The Stevie Awards Blog

Female Founder Challenges Tech Industry Boy’s Club

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Tue, Feb 28, 2017 @ 05:12 PM

At a time when businesses have access to more data ‒ from more sources ‒ than ever before, Mina Lux believes the ability to better understand that information will be crucial to future success. That’s precisely the challenge that Lux, who just took home the Gold Stevie Award in the 2016 Stevie Awards for Women in Business for Female Entrepreneur of the Year, is trying to address.

The 2017 Stevie Awards for Women in Business will open for entries on May 22. These are the top awards for women across the globe. The program features entrepreneur awards, company awards, marketing awards, media awards, and more.

Request the entry kit now and it will be emailed to you in May.

Meelo 3.jpgHer young New York City-based firm, Meelo Logic, Inc., enables companies to aggregate data and gain insights through artificial intelligence. As a result, clients can “understand, activate, engage and motivate customers” more effectively.

It’s an endeavor that could fundamentally reshape the way companies interact with data. And yet the Taiwan native, who grew up in Canada, has an even more ambitious goal: to break down the longstanding gender gap within the tech industry.

She’s trying to tackle the issue by mentoring young females and calling attention to the issue at industry events. “Throughout my career, I’ve had the good fortune of supporting young women in their careers by offering them guidance and opportunities in organizations that are often dominated by men,” Lux says.

The under-representation of women is underscored by a 2015 TechCrunch report, which found that only 18% of technology companies had a female founder. That’s up from less than 10% as recently as 2009. The forces behind that phenomenon are numerous.  But for Lux and other women in the industry, there’s still plenty of work to do.

Certainly, having fewer female role models to follow has kept many young women from studying in computer science or engineering programs. Those who do pursue STEM-related degrees often find unique obstacles when they try to launch startups of their own. In part that’s because early-stage investment firms are themselves a “boy’s club,” according to researchers.

A joint survey by the National Venture Capital Association and Deloitte, for example, found that women make up just 11% of top decision-makers at venture capital firms. And, there are plenty of entrepreneurs who say that creates a bias ‒ whether consciously or not ‒ against female-led organizations.

To overcome those hurdles, Lux suggests it’s important for females to not only have the necessary skills, but the confidence to see their goals through. It’s a point she drove home during an International Women’s Day event at her alma mater, the University of Ottawa.

“We discussed the steps of building a company from recognizing a need, dreaming up a solution, solidifying funding, running a company and confronting challenges head on,” she says. “But most of all, I wanted to highlight the importance of never undervaluing your own brilliance and to believe in yourself.”

Breaking Barriers

Cracking the glass ceiling is something Lux has successfully done time and again. After graduating with a dual biochemistry and chemical engineering degree, she changed course and helped co-found a marketing company called FloNetwork. There, she pioneered the first technology platform that allowed businesses to send emails as a way of generating leads and building revenue. She ended up selling the business to DoubleClick for a staggering $80 million in 2001.

After a distinguished consulting career where she tackled digital marketing for the likes of USA Today and Doubleday Book Club, she decided to start a new technology firm that would help businesses strategize based on real-time consumer data and behaviour prediction. Meelo was born.

Already, the company is gaining serious attention from the tech world. Among its accomplishments: beating out thousands of early-stage firms to win the 2016 TiE50 Top Startup award. 

“[Meelo] is the only company that holds partnerships with the two largest think tanks in the cognitive technology and artificial intelligence: IBM Watson and Caltech/Jet Propulsion Labs,” Lux explains. “Meelo uses both think tanks to solve any problem and provide intelligence for any need." 

In order to deploy the technology effectively, she says it’s vital that the organization bring in contributions from a diverse pool of talent.

Lux says, “At Meelo, all voices are heard, all talents are valued and all have an equal opportunity to succeed.”

Tags: marketing awards, women awards, media awards, company awards

Stevie Award-Winner Fulfills Freelancing Needs

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Thu, Jan 26, 2017 @ 10:14 AM

Freelancer is the world's largest freelancing and crowdsourcing marketplace by number of users and projects.  The company recently won two People’s Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite Companies in the 13th Annual International Business Awards. We got a chance to talk to Sebastián Siseles, the International Director of Freelancer about how the group connected with the Stevie Awards years ago and how they’ve seen the value of winning .

The 2017 International Business Awards opens for nominations on February 1. Request your entry kit here and it will be emailed to you as soon as it's available.

Freelancer 1.jpgSebastián remembers when they, “became acquainted with the Stevies back in 2012, when a well-known media outlet announced the winners of the IBAs. We were convinced right away of its importance as it recognizes the achievements of the world's most important organizations and its leaders. The following year, in 2013, we decided we were ready to apply to the awards as Freelancer.com had grown to be an outstanding company. That same year we were honored with our first Stevie Award.”

Freelancer.com has become a staple in connecting employers and freelancers to do work together 24/7 across the globe. Sebastián relayed that, “Freelancer.com is the world's largest freelancing and crowdsourcing marketplace by number of users and projects. We connect over 23 million employers and freelancers globally from over 247 countries, regions and territories. Through our marketplace, employers can hire freelancers to do work in over 900 areas such as software development, writing, data entry and design right through to engineering, the sciences, sales and marketing, accounting and legal services.

Sebastián stressed the importance of their vision, which is providing jobs and changing the lives of at least one billion people all over the world. For example, in the Philippines, Freelancer.com partnered with the government's Department of Science and Technology to extend online freelancing opportunities to Filipinos in rural areas with limited employment options.

Sebastián continues that they also have, “an ongoing partnership with the Malaysian government’s Multimedia Development Corporation, which provides education for Malaysia’s B40 communities.”

Recently, the company concluded its first round of the Train-the-Trainers program, which educated fifty (50) trainers who will be deployed across Malaysia to help underprivileged Malaysians find online work.

Freelancer.com has been a global success, Sebastián reflects on their first nomination:

“At the time of the nomination, Freelancer.com hit the 15 million users milestone and we wanted to acknowledge our community by putting together an e-book: https://issuu.com/freelancercom/docs/15mm_ebook

Sebastián also notes the significance of winning a Stevie:

“Receiving an award is always an honour for Freelancer.com. It also serves as recognition for the team for all the hard work. We always try to be part of the amazing Stevies Gala and the chance of networking while being there is just awesome.”

“Our community celebrates with us whenever we share the news with them and this seems to further boost their trust on the marketplace. They are always deeply informed about the nominations and always eager to cast their votes for us,” Sebastián adds.

Sebastián highlights the results from winning a Stevie:

“Freelancer.com has gained a lot of exposure due to the awards that we were honored with in the past three  years which led to an increase in user acquisition. With each award, we have reinforced our leadership in the freelancing market, especially with the People´s Choice Awards.”

"Here are links to press releases on our Stevie Awards since 2015":

Freelance work is growing exponentially. Sebastián reports their findings in this growing sector:

“Expanding opportunities for entrepreneurship and jobseekers’ preferences are driving changes in the online freelancing and crowdsourcing industry. And as seen in our growing number of users from around the world (currently at 23 million), more and more businesses and entrepreneurs are hiring freelancers online and a growing number of skilled professionals are providing services in their fields of expertise.

Sebastián details their industry highlights in, “seeing more employers from small businesses to major companies now collaborating with freelancers through crowdsourcing. An example of this  is  NASA’s partnership with Freelancer. Not only are they crowdsourcing the best ideas through a contest on Freelancer.com, they are putting together a virtual team of freelancers from around the world through remote collaboration. For example, they will hire a graphic designer from Latin America, a web developer from Asia, and  an internet marketer from North America.  These freelancers are working together as a team despite their locations. This is why we are continuously looking for ways to equip our community based on how their needs are evolving.”

Lastly, we asked if there is an inspirational story related to Freelancer.com that might appeal to our blog readers. Sebastian shared their 15 million users e-book that contains stories of how Freelancer.com helped change the lives of our users: https://issuu.com/freelancercom/docs/15mm_ebook

Here are recent stories from Freelancer in the Philippines:

Tags: social media awards, media awards, The Stevie Awards, International Awards, international business

How to Enter The Stevie Awards for Women in Business in Just a Few Minutes

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Mon, Sep 19, 2016 @ 04:56 PM

You've been busy. Summer's over and you're getting back into the swing of things. Whatever the reason, you didn't get around to submitting entries to this year's Stevie Awards for Women in Business. But you've gotten a reprieve. We have some tips on how you can submit your nominations in as little time as possible. The last day final entries wil be accepted is Friday, September 30.

We know, you're still busy. Your calendar this week is still chockablock. But surely you can find 10 free minutes. Because in 10 minutes you can prepare and submit an entry to the Stevie Awards for Women in Business and potentially win a Stevie®, one of the most coveted trophies on the planet.

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Here are a number of ways you can do that:

Repurpose Nominations From Other Awards Programs
The submission requirements are fairly open-ended, and there's a wide variety of categories to choose from. If you've entered any other awards programs this year, simply repurpose the nominations you wrote for those competitions, as long as they qualify as being run by women. Most categories require only the submission of an essay of up to 650 words and a bullet-list summary of the achievements portrayed in the essay.

Repurpose Your Press Releases and White Papers
It's likely you've already done the heavy-lifting of describing your organization's achievements, your innovations, your new products and services, your marketing and PR campaigns, etc. Throughout the year you've been trumpeting your successes through press releases and white papers. Simply comb through your output over the past year and cobble together the text you've already written into a short essay. Note that the 2016 Stevie Awards for Women in Business will recognize your achievements since the middle of 2015.

Repurpose Your Press Clippings
With every nomination you have the option to attach any number of press clippings, work samples, video clips, photographs, etc. to your essay, to help paint the picture for the judges. Does one or more of your press clippings feature a compelling story that can be the basis of the essay for your Stevie Awards for Women in Business nomination? There's no need to reinvent the wheel if it already exists and you can reuse it.

Hire a Consultant
Did you know that there are a number of consultancies that specialize in preparing and submitting awards nominations on behalf of their clients? There are quite a few in the U.S.A., and internationally and they've been remarkably successful over the years in winning Stevie Awards for their clients. Contact us if you'd like a referral to one of them who can take the process of getting entries into the Stevie Awards for Women in Business off your hands this week.

Submit Media Work
Sometimes you hope to win a Stevie for a specific reason - for a major achievement, or a member of your team - but you can also win a Stevie Award for specific media work. If that's the case, take a look at the categories for videos, apps, websites, publications, and live events. It's really easy to enter these categories. These categories generally require only a short essay of up to 125 words, describing the nominated work's purpose and results to date, and the nominated video or app, etc., itself.

Resubmit a Nomination From Another Stevie Awards Program
Did you have success with a nomination in the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, or The American Business Awards? One Stevie Awards competition has nothing to do with another, and resubmitting a nomination from one program to this year's Stevie Awards for Women in Business is a valid strategy followed by many organizations.

Contact Us for Help
You'll save a lot of time by letting us do some of the important work for you. We'll save you the trouble of plowing through our category lists to find the category that's right for you, for example. Contact us, by email at [email protected] or telephone at +1 703-547-8389. Tell us what your organization wants to be recognized for, and we'll suggest the best category for your nomination.

Whichever strategy you choose to get your nominations written and submitted this week, do get them submitted by the final entry deadline of Friday, September 30.

Ready to Enter the 2016 Stevie Awards for Women in Business?

Get the entry kit now

Tags: entrepreneur, women awards, media awards, Women in Business

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