Female entrepreneurs can now apply for an opportunity to receive a month of free mentoring and coaching from experts at The Garage, Capital One’s innovation center in Plano.
It’s open to all female business owners and entrepreneurs who are members of The Dallas Entrepreneur Center. Capital One made the announcement Tuesday during The DEC’s WEDallas Boot Camp, a program designed to empower female entrepreneurs through networking and discussion.
Applications for the mentorship program are due by noon Nov. 30 and the winner will be announced Dec. 1.
The Capital One Garage coaching program will provide women business owners and their teams with hands-on coaching in design, lean experimentation, and agile development — all crucial to a successful startup.
“By providing mentorships, we believe that we can add value to the startup ecosystem through sharing our learnings, systems, and processes developed in growing our business.”
“By providing mentorships, we believe that we can add value to the startup ecosystem through sharing our learnings, systems, and processes developed in growing our business,” said Monica Shortino, director of social innovation at Capital One. “Our associates can continue to grow professionally through engaging in the startup community and supporting our entrepreneurial culture at Capital One.”
The Garage is an innovation hub where Capital One invents, tests, and perfects new technology and ideas. One recent example is the Auto Navigator dashboard where customers can apply for financing and pick their vehicle in one place. It’s located at the bank’s regional campus in Plano.
For the mentoring sessions, the coaches will meet with the business owner at The DEC in the West End of downtown Dallas.
Jill Scigliano, chief operating officer of The DEC, said it has partnered with Capital One for years, but this is the first time it has done something like this.
“It’s about being able to access all the resources that Capital One has and do really intensive mentorship,” Scigliano said. “You can ask people at a corporate level about cash flow [and] marketing budgets.”
The WEDallas event concluded with speed mentoring, similar to speed dating, where the participants rotated to different mentors, talking to them about their business and where they need help.
The WEDallas Boot Camp also featured a panel discussion about the successes and challenges of being a female entrepreneur.
Here are some key takeaways:
Julie Gunter, director of community development at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, on hiring for your small business:
“Sales, marketing, and customer service skills is the hardest thing to find. We need to work with schools districts and have business owners come in to to talk about the real world.”
Amy Simmons, sales executive in the business banking market at Capital One, on why small businesses don’t do Black Friday deals:
“If you spend that time making those connections and relationships. You can’t put a price tag on that.”
“Most small business owners have much smaller margins. I can’t compete because I can’t sell at the quantity that the big box can.”
Natalie Fletcher, director of innovation for the Dallas Regional Chamber, on the benefits of networking for small businesses:
“If I do need help, right there I have a network and resource pool that I can tap into. That is hugely important. If you spend that time making those connections and relationships. You can’t put a price tag on that.”
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