‘To champion and support women working in technology and to break down the barriers that deter women from entering the sector.’ That’s the mission of AccelerateHer, part of the Founders Forum community, and which since 2016 has been endeavoring to further the discussion around the underrepresentation of women in technology to effect positive change. And earlier this week, Carmen and Natalia Vodianova took part in a Future of Fashion panel discussion, on behalf of AccelerateHer, as part of the Founders Forum flagship event in London. Well, that was the plan…
What was originally scheduled as a panel discussion was slightly derailed when the moderator got held up in traffic due to a road accident. So, five minutes before going onstage, Carmen and Natalia were asked to improvise. They decided to focus on a topic dear to both of them: the pitfalls, and benefits, of investing in a great idea too early, which is something that both of them have experienced, and they shared their story with the audience.
Rather than being written off as a “failure” – which Carmen believes is simply a mental construct - the founder of one of the companies in question went on to get a great job, and Carmen and Natalia were rewarded in other ways, both materially and experientially. And today, the two entrepreneurs continue to collaborate on new ventures which they are passionate about, such as Villageluxe, for whom Natalia has rented out her closet as a charity initiative, and Elbi, the app she co-founded to scale good deeds and make charitable acts easy and rewarding.
The aim of the Founders Forum is to inspire and challenge traditional thinking. Carmen, for her part, encourages fellow entrepreneurs, wherever they are on their journey and whatever the outcome of their endeavors, to continue to think big, as she firmly believes that good ideas never die