Event Manager Profile: Startup Stir

Logo startupstirStartup Stir is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to empowering entrepreneurs with monthly events in which thought leaders cover a variety of business topics. Startup Stir produces a monthly event with 3-5 speakers per event. Recent topics they’ve booked speakers for include:
  • Getting Connected: Finding The Resources You Need to Succeed
  • Getting Funded: A Venture Capital Fireside
  • Social Entrepreneurship – Startup Stir Boston
  • Boston Startup Founders Forum
  • Guerrilla Marketing for Startups
  • Launching A Foodie Startup

The organization’s founder, Aaron Radez, recently started using Innovation Women because he ended up with a DAMP (the Dreaded All-Male Panel). He admits that it’s sometimes a struggle to provide diverse panels, especially in areas like funding where the number of women is a smaller portion of the total population.

“We started with invitations out to two men and two women for our next panel, a fireside chat with investors, and unfortunately, the women I asked were not available,” explained Radez. “We ended up with an all-male panel, something I don’t want to happen again. Now that I have an Innovation Women account, I’m better equipped to make sure of it.”

Radez continued, “Most of the time we’re able to get at least one woman on each panel, but we’d like to see more women and more ethnic diversity as well.”

An event manager can spend a lot of time coordinating speakers for an event. “Corralling speakers is a huge part of what I do,” said Radez. He estimates that he spends approximately 20 hours a month researching potential speakers, performing the due diligence necessary, and finding the right channel to connect with the speaker.

For Startup Stir, a volunteer tracks down speaker biographies and photos, sometimes from the speakers and sometimes from the Internet. Radez says, “Sometimes speakers have more than on photo online and we have to swap out photos for the preferred one, and update bios. So we’re tweaking our marketing materials and the ticket pages, sometimes multiple times. Having the biographies on Innovation Women, where I can just copy them, is a huge time saver.”

We asked Aaron what he looks for in a speaker:

“Every month, our events are carefully curated around a single topic. I start off looking for a compelling personal story that will resonate with our audience. I like having speakers our audience of young professionals can relate to – you don’t have to have decades of experience to bring value. And, we know that a brand name affiliation draws very well – I like to make sure we have at least one recognizable brand name on each panel.”

Learn more about Startup Stir events here, including the March “Evening of Entrepreneurship” with all women founders.

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