How She Built It: Tiffani Bell of Pencil You In

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What are your projected revenues for the year?

TB: I envision hitting the $1 million revenue mark as early as the second half of 2012.

What is the hardest challenge about being the technology industry?

TB: Keeping up! The technology industry is constantly evolving and changing and no two days are the same. You have to stay current on present-day trends and ones that are on the horizon. As a programmer, I keep up with the latest news in app and software development and programming languages, etc.

What advice would you give someone that was interested in staring a technology company?

TB: I would advise that they get into technology because they have a passion for solving complex problems or creating things versus the prospect of earning a lot of money.

You recently participated in a business accelerator for minority-owned start-ups. How was that experience?

TB: Participating in the NewME Accelerator has been absolutely awesome. It was an opportunity to meet like-minded individuals that look like me! I’ve heard arguments for why that shouldn’t matter, but in Silicon Valley it does.

I’ve also been exposed to an awesome group of investors, mentors, and advisors who want to see all of us succeed. They’ve spent a ton of time educating us on the basic skills needed to run a company and how to pitch and speak the language of investors.

On August 4th, we had a demo day at Kapor Capital, where we got the opportunity to pitch our businesses to a room full of investors and media. I was never interested in getting investors, but the NewME experience made me see the value in doing so. After my pitch, I received some interest from an angel investor, which I didn’t expect at all.

Another plus from being in the NewME program was that we had CNN following us around while they were filming for Black in America 4. Getting to interview with Soledad O’Brien and her crew was great.

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