Women Tech Startup Founders Everywhere Are Thanking Angie Chang
The more I learn about Angie Chang, Co-Founder and CMO of Women 2.0, a San Francisco-based social venture for future founders of tech startups, the more I am impressed by her. She was listed as one of Fast Company’s Most Influential Women in Technology 2010 and in January 2008, she launched Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners, asking that guys come as the “+1″ for once. From my first interactions with her, she has been an indescribably helpful, resourceful and friendly contact. She’s the living, breathing, successful version of what I want this TechFemme blog to be.
TechFemme: How did you get started in your career in tech?
Angie Chang: I wanted to be a Computer Science major when I started at UC Berkeley, but I got C’s in the CS requirements. So I majored in Humanities. My first job was with YouSendIt. I was employee number 9. They had just gotten funding when I got there and I was immediately immersed in the startup culture.
TF: What kind of skills and expertise do you specialize in?
AC: I’m a huge generalist, with a focus on web design and marketing. I’m a creative type, always stewing in ideas. Now I’m working on growing my product management and marketing skills.
TF: How did you get involved with Women 2.0?
AC: I’ve always been entrepreneurial and was going to entrepreneur events. We noticed that most of the tech entrepreneur events were mostly made up of guys making things for guys. So we created Women 2.0, with the mission of creating more women founders. In April 2006, we held the first Women 2.0 conference. We had 100 members, almost all female and that had never happened before. It was a first to market event.
TF: How does Women 2.0 help create more women founders?
AC: Even though we were doing more and more events, we weren’t really moving the needle, so we decided to do Women 2.0 Labs in order to create measurable success. It’s a 5 week immersive program that focuses on creating a team and launching a startup. You form teams of 4 people – two developers, a designer, and a business/marketing person and work on your startup.
TF: What kinds of people apply to the Women 2.0 Labs program?
AC: We encourage anyone thinking about becoming an entrepreneur to apply. We get people from all backgrounds. We get women from Google and Intel who want to do more. Our program is great since the teams meet outside of business hours so people can keep their jobs while validating their startup ideas.
TF: Besides the Labs, what other things is Women 2.0 doing to help increase the number of women founders?
AC: We’re actively working with partners who are passionate about helping women develop their tech skills or provide services that can help them overcome them, like Launchbit.
I’ve been following Women 2.0 since I read about them in TechCrunch and am an avid supporter of their mission to increase the number of female founders of technology startups. So when they partnered with Launchbit for an event that caught my eye, I knew I had to get to San Francisco for it. Although Angie was at the event, I didn’t get to meet her while I was there. I was honored, impressed and excited, though, when she reached out to me the next day. Honored because I was one of many awesome women at the event and humbled that she remembered me, impressed because she remembered my startup idea that I shared with the group and excited because she connected me with another fantastic woman in tech that’s working on a similar idea.
We need more women like Angie, and more organizations like Women 2.0 in the tech startup scene everywhere, especially in Miami. Ok, I’m biased, but we really do.