Diana and I recently got back from Austin, Texas, where we attended our second Dell Social Innovation Challenge finalist weekend. Although this time, we were sitting on the other side of the fence.
DSIC has a tradition of bringing back the previous year’s winner as a judge, and this year I was able to sit on the judging panel. It was certainly a change of pace from last year, when I was anxious about pitching as well as incredibly sick. This year I was way more relaxed, and I got to meet some incredible people who were judges with me. Although I was by far the youngest judge, I still felt like I got to contribute a significant amount to our discussions as someone who is currently immersed in all the trials and tribulations of starting a venture. Being a judge was a great experience, and I’m glad DSIC made it possible! Plus, I think I prefer sitting on the judges’ side of the room much better.
The next day, Diana participated in the Social Innovation Think Tank panel, and we later gave an update on Essmart and presented the Outstanding Innovation Awards at the DSIC awards show. Here’s a video of our segment:
Sometimes it’s easy to get bogged down in the details of what we’re doing on a daily basis. It’s even easier to get caught up in the very competitive environment that is Cambridge, Massachusetts, or even the impact investing space. But being in Austin and re-connecting with many people from DSIC and Dell was an incredibly positive and supportive experience, and we’re so thankful to be a part of this family!