Unleashing a fire hose of announcements is the norm at vendor conferences, and Dell EMC World 2017 was no exception. This year’s announcements spanned a wide range of topics, from data center modernization to augmented and virtual reality, and from hybrid cloud to security.
However, as a woman business owner, one announcement stood out for me: Hello Alice, Dell EMC’s new data-driven platform, powered by Circular Board, which connects female entrepreneurs with mentors, resources and events that can help them start, grow and thrive.
How Alice Was Born
Women-owned businesses currently employ 7.8 million workers in the U.S. and generate $1.3 trillion in revenue overall. But only 2% of women entrepreneurs in the U.S. have reached more than $1 million in revenues. Unfortunately, many women find it difficult to access the resources they need to build and grow their businesses. Like Alice falling down the rabbit hole, they find that they have entered a new world with new rules—but without connections and guidance to help navigate it.
For instance, according toe CrunchBase Women in Venture report:
- Among the top 100 venture capital firms, just 7 percent of the partners, or 54 of 755, are women.
- Between 2010 and 2015, only 10 percent of venture dollars globally (from a total of $31.5 billion) funded startups that reported at least one female founder.
- Only three female co-founded venture firms are in the top 100.
To turn this tide, Circular Board, the first virtual accelerator for women entrepreneurs, approached Dell in 2016 with a new idea to disrupt the startup world: What if we could build an entirely new ecosystem, designed especially for women founders? Dell, which has a long history of supporting growing businesses and women entrepreneurs, jumped on the opportunity, and Alice was born to help women entrepreneurs build more scalable and sustainable businesses.
Pivotal, Dell Technologies’ cloud native development platform company, supplies a good part of Alice’s DNA. Pivotal developed Alice in about three months. The Circular Board incorporated Pivotal’s software development methodology and cloud technology in its accelerator, endowing Alice with machine learning capabilities so she can grow and evolve with the female entrepreneurs she engages with.
How Alice Helps Female Founders
Alice helps level the playing field by helping women founders connect with the mentors and resources they need to successfully launch and scale their businesses. According to Carolyn Rodz, founder and CEO of Circular Board, “Alice instantly filters millions of resources down to the personalized, verified content that enables founders to scale to the highest heights, no matter where they are located or who they know.”
Alice uses a conversational interface to connect women entrepreneurs with the resources needed to scale based on startup stage, location, industry, revenue and individual needs. As more users engage with Alice, she gets smarter. Alice uses her intelligence to help guide women to resources, mentors and events that are aligned with their goals and financial, legal, marketing, technology and other requirements.
Alice provides each user with a personalized data and real-time modules. Users can also search, sort and filter queries by location, industry, annual revenue, employee count, years in business and content publication source.
Go Ask Alice
At the Mad Tea Party, the there was plenty of room at the table, but when Alice came, the Mad Hatter, March Hare and the Cheshire Cat cried out to Alice, “No room, room!” Likewise, there is an abundance of money, technical resources and expertise in the startup world, but women founders often find it “curiouser and curiouser” to decode and succeed in it.
But Alice is available now at www.helloalice.com. So if you are a woman founder, go ask Alice for help to navigate the startup system, and get access to the resources you need to scale your business.