SF: International Women Entrepreneurs Forum


When it comes to funding, everyone agrees the Bay Area is the place to be. That said many questions often remain:

  • How does it work?
  • Who should I turn to for advice?
  • Is a VC the way to go for my company?
  • What risks to I encounter?

While the ranks of women entrepreneurs continue to grow, less than 10% of startups led by women successfully receive any VC funding.

The SF International Women Entrepreneur Forum has put together an outstanding panel of advisors, entrepreneurs and investors to share their insights on how to achieve success.

Topics covered include:

  • Identifying the best funding option for your company
  • Targeting VCs and Angels
  • How to successfully work your network
  • Tapping into the psychology of investors
  • Preparing for your pitch
  • How to keep going until you hear a "yes!"
  • What next??
  • And more!

Click here for more information and to buy tickets


Ari Horie - Founder & CEO of Women's Startup Lab

Growing up in Hiroshima, Ari Horie wore a pink backpack when all the other school children wore red ones. As a business leader and former IBM employee navigating international marketing and product management in the Valley, Horie recognized "the pink backpack", or being a woman, as an influencing factor when leading a company. To Horie, cultural shifts take too long to wait for. Her business vision focuses on what women can do right now to kick butt in business and how to leverage the innovation and free thinking of the technology industry to build leading tools and solutions.

Professional advice from Ari Horie: "Networking isn't about quantity, but quality. Aim high to meet trusted and well-respected advisors and partners for future opportunities. Facetime is invaluable and strong connections are made by engaging with the same people more than once. Remember to be tactical with the events you attend. Don't go to a free event because it's free. Spend your time at specific events. For example, instead of going to a general tech startup event, attend a specific gathering like a Speakers Panel for Angel Investors in the gaming industry. By narrowing your scope, you'll meet the right niche of people and begin to cement strong relationships."

Michele Maguire - Head of Business Development at Predicta.io

Michele is a business development executive who has built media products internationally in the technology and games industry. Previously Director of the Game Developers Conference, she was responsible for M+A and international development in the technology sector for UBM, a $1b+ B2B media company based in London. Currently she heads business development for Predicta, an innovative early stage data science company, which is reinventing e-commerce catalog search, and is an advisor to China game market research firm, Niko Partners.

Viki Forrest - CEO, ANZA Technology Network

Viki Forrest is a respected leader with a demonstrated ability to design and build sustainable organisations from initial start-up phase to maturity. She has over 20 years of international experience in the high-tech industry spanning Australia, Asia and America. Viki joined ANZA Technology Network in 2005, having consulted with ANZA over the previous 3 years. She is responsible for the design and execution of a sustainable business model that supports the organisation's mission to expand the reach of Australian technology and biotechnology companies into markets in China and America.

Before joining ANZA Viki was COO for the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs and Executives (FWE) and responsible for 1000 members globally and operations including membership relations, IT infrastructure/web site, event and program management and strategic planning. She was responsible for over 25 programs annually including annual dinners, silent auctions and a CEO forum and was a key liaison with Silicon Valley venture capitalists, angel investors, attorneys and entrepreneurial CEOs.

Prior to FWE, she was VP Marketing for Bullant Inc., an Australian company with breakthrough technology for Internet and wireless applications. Viki launched Bullant in Australia and helped raise $25m in funding before moving to Silicon Valley with a small team to establish the company in America. Before Bullant, Viki spent 15 years with Digital Equipment Corp. where she held a range of executive positions including Director Technical Sales Support for the Asia Pacific region after entering the IT industry as a software developer.

Inessa Obenhuber - Partner at The Seraph Group

Inessa is a partner at the Seraph Group, a growing global investment Micro VC Fund (Super Angel fund). Her role as a partner and an active Investor, she assists Seraph in identifying start-up companies that stand to benefit from the expertise and guidance of Seraph's 170 members as the companies expand and grow. The firm seeks out burgeoning companies with exceptionally promising products and commits anywhere from $50,000 to $2 million in funding. Inessa is also an Angel Investor at Astia Angels, a seed and early stage investment group with focus in companies with gender balanced teams.

Inessa co-founded Kiventures, a company that assists U.S. and Russian companies with establishing operations and outsourcing of technology development of products in emerging markets. Previously, Inessa served as Vice President of Corporate Development at Razoom, a VC funded start-up company developing intelligent network virtualization appliances for British Telecom. With her connections in the Angel investor community, she helps portfolio companies spearhead strategic relationships with industry-leading corporations. She has invested in more than 30 companies: Tukaroo (acquired by Ask Jeeves), Front Bridge Technologies (acquired by Microsoft), Droplet Technologies (Acquired by Vivox), Silver Tail Systems (acquired by EMC), Clean Filtration Technologies (Acquired by Dow Chemicals), Icon Aircraft, PBworks, Life Vantage (went public in 2005), BrightIt (acquired by Imagination Technologies), Life 360, iSpionage, nVision, Silicon Pipe (acquired by TPL) and more.

In addition to her advisory role with Intrabond Capital (Global governance firm) Ms. Obenhuber advisory work includes: Astia (a global not-for-profit for women entrepreneurs); Watermark ( non-profit community of executive women); Percipo (Artificial Intelligence software for consumers and enterprise applications), Socxs (Rally Network? for Nonprofits, a sophisticated social exchange platform). Inessa Obenhuber is an Expert in the IT cluster of the Skolkovo Foundation Innovation Center (Moscow, Russia) and also served as one of the founding members of the Russian Language edition of PC Magazine in Russian Language. Noted for her technology inventions as well, Ms. Obenhuber has contributed to four U.S. patents over the course of her career.

Anne Bezançon - Founder and President of Placecast

Anne Bezançon is the founder and President of Placecast, the leading enterprise platform for monetizing mobile location and user data at scale. The company specializes in providing proven, secure, privacy-first solutions for big data monetization to the largest Telecom (AT&T, Rogers, Telefonica), Financial Institutions and Media companies in the world. On the advertising side, over 400 brands have used the Placecast platform, including Starbucks, Subway, HP, JetBlue, McDonald?s, and Pizza Hut.

A native of France, Anne discovered her passion for technology when she helped develop the Minitel, a precursor to the Internet. Anne moved to the Silicon Valley in 1996. She has since started three companies and participated in the launch of two more.

In 1995, she organized the NGO Forum of the United Nations Conference on Women in Beijing, and pioneered private sponsorships from Apple and HP to enable training in word processing and email for 40,000 participants. Anne was invited to meet with the French President during his official visit to San Francisco in March 2014. Anne was also named to the 2013 ?Mobile Women to Watch? list from Mobile Marketer. In 2011, Anne attended the eG8 Summit, an invitation-only summit of leaders in government and industry focusing on the Internet in the context of global public policy. She has written thought leadership pieces for leading tech and business publications, including Forbes.

Anne holds a diploma from Sciences-Po Paris, and an LLM in Business Law. She is the author of ten patents in the field of location-based technology, and speaks frequently at various tech industry and business events.

Forum Members include:

Australian American Chamber of Commerce
Bay Brazil
British American Business Council
Business Association Italy America
California-Spain Chamber of Commerce
French American Chamber of Commerce
German American Business Association
Hungarian American Chamber of Commerce
Swedish American Chamber of Commerce

Group(s): Advance


Thu, Oct. 2, 2014
6 p.m. - 9 p.m.
(GMT-0700) US/Pacific


K&L Gates
4 Embarcadero Center Suite 1200
San Francisco, CA
United States