Cradle to Greatness




FountainBlue produced its first event for the NEOME Israeli tech women angel delegation on Wednesday, Nov 20, entitled ‘Supporting Women from Cradle to Greatness’.

Our panelists were passionate and experienced professionals who have navigated both corporate and start-up roles and positions. They generously shared their stories, their challenges and their best practices on how to create and support a collaborative ecosystem within Silicon Valley and beyond.

They agreed on the challenges:

  • Increasing the pipeline of diverse, talented tech professionals;
  • Recruiting, retaining and developing our current talent pool;
  • Ensuring that conscious and unconscious biases don’t make the challenge of recruiting diverse talent even more difficult.

Our panelists further remarked on the policies, processes, and lack of leadership and follow-through which often making it more difficult to bring more women into tech positions and advancing to high ranks within organizations.

But none of our panelists would settle on pointing to challenges. They are women of action and recommended the following best practices:

  • Focus on adopting a can-do, positive mindset.
  • Support others as mentors and sponsors so that we can all be stronger.
  • Show girls as young as middle school that they too can succeed in math and science and STEM in general. Provide them practical and rewarding experience which help them gain confidence, and question their own perceptions about who they are and what they can do.
  • Encourage girls to keep reaching for stars.
  • Overcome the social and policy standards which make it more difficult for girls and women to succeed in STEM roles and in leadership roles.

Our presenting entrepreneurs showcased the connections across networks and organizations. The entrepreneurial women who presented showed the grit it takes to succeed in innovation and leadership, and highlighted how start-ups are addressing urgent, real-world issues, while also providing sustainable business and operational models.  

In the end, our panelists and our attendees agreed that the openness and collaboration create a ‘tribe-like’ community that’s uniquely Silicon Valley. With that said, this open, collaborative, entrepreneurial spirit can be replicated elsewhere, and that successes internationally can also include the energy, the funding, the connections of Silicon Valley.

Please join me in thanking our panelists and presenting entrepreneurs and our hosts at TechLAB.

  • Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue; Director, Vonzos Partners; Managing Director, TechLAB 
  • Panelist Gargi (Nalawade) Adhav, Leading next-gen initiatives at Google Cloud 
  • Panelist Serpil Bayraktar, Distinguished Engineer, Cisco; Global Chair for Women in Tech (WIT) @ Cisco 
  • Panelist Ronit Polak, VP Quality Assurance, Palo Alto Networks and co-founder and board chair, High Tech, High Heels 
  • Panelist Sara Rauchwerger, TechLAB Managing Director

featuring Presenting Entrepreneurs, 3 minute presentation, 3 minute Q&A 

  • Heather Potters, cofounder, PharmaJet 
  • Alexis Snelling, Founder and CEO, Life Cafe 
  • Chen Yahva-Levanon, CEO, MyKumbaya  

with welcoming remarks by Sara Rauchwerger, TechLAB Managing Director and opening remarks by Inbal Polak, Co-founder and CIO of NEOME Women Investing Club

%d bloggers like this: