Launch Tennessee sporadically publishes essays written by entrepreneurs, investors, and supporters of the startup ecosystem here in Tennessee and across the southeast region, sharing thoughtful and unique observations and perspectives on the business landscape and the challenges they’re encountering.
We are pleased to provide a guest post today from a member of our Network Partners in celebration of Women’s History Month.
Guest Post By: Tiffany Anton, Vice President at The Biz Foundry.
Women need community. We thrive through real connection and get inspiration from the friendship, knowledge, and energy of others. With these facts in mind, The Biz Foundry’s ‘Powered By Her’ program was created to be more than just a podcast or brand. It is a community designed and driven to provide inspiration, connection, and applicable resources for women in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
A little more than three years ago, I got a phone call from our local radio station, Stonecom. During this call, they relayed a desire to increase their podcast output and wanted to see if we had any ideas on topics related to business. At the time, I was working as the marketing manager for the regional entrepreneur center, The Biz Foundry, and saw that a large majority of our members were men. We tossed out a few ideas centered around having business experts on a podcast, talking about financial and legal topics, but every idea seemed to have already been exhaustively covered by someone else.
After much research and thought, we settled on the theme of female founders, and I was honored to be chosen as the host. In 2020, there were 700,000-900,000 podcasts out there (data varies, and ya know…Google?). This means it takes A LOT to make waves in the podcast industry. Despite the obvious, I had (and still have) a heart for helping people tell their stories, and I wanted beyond anything to make sure that women (and all people) felt “if they can do it, so can I.” On April 13, 2019, we launched our first podcast episode. I would love to say it was an overnight success – spoiler, it was not. But, despite some hurdles, I was able to lay a good foundation through my first two years of work with Stonecom and was later approached by a local video production company, Cookeville Creative. This talented group believed in the mission of Powered By Her and wanted to see it grow. Through their support, we started 2021 with a professional set and a video podcast.
I wanted beyond anything to make sure that women (and all people) felt ‘If they can do it, so can I.'”
We experienced growth, and for that I’m grateful. Despite a strong desire to share inspiring stories though, I felt the pull to provide more. I had a hunch that – while women would hear and learn from our conversations alone during a commute, at home doing work around the house, or even sitting at their day job – the same listeners would also thrive with genuine, in-person connection. This prompted me to gather six of the area’s most successful female founders, and together we launched Powered By Her Lunch & Learns. Held the second Thursday of every month for nearly three years, PBH lunches offer a way for women to connect and feel more comfortable within their journey. We have had speakers covering topics like LinkedIn, Enneagram personality types, how to fund your business, and why using improv. techniques can improve your team – just to name a few. Women come because they know it is a place for them. It is a place to feel safe, open, and vulnerable. Powered By Her has morphed from a standalone monthly event and podcast into a true community. Each member knows they are not alone, and of that, I’m very proud.
Our logo gives a nod to Rosie the Riveter, and I love it so much because it represents who I am at heart. Just like Rosie, being part of Powered By Her is not about making sure we prove ourselves or outdo others. It is about rolling up our sleeves and taking care of what needs to be done, as a team. Our sincere hope is that this platform inspires women to find community, get the courage to believe they can start or grow a business, and in turn, become an example for others waiting in the wings to take their own first step.
Fun Fact: LaunchTN’s new CEO, Lindsey Cox, was featured on the Powered by Her podcast. Check out the episode here.
Powered By Her is offered through The Biz Foundry, a nonprofit entrepreneur development center and co-working space located in the Historic WestSide Cultural District of Cookeville, TN, dedicated to strengthening the economic vitality of the Upper Cumberland region, one startup at a time. The organization believes that entrepreneurship, worker independence, and cooperation are intrinsic to economic and community vitality, so we work to foster that in the Upper Cumberland. In partnership with LaunchTN, The Biz Foundry provides co-working spaces, networking events, professional workshops, free expert consultations and more.