A weekly column profiling companies and personalities. This week: Ladies Who Launch, Seattle branch

Share story

What: Ladies Who Launch, Seattle branch

Who: Melody Biringer, Seattle branch leader

Web networking: The organization, started in New York three years ago, is a national online network of women entrepreneurs dreaming up projects, feeling overwhelmed with business ventures or going through a midlife crisis. Members receive newsletters, updates and can advertise and sell their products and services on the Web site’s “Launch Pad” (www.ladieswholaunch.com) There is also an all-girls classifieds section for job or resource listings across the country.

Once upon a PJ party: Inspired by her membership in Ladies Who Launch, Biringer took the idea of a pajama party and made it into a “Crave Party” company that pairs with local spas and boutiques. She started a Ladies Who Launch branch in Seattle in March, with the intent to turn virtual networking into a face-to-face affair. The Seattle branch was one of the first of 15 across the country.

Test of girl power: In the Seattle branch, members sign up to participate in an “incubator,” consisting of about 12 women, and engage in a four-week session of two hours a week. In the sessions, women bounce ideas off one another, test business plans and steer one another toward anything from a good graphic designer to an angel investor or book publisher.

Cost to join: Free online membership; $250 per four-week session.

Seattle members: 11,736 online members; 77 incubator members

12 heads are better: Biringer said women often need that extra push, affirmation or varying opinion to start projects or carry them on, which is why networking is so important.

No boys allowed: Although Biringer’s husband wanted to participate in a session, she said the group is not open to men. “Women think differently than men about everything and it’s no difference than business … when [they] are more comfortable in a group without men in it,” said Biringer.

Their inspiration: Oprah Winfrey.

— Christina Siderius