On the Road in NYC with Springboard

The biggest takeaway tip of the night for business owners & entrepreneurs?  Remember the power of relationships to make good business happen.  Get yourself involved in a network of like-minded people and watch your business expand.  For women at Dell we offer and invite you to join www.dell.com/women to connect some of the top women to support one another.

On Tuesday October 25, 2011, Dell team members Jennifer “JJ” Davis (who is committed to turning the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network or “DWEN” into Dell’s Women Powering Business movement), Executive Director of CSMB Strategy Lauren Kramer Dover and I hit the road to meet up with one of the country’s leading supporters of women entrepreneurs, Springboard Enterprises at their 5th Annual Winners' Circle Celebration Dinner.  It was a true joy for me to attend as Dell’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence because I got to reconnect with old and new friends and colleagues and mind share with some of the best and the brightest in the business.

Over the 10 years they have been in existence, Springboard has helped fund and grow over 481 companies who have collectively raised over $5B in capital and generated over $4B in revenues.  The women behind Springboard we are proud to announce are also alumni of DWEN.  Alumni include Kay Koplovitz  founder of USA Networks and Chairwoman of Springboard, Pam Contag, Founder of Cygnet Biofuels and Springboard board member and Amy Millman President of Springboard.

The night’s events were all about celebrating the achievements of both Springboard as well as three women who have exemplified the success and opportunity that Springboard has participated in.  One of the Awardees is also a DWEN alumni and mutual colleague, Lauren Flanagan, Springboard board member and CEO of Current Motor  and BELLE Capital .

A few highlights from the evenings event:

  • Catching up with Christie Hefner (former Playboy Enterprises CEO and now Executive Chairman of Canyon Ranch Enterprises who I interviewed along with her father Hugh on my CNBC show, “American Made”
  • Sitting next to Susan Hunt Stevens and learning more about how her mobile application Practically Green can help anyone go more green with the touch of a few buttons
  • Learning more about the investments Ernst & Young are making in women entrepreneurs from Melissa Taylor, from America Communications and Marketing
  • Meeting game company developer Tracy Brown, CEO of Evil Genius Designs and also Beth Marcus, CEO of Playrific whose byline is “The Safest Playground on the Internet for Young Children”.  Also met Morgan First, CEO of Second Glass whose motto is “Drink More Wine!”- all Springboard companies.
  • Spending a few moments with Kathleen Warner Chief of Staff of Startup America Partnership  a movement by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs that is sponsored by Dell.

Some of the business tips I gained from the evening?

  •  A reminder that integrity of relationships is critical.  Many of the women at the evenings’ event have worked together for years and help one another build their ventures
  • For those of us keeping an eye out for good real estate?  I met couple Chris Skrip  and Maria Skrip  who shed some light on purchasing mid level properties on the South Carolina area.  Land is hard to sell right now as is high end real estate- but mid-level?  That’s a good bet.  Also met Bill Rowe  who came as a guest of Lauren Flanagan and reminded me that on any business trip to NYC, I should build in at least an extra day to catch some of the good shows. J

From a technology standpoint, there was no question that while the night was all about celebration of winning women and building new relationships- the women who have all succeeded in business have used technology as a key element to putting their companies on the fast track.  For example, Lauren Flanagan and her Current Motor electric motorscooter company(where I’m part of the Advisory Board) is working with Dell OEM to build mobile devices into the scooters so that drivers and the people they are looking to stay in touch with can have real time visibility into where on the road they happen to be.  Might sound like a simple thing- but for motorcycle riders like myself, one of the greatest joys in riding is meeting up with your friends and colleagues on the road.  Until now- the way us riders have done that is by stopping and calling or texting one another.  With this new mobile application in the bike, riders will be able to track one another in real time.  It’s ideas like this that keep companies like Lauren’s on the fast track and Dell on our toes for how we can help power entrepreneurs and business owners to “Do More”.

For more on where you can find us next on the road, follow our Dell Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Ingrid Vanderveldt on @ontheroadwithiv

About the Author: Ingrid Vanderveldt