The annual Women 2.0 conference (San Francisco) was called “The next billion,” referring to how to manage a billion consumers, emerging markets, and new products. 23 successful women entrepreneurs from the U.S. and Latin America were asked to speak about technological innovation. Sally Buberman –founding partner of Wormhole- was one of the speakers, and she shares her experience with us.
This important event was held on Thursday, February 14th in San Francisco, USA, and it was a “must-attend” for investors, entrepreneurs, engineers, and designers who focus on exploring coming trends related to technological innovation. The defining characteristic of Women 2.0 (as its name indicates) is that this conference is carried out solely by women who work in technology. Men are, of course, invited to participate and share the best practices, growth strategies, and future trends related to technology and business.
The original name of this year’s event was “The Next Billion”, referring to the next billion consumers, the next billion (emerging) markets, the next billion new products, etc. During the conference, which lasted a full day, attendees could listen as 23 women founders of technological companies discussed innovation, consumers, markets, and products. Among the speakers was the founding partner of Wormhole, Sally Buberman, who highlighted the topic of emerging markets:
“This is where there is a middle class that is increasingly characterized by being made up of tech-savvy people who understand the growth of new products,”
the Argentine representative explained.
At Wormhole, efforts are focused on the development and optimization of their on-line video conference product, better known as WWC (Wormhole Web Conference), a tool that is so simple and economical that it is adopted by Argentine professionals and academics as naturally as traditional classroom attendance, making it possible to establish communications, carry out training, hold meetings, or transmit events regardless of distance. It works 100% via the internet, and it is possible to hold a large university lecture, a medical conference, or a class located anywhere in the world without altering the traditional dynamic.
Women 2.0 aims to bring together women entrepreneurs and large companies, peers, and investors in order to promote the development of technological ventures and increase women’s participation. Through the exchange of life experiences, ideas, and projects, participants generate work synergies that strengthen the development of economies:
“This is the second time I’ve participated in Women 2.0, and this year -in particular- there was a great interest in understanding the Latin American business context,”
Sally Buberman explained. As one of the speakers at the event, the Marketing Director and partner at Wormhole talked about the characteristics and variables of emerging markets in the region:
“In Latin America, people often make their business decisions based on trust and personal contact, whereas in the USA it’s more impersonal. Therefore, our company has established itself in the countries of this region offering local support and personalized attention to clients in their own language, including Portuguese.”
Another key to gaining a strong foothold in Latin American markets is keeping in mind that
“Contact with the client is necessary to understand their needs, which are different from those of clients in developed countries. For example, in this region there is less access to capital, and companies are created with their own revenues, reinvesting all the capital they generate and looking to optimize costs and services. We help make that happen with highly efficient services at very accessible costs, bearing in mind the uses and needs of each client. Furthermore, in emerging markets you have to consider alternative means of payment, as not everyone has a credit card or uses a bank, and that is paired with a great deal of suspicion about the theft of personal information when buying online. Because of this characteristic of clients in the region, we also offer the possibility of working through bank deposits, payment through Pago fácil or Rapipago, or bank transfer,”
explains Sally Buberman regarding her experience at Wormhole.
When one thinks about the stance and growth of women among the so-called “entrepreneurs” in the Latin American region, Buberman believes that:
“we can see growth, but it is still very small. The ratio of women that participate in management positions in IT companies is very small in comparison with men. I’m not sure of the reasons, but if I had to hazard a guess, I would say that this phenomenon appears because women, in my opinion, tend to play it safe and be more conservative when it comes to taking risks, and there is great uncertainty when you create a company from scratch.”.
According to Sally Buberman, here are three tips to being a women entrepreneur:
- Don’t be afraid of a challenge and dare to take “that” step of starting a business. When you love what you do, you find a way to overcome obstacles and get ahead.
- Build a good work team that is interdisciplinary. It’s important to have trustworthy people for support and to share the experience of entrepreneurship.
- Don’t be afraid of what people will say or of the prejudices about your being a woman.