Some of you have probably seen our growing interview series, Startuplandia, where we interview founders, VC investors, and developers in Silicon Valley and the world. We focus on the decisions and the thinking that goes into building up killer products and services that people want to use. And then we also look at the types of investments that people are making in the tech startups space.
On May 9, we will turn our attention to two women in Silicon Valley who are launching.
Maren Kate Donovan, CEO, Zirtual, will talk about the on ramp to success and the decisions she made that led to her getting funding for Zirtual from Tony Hsieh, founder of the Las Vegas Project, and the founder of customer-focused shoe company Zappos.
We’ll also talk to Director of Product for AirPr Rebekah Iliff, who is making a machine language public relations machine that feeds on the growing automated and content-rich media ecosystem of the social web.
Here’s the livestream link and their biographies.
Rebekah Iliff is the Director of Product for AirPR, a technology platform to increase PR performance. Previously, she was the CEO of talkTECH Communications, one of the fastest growing, launch-only PR firms in the US. As co-founder of talkTECH, she created an industry-first methodology for emerging technology companies, which led to top tier client coverage in outlets such as Forbes, CNN, The Today Show, USA Today, WIRED, Inc, FastCompany, TechCrunch, Mashable, and VentureBeat.
Rebekahʼs valuable depth of experience launching companies, re-engineering corporate infrastructures, and executing PR and marketing plans in order to facilitate growth, build brand equity, and drive business goals have made her a trusted consultant to hundreds of entrepreneurs, innovators, and brands in the startup and enterprise space over the past decade.
She is currently a technology blogger for The Huffington Post focusing on trends related to startup culture and job creation and a featured columnist for Entrepreneur Magazine’s “Young Entrepreneur”. She has authored articles in technology publications such as Mashable and VentureBeat, and PR industry focused blogs such as PR Daily and PR Sunrise. Rebekah is a mentor for Startup Weekend Bay Area, an instructor for General Assembly San Francisco, and an advisor for startups at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and StartX. Rebekah holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Loyola University Chicago, and an M.A. in Organizational Management and Applied Community Psychology from Antioch University at Los Angeles (AULA).
Growing up in Las Vegas, Maren gained a passion for customer service and the world of high-end personal assistance from an early age. She started Zirtual in late 2011 to save people’s time so they could focus on what’s important and to provide purposeful employment to smart people who enjoy the freedom of working remotely. Maren has a background that includes biker bars, Chaucer, and has a penchant for science fiction—she’s also never met a cat she doesn’t like.