National Women's Business Council @nwbcgov. As an entrepreneur with 30 years of expertise, Ms. Sara will undoubtedly serve as a champion and asset for entrepreneurial ecosystem builders nationwide throughout her three-year term. ————————————————————
Prior to her induction as NWBC Chairperson, Ms. Sara received her Bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York and her Master’s degree from the University of Maryland. She then went on to found Best Marketing, LLC which provides early stage software companies with PR and business development services. She was also instrumental in co-founding SpaceWorks, an eCommerce software company that she helped grow from a small startup to $25 million in revenue. Ms. Sara was also involved in the early beginnings of AOL and America Online, where she designed the PR program and investor roadshow, as well as helped launch a new division within Lexis/Nexus. ———————————————————————
Aside from working as a successful entrepreneur, Ms. Sara also sits on the board of the Dingman Center of Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business and was the first female Chairperson to do so. She is also an Adjunct Professor of Marketing at the Smith School of Business. ———————————————————————
In her own words, “[by] leveraging my network, experience and hands-on work with entrepreneurs, I am confident we can all make a positive impact on helping women founders successfully navigate the challenges of starting and growing their business," Ms. Sara said. " I’m honored to be selected for this role."
#thebeacondc #NWBC #ladyboss #ladybusiness #dcecosystembuilders #entrepreneur #smallbusiness

Does legalese have you stuck? Don’t let regulations, contracts or licensing issues hold your business back! —————————————————-
Building off of a phenomenal program in 2017 that reached over 200 women founders in the DMV, Startup Law 101 is back again to bring you a full day of workshops on a range of legal topics that impact your business. Did we mention that sessions are led by women attorneys and conclude with a networking reception? Join us on 8/22 at @google >> spots are free but space is limited, so register soon! (link also in bio) #StartupLaw101 #Ladyboss #beacondc #smallbiz

Our last grantee spotlight of the 2017-2018 cycle is District Mugs! District Mugs is a
volunteer group that introduces entrepreneurship and business concepts to homeless men and women by teaching them how to design, market, and sell coffee mugs. Participants engage in weekly teaching and designing workshops and earn a small income from pop-up retail locations positioned across the city - such as @West Elm, @Pottery Barn, @Mellow Mushroom and the George Washington University Annual Art Fair.
In the first six weeks of programming, participants split time between learning basic business concepts and designing mugs. After six weeks, participants graduate from the business course and participate in pop-sales of their products. --------------------------------------------------------------------
According to District Mugs Founder, Shreya Bhargava, the BEACON Grant has helped the young nonprofit gain credibility, sell over 1,800 coffee mugs since September 2017 (with multiple bulk orders), make improvements to their website and increase their volunteer base -- with three new members who found District Mugs through the BEACON Directory. ----------------------------------------------------
We could not be more proud of the continued impact that District Mugs makes on DC's entrepreneurial ecosystem. We're thrilled to see the progress that will continue to flow from future grantees...and we encourage you to submit our BEACON Grant Application today! #ladyboss #beacongrant2k18 #thebeacondc

We’re recruiting scale-up mentors! Have you wondered how you can support DC’s thriving ecosystem? Easy — lend your time and expertise to take women founders to the next level. Plus, you don’t have to do it alone! With a support staff, easy-to-use tech platform, and cohort of “sponsors” and “sparks,” you’ll tap into a new network of #WomenHelpingWomen. So, join us today and get #Werkin with #BEACON!
Please note that sign-up for mentees has closed but we encourage you to utilize the BEACON directory and newsletters to support your mentorship needs! #beacondc #scaleupmentors #mentors #ladyboss #supportwomen

To meet the needs of women business owners in DC, Hera Hub, InnovatorsBox®, and 12PointFive offered customized, high-quality resources to entreprenuers who were pressed for time. After surveying women business owners, the all-women team developed the Mentorship Roadshow, a short-term mentorship engagement that plugged 11 mentors into 24 businesses for 20-30 min segments.

The Roadshow provided high-quality, efficient, and customized support for women business owners in DC, as well as insights and roadmaps for success. By partnering with organizations in different locations and securing additional mentors, The Roadshow hopes to further expand the peer networks of mentees and reach even more entrepreneurs in the region. According to one attendee, "The Mentorship Roadshow is in the top five of networking events I have ever attended -- and I attend a TON!" ______________________________________________________________

Thanks, Mentorship Roadshow for producing a phenomenal engagement for DC's women founders! #thebeacondc #ladyboss #beacongrantprogram

Did you know BEACON has a pillar dedicated to supporting the next generation of women entrepreneurs? Last Friday, BEACON's Head of Strategy and Operations, Deloris Wilson, and Board Member, Shelly Bell, hosted 18 girls through @thegemzinc , Inc. for an interactive workshop on entrepreneurship in STEM industries. —————————————
Through "So You Want to Build a Business," participants were exposed to the entrepreneurial processes through the Business Model Canvas, MVP creation and the Art of Pitching. The girls were so involved! They immediately asked questions about how the facilitators started their own businesses and were inspired after learning about other founders of color including Morgan DeBaun (@blavity), Jessica Matthews (@uncharteredpower) and Dawn Dixon (PopCom).
The girls brainstormed problems they wanted to address - including the lack of clean water in low-income neighborhoods, rising suicide rates among teens, and the need to connect youth to age-appropriate education and volunteer opportunities. Then, they worked through the Business Model Canvas and completed customer discovery interviews at WeWork Navy Yard. To close, each group pitched their MVP to their peers. It was such an inspirational day!
We hope that we made an impact on the ladies of GEMZ and cannot wait to see where their entrepreneurial ideas take them! Inspiring the next generation of #ladybosses is one of the core pillars at BEACON, and we couldn’t be happier to share our knowledge and passion with this group.
GEMZ, was founded by BEACON community member, Adeloa Ariyo, after she noticed a lack of mentorship programs for girls in the DC area, and caters to girls age 11-18.

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