About

Femgineer started in 2007 as a blog to combine a passion for engineering and writing. Poornima Vijayashanker wrote it to meet a creative need, not thinking anyone else would read it. She began posting on engineering, then on startups, and entrepreneurship, and somewhere along the way six years passed. And, to her surprise, people started reading, some even demanding that she write more!After writing for six years, Poornima decided it was time to do more: turn the blog into a business to help tech professionals and entrepreneurs, especially women, level up their careers. She’s assembled a talented team that has been helping build the business. The team includes:

Poornima Vijayashanker
Founder
Biography
Growing up in the age of the personal computer revolution, Poornima Vijayashanker was always fascinated by technology. She taught herself to type at 10 on her mother’s typewriter, and then took apart her first computer at 14. Her father was a hardware engineer. When he said he made “chips” she thought potato chips, and when he said wafers, she thought cookies! Eventually her dad took her to his fab when she was 9, she sat and watched how chips and wafers were made and tested. Not disappointed at the lack of treats, she was utterly amazed by how everything was mechanized! Inspired by all that technology could do for humanity, she double majored in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Duke University. After graduating she moved out West to be in the heart of tech, Silicon Valley.

She began her career as an R&D Engineer at Synopsys, eventually becoming enamored by Silicon Valley’s startup scene. Her first experience was as a founding engineer at Mint.com.

During her time at Mint, Poornima began blogging on engineering and entrepreneurship. Her goals at the time were modest: to have a creative outlet and showcase that women can be sophisticated, cultured, and still be engineers, Femgineers!

After Mint was acquired by Intuit, Poornima decided it was time to go from being a founding engineer to a founder! She started BizeeBee, out of a passion for yoga, which grew out of a 6 year practice. BizeeBee helps fitness businesses with customer management, and currently services private instructors and studios around the country.

Years ago when entering into tech, Poornima thought nothing of it being a male-dominated field. However, she took notice of how it impacted the rate of innovation on teams, success in recruiting and retaining technical talent, and ultimately building companies.

She has since taken her 6 year old blog, Femgineer, and transformed it into an education tech startup focused on helping professionals in tech level up in their careers, and tech entrepreneurs build products and companies.

Most recently, Poornima has been invited to teach as a visiting professor at Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering. In the Fall of 2013 she will be teaching a course on: How to Start New Ventures in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Aside from being an engineer, entrepreneur, mentor, and blogger Poornima is an avid traveler, foodie, and Bikram yogini. She resides in Palo Alto, CA.

Recent Speaking Engagements
2013
  • She Codes Conference Workshop: Learn to be a Leading Lady in Tech (Mountain View, CA) August 9th
  • She Codes Conference Keynote: The 3 Misses That Hold Women Back in Tech (Mountain View, CA) August 9th
  • Scrapping Marketing Strategies (San Francisco, CA) July 11th 630-pm
  • Pricing Your Product (San Francisco, CA) July 18th 630-9pm
  • Metrics That Matter (San Francisco, CA) July 25th 630-9pm
  • 26th Annual FeTNA Convention (Toronto, Canada) July 4-6
  • Femgineer Forum: Overcoming Insecurities to Innovate (San Francisco, CA) June 10th 6-9pm
  • Femgineer Forum: Learn to Be a Leading Tech Lady (NYC, NY) June 19th 6-9pm
  • Will it Launch? (Miami, FL) June 22, 2013 9am-1pm
  • Tampa Bay Technology Forum: Keynote and Entrepreneurship Working (Tampa, FL) June 26th-27th
  • Startup Product Talks: Two Steps to Make Your MVP a Success (San Mateo, CA) May 15th 630-9pm
  • SHPE: Building Agile Teams (Phoenix, AZ) April 6th
  • SHPE: Will it Launch? (Sunnyvale, CA) April 27th
  • TechWatch Interview hosted by Anusha Ramesh of KZSU Stanford Public Radio
  • Product Camp: How to Get Buy-In and Deal with Push Back (San Jose, CA) March 23rd
  • Startup Product Summit (San Francisco, CA) February 7th
  • Common Mistakes Founders Make hosted by Wharton (San Francisco, CA) February 7th
  • Global Product Management Talk: Lean Product Development Methodologies For Building And Shipping Products That People Love. February 25th
  • Femgineer Forum: Changing Roles (Burlingame, CA) January 10, 6-9pm

 

2012
  • The Interview Process: Best Practices for Your Startup (San Francisco, CA) December 5, 2012 6 – 8:30pm.
  • Parisoma: Technical Recruiting: Techniques to Attract Top Talent (San Francisco, CA) December 8, 2012 9:30am – 12:30pm.
  • Femgineer Forum: Tech Talk on Compelling Communication Hosted by Twilio (San Francisco, CA) December 13, 2012 6-9pm.
  • General Assembly SF: Lean Product Development Workshop (San Francisco, CA) December 15, 2012 9am – 1 pm.
  • General Assembly SF: Scrappy Marketing Strategies: SEO & Email Marketing (San Francisco, CA) December 12, 2012 6:30-9pm.
  • Simple Strategies to Increase Sales (Microsoft Store Valley Fair Mall San Jose, CA) November 6, 2012 8am.
  • Women Who Code: Technical Interview Workshop (Facebook HQ – Menlo Park, CA) November 7, 2012 6-9pm.
  • General Assembly SF: Technical Recruiting: Keys to Attracting Top Talent (San Francisco, CA) November 12, 2012 5:30-7pm.
  • Girl Geek Dinner at Atlassian on November 14, 2012 5:30-8:30pm.
  • SVForum: Women & Leaner Startups (Palo Alto, CA) October 25, 6-9pm.
  • General Assembly SF: Introduction to Product Development (San Francisco, CA) October 27, 2012 9am-1pm.
  • General Assembly SF: Technical Recruiting for the Non-Technical Founder (San Francisco, CA) August 16, 2012 6:30-8pm.
  • RailsGirls SF: Git on Tracker and Ride the Rails! (San Francisco, CA) June 30, 2012.
  • Q&A Session on Angel Funding (Web) June 1, 2012 9am PST. For details send me an email.
  • Groupinar: Think You Know the SMB Owner Mind? Guess Again. (Palo Alto, CA) May 31, 2012 5pm. Slides
  • The Crave Company: Online Money-Makers (San Francisco, CA) May 29, 2012 6pm.
  • Fearless Female Founders: AirBnB (San Francisco, CA) May 10, 2012 6:30pm.
  • Social Media Conference Silicon Valley: Mountain View Chamber of Commerce (Palo Alto, CA) May 1, 2012 8am-5pm. Blogging 101 Slides, Blogging 102 Slides,
  • SVForum: Women Angel Investors in Our Midst (DLA Piper, East Palo Alto, CA) April 26, 2012 6-9pm
  • She++: Stanford’s First Conference for Women in Technology (Stanford, CA) April 21, 2012
  • Women in Leadership Conference: Beyond Mentorship – Women Championing Women (Berkeley, CA) March 3, 2012
  • Technovation Challenge: Market Research & Customer Development. February 14th 5:30-7:30PM (Linkedin, Mountain View, CA) and Feburary 15th 6-8PM (Adobe, San Jose, CA).
Testimonials
The Interview Skills & Secrets Workshop really clarified a lot of the details related to finding a job as an engineer. The exercises and role-playing really made me think about what I wanted. It was a confidence booster to be realize I was the one in the position of power. I would recommend this workshop to anyone wanting to find a career in tech. It was especially helpful to our group of women, who have very diverse backgrounds and are looking to change careers.Lydia Pierce - Hackbright Academy Graduate
Poornima is an incredibly knowledgable and engaging speaker! Not only is she familiar with the intricacies of the tech world but she is a seasoned entrepreneur who understands the ins and outs of business on all levels. Her fearless attitude, engaging style and innovative approach is contagious and inspiring for all entrepreneurs no matter what their business or industry.Tanya McCausland - Health and Lifestyle Coach - Home Cooked Healing
Our Chamber was selective in choosing speakers for our inaugural Social Media Conference. Poornima did a phenomenal job explaining blogging to small and medium size businesses. She is articulate, knows how to capture the audience’s attention and has a knack for simplifying concepts.Oscar Garcia - CEO of Mountain View Chamber of Commerce
Press
  • How Femgineers Can Fight The Brain Drain in Fox Tampa Bay August 2013
  • Changing the Program in Gentry Wealth Magazine June 2013
  • The Next Women Poornima Vijayashanker: Femgineer & Top 10 Women to Watch in Tech May 2013
  • TechWatch Interview hosted by Anusha Ramesh of KZSU Stanford Public Radio April 2013
  • Validate Your MVP On Paper at Startup Product Summit March 2013
  • Inc Magazine 10 Women to Watch in Tech in 2013 February 2013
  • Girl Geek Dinner at Atlassian December 2013
  • Rebelle Society Women Who Rule The Web: La Femgineer November 2, 2012
  • In the Studio: How BizeeBee’s Poornima Vijayashanker Fell In Love with Building Software Interview with TechCrunch
  • BizeeBee Startup of the Week American Express Open July 30, 2012
  • CNN Money For entrepreneurs, are incubators worth the trouble? April 20, 2012
  • SV411 Q&A Poornima Vijayashanker, CEO of BizeeBee April 16, 2012
  • Daily Beast 13 Women Who Rule the Internet
  • New York Times Out of the Loop in Silicon Valley April 17 2010
  • Duke Angel Pitch Event April 2010
  • What is BizeeBee? Brought to you by UC Berkeley Startup Fair 2010
  • BizeeBee and Founder Brought to you by Brian Castellani
  • Will it Launch? Part 1 & Part 2 Brought to you by Women 2.0 February 2010
  • Femgineer on her second startup Brought to you by Women 2.0 February 2010
  • Mint Team Spotlight Poornima Vijayashanker June 28, 2007
  • Learnings on Running a Startup Interview with Rah
Karen Catlin
Contributor
Biography

Karen Catlin develops powerful women leaders in the tech industry with leadership coaching, speaking, and advising companies on how to attract and retain female engineers. She has an extensive background in Silicon Valley software companies. Formerly, Karen was a vice president at Adobe Systems, where she led a shared services department within the office of the CTO and co-founded the “Adobe & Women” initiative, focused on attracting, retaining, and providing career development opportunities for women at Adobe. Most recently, Karen was the CEO of Athentica, an early-stage startup. She received her bachelor of science degree in computer science from Brown University.

Karen regularly speaks at women’s leadership conferences and writes for Women 2.0, Femgineer, and other leadership web sites. She also publishes “Use Your Inside Voice,” a blog about the intersection of leadership and parenting. You can find her online at karencatlin.com

In her spare time, Karen enjoys being outdoors, playing tennis, and designing knitwear. She resides in San Mateo, CA with her husband and their two teenagers.

Recent Speaking Engagements
2014
  • The CLUB, An Incubator of Women Leaders (Palo Alto, CA): Transforming Risk Into Opportunity, January 28, 2014

 

2013
  • Femgineer Forum (hosted by Wealthfront, Palo Alto, CA): Building your Street Cred: How to Prove You Can Do the Job, October 22, 2013
  • FountainBlue’s When She Speaks Women in Leadership Series (Texas Instruments, Santa Clara, CA): Women Leading Innovation (Panel Facilitator), October 11, 2013
  • Grace Hopper Celebration of Women In Computing (Minneapolis, MN): Be More Strategic! Stories & Tips From Experienced Technical Women, October 2, 2013
  • Femgineer Forum (hosted by Andreessen Horowitz, Menlo Park, CA): How a Venture Capital Firm Evaluates Investments (Facilitator), September 10, 2013
  • The CLUB, An Incubator of Women Leaders (Palo Alto, CA): Let’s Lean In Together, July 23, 2013
  • Draper University (San Mateo, CA): Building Your Street Cred, July 8, 2013
  • Invent Your Future Conference for Women (Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA): Advancing Your Technical Career Roundtable, April 24, 2012
  • She Talks Forum (Zappos Labs, San Francisco, CA): Is There a Secret Sauce for Work-Life Balance?, February 26, 2013

 

2012
  • Adobe Systems (San Francisco, CA): Use Your Inside Voice – Thoughts on the Intersection of Leadership and Parenting, November 26, 2012
Testimonials
Karen’s Lean In workshop not only sparked edgy dialogue on some very daunting issues, it also created a connection among us in a very short time. And it was super fun! Karen is a warm, engaging, intelligent facilitator. I highly recommend her workshop to any group/organization.
Elena DuCharme, Member of the Programming Committee, The CLUB SV
Karen participated in a gender diversity and discrimination panel I organized for a young women’s mentoring group at my daughter’s school. Karen was engaging and inspirational as she shared her career story and the reasons why gender diversity is critical for software teams. I highly recommend Karen for your panel!
Judy Borcz., Sr. Director Business Development at ForgeRock
Because of Karen, Adobe now has a great networking meetings for women where real solutions in communication, branding and visibility are discussed. I’ve created and participated in women’s networking groups at other companies, and the program Karen organized is the best I’ve seen and sets the true example of how positive change can be achieved and shared within a company.
Umit Yalcinap, Lead Architect, Adobe Systems

Profiled on Lean In

Justin Reyes
Marketing
Justin Reyes does marketing for Femgineer. Before working at Femgineer, Justin handled marketing for a number of startups. In his spare time, Justin enjoys kayaking, snowboarding, and is an avid movie-goer. Justin is a recent graduate of UCLA with a degree in Political Science.

Jennifer Seigal
Contributor
Jenn is an online marketer by trade and had clients in top-tier Fortune 500 companies where she excelled in generating profitable click traffic to their sites and products. She is an aspiring entrepreneur working on a new site, OfAFeather.org, to help people find the church that fits them and stay informed about local faith-related events. A native to the San Francisco Bay Area, Jenn’s favorite past times are exploring new brunch spots, writing on her blog LittleFishBigWorld.com, and playing on her pool league.

Frances Advincula
Contributor
Frances Advincula writes the series Frances Fridays. She graduated with a degree in Computer Science with specialization in Software Engineering, ad currently works as a Software Developer for Accenture Software. A proud geek girl, she’s sure she is the only one who can’t play video games.