100 Steps from the Handicapped Space to the Door?

I’ve been on crutches for 4 weeks, today.  And it is amazing to me how many companies/buildings make is REALLY difficult for handicapped people to be able to function.

Today, I’m back at ATDC in the Centergy Building.  The Centergy Building is a 10 year old, awarding winning LEED building.  BUT, it sucks for Handicapped.  Here is some of the little details that someone forgot…

1.) Parking Deck.  It’s great that the 5th floor of the parking deck has handicapped buttons to open the doors to the elevators and walkway.  But, did you know it’s still about 100 steps from the closest handicapped spot to the front door of the building?  Also, why does the 4th floor have handicapped spots, but, no handicapped buttons to open the doors.  OH, and the bridge from the garage to the door of the building…. is slightly downhill.  Which means uphill on your way out. Who thought that was a good idea?

2.) Front door of the building. Security must get up from the desk to let you in.

3.) Bathrooms.  There is a handicapped stall in the bathroom, with no sink.  Think about it.  I, now, have to touch my crutches BEFORE I wash my hands.

4.) Let’s talk about the sinks.  The paper towel dispenser is too far from the sinks.  People wash their hands and drip water on the floor to get to the dispenser.  This is very dangerous for a person on crutches… wet tile SUCKS.

5.) Kitchen.  The ATDC Kitchen is a disaster.  It’s Monday lunchtime and already the floor near the sink is sticky.  My crutch got stuck and I was forced to put my bad foot down to avoid a fall.

Most of these are tiny, inexpensive things to fix and/or get right.

Self-Reliance or Loss Thereof

I own 2 homes.  I have a nice car.  I have been saving for retirement since my first job, I have never been without health insurance, even though usually self-employed. I am an excellent cook. I take pride in the fact that I can take care of myself.

I am a self-reliant and independent woman, at times (according to my friends and former boyfriends) too much so.

I am 3 weeks into my recovery from foot surgery.  I have been on “limited activity” for 3 weeks.  My doctor defines limited activity as… my foot is to NOT touch the floor.  My foot is in a black plastic boot to prevent me from accidentally bumping it on something.  I must wear the boot 24 hours a day. I have to sleep on my back with my foot propped and I spend my day in a chair with my foot propped on an ottoman with 2 additional pillows under my foot alternating between ice and no-ice.  I use crutches to hobble from the bedroom, to the bathroom, to the living room.  Family and friends have to bring me food to eat, water to drink, ice for my foot, open doors, do my laundry, etc.

The first week is a blur. I was on extreme pain killers.  Since then, it’s been better. The pain is subsiding. I sometime get a sharp stabbing pain deep in the bone. I, often, have a burning sensation from the burns where the boot has rubbed wrong. I’ve weened my self off the pain killers. For the most part, its just uncomfortable 100% of the time.

Today, I got permission to drive! And permission to start putting some pressure on my foot – putting my heel down walking on crutches for 5 minutes every 2 hours. Woot!

I started back at work on January 2nd. Working primarily from home, having made the trek into Savannah for several events.  Savannah is not a very crutch friendly city.

This weekend I head back to Atlanta and I’m currently working on the logistical challenges:

  • How will I get my suitcase out of the car and into my house? Stairs are involved.
  • How will I get groceries?
  • How will I get meals from the kitchen to the table?
  • How will I do laundry?
  • Who will open the door for me?

It is EXTREMELY frustrating for me to NOT be self-sufficient. And I am grateful that this is temporary situation.  It has caused me to think a lot about what it would be like if this was not a temporary situation AND how we treat people with handicaps and disabilities.

On the positive side, I’ve gotten a lot better at asking for help. And hopefully this will make me a better leader in my next Startup!

 

Good News for ATL Startups

I recently saw a report by CB Insights on Seed VC Funding in 2013.  They define Seed VC Funding as raises under 1.5 million.  Seed VC Funding jumped 173% in 2013 over 2010, which is fabulous.  But, there is even better news for Atlanta.

They had this interesting breakdown showing deal growth by industry type:

seedindustries

 

Notice anything? The top of the chart, the industries’ whose deal flow is growing, are the types of business that the Atlanta Startup/Tech Community excel at building.

2014 is going to be a great year for Startups in ATL.

Happy Holidays!

Dear Atlanta Startup Community & Global StartupChicks Community,

holidaysI love you all and am wishing all of you a very happy and healthy Holiday Season!

Today is my last day at work for ATDC and StartupChicks in 2013.  I am having minor foot surgery on Monday and will be recovering from now until January 2nd.  I intend to be offline for the most part to rest and recover, so I can come back strong in 2014!

We’ve got lots of exciting things in the works for both organizations in 2014….

Happy Holidays!

Jen

P.S. Please consider this your Holiday Card for the year!  ;-)

 

SWEeT Holiday Bash – Shoutout to our Sponsors!

As most of you know…. I’m one of the conspirators plotting to throw the BEST Holiday Party in ATL this year.holidayparty-sponsors

The event is less than a week away and we are expecting in excess of 500 attendees from the SWEeT Community.

SWEeT = Social + Web + Entrepreneur + Technology.

This event would certainly not be possible without my co-conspirators or our sponsors who help fund this event, so that more of your money as an ticket purchaser goes to the charity we have selected!

So… without further ado.

My Co-Organizers Are:

  • J. Cornelius, AWDG
  • Erin Rosintoski, ATV
  • Trisha Whitlock, Hypepotamus
  • Chris Richards, StartupGrind

If you ever want to make something happen in the Atlanta Tech, Startup, Design or Social space, these are amazing people to have on your team!

Our Sponsors are listed to the right!  Talk about Connected Awesomeness… witnessing it in action!

And lastly, thanks to all who have purchased tickets so far…. You’ll help us send LOTS of sick kids to Disney with Bert’s Big Adventure this winter.

A FEW Tickets are still available for the bash to be held on 12/11 at 6:30pm. I seriously doubt there will be any tickets at the door due to fire code restrictions.  So, get your ticket TODAY.

GET YOUR TICKET HERE

Atlanta Startups Getting a Lot of Love from the Press

There have been lots of tweets and posts about the “Hotlanta” USA Today article (http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/columnist/talkingtech/2013/02/13/atlanta-for-tech-startups/1911353/).

But, that’s not all.  FOUR Atlanta based startups had articles in the February Entrepreneur Magazine.  Check ‘em out:

pg 28: “Cold Cash” about Frozen Pints the craft beer ice-cream company that provided snacks at TedXPeachtree.

pg 46: #3 in the 10 Marketing Masterworks our very own Mellow Mushroom

pg 46: #5 in the 10 Marketing Masterworks Uber.  (Ok, maybe not Atlanta based but they have a great presence here!)

pg 68: “Salad Days” about PodPonics.

It’s about time the press start picking up on all the great things happening in Atlanta!

A Week in the Life & This Week’s Must Attend Events

It’s January 7th, 2013. I’ve yet to do my “year end wrap up” post for 2012 AND I’m already behind in my resolution to blog at minimum twice a week in 2013.

Here’s Why:

Yup. This is my calendar for the week.  Everything in red is a MUST do.  Everything in Yellow a Nice-to-do.  And Purple represents individual office hour appointments for ATDC (managed by a different system).  CRAZY.

Here’s my must attend events for the week:

Tuesday 4-6pm : ATDC Info Session.  For those of you who wonder what we do…. come find out.

Tuesday 5pm – ? : StartupDrinks (http://atlsuds.com)

Wednesday 11:30am – 1pm : ATDC Lunch-N-Learn on Bootstrapping Tips & Tricks

Thursday 6pm – ? : Atlanta StartupVillage @ Hypepotamus.

The rest is for StartupChicks ONLY.  Sorry dudes!

Hope to see you at one of these great events this week.

The Party of the Year

Wow! What a night. I’m still recovering.

For the 1st time EVER, 20 Community Organizations focused on Technology Startups in the city of Atlanta and state of Georgia got together and threw one heck of a bash at Atlanta City Hall.  We had nearly 500 entrepreneurs, investors and friends join us.

Our Partners:

  • ATDC
  • EO
  • StartupAtlanta
  • The City of Atlanta
  • Venture Atlanta
  • StartupChicks
  • Atlanta StartupWeekend
  • CEO Council
  • Metro Atlanta Chamber
  • TiE Atlanta
  • MIT Enterprise Forum
  • StartupGeorgia
  • StartupLounge
  • Flashpoint
  • The Ritz Group
  • Hypepotamus
  • StartupRiot
  • StartupGossip
  • StartupDrinks
  • 151 Locust

Over 250 toys were collected (and some cash) for Toys for Tots and I think a good time was had by all.

A lot of people have been giving me credit for the party and I will take the credit for having the idea.  But, a LOT of people helped contribute to make it a success.   So, here’s a shout out to the folks that helped make this happen:

  • Eloisa Klementich of InvestAtlanta / StartupAtlanta for working with the mayor’s office to get us the amazing space!
  • Susan Stottlemyer of APG (on loan from TiE) helped negotiate and coordinate the catering efforts.
  • Chris Stanley of MIT Enterprise Forum navigated the logistics of purchasing alcohol for 500 people!
  • Kimberly Turner of Regator for providing us with a soundtrack for the evening.
  • Hypepotamus for getting a friend to contribute the photo booth!
  • Allyson Eman of Venture Atlanta and Ashish Thaker of TiE for getting everyone checked in.
  • Katie Elizabeth of TiE and David Duncan of EO for being my first co-conspirators when I pitched the idea in July.
A special thanks to Mike Mealling of Pipefish & John Nee of PWC for sponsoring.
Lastly, I’d like to thank the entrepreneurs for showing up!  I had a recurring nightmare the last week or so that no one showed up.  So, thanks for being there!
Happy Holidays!

 

 

My Events for the Week of 12/10/2012

Here’s what I’ve got going on.  If you want to engage with the Startup Community, get involved.

Monday, December 10th – Tampa, FL for a StartupChicks event

Tuesday, December 11th – Atlanta, GA

  • 4pm – ATDC Info Session (http://atdc.org) – come learn about all the different services ATDC provides.
  • 6pm – The Startup Outlook @ 360i. (http://startupoutlookatl.eventbrite.com/) – new event.

Wednesday, December 12th – Atlanta, GA

  • 5:30pm Atlanta Social Media Women (Private Holiday Party)

Thursday, December 13th – Atlanta, GA

  • No Plans – my Dad’s B-day!

Friday, December 14th – Savannah, GA BOUND!

Upcoming Atlanta Events

One of the most frequently asked questions I get is…. “how do I connect with the Atlanta Startup Community?”, followed by “what events should I go to?”.

Here’s what I’ve got on my calendar for this week:

Today – Lean Startup Conference Livestream (til 9pm tonight) Community Room until 2:30pm, then the Hodges Room.

Tonight – CEO Council Holiday Party to raise $ for Junior Achievement. Guests welcome (https://secure.georgia.ja.org/event/Event.aspx)

Tuesday 12/4 – StartupDrinks @ The Marley (http://atlsuds.com)

Wednesday 12/5 – TiE Visions (https://atlanta.tie.org/event/6/tie-monthly-meeting-visions-2013-0)

Thursday 12/6 – Atlanta Startup Village (http://www.meetup.com/Atlanta-Startup-Village)

And an upcoming event that WILL SELL OUT!!!
Tuesday 12/18 – Community Holiday Party. (http://ascholidayparty2012.eventbrite.com/)

Get involved. Be there.