Entrepreneur Sana Choudary wants women to learn the strategies they need to thrive as entrepreneurs in tech and gaming. So she’s starting a new conference dubbed Be Your Own Hero, and she’s raising money via an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to pull it together.
Be Your Own Hero is a conference for women who want to create business on their own terms, said Choudary, who is chief executive and cofounder of game industry accelerator YetiZen in San Francisco. Choudary, YetiZen and Girls in Tech are putting the event together.
“I’ve been quiet about the experience of being a female CEO, and there’s a reason for that,” Choudary said. “There’s a reason why. When you are doing business, it is all about making friendships and alliances. We talk about how we fit in, not how we stand out.”
She wants the conversation about how women can succeed as entrepreneurs by removing the boulders in your path. Be Your Own Hero will be about how to remove those boulders. The conference will take place on June 3 at YetiZen’s own headquarters, which frequently hosts events for the game business. The talks will focus on the necessary “superpowers that allow you to get past those boulders: action, leadership, and passion,” Choudary said.
It’s not going to be a conference about barriers, or banging your head against a boulder or getting in a vitriolic debate about working women.
“We are bringing together women who are inspirational,” Choudary said.
The speakers include Alexa Andrzejewski, cofounder of Foodspotting, which was acquired by OpenTable. She’ll talk on the action track about how she ran a company of engineers even though she wasn’t an engineer.
“At the end of the day, you need passion,” Choudary said. “What are you really passionate about? What do you want to make? For anything worth doing, you need passion. It’s going to be hard.”
As for leadership, Choudary tapped Athena Williams, an executive coach. Choudary admires Sheryl Sandberg, the No. 2 executive at Facebook, and her book Lean In. Choudary views that book as focused mostly on taking action. Other speakers include Donna Boyer, Michelle Zatlyn, Shannon Farley, Donna Novitsky, Koh Kim, and Stevie Case.
“It’s a small intimate conference about the actual strategies that you may use yourself as a woman,” Choudary said. “It’s not about generic theories about why things are wrong and you can’t do anything about them. This comes from a feeling that real issues are not being talked about.”
Choudary has teamed up with other groups such as Girls In Tech. She is raising money via Indiegogo because it’s hard to find sponsors for a women’s conference. The $30,000 crowdfunding campaign will end on June 10. The one-day event will cost $100 and it is targeting an audience of 100 to 150.
“I am also speaking about problems that keep you away from your passions and what to do about them,” Choudary said. “We’re not necessarily trying to convert anyone. We want to give them a framework on how to think about obstacles.”