Rebelle’s most recent panel, The Founders, had us all kinds of inspired. Panelists April Palmer (Pivot Pass and Gumption), Gwen Hurt (Shoe Crazy Wine), Paige Wilson (Naborforce), and Amber Manry (bitcubs) shared their insights and experiences navigating the world as business owners and creators.
With only 2.2% of venture capital going to female founders, these four are nothing short of remarkable. For April, that number is what inspired her latest venture, Gumption, aimed to remove the perceived risk of investing with women and minorities to generate more investment for underserved founders.
For Amber, it was a desire to create equity in education that drove her to leave the corporate world and start her own company, bitcubs. Created to connect kids with computer science, Amber is designing a curriculum to empower teachers and allow them to teach this critical skill in their classrooms.
Tapping into another key demographic, Paige’s Naborforce is an on-demand platform connecting older adults to a network of “Nabors” to offer social engagement and support. Inspired by her own experience caring for her aging mother, Paige has a clear personal connection to her company’s mission. She also has a practical one, too: with a growing aging population, more and more seniors are in need of the exact service her team provides.
For Gwen, Shoe Crazy Wine came was born out of a love of shoes and wine, but came about during a personally challenging time for her. Determined to get her product on shelves at Walmart and beyond, Gwen shared the rules she broke and the rules she made that helped her achieve exactly that.
Despite the differences in background, industry, and products and services, there were quite a few commonalities between the four women. They were all tenacious, unwilling to take no for an answer, but willing to pivot for the right reasons.
They revealed the struggles they faced, the motivations that keep them pushing forward, and a desire to not just build net worth, but to build self-worth as well.
Thank you to all who attended and to our gracious hosts, the 1717 Innovation Center.