Advocates for female entrepreneurs want Elevate Ventures’ next CEO to be a woman
IBJ, February 2022
As Indianapolis-based Elevate Ventures moves forward in its search for a new CEO, a local company that supports female entrepreneurs is publicly advocating that a woman be named the next leader of the startup-support organization.
Letter to the IEDC from The Startup Ladies Community about the future of Elevate Ventures
LinkedIn, February 2022
The following letter was emailed to the IEDC board and staff from The Startup Ladies community about the future of Elevate Ventures. Its purpose was to educate those responsible for allocating millions of Indiana tax dollars to Elevate Ventures about the challenges diverse women founders have experienced while working with the organization. The letter also provides a vision for how Elevate Ventures can be truly supportive to diverse women founders in the future.
In the workplace: Business leaders can help stop homophobic, transphobic behavior
IBJ, December 2021
The LGBTQ+ community needs business leaders to better understand the bigotry that many experience every day. We need leaders to play a significant role in eliminating discriminatory behaviors that were learned outside of the workplace.
NAWBO names Visionary Award winners
Inside Indiana Business, November 2021
Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year: Mel McMahon Stone (Indiana Owned)
Indianapolis Choice: Jennifer Ping (Krieg DeVault)
NAWBO-Indianapolis Member of the Year: Gayle Ross
Corporate Partner of the Year: Indianapolis Airport Authority
Woman Business Owner of the Year: Kristen Cooper (The Startup Ladies)
In the workplace: Why every leader needs a therapist and how to fine one
IBJ, October 2021
Are the problems you are experiencing right now related to: A. business, B. your mental well-being, or C. both? If you answered A, B or C, it might finally be time to discuss your concerns with a mental health professional. Work and home life could be exponentially better if you spend time and money on teletherapy.
In the workplace: Have a business idea? Survey customers first.
IBJ, August 2021
When you have a new idea for a business, it’s important to understand if there are other people who experience the problem you are trying to solve in a similar way. The only way to know for sure is to ask people who might become your future customers.
In the workplace: How to overcome gender double standards
IBJ, May 2021
Investment fund management continues to be male dominated, and, unsurprisingly, funds go primarily to male founders. Things don’t change because those with power don’t have a strong impetus to upset the status quo.
Ways male allies can support female startups
IBJ, March 2021
Historically, women have gone unfunded and have been underfunded while being expected to do more than their male counterparts. Male allies in C-suites can help by working to eliminate these often-overlooked forms of gender disparity.
Do you practice these tenets of accountability?
IBJ, November 2020
Whether you are a powerful CEO, rising up on the corporate ladder, or play on a team, ask yourself if your community finds you to be "accountable." If yes, cheers to you! If no, you've got some work to do.
She grows, you grow
Kit Magazine, September 2020
This October, we celebrate national women's small business month by honoring and supporting our community's graceful, gutsy, female entrepreneurs. CEO and Founder of The Startup Ladies CEO & Founder, Kristen Cooper shares how the organization is helping women startup, scale up, and secure hard to get funding in order to grow.
Pre-seed funding will help more women succeed
IBJ, September 2020
Despite what you might have seen on TV shows and heard from privileged investors, great ideas are not always funded. Too often, female founders with viable ideas don’t have enough pre-seed capital to prove out the concept and go to market. Kristen Cooper, CEO & Founder of The Startup Ladies defines the term, how pre-seed money is spent, and how more people with financial capacity can go from sideline cheerleader to pre-seed investor.
Venture firm opening Indy office to target the overlooked
IBJ, August 2020
Cincinnati-based Lightship Capital is opening an Indianapolis-area office within three months to provide underrepresented entrepreneurs here access to a $50 million investment fund. Kristen Cooper, CEO & Founder of The Startup Ladies, stresses the importance of minority-led venture capitalist funds creating opportunities for minority entrepreneurs.
Retain customers and expand market share through COVID-19
IBJ, June 2020
Customer needs and human behavior have changed because of COVID-19. We’ll be dealing with this virus for a long time, so now is a good time to think about if and how you need to modify what you sell. Kristen Cooper, CEO & Founder of The Startup Ladies, shares 5 new strategies you can apply to keep your current customers happy and retain new ones.
Brothers to funnel $4.5M into companies stung by pandemic
Indianapolis Business Journal, June 2020
Sensing an investment opportunity—and a chance to do good—the four Litt brothers have set aside for investment a portion of the $40 million they reaped from the 2019 sale of their transportation-management firm, Reliable Source Logistics. Startup Ladies CEO & Founder, Kristen Cooper, offers her perspective on the importance of including diverse, expert perspectives to guide the fund.
Platform 24 Member Podcast, May 2020
In this podcast episode, The Startup Ladies CEO & Founder, Kristen Cooper, sits down with Chris Loudenslager to talk about the origins of The Startup Ladies, the importance of mental health in business, and working remotely during COVID19.
Dallara transforms local IndyCar shop for fight against COVID-19
IndyStar, March 2020
When corporate member Scott Tarter (Partner, Bose McKinney & Evans) reached out to Kristen Cooper late on a Friday night to help source people and materials for medical masks and gowns, The Startup Ladies got to work immediately. Scott, Kristen, Stefano Deponti (CEO, Dallara), Rob Mayer (President, Mayer Fabrics), and Polina Osherov (Executive Director, Pattern Magazine) were emailing past midnight to turn a good idea into a reality.
Big Exits, Affordability, and Tech Transplants: Why Indianapolis Is the Next Big Startup City
Inc., March 2020
This Midwestern city is racing to recruit entrepreneurs. Affordability, a new rapid transit line, and a business-friendly government are helping Indianapolis become a hotbed for B2B startups. Here's what to know.
Could this be a boom time for B2C startups and small businesses?
IBJ, March 2020
"Local companies that can sell directly to consumers might be able to stave off dissolution, keep more people employed, and gain new customers through this recession. Now might be a good time for some startups and small businesses to consider pivoting their marketing and sales dollars to the individual consumer."
INsiders: Women in the Workplace, Securing Funding and Challenges & Opportunities
Inside Indiana Business, March 2020
Each week a group of INsiders joins us to offer perspective on some of the week’s top stories. This week we’re sounding off on important issues women face in the workplace... especially when it comes to entrepreneurs securing funding. The Startup Ladies CEO & Founder Kristen Cooper hosts the panel with: SnapShyft Co-founder & COO, Stephanie Corliss, Singleton Companies Co-Founder, Judy Singleton and Former CFO for Interactive Intelligence, Ashley Vukovits.
Women & Hi Tech, March 2020
In 2014, Kristen Cooper made the leap from working in the nonprofit industry to working in tech. Why? “I had kind of a bad day back in 2011,” she jokes. Cooper attended a venture-focused luncheon, one she had been attending for years. “There were a few hundred people in the room - almost all men. On that particular day, someone sat next to me who said something very nasty about politics. Afterward I thought...
Startup Competitors Podcast
In celebration of his 100th episode, Kristen Cooper brings in mimosas and interviews host Mike Kelly on how Startup Competitors got started, what he's learned throughout his time as a podcast host, and how he wants to improve in the future.
Everyone on a team is in sales, no matter the title
IBJ, November 2019
Whether a company is in the startup phase or has matured into an established enterprise, every single person in the organization plays a role in sales. For many industries, Q4 can be the busiest time of year in sales. Now is the time to encourage all members of the team — even those without the word “sales” in their titles — to contribute to the overall sales mission. In this post, Kristen details exactly how staff members at all levels can contribute toward brand awareness, qualified lead generation, and closing deals.
If you’re looking for customers, try these ideas.
IBJ, October 2019
“How do you find prospective customers?” It's one of the most frequent questions Kristen Cooper gets from first-time founders, career changers she's mentored, and newbies in sales. Whether they are entering into the market-research phase of their startup or are in full-on sales mode, these seven suggestions have helped them identify more prospective customers.
Is unicorn lust impeding investment in local startups?
IBJ, September 2019
Even though only a tiny fraction of business are considered "unicorns," or privately-held companies with a valuation of at least $1 billion, they get the most of the media's attention. Many scalable startups struggle to get the same investment support, despite their demonstrated achievements. Kristen Cooper discusses the impact that unicorn lust has on the growth of the local economy and urges investors to take social responsibility and support local startups.
What’s the collateral damage of excluding women?
IBJ, July 2019
If women are absent from a panel, C-suite, board, investment portfolio, or decision-making committee — intentionally or “unintentionally” — there are consequences. In this IBJ article, Kristen Cooper discusses the chain of events that follows when an event unveils an all-male panel, or #manel.
Report: Indiana needs more entrepreneurs
WISH-TV, June 2019
According to the Indiana Chamber of Commerce's Vision 2025 economic development Report, Indiana has dropped from 44th to 47th best in the nation for new entrepreneurs. Kristen Cooper shares her theory that startups need more chances to thrive, which starts with support from the state and groups like The Startup Ladies.
What’s a startup to do when 100% of the team goes down?
IBJ, May 2019
Unexpected emergencies can strike anyone, and your staff is no exception. But what should you do when all of your staff members need to take time off at once? In this article, Kristen Cooper draws from her experiences to help you keep your business afloat when your scrappy-yet-mighty startup team goes down unexpectedly.
C-level execs fuel economy by supporting startup founders
IBJ, April 2019
According to Techpoint's 2018 Tech Census, Indy’s C-suites are not nearly as engaged in the startup ecosystem as those in cities such as Cincinnati, Nashville, Denver and Boulder. In order to become more competitive on a national level, C-level executives in Indianapolis must become more actively engaged. Kristen shares 3 steps executives can take to engage with potential partners, clients, and investors in the startup community.
Tech Startup Focusing on Family Moments
Inside INdiana Business, March 2019
Kristen Cooper serves as guest host in this interview with Startup Ladies member Carrie Griffith, CEO and founder of Little Nugget. Carrie discusses how her time at Microsoft helped prepare her for entrepreneurship and shares what she looks for in an investor.
3 Startup Ladies members compete for $1,000 from The Startup Ladies Fund at PitchFeast on March 18
The Startup Ladies, March 2019
On Monday, March 18, 2019, at 6:00 p.m. at the Hatch, three members of The Startup Ladies will have the opportunity to pitch their startup at PitchFeast for a chance to win $1,000 from The Startup Ladies Fund.
Three Investor members from The Startup Ladies will serve as judges. Each pitch finalist will have five minutes to pitch and ten minutes to answer questions from the judges. Immediately following, the judges will deliberate and select a winner. The $1,000 grant will be awarded to one Startup Lady member at 7:45pm.
Read the full press release to learn about this exciting event!
Startup Competitors Podcast
In this podcast episode, Kristen Cooper sits down with Mike Kelly to discuss lessons she learned from founding and building The Startup Ladies community. Kristen shares her founding story and addresses building a strong team, the importance of mental wellness work, and community-building strategies and practices.
5 ways men can help achieve gender parity
IBJ, February 2019
In the #MeToo era, more men want to better perceive, interpret and respond to inequities. They are taking the time to understand the obstacles specific to all women, particularly women of color and women who identify as LGBTQ+. Increasing mentoring relationships between women and men is an important component to creating more equitable and mentally healthy work environments as well as ending gender disparity in C-suites, boards and investment deals. Kristen Cooper, Startup Ladies CEO & Founder, shares 5 actions men can take to support gender parity.
First-time entrepreneurs often make this costly mistake
IBJ, December 2018
Kristen Cooper, Startup Ladies CEO & Founder, discusses the importance of identifying and validating a market before launching a product. She walks through four steps every founder should take at the beginning of their startup to save valuable time, money and equity.
Q&A with Marie Maher, founder of Synapse Sitters
IBJ, December 2018
Startup Lady Marie Maher's personal struggle to find a babysitter for her son inspired Synapse Sitters, an online network of specialized sitters for parents of children on the autism spectrum and other intellectual and developmental disorders (IDD). In this interview, she discusses her newfound love for technology and its potential to solve problems.
Startup Ladies Launch Startup Study Hall Online
Inside INdiana Business, December 2018
Startup Study Hall Online will provide access to the organization's executive mentors from anywhere in the country. The membership-based platform was announced on November 27, 2018 as part of The Startup Ladies' fourth anniversary luncheon in Indy.
In this interview with Inside INdiana Business Reporter Mary-Rachel Redman, Kristen Cooper, who founded The Startup Ladies four years ago, says the platform will not only support the growing number of women building scalable businesses, but also those who are looking to invest in startups.
New Startup Ladies Platform Targets Startups, Investors
Inside INdiana Business, November 2018
Alex Brown, of Inside INdiana Business reports on Startup Study Hall Online, The Startup Ladies' newest service which provide access to the organization's executive mentors from anywhere in the country.
The Startup Ladies Looks to Help Women Entrepreneurs
WTHI-TV10, November 2018
WTHI-TV10 interviews Kristen Cooper, Startup Ladies CEO & Founder, about what The Startup Ladies does to help make starting a business easier.
Startup Ladies to Mark a Milestone
Inside INdiana Business, November 2018
Andy Ober of Inside INdiana Business announces The Startup Ladies' 4th Anniversary Luncheon, which was held on November 27 at The Center and featured a a keynote from The Heritage Group President Amy Schumacher and a pitch competition.
How do venture capital tax credits help startups in Indiana?
Kristen Cooper discusses the Venture Capital Investment Tax Credit program, a tool founders can use to raise money for their early-stage startups. This program incentivizes investment by providing investors with credit against their Indiana tax liability. Read the full article to learn if you are eligible and how to apply!
California got it right on this one
Kristen Cooper expresses her support for California Senate Bill 826, which requires that all California corporate boards include at least one woman. This, she argues, will ensure that boards will reflect the diversity of their companies' stakeholders. Kristen also addresses the fact that companies must also establish clear plans to identify, mentor, train and sponsor women as future leaders.
Startup Ladies, A Place For Women Entrepreneurs
Bloom Magazine, September 2018
Janet Mandelstam reports on The Startup Ladies Inaugural Meetup in Bloomington, held in January 2018. In the article, Startup Ladies Bloomington member Pam Weaver, founder of Dragonfly, and Kristen Cooper, CEO & Founder of Startup Ladies, discuss how The Startup Ladies are bringing valuable resources and support to the Bloomington entrepreneurial community.
How does a non-technical founder build software?
Building technology is complex, expensive, time-consuming and totally exhilarating! Kristen Cooper offers some guidelines for the non-technical founder that will take your idea from dreamy possibility to viable product. If you follow these steps, and do the work, you might very well go from being a big thinker to an accomplished founder.
Women & Hi Tech Nominations
Kristen Cooper, Startup Ladies CEO & Founder, is nominated for two Women & Hi Tech 2018 Leading Light Awards.
The Women & Hi Tech Leading Light Awards (LLA) recognize women of achievement in STEM who made great innovations in their industries, and have shown qualities of expertise, professionalism, leadership, service, courage, and tenacity as they built their careers. Women receive awards for excellence as mentors, risk takers, and more.
Mental health impacts startups, founders and employees
Mental health is often ignored while starting up a company. There’s just too much to do. Founders and investors are focused on getting a product to market and securing a return on investment. However, not paying attention to mental wellness can cost a startup dearly. Kristen Cooper provides tangible strategies for approaching mental health issues in entrepreneurship, such as working to end social stigma around mental illness and starting work with a therapist.
Time to step up and invest in women-owned startups
Although the number of women-owned scalable startups is growing rapidly in Indiana and data shows that women yield a higher return on investment, only 2.19% of venture capital dollars were invested in women-owned startups in the United States in 2017. Kristen Cooper addresses this issue and shares six actions investors can take to step up and change it.
Kristen Cooper Wins Community Champion of the Year - Interview
Gerry Dick, host of Inside INdiana Business, interviews Kristen Cooper, CEO & Founder of The Startup Ladies, winner of the Community Champion Award at the 2018 TechPoint Mira Awards. Kristen Cooper discusses what drove her to found The Startup Ladies and the amazing growth that The Startup Ladies has accomplished in the past year.
The Startup Ladies Founder Kristen Cooper wins Community Champion of the Year Mira Award
TechPoint Index, April 2018
Kristen Cooper, Startup Ladies CEO & Founder, wins "Community Champion of the Year" at TechPoint’s 19th annual Mira Awards on April 28, 2018. The Mira judges chose Kristen because they believe "The Startup Ladies has filled a crucial role within the tech community in the Greater Indianapolis area that is bringing more women entrepreneurs to the forefront and providing the resources and access to capital that they need to be successful."
Techpoint awards Kristen Cooper the Community Champion Mira
Indianapolis Business Journal, April 2018
Kristen Cooper, Startup Ladies CEO & Founder, wins "Community Champion of the Year" at TechPoint’s 19th annual Mira Awards. At the event, Mike Langellier, CEO, Techpoint declared that "Kristen is filling a crucial role within the tech community of bringing more women entrepreneurs to the forefront and providing the resources and access to capital that they need to be successful."
Community Champion of 2018 is Kristen Cooper
Inside INdiana Business, April 2018
Kristen Cooper, Startup Ladies CEO & Founder, wins "Community Champion of the Year" at TechPoint’s 19th annual Mira Awards on April 28, 2018. The winners were selected by a panel of 52 judges from a pool of over 200 nominees.
Is your startup idea viable and scalable?
You have a startup idea, but is it viable and scalable? Viability depends on validation that a market wants, needs and is willing to pay for your product or service. Scalability requires sustainable, repeatable and measurable processes that increase sales volume and grow profits. Kristen Cooper outlines six simple steps you can take to determine if there is a marketplace for your startup idea.
Top leaders need to support LGBTQ employees
When leaders cannot see the problem and employees are not comfortable enough to say something, toxic workplace cultures develop. It is the responsibility of leaders to educate themselves about the lifestyles and difficulties LGBTQ communities face and be open to the many ways that people experience their world. Kristen Cooper, CEO and Founder of The Startup Ladies, addresses this issue and offers tangible solutions to foster an inclusive workplace.
The Startup Ladies Adds Bloomington Chapter
Inside INdiana Business, January 2018
Kristen Cooper, CEO and Founder of The Startup Ladies, announces the debut of The Startup Ladies Bloomington chapter. She emphasizes that "given the interest, academic, and economic development resources available in Monroe County, we thought this would be an ideal region to grow the next wave of women founders and women investors."
Every woman deserves equal pay. Here’s how to get it.
Linkedin Pulse, December 2017
Kristen Cooper, CEO and Founder of The Startup Ladies, addresses a report published by the Indiana Institute for Working Families, which documented that women in Indiana receive 26%-44% less in pay compared to men. She calls for everyone, from executives to employees, to take action and advocate for equal pay for all.
Startup growth improves in metro Indy
Indianapolis Business Journal, October 2017
Hayleigh Colombo reports on new data from the Kauffman Index of Growth Entrepreneurship, which ranks Indianapolis-Carmel as one of the top 10 metro areas for entrepreneurship growth. In the article, Kristen Cooper, CEO and Founder of The Startup Ladies, also sheds light on the challenges many women- and minority-owned businesses still face due to unconscious bias.