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Press Coverage

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Indiana politics make it difficult for tech industry to recruit, keep employees in state
IndyStar, January 2023

The disconnect is growing between Indiana's mounting socially conservative policies, which includes not only the near-total abortion ban currently stalled in court, but also a ban on trans girls playing school sports, and the tech industry's increasingly vocal progressive workforce.

The tension is brewing as major employers struggle to recruit and keep employees in the state, a problem that is snowballing into a crisis for Indiana.

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Success can—and should—be whatever you want
IBJ, December 2022

How do you define success for yourself? Psychologist Lynn Hynes has a fresh take: “We adhere to outdated social norms about success and need to replace old ideas with something more truthful.” Hynes recently led a conversation about the definition of success with four generations of professionals at a Mental Wellness for Business program (hosted by The Startup Ladies). Their answers changed my own definition of success. I invite you to ask yourself this important question and see if any of the answers shared below resonate with you at this stage in your life.

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LISTEN: Oseye Boyd talks with Kristen Cooper about The Startup Ladies
IndyStar, November 2022

This episode of Voices of the Community features Kristen Cooper, CEO and founder of The Startup Ladies. Cooper began The Startup Ladies in 2014 as a way to help women entrepreneurs operate successful businesses. Cooper shares how her journey led her to founding The Startup Ladies, the organization’s five focus areas and why equity is vital for women-owned businesses.

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How to keep women founders, investors from leaving Indiana
IBJ, October 2022

Significant cultural and legal changes in Indiana this year have made it more difficult for women to start up, scale up, retain and attract female talent. The combination of attacking reproductive rights on Sept. 15 and banning transgender girls from playing girls sports on May 24 has created an increasingly inhospitable climate for women in this state. Combined with very little state and private investment going into women-owned businesses, many women are questioning whether Indiana really values them.


More than 200 Indiana businesses sign ACLU letter opposing abortion restrictions
IndyStar, July 2022

During an 11 a.m. news conference at Emmis Communications on Thursday, the ACLU of Indiana said more than 250 businesses representing more 39 communities across the state had signed on to the letter. Signees include small business Silver in the City on Mass. Avenue, Emmis Communications on Monument Circle as well as The Startup Ladies, a company that supports female entrepreneurs as they grow and scale their businesses, among others.

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Tinker, test it, talk about it, then teach it
IBJ, June 2022

Tinkering frees your mind. It gives you confidence. It opens the headspace needed to perceive the inconceivable. It helps to remove the attachment you have to something you don’t need anymore. I remember the exact moment I learned how to tinker. Admittedly, I was a bit of a late bloomer.

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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.

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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.

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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)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Member Profile

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.

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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.

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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."

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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.


Member Profile

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...

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Startup Competitors Podcast

November 2019

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.

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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.