Popular Posts

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Capitol Standard Interviews Giadha de Carcer on Love & Business


Giadha de Carcer Will Mix Business & Pleasure, Then Capture it on Film

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from The Bachelor franchise, it’s that sharing your quest for true love with the general public is a recipe for controversy. So naturally, when Capitol Standard heard about a DC-based tech entrepreneur who is making big plans to find romance without quitting her day job, we knew we needed to hear more.
Last month, Giadha de Carcer raised $30,000 on Kickstarter for the purpose of filming a docu-series, featuring herself as the guinea pig, called Love and Business, 90 Days to Launch.
That’s right – she has 90 days to launch a business, attempt to find Mr. Right, and explore the question many women are asking: do we have to choose between love and our careers, or can we have it all?
Ms. De Carcer spoke to Capitol Standard about this project, which she hopes will start a meaningful conversation about the professional and personal choices we make in the pursuit of balance.
Capitol Standard: You are a “serial entrepreneur” – what does that mean?
Giadha de Carcer: I feel a little bad when people ask what I do and I say I’m a serial entrepreneur, because it can sound a little bit obnoxious. In essence, what it means is that I have launched multiple businesses in various different industries. What really attracts me is the challenge of taking concepts and turning them into viable business propositions. I launched my first business at 17, so I’ve been doing this my whole life.
CS: Your Kickstarter campaign mentioned that you are considering three possible business ventures to launch on the series. How did you come up with the ideas for each, and which business are you going to use?
GDC: Snap + Drag (an app enabling users to visualize how large pieces of furniture will look in a room) was the first idea. I’ve had it in the back of my head for a few years now. Then there’s the idea of franchising the Love & Business docu-series. In order to truly capture a well-rounded dialogue about the issues and experiences of career-driven women starting businesses, we need to do it beyond DC. And then there is the idea we’ve been casually calling “the Puffington Times” which involves selling market data and analytics about the cannabis industry. We will announce what project we are going with on July 9th.
CS: How did you come up with the idea for the series?
GDC: Most of the women I’ve worked with have struggled to balance their professional and personal lives, whether they’re married, single, divorced, with or without kids. I’m 39, single, I think I’m relatively intelligent and successful – and yet I’m having the hardest time in the world succeeding in both love and career. I’d ask other women for advice and they’d all say, “you have to choose.” It kept coming back to this idea that we have to make a choice. I was disheartened. Why do we have to choose? This project was driven by my own personal challenges and ignorance about how to deal with it, and the realization that it’s a struggle so many other women face too.
CS: What kind of reaction did you get from other female entrepreneurs and career women?
GDC: Almost 100 percent of the women I talked to were so excited about it, they were finishing my sentences for me. They were just glad that I was willing to talk about these issues. I was a little embarrassed when I first started talking about it because I felt like I was just talking about my own personal vulnerability. I thought people would say things like “she’s chasing fame” or “she just wants to get on tv” but the moment I opened up about why I was doing this and said that I wanted other women to come on board and talk about their own issues, the response was amazing.
CS: What can viewers expect to see when they sit down to watch one of the episodes? How much focus will be given to the dating and business aspects of the show, respectively?
GDC: Roughly 50 percent of the content will be focused on the issues affecting career-driven women in general: challenges, successes, and lessons learned, both professionally and personally. Twenty-five percent will be about dating and the remaining 25 percent will be entrepreneurial coaching.
CS: How much of this is motivated by personal experience? Have you made any mistakes or had your heart broken in love on account of your business and professional commitments and lifestyle?
GDC: (laughter) Yes! My last relationship ended because the guy said I had to choose between him and my job. And it wasn’t that he was a bad guy – he was actually trying really hard to be there for me – but I was totally immersed in a project and it destroyed my personal life.
CS: What kind of reaction has this idea received from the men in your life?
GDC: My close friends have been very supportive and encouraging. All of my ex-boyfriends supported the Kickstarter campaign, which is pretty funny. There have been some who aren’t so supportive, though. I’ve had people tell me that it’s “bad form” and that its not a topic that needs to be discussed in such an open forum. Someone even said it sounds like public masturbation!
CS: How are you going to find guys to date?
I’m committed to exploring every single option. You’ll see me do speed dating. You’ll see me working with a matchmaker. I’m going to go on blind dates. I’m going to do the restaurant and club scene. I’m going to go to meet-ups. I’m going to do online dating, which I’ve shied away from in the past because I’m a hopeless romantic. I’m going to do it all. I’m literally going to try every single option. I can’t tell you if it’s going to work, but I’m going to give it a shot.
CS: Is there anything in particular that you hope to personally gain from this project?
It sounds a little bit cliché, but to be honest with you, I hope to get validation. Validation that the challenges I’ve gone through weren’t just because I did something wrong. Validation that it really is different and difficult to succeed personally when you feel that you’re identified by what you do professionally. I don’t know if it’s the best answer, but it’s an honest one!
Love and Business, 90 Days to Launch is filming now. Ms. De Carcer plans to license the docu-series to a television network or web channel. View the trailer below.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Kickstarter Excitement and 'What's Next' Featured on latest InTheCapital Article!

4 Questions with Kickstarter Tech Entrepreneur Giadha DeCarcer
Giadha De Carcer successfully funded her Kickstarter campaign last week, almost at the last minute, to fund a documentary series on a 90-day period where she will attempt to launch a startup company from the ground and at the same time seek romance and a balanced life. In the wake of the funding, De Carcer reflected on the campaign and on what comes next for her and her big plan to showcase what it's like to be a female tech entrepreneur in Washington, D.C.
1. How were you feeling as it got down to the wire and almost didn't happen and then after you pulled it off and got the funding?
Terrified! It took us a week to go from $3,800 to $4,000 and then between last Friday and Sunday we raised over $20K. People had been Tweeting at each other to pledge right after your article came out, and it was so exciting to see so much activity amongst folks we had never met who really got what we are trying to do. With just a few minutes to go we were still $1800 short and were facing loosing it all, it was insanity! We had people on the phone, who were also on the phone with other people, their mother's, boyfriends, sisters anyone they could get a hold of at almost midnight on a Sunday, and we just pulled it together at literally the witching hour. We had people doubling, tripling and quadrupling their existing pledges, and in the end that's what happened, two of our amazing supporters and friends Kataliya Rudolph and Ridge Banks closed the gap for us at 11:57! I just looked at the screen when it turned to $30,048 and stared at it until the clock ran out to make sure it was not going to go back down LOL I feel I saw magic happen, because our odds were NIL – Kickstarters either get 33% funded by the third day, first week latest, or fail. I would be curious to find out how many Campaigns succeeded in raising over 80% of their funding in the last 3 days of their Campaigns, not to mention how many of the successes are usually from female-led projects ;)
2. What are the next steps for you now that the show is a go for later this month?
We are now structuring the filming calendar to ensure we have a solid plan forward to incorporate all the elements we want to showcase: the Lean Startup Model roadmap, the Relationship & Dating Coaching, and the open discussion amongst DC Female Entrepreneurs to unveil those tricky topics that we truly need to air out and address. We are also bringing sponsors on-board who are DC locals as we want to show how vibrant the DC Entrepreneurial community is, especially amongst the female population, and last but not least, we will begin shooting early June – that's when the real work and fun will begin!
It is a lot of work because the series will be unscripted, which means we will not control what is said. In order to however ensure we do cover those important topics, we must do a lot of initial planning so we can at least introduce them at various stages and capture how the discussion evolves.
3. Since the funding (and the story too in small part) have you gotten new or different feedback that has stuck out for you in terms of what was said or who said it?
YES! Absolutely, and it has been very positive! I actually do think the article was able to bring attention to the right elements of our project and it has resonated with a lot of people. We have been receiving emails and Tweets encouraging us to capture these authentic aspects of what career driven women tackle everyday, and have even been thanked for bringing it to light via such a mass medium. We know there has been a lot of coverage in blogs, and that is fantastic, but we believe that in order to truly begin driving social change and educating both females and males about how gender role expectations is affecting us all, we need to 'show' it. We have also started to gain more traction as far as our plan to launch subsequent seasons around the US and abroad to truly capture a diverse set of female entrepreneurs, experiences, and hopefully successes, thus allowing us to feel we are doing justice to a well rounded dialogue.
4. What if anything would you do differently for the crowdfunding if you were to do it all over again?
I would have slept for a week straight before launching and prepared all my meals in advance for the 3 weeks of the Kickstarter! My partner in crime Noreen Butler and I did not sleep, rarely ate, and barely managed to shower most days! We were determined to make it happen, and that took a toll on us physically. Campaigning on this kind of platform is hard, especially with the social media element and the fact that if you are not on the phone, texting or on your computer promoting it, you should be out meeting people, recruiting them to pledge, and participating in as many events as possible that will allow you to bring attention to your project – IT'S EXHAUSTING! I will say this however, I sincerely believe that online crowdfurnding may very well be one of the best things that could have happened to female entrepreneurs. I believe it will mitigate a lot of the fund-raising challenges women in business are facing, and will hopefully empower many more female entrepreneurs to secure seed funding early on; especially if the SEC approves the inclusion of small equity divestiture! Doing away with awkward meetings with male-dominated VCs and Angels would probably be welcomed by some of us ;)

You can learn more about De Carcer and her upcoming series at the Love & Business Kickstarter page.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

DC Tech Entrepreneur Will Film Her Quest for 'Love & Business' Success

Eric Hal Schwartz - Staff Writer 05/18/14 @11:26am
Giadha De Carcer, a serial entrepreneur based in Washington, D.C., knows intimately the conflict between finding success as a businesswoman while trying to find love and a happy personal life. Now she wants to show the world those difficulties and maybe learn some lessons about finding a good balance with a new, unscripted documentary series, Love & Business, 90 Days to Launch, raising money on Kickstarter until the end of Sunday.
"It can be like an identity crisis for businesswomen," De Carcer said. "The female journey is different today, there's not only a gender gap but a generational difference in things like gender roles and what women should be doing with their lives."
De Carcer will spend the 90 days of filming the series launching a new tech startup business while exploring the startup landscape for women in D.C. through discussion with other businesswomen. At the same time, she will be working with a dating coach and using a lot of the modern tools for finding a relationship to try and find love.
"It's all about trying to figure out what we want and what it means to be successful for women today," De Carcer said.
The series is designed to educate and entertain people about those kinds of questions. De Carcer said she wants to bring to life the endless dilemma women in her position face, a growing population of women who succeed in business but still face the internal and external pressures of expectation to have to commit entirely to business or family but not both.
"It's not conscious or malicious but many women have told me about how they feel they have to choose one or the other," she said. "It's a choice men struggle with too, but it's different."
It's not just big, philosophical questions under examination in the series. There will be a lot of practical discussion on how to take a business from concept to funding with a look at the extra difficulties for female entrepreneurs and how to get around things like the glass ceiling and the conscious and unconscious stereotypes of women in male-dominated industries like technology. There will also be plenty of practical dating advice too and probably some good lessons in how the dates shown for the series go.
"The romance part adds a fun twist," De Carcer said. "I want to do all of it in a fun way."
Even if the Kickstarter campaign doesn’t reach its goals, De Carcer said she’s had plenty of backing offers, it would simply delay the filming, which is currently planned to begin at the end of the month from what she described as very enthusiastic sponsors. Not that everyone has been totally supportive of her ideas. There's been some criticism as well, both of the idea and the execution, calling it a publicity stunt or worse.
"I've gotten some harsh feedback from men and women too," De Carcer said. "One called it 'public masturbation' even."
But DeCarcer certainly isn't one to give up easily and is eager to start learning and more importantly sharing what she learns with others like her.
"There's always more questions than answers," she said. "I just want the series to start asking some of the right questions."
Check out the trailer for the series below and visit the Kickstarter page before midnight if you want to find out more and donate.

Read More: DC Tech, Kickstarter, entrepreneur, DC film, Giadha De Carcer