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Photo Credit: afewgoodclicks.com

Photo Credit: afewgoodclicks.com

In 2016, Renee Wang sold her home in Bejing for $500,000 to fund her company, CastBox. Two months later, she landed her first investment. Just a half hour after hearing her pitch, she was offered one million dollars. By mid-2017, CastBox raised a total of $16 million in funding. CastBox's user numbers at that point? Seven million. Fast forward to today. Renee Wang of CastBox announces a $13.5 million Series B round of financing, bringing her funding total to a tidy $29 million. CastBox is now serving more than 15 million users.

It's a great time for hard tech female founders!

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We're now a good two years into the #MeToo movement, and discussions surrounding women's issues and rights has only intensified as we move further into 2019. So when abysmal numbers were released regarding how much venture capitalists invested in female founders versus their male counterparts throughout 2017, it felt a little bit like a punch in the gut.

Photography by Timothy Gordon

Lessons learned while pitching a business venture to VC partners and investors. Encompassing my unique entrepreneurial journey and the truth behind the #startuplife. Before we begin, let's get the acronyms out of the way! VC stands for venture capital and P&L stands for profit and loss.

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Courtesy of Victoria Flores; Photography by An Rong Xu for TIME

Pivot: the word every entrepreneur dreads. When a business owner thinks of the word pivot it brings immediate anxiety and stress. Even before we made the decision to pivot, whenever an entrepreneur would tell me that they had "pivoted" I would congratulate them externally but then begin to judge. I would feel, obviously, bad for them because in my mind I viewed it as a failure.

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Influential Voices

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Swaay is dedicated to elevating female voices and changing the narrative by celebrating the stories of women who are challenging the status quo and giving them a platform to participate in more meaningful conversations.
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