Equality

March 31 Premiere: ‘She Angels’ Giving Wings to Entrepreneurs

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If you are given a download from the universe, listen to it. So insists Catherine Gray, founder-producer of “She Angels,” a “Shark Tank”-like TV web series that offers funding and mentoring resources for women entrepreneurs. Season One will premiere at a live screening this Sunday at the West Hollywood Library Theater (City Council Chambers; screening tickets are sold out, but Kimpton LaPeer after-party tickets are available below.)

Emcee Susan Anton

“She Angels” emcee Susan Anton will also be on hand for the premiere, which also kicks off the search for the next round of women entrepreneurs for Season Two, who can apply for a chance to get funding and/or mentorship for their product or business.

“This is the first women-helping-women TV venture to educate, inspire, motivate and create an actual change through this empowering visual medium,” says Gray, whose 360 Karma Productions has teamed with the City of West Hollywood to present the Pitchfest and TV web series.

“The idea came to me and it just felt like something I should be doing and I ran with it.”

Catherine Gray

That original idea has evolved “from a Pitchfest to the TV show to a global mission,” says Gray. Season One features prominent investor panelists listening to the pitches of female entrepreneurs, and then getting behind them with funding and mentorship.

The investors-panelists include Executive Producer Celia Z. Kahn; Chef Cat Cora; Barbara Lazaroff, co-founder of the Wolfgang Puck brand; Kym Gold, an author-producer and co-creator of True Religion jeans; Grammy-Emmy winning proucer Nicole Ehrlich; Senyon Kelly, founder-CEO of Nubian Video Archives & Collectibles, and Catherine Curry-Williams, founder of Shane’s Inspiration and Wine Women & Chocolate.

“Women are afraid to ask and afraid to receive,” says Gray. “As my friend Andrea Quinn [speaker, author, coach] would say, it’s part of our culture and we have to break through that.”
(Quinn will be the keynote speaker at the next Pitchfest Oct. 5, 2019.)

Women get less than 5 percent of venture capital funding, “why is that and how can we fix it?” asks Gray, a prominent filmmaker and entrepreneur in her own right, an author and host-producer of the “Live, Love, Thrive” YouTube channel show.

“As a filmmaker, I believe it’s film and television that helps shape and change culture,” she says. So she’s combined her skills to make change. And what needs to change is the access to resources and funding to establish and promote a woman’s ideas and business ventures.

It’s “something to educate the public about the underfunding and about how we can change that. What a difference it makes to have that.”

Gray, whose talk show features powerful and successful women–and became a valuable source for “She Angels”–believes American culture has conditioned men and women to think differently.

“If there’s a job opening and there are 10 requirements, men think they have one or two requirements and they’re good to go, but women think they need eight to 10 of them,” says Gray. “Women have to be more confident that they’re capable of doing what they’re meant to be doing and recognize what their gifts are and do that for a living.”

When asked for tips for entrepreneurs interested in a spot on Season Two of “She Angels”, Gray says: “Turn in a great video short that’s powerful and authentic. We will have a training session for the finalists before the October Pitchfest to prepare them for the big live event.”

Submitted videos will be up for votes on the “She Angels” site, where the public can choose the contestants they think should present live.

“We are also seeking sponsors and investors who would like to participate,” Gray says, adding that she’s been fortunate to work and network with this group of amazing women eager to give back.

“When you meet a lot of amazing women, they know other of amazing women,” she says. “I think most successful women want to pay it forward.”

For more information about “She Angels” Click Here. After-party tickets here.

Journalist Laurie Schenden covers the entertainment industry, with many of her notable celebrity interviews appearing in the Los Angeles Times and other national and international publications. As a longtime columnist and feature writer for the LA Times, she also covered events and California destinations for the lifestyle, Outdoors and Travel sections. Laurie Schenden's international pieces include the long-running Where Are They Now celebrity feature for Spotlight Magazine, published in five languages. Laurie has also contributed to numerous documentary films, and is currently producing a documentary for her own company, Saving Grace Films.

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