I recently saw some poignant observation on Twitter about how we’re all blades of grass working together to create a wonderful patchwork panorama, or some such profound idea like that. As I look out at my weed-ridden landscape, it’s hard to not be a little skeptical. We’ve all known a weed or two—or 12. Those damaging dudes can be super frustrating. But then a sweet bunny with some pep in her step bounces over and, thankfully, chews that weed down to a nub. Today, like every day, let’s eradicate any bothersome weeds from our lives and try to be that blade of grass, encouraging each other to be our best selves.
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: Less Than $1.5 Billion
Ladies, it can be easy to think we’re not always necessary, especially in business, that the assembly line can keep churning if we sit this one out. The more I learn about how women advance, though, the more I realize we truly can’t get very far without each other. For instance, in 2016, venture capitalists invested less than $1.5 billion in women-led companies. That might sound like the lottery to most of us, but let’s shine a gendered light on it, shall we? During that same time period, male-led companies raked in more than $58 billion, despite the fact that women-led companies perform three times better than those with male CEOs.
WOMAN TO WATCH: Mellie Price, Executive Director of Commercialization for Dell Medical School at the University of Texas
Today’s Woman to Watch, Mellie Price, can be affectionately described as one of those people you feel you’ve known your whole life. Her warmth and forthrightness feel refreshing in a world fraught with some serious weeds. She is nothing if not truly innovating, and has spent her storied career reaching remarkable heights.
A well-versed investor, fund manager, executive and eight-time entrepreneur with expertise at all levels of business, from tech startups to private-sector companies and even massive publicly traded organizations, Mellie is the epitome of a glass-ceiling breaker and ingenious leader. In her current role as the executive director of commercialization for the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas, Mellie drives investment and product-development efforts that help boost regional innovation. And she employs her decades of business savvy to help build bridges with local startups and national technology leaders.
When she was growing up, Mellie developed a solid sense of confidence, and knew if she wanted to do something, she simply needed to put her mind to it. Her intelligence and curiosity navigated her to computer programming as a way to pay for school. She purchased a CD-ROM printer and started charging her fellow college students to burn data, an accidental business that garnered her quite the profit and set the stage for this enterprising entrepreneur’s future.
After college, Mellie became a mainstay of the tech community, later founding the massively successful online ticketing business Front Gate Tickets before co-founding Austin, Texas’ stellar startup incubator called Capital Factory, known as “Austin’s center of gravity for entrepreneurs.”
If this tech and entrepreneurial pioneer has you buzzing with energy to dive into your career more than ever before, here are a few nuggets of wisdom from this enlightened innovator-in-chief. Mellie’s first rule of thumb is to remain authentic. After all, as Mellie says, it’s in our human nature to really respond to authenticity. Also, a little humility goes a long way. Lastly, this piece of advice was inspired by her young daughter: Lighten up, don’t be a stick in the mud and have a little fun!
QUITE THE QUOTE
With Mellie Price’s admirable career in mind, I’ll leave you with this quote from successful entrepreneur Lisa Cash Hanson:
“Leadership is the ability to guide others without force into a direction or decision that leaves them still feeling empowered and accomplished.”
This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.