When I read that Mara Zepeda’s talk was titled, “Sex and Startups” I didn’t even question it. It made perfect sense to me. No questions.

Confusion, awkwardness, excitement, optimism, terror, intimacy, loneliness – oh yeah – it’s all there, easy to understand immediately.

I was wrong. I later learned that Mara’s talk is about gender, (not THAT kind of sex, the other kind… oh). She talks about the challenges that abound when one is in the XX crowd. If you’re a women, you’re saying, Oh, I get it – again. Duh. I’m back to understanding it completely. No questions.

Credibility challenges, the lack of access, overcoming assumptions… it’s all familiar territory. Oh, and let’s not forget the sports metaphors. Last month I was introduced on a panel as a “community quarterback.” Um, ok, I guess. (After I looked at the moderator somewhat askance, he told me he also had issues with it at first, but he went on to point out that he was gay, and he was “okay with it”, so I should be too.) Hello.

On a related note, this year, Hatch Innovation was accepted into the 2016 Give Guide, giving us the chance to increase visibility and raise some much-needed financial support. We’re very excited about this, since we rarely ask people for money (odd, I know, given we’re a nonprofit – more on this in a future blog post). And, we’ve teamed up with two other fine nonprofits – XRAY.fm, the voice of Portland, and the IPRC (Independent Publishing Resource Center) – to throw a party to have fun and raise some money. Why not? ‘Tis the season and all that (and of course, you need to be there!) It is, after all, the giving (and partying) season!

Why are the three of us hanging out this season? I’m glad you asked!

We each empower others to give voice and action to passion. This is a really cool thing to say, and this Give Guide experience made me wonder – why is doing this so important?

XRAY, Hatch Innovation, and the IPRC each act as backers for others. We provide a platform, a mechanism, a place – missions that enable individuals to step forward and step up. We are each a unique resource for community members (you) to find your own unique voice. We help nurture it to speak up, and speak out. Some of us even talk ourselves right into starting something – a radio station, a podcast, a book project, or even a company.

So, back to Mara.

I am known as a woman who is hard to intimidate. I do speak up, and I mostly speak on behalf of others. But I am astounded at how we are still at it, still seeking justice and equity in every arena, from race and gender to financial access and fairness. I saw a can of coke the other day, emblazoned with the word, “NEW!” across it. What was old news is back – again. Organizations like IPRC, XRAY, and Hatch Innovation work hard to elevate issues and support your involvement.

So, join us as we have some serious fun, share stories of how our sex, our entrepreneurial spirits, and our quest to have a voice is shared by all of us, in harmony, together, this Thursday at Hatch. Please join us in celebrating our collective spirit of giving!


Eventbrite - Hatch Innovation // XRAY.fm // IPRC Give!Guide Party!