Since I started writing this blog, I've found myself drawn much more immediately to the women in every room I enter. I notice male-to-female ratios and jump at every opportunity to get a female voice into every story. For better or for worse, I am — in a very healthy way — obsessed with women. It happened again yesterday at the TechLaunch demo day at Montclair State, when I spotted Nicole Letelier.
TechLaunch is a technology accelerator in Clifton that has spent the past 16 weeks training startups in business development — helping them perfect their pitches and refine their business plans. Thursday was, as the company's founder put it, their "coming out party."
Nicole is a cofounder of one of those startups, an app called SeekChange that is engineered to help people become more emotionally fit.
You may be asking yourself — as I did — what constitutes "emotionally fit." Nicole, a life coach, explained that it's not about having a clean bill of mental health. Emotional fitness is meant to address all those smaller, non-diagnosable problems that you might buy a self-help book for— issues like happiness, optimism, procrastination and compassion. Maybe you find yourself struggling to focus on the positive in life, she said. SeekChange is an app for that.
SeekChange is Nicole's first foray into the tech startup world, and she's found that a room full of startups is often a room full of men. The same goes for a room full of investors, which is the target audience for SeekChange right now.
But any intimidation or nervousness that may hit during those moments of isolation, she immediately shakes off.
"It's a very different energy that women bring," she said. "Part of what I need to do is be here and tell other women ... you can do this."