Broadening the On-ramp for Women-run Companies

Author:

Sue Heilbronner

Sue Heilbronner

Sue is a CEO, founder, speaker, advisor, investor, podcast host, mentor, professor, former civil rights attorney, creative visionary, operator, and catalyst. Sue has been a CEO, President, or Chief Marketing Officer for digital marketing and ecommerce companies since the earliest days of the internet. She began her career as an attorney – last as a federal prosecutor with the US Department of Justice. She transitioned to business by founding an online baby gift company in 1999, which she later sold when she joined Discovery Communications, parent company of Discovery Channel and 15 other international networks.

Since Discovery, Sue has led companies in the interactive travel, digital publishing, ecommerce, and online education sectors. Two of these firms had successful exits. Sue has the privilege of serving as a mentor at Techstars Boulder and an Adjunct Professor of Law and Entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado Law School. She is an avid angel investor in companies with amazing founding teams working on problems she cares about. She has been mentoring tremendous young talent throughout her career.

Sue earned a B.A. from Oberlin College and a J.D. and M.A. from Duke University.  Catch Sue's Real Leaders Podcast on iTunes or Soundcloud. Read about booking Sue as a speaker here.

Posts by:

Sue Heilbronner

Raising Money Is Hard for Everyone But Harder if Rationalizations are Trumping Self-inquiry

If you're relying on rationalizations for why you're not raising, you're missing excellent insights

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It Has Been a Great Few Weeks for the MergeLane Fund

It has been a great few weeks for the MergeLane fund. When people ask us what our criteria are for investments, we always talk about team as the distant number one priority. I wanted to share this recent, wonderful interchange with TomboyX after a great week for them:

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Why Are Men “Incredibly Moving” and Women “Distraught?”

How the media (and more) judges emotion in leadership differently between men and women, and the costs of those judgments.

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Conscious Leadership Camp is Going Gender-free

After years of running women's Conscious Leadership Camps, all programming is now for everyone

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A Prescription for a "Quiet Day" for an Entrepreneur

Want to take a day and bookmark a big win? Here are a few ideas and groundrules

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Are Your One-on-One Meetings with Direct Reports Feeling Stale? Add Conscious Leadership …

Dennis Adsit of Adsum Insights guest blogs about turning your one-on-ones from pedestrian checklist run-throughs to opportunities for connection and growth.

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7 Ways Conscious Leaders Give Feedback From Presence vs. Reactivity

MergeLane CEO, Sue Heilbronner, gives tips on giving feedback from presence.

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The Best Mentor/Advisor Question I’ve Ever Been Asked

Our co-founder Sue Heilbronner shared her thoughts on the best mentor/advisor question she’s ever been asked

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MergeLane Monday(s) Starts October 20th

Eager to learn more about the new MergeLane accelerator program that starts on February 2, 2015? We are eager for you to learn about it as well. And we’re looking forward to meeting you. Join us for an evening info session — MergeLane Monday — in Boulder, Colorado. The first MM is October 20th at…

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This Female-focused Accelerator is Not the Junior League

My business partner Elizabeth and I have written about our path to founding MergeLane – our new accelerator focused on women-led companies. You can read my origin story here and Elizabeth’s on this blog. We have become very comfortable with our roles in birthing this new program, although we...

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Considering the MergeLane Accelerator? Just apply, D#&@it!

MergeLane – the accelerator designed for companies with at least one woman in leadership – is in the homestretch of the application period. We want to give companies that have considered applying one more big push. Because we have learned that female entrepreneurs are their own best critics...

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How the First “Yes” Changes the Game for Entrepreneurs – Especially for Women

Today is the first day after applications closed for our initial cohort at the MergeLane accelerator for female-led companies. There is far more to do, but I awoke this morning at 4:30am in the quiet space of reflection. The last six months of nurturing the idea for this concept have called to...

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A Love Letter to MergeLane’s Sponsors

Startup accelerators are growing in numbers in the US and the world. I’m not going to bore you with the granular details of the economics of these programs. Generally the objective is as follows: Make great investments in great companies Offer something special enough to the community that...

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MergeLane Halftime(ish) Report

It’s hard to believe, but we are in Week 8 of the 12-week inaugural MergeLane program. We could not be more delighted with how things are going, and we could not be more appreciative of all of your support. Here are the highlights numerically:

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Hey Women: Take up More Space and Ask Brilliant Questions

I woke up in the middle of the night last night – a night that falls toward the end of the inaugural class in the MergeLane accelerator for companies with at least one female leader. Things have gone well. Eight diverse and talented companies that cut across tech, consumer web, and consumer...

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Hey Silicon Valley VCs: We’ve Got 8 Female-led Startups Right Here

We hear it all the time from Silicon Valley VC firms, corporate boards, and the C-suite. It goes something like this: “We WANT to have more women in our ranks, but we just can’t find enough great candidates.” The perception on diversity in pipelines is entrenched, and so long as the seekers...

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The Application for MergeLane 2016 is Open – Apply

Today we opened the application for the second class of the MergeLane accelerator. Our 2016 class — starting on February 1, 2016 – will comprise 10 fantastic startups with least one female in leadership. We could not be more excited about meeting these entrepreneurs.

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MergeLane Runs on Conscious Leadership

There are a number of unique things about MergeLane – the venture fund we launched in 2014. We increasingly think that one of our key unfair advantages is that MergeLane runs on principles of Conscious Leadership.

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MergeLane Announces New Innovation Camp – Apply Now

Most transformative ideas over the past 15 years have come from startups. The freedom to experiment creatively and to fail quickly produces true disruption. Leveraging combined decades of experience by the MergeLane founders in working with leaders on innovation, MergeLane is launching a new...

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MergeLane Startup Accelerator Wins Second $50,000 SBA Growth Award

MergeLane is a winner of the $50,000 Small Business Association’s Growth Accelerator Fund Competition for 2016 for the second year in a row. The SBA today announced a total of $3.4 million in federal awards for startup accelerators who are making an impact to an underserved market or population...

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New Lifetime Policy: A Money-Back Guarantee on Everything

This post, written by MergeLane co-founder Sue Heilbronner, first appeared at her site. This policy also applies to all MergeLane activities, including our November Women’s Leadership Camp. We wanted to be sure to share her thinking (our thinking) here as well. As of today, I’m formally enacting...

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Wendy Lea, CEO of Cintrifuse, A Manifester, Bridge Builder, and Wildly Introspective Leader

Wendy Lea has had a lifetime of high-profile successes in building successful businesses. Leaving Get Satisfaction after years as CEO, Wendy was lured to Cincinnati to develop and grow an enduring business ecosystem that brings together startups, bigcos, government nonprofits, neighborhoods...

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Shop Women Leaders Wednesday: The First Annual MergeLane Holiday Gift Guide

It seems every day between Thanksgiving and the Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanza trifecta now has an alliterative theme, so as of now “Shop Women Leaders Wednesday” is a thing. I’ve looked high and low, I have scoured the landscape of possible gift recommendations...

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A Day in the Life of a MergeLane Cohort Company

It’s Week 8 in MergeLane’s 2017 accelerator, the third in a series that began in 2015. We do a mid-program in-person week, and so this week our cohort companies from around the US and Canada returned to Boulder to connect with mentors, investors, our team and each other. This is the homestretch...

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Introducing “The Booth” with Sue Heilbronner — It’s Worth a Shot (figuratively…or literally)

If you know me personally or through my blog or Facebook, you know that I grapple with how to balance my life with the number of requests I get for in-person meetings. I’ve written about this before, but it was time for a new plan. I’ve landed on a new approach. The issue is that there…

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Podcast with Seth Levine of Foundry Group: One “Middle-aged Guy’s” Reaction to Sexual Harassment in Venture

Hear MergeLane’s Sue Heilbronner and Foundry Group’s Seth Levine in an open and intimate discussion of the sexual harassment news that emerged from Silicon Valley over the last two months. Seth has been an instrumental advisor and personal investor in MergeLane since day one. Foundry has made...

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