Start with What You Have, Be Resourceful, and Get Any and All Feedback

Feb 12, 2020

Start with what you have, be resourceful, and get any and all feedback. These are Jessie Garcia’s three guiding principles.

Jessie, CEO and Founder of Tozuda—a company that produces head impact sensors for concussion awareness—and winner of the 2019 AWE Pitch, was the keynote speaker at this year’s M3: Members Mentoring Members event on January 28, 2020.

Jessie shared the highs and lows of her entrepreneurial journey. Although she has recently found success at trade shows and raising capital, it hasn’t been easy.  

Garcia has worked hard to produce a strong model by soliciting feedback from athletes and coaches. She even purchased and rebuilt an injection molding machine online so Tozuda could create their own molds. Being this close to the design and manufacturing process pushed Garcia to market the product and raise capital.  

Jessie acknowledged the importance of groups like AWE which provide support and mentoring for female founders growing their businesses. She also recalled a life lesson from her father: “There is no one better to work for than yourself because you can set your own aspirations, but there is also no one harder to work for than yourself.”

But the focus of the event is the roundtable discussions. Featuring some of AWE’s Iris Newman awardees, these discussions were curated so experienced founders could share experience and expertise on scaling a business in an engaging, honest way. 

Dialogue centered on topics like the role of the founder as the business scales, seeking growth capital and assessing the options, growing rapidly as well as growing profitably, unpacking the common obstacles and missteps female founders face, and building the right team. 

Iris Newman awardees included Denise Devine, Maxine Ballen Jones, Fran Pierce, Barbara Schilberg, Kate M. Shay, and Ellen Weber.

View Photos from the Event