Leaders of the Female Entrepreneurial Revolution
This is the “Decade of the Female Entrepreneur” according to the Kauffman Foundation. SparkLabKC cannot agree more. Fifty percent of the companies in our Class of 2014 had female founders, and we hope to see this trend continue.
When it comes to leading the female entrepreneurial revolution, HelloFearless is thriving in vision and execution. I recently caught up with Sara Davidson, CEO and Founder, and Jennifer Ong, COO and Co-Founder, to get a glimpse of HelloFearless’ progress and their vision for the future of female entrepreneurs.
Female Led and Focused
HelloFearless is an online school for female entrepreneurs that educates women on how to launch, grow, and scale companies that are aligned with who they are and the lifestyle they want. They do this this by partnering with leading global organizations that specialize in women’s entrepreneurship.
Big partnerships and big investors have been lighting the way for the growth of HelloFearless – including the launch of their website today, www.HelloFearless.com, which signals the official launch of the HelloFearless brand.
The SparkLabKC Difference
HelloFearless joined SparkLabKC after a last minute opening in the class of 2014. Sara and Jen believe they were drafted because of their disruptive ideas in a market with high demand: female entrepreneurship.
HelloFearless was still a “just off the back of a napkin idea” when they joined SparkLabKC, meaning they were at an early stage of conceptualizing their business idea. With much work to do, Sara and Jen found the accelerator experience to be vital in helping them get the wind under their wings.
As a result of their growth during SparkLabKC, they’ve secured a partnership with the Kauffman Foundation to license their FastTrac NewVenture course, as well as partnerships with other leading organizations for female entrepreneurship such as ChicCEO, the YEC, Plum Alley, and the Woman’s Business Center. They’ve also secured big investments, hired their PR team and summer interns, and launched their website.
It’s All About the Team
Sara and Jen both agree whole-heartedly that their favorite part of the SparkLabKC experience came immediately following Demo Day: the hiring of their team. After hiring seven interns in May, the HelloFearless team has bonded so well that the founders now call themselves a family. The HelloFearless interns are a lively bunch; on any given day you can find them at the SparkLabKC offices singing along to Top 40 radio and discussing recent dates as they work hard to build the brand.
Maintaining a fun work atmosphere is a vital part of the philosophy of HelloFearless. Sara believes employees who are doing what they love, while having fun doing it, will be empowered to succeed. This has proven to be very true in the case of the HelloFearless interns, who love coming into work everyday.
The Demo Day Mountain
Sara and Jen look back at Demo Day with both relish and relief. In the three-month sprint leading up to the presentation, they were initially having trouble nailing their pitch. But by the time they presented on Demo Day, they had prepared so well that they knocked it out of the park.
Sara described the experience leading up to Demo Day as “a huge mountain that you’re climbing, climbing, climbing, climbing, and you get to the top and it’s over, then it’s a great relief. You feel so great, but then you see the next mountain ahead and you get back to work.”
Sara and Jen say that compressing their vision into a short, eight-minute pitch helped them clarify their goals and become a stronger company. Due to the success of their Demo Day pitch, they were immediately approached with many opportunities for valuable feedback and partnerships.
The future is very bright for HelloFearless. Their first product is an educational FastTrac NewVenture course (developed in partnership with the Kauffman Foundation) called “Boss School,” which teaches women how to be the “boss” of their own business and their life.
For the next year, Sara and Jen see their company expanding their community and customer base. With such a disruptive concept and a largely untapped market, HelloFearless can do nothing but continue to bloom in the next year.
Sara recognizes the opportunity HelloFearless has to help female entrepreneurs all over the world. “Not every woman has access to a SparkLabKC, or to the Kauffman Foundation, or resources in their own city, so we understand the value of being a part of a program like SparkLabKC. That’s why we are creating that opportunity in an online format, to make it accessible for woman all over the world so they can have it whenever and wherever they need it.”
We at SparkLabKC are excited to see how HelloFearless continues to change the game for female entrepreneurs!