As you may or may not know, my co-founder Marynn and I have been working for the past several months on SWYK, a new tech startup and we need your help.
So, what is SWYK? SWYK – Sharing Wisdom & Your Knowledge is an interactive, on-demand knowledge-sharing mobile platform that connects female founders intuitively and instantly with the collective wisdom of peers, experts, and resources to help them launch and grow their businesses. In plain English: It offers entrepreneurs and the organizations that want to help them a platform to connect and to collaborate together in one place.
Why is SWYK needed? Sure, it’s incredibly hard for anyone to start a company and raise money. However, female founders face additional barriers that men don’t face. In particular, lack of confidence, and lack of access to mentors and capital. They are often passed over in many cases simply because they are women.
Did you know that a recent Harvard study showed that if a man and a woman with similar credentials pitched the same exact company, that the majority of funders would fund the man over the woman.
Did you know that women currently only receive a 1/3 of angel investments, less than 7% of VC funds, only 5% of small business loans (and when they do get them, they often receive less favorable terms than their male counterparts). They also receive less than 5% of government contracts that are set-aside for women owned businesses.
Did you know that working moms are burdened with the “parent tax”, they are penalized both in terms of salary and in terms of perception when they have children (not to mention they still take on the majority of the parental duties)—it is the opposite for men, they are rewarded with higher salaries and are deemed more competent when they have children.
Moreover, women need work flexibility, particularly when raising a family or caring for aging parents. Corporate jobs offer limited maternity leave, flextime, and PTO, which is why entrepreneurship appeals to many women.
Despite a growing market of 9.1 million women-owned businesses generating $1.4 trillion in revenue annually, employing 7.9 million workers, and starting on average 1,200 new businesses a day in the U.S., women-owned companies are still extremely underserved—and we think SWYK can help. It’s time to change the ratio and to start a movement—and we want SWYK to lead the charge.
The numbers don’t lie. When given the right opportunities, women business owners kick-ass! Women-owned companies perform 63% better (in terms of valuation)…generate 35% higher ROI…[produce] 12% higher revenues…and use capital more efficiently than those founded by men”
Helping women succeed in business ownership is good for communities, families, and society because it creates a domino effect of goodwill and economics.
How will SWYK make money? We have a strong and proven business model. Every time an entrepreneur and an advisor connect through our app, we take a percentage of the revenue generated from that connection.
Who is the Team?
JEANNINE TORRES: You know me. I am short, feisty, and loveable. This is my 3rd startup and I want this one to be amazingly successful! You can view my whole professional history at: www.linkedin.com/in/jeanninetorres
MARYNN GARABEDIAN: Yes, the dynamic duo is at it again for the second time around. Marynn is the instigator that persuaded Jeannine to dive in to another crazy startup. She truly wants to help women founders realize their dreams. www.linkedin.com/in/marynngarabedian
Why not Kickstarter? We really want to keep our crowdfunding campaign private and between our closest friends and family. Plus, our good friends at Changefindr are launching their crowdfunding feature and have generously allowed us to be their guinea pigs.
How can I help? We are very close to completing our MVP (minimum viable product), however, we need to raise a bit more money to make our dream a reality. That is where you come in. We need to raise $25,000 more to pay for the final development, legal, and marketing costs of SWYK. If you can help in any sort of way, whether it's $5 or $2,500, we would appreciate any support you can provide to us. Of course, if you are interested in giving us significantly more, get in touch with us and we can talk about equity. The cool thing about Changefindr is that you can donate either unused gift cards OR cash (i.e. through a credit card or PayPal)!
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks so much for supporting us!