Tanya Sam, a tech-savvy champion for female entrepreneurship, envisions all women to have wealth, abundance, and ease.
Her vision has called on her as a co-founder of BuiltxWomen, a business accelerator for female entrepreneurs, founder of Ascend 2020, an investment company that funds businesses started by women and minority entrepreneurs, and Director of Partnerships at TechSquare Labs, where she has mentored over 60 companies with women and minority founders.
Last week, on September 8 and 9, BLACK ENTERPRISE graced the digital world with its 2022 Women of Power TECH virtual conference.
BLACK ENTERPRISE welcomed Sam, an Atlanta-based tech entrepreneur, investor, and familiar face from The Real Housewives of Atlanta, to talk about her journey into the tech world. She also dropped a few empowering gems for women to succeed.
The Tech Pivot
Before her tech pivot, Sam had a strong background in healthcare, with degrees in Nursing and Genetics and Cell Biology. She credits her partner for not only introducing her to the tech world, but also mentoring her on a path to launch her own technology-enabled beverage company, Limitless Smart Shot.
“There is a piece in a technology-enabled business for all of us,” Sam said during a chat with BLACK ENTERPRISE VP/Deputy Chief Content Officer, Alisa Gumbs. “Those roles are very diverse right now. You couldn’t have Facebook without marketing, without HR, without people officers. Those may not be technical, but it gives us, so many of us, who have built our career in other areas, sort of secret power and superpower capes on how to get into technology.”
Learning Through Imposter Syndrome
“Done is better than perfect,” is the mantra that Sam holds dear.
She recalls experiencing “typical female imposter syndrome,” entering the tech world, but encourages the importance of committing to “learning what you need to know, to get where you need to go.”
For Sam, the crutch of entrepreneurship, technology success, and starting a business is the following statement:
“You’re smart. You’re gonna figure it out.”
“Black people, we have the hustle, we have that grit. We just need people to push us and support us along the way,” Sam added.
The Power of Networking
Sam lived in Toronto, Montreal, New York, and Ghana before settling in Atlanta. As she tells it, “I didn’t know a lot of people, so I really had to check my imposter syndrome.”
One of her biggest pieces of advice for women wanting to get their foot in the door is going out there and networking. Whether she wanted to sell her beverage company, find investors, or meet new friends, Sam wanted to leave an impression that people would remember, even if she was the only Black woman in the room.
“I had to put on my Sasha fierce alter ego to go up to people and understand the power of networking and meeting friends. That was my biggest tip,” she said.
More Advice For Women Founders
The need for venture capital is often a challenge for BIPOC women founders. Sam emphasizes the value of education and understanding the greater landscape of what venture capital looks like, as well as the ever-changing markets. With that, women founders can cater their pitch around the data and information learned to convince a successful return for investors.
“Start raising money when you have revenue,” she also advised, adding that customer discovery is poignant in this matter.
Watch Tanya Sam’s full interview at Conversations That Count: The Future is Female on YouTube here and below.
Visit https://womenofpowertech.blackenterprise.com/ for more conversations with women of color who are making an impact in the tech space.