(Photo by Instagram user @impacthubphilly)
Archna Sahay, the woman behind the newly launched Female Founders Network, describes the startup community as an “ecosystem,” one which relies on mentorship and networking to thrive.
Women, she said, are doubly impacted by those two environmental elements, and she hopes FFN will provide more opportunities for women to “plug into” the broader Philadelphia community through networking and idea-sharing events, like the first networking event at Impact HUB late last month. The evening began with wine and Di Bruno Bros. snacks and crudité, allowing the women in attendance to mill around and chat informally.
Serious about her intent to provide a genuine networking experience, Sahay jovially policed the room, reminding everyone to “talk to someone you don’t know, don’t just talk to the friend you brought with you.”
Sahay, a financial advisor with Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, has four main goals for the fledgling network:
- Hosting monthly meet ups, which will continue to be a space primarily for women
- Other programming co-hosted with partner networking organizations in Philadelphia, which will be open to men and women
- Developing a formal mentorship program between established female professionals and their younger counterparts
- Establishing a business accelerator to support startups which solve problems that impact women
They’re big goals, adding to a strong network of women in tech groups and events.
After the cocktail hour, guests were invited to take a seat while Sahay introduced herself and FFN. Each guest was encouraged to introduce herself to the group, give a bit of information about her professional background and mention any projects for which she’s looking for more female support.
“My goal for the event was to connect the community of female founders in the city,” said Sahay. “Simply to get dynamic women together in a room to talk and see what happens.”
The next confirmed FFN event will take place during Philly Tech Week on Tuesday, April 8, and will be co-hosted with the Pyramid Club of Philadelphia’s Professional Women’s Club.
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