How These Biz Besties Began a Software Startup with Jennifer Barcelos and Sandy Connery #54

Sandy Connery and Jeni Barcelos met through a course that taught how to begin a software startup. Sandy had a successful brick and mortar business selling custom orthotics in Canada. She knew she was burned out and needed a change when she stopped caring about her work. She liked the idea of creating an online business so that she could stay at home and not have an inventory. Jennifer was a human rights lawyer who traveled to the scarier parts of the globe. They were brought together by a software startup course and have been meeting the male-dominated world of software head on ever since. Listen to their biz bestie story on this episode of My Biz Bestie.

What is their biz bestie relationship like?

These biz besties didn’t start out working together, that happened over time. But when Jeni needed a co-founder to receive a B2B accelerator she knew just the woman for the job. They both attribute their success in working together as due to their honest communication with each other. They both have mutual respect for one another and keep it real. Their business partnership allows them to take turns falling apart or taking breaks at the helm. They both have a real sense of accountability since they both care so much for each other and the company.

How do they communicate?

Jeni and Sandy don’t have the type of relationship that relies on schedules and boundaries. Their conversations slide back and forth between work and their personal lives. Every day is off the cuff and their side conversations happen in real life and online. They feel like their communication is structured much like being in an office where you stop by someone’s office to have a chat to take a break from the busyness of work life. They use Zoom and Slack daily as their main communication tools. The one conversation they do plan is a monthly meeting where they run the numbers of their business. How do you communicate with your biz bestie?

What is Namastream?

Namastream is Jeni and Sandy’s software company. It is an online learning platform that allows people in the wellness industry to teach online. It was developed for yoga teachers but they have expanded to include the wellness industry as a whole. Namastream allows wellness companies to create a membership site, teach courses, and do live streams. Namastream is an easy-to-use online tool designed for people who are not techy.

Do they have any advice for women who may want to run a software startup?

Jeni’s advice for women who want to get their feet wet with a software startup is: do it! She feels that the world is now being created and defined by software. Since there are not many women in the software industry there is a strong, supportive community of female entrepreneurs. There is a lot of generosity from other female members. They are willing to share advice to those just starting out. Right now is an amazing time to be a woman in tech. Sandy’s advice is to ensure that you have a trusted CTO by your side if you are not writing code for yourself. You should also make sure that there is a need in the market you want to serve. Aim high and expect to be paid your worth.

In this episode...

  • [3:12] How did they meet?

  • [8:45] Did they plan on staying in touch after the conference?

  • [12:14] What challenges did they face working together?

  • [16:39] How do they communicate?

  • [22:35] What is Namastream?

  • [29:04] Do they have any advice for women who may want to start a software company?

  • [34:02] Do they meet up IRL?

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