Women entrepreneurs still are a minority. Sometimes we’re the ONLY woman in the room – something tech entrepreneur Shannon Ferguson of FanSaves knows well.
Growing up Shannon Ferguson loved sports and when she decided to start playing hockey at the age of eight, she had to join a boys league and was one of only two girls on her team. She loved it and excelled quickly. This would foreshadow the rest of her life as, since those childhood days, Shannon has often been the only girl in the room, office or on the ice but all it has ever taught her is how to be better, faster and stronger and consistently push the limits.
Shannon’s career in sports-tech is no different. Only 6% of tech executives are female and that number is even less when you factor sports into the equation.
Shannon is the co-founder and CEO of FanSaves, a mobile app that gives fans discounts and deals from the sponsors of their favourite teams. She says that it was her partner and co-founder, Kris McCarthy, who helped her realize how prevalent gender bias is in their industry. “In a way I was immune to dealing with inappropriate comments and not being taken seriously because I’m a woman. I had dealt with it so much it was just normal,” she explains. Until one day Kris called out a business acquaintance and said: “This is NOT cool.”
With a growing awareness of the biases against women in the workplace, Shannon has chosen to make this her calling card.
But it is her knack for pitching her startup that gave her the confidence to raise her voice in other ways. Over the past year and a half, this Cornwall, Ontario resident has pitched FanSaves at over 20 conferences in places like Ottawa, Toronto, Boston, Montreal and she and Kris even represented Canada at a global startup competition in BERLIN, Germany.
Being on stage has allowed Shannon to find her voice and gain confidence and now she is able to pivot from pitching her startup to speaking on a subject she knows all too well.
In this lively, tongue-in-cheek session, Shannon shares her story with humour and humility, along with PRACTICAL TIPS about calling out gender bias and getting ahead authentically in a man’s world and beyond! As she puts it:
“I never thought I couldn’t do something because I was a girl. I always thought I could do anything because I am a human”.
About Shannon Ferguson
Being an entrepreneur at heart, Shannon’s strong social skills and positive attitude have always been a winning formula for success. Matching her skills in sales, marketing, media and advertising with her love of sports helped her co-found her tech startup, FanSaves.
She has a BA (Honours) in Communication Studies from Wilfrid Laurier University, a post-grad diploma in Broadcast Journalism from Loyalist College and recently completed the Sports Industry Essentials program through Columbia University.
Raised in Cornwall, Shannon returned to SD&G four years ago and is very involved in her community. She is the former host of Community Matters on YourTV, previously owned her own marketing & events company and sits on many fundraising committees in the area.
Here is just a sampling of articles about Shannon and her business journey:
- Being your own Boss – FanSaves
- Turning Your Idea Into a Start-Up
- Ottawa sports marketing app FanSaves competes for global gol
Do You Have Your Ticket Yet?
Wanna hear more about Shannon Ferguson of FanSaves? Plus all the other inspirational women entrepreneurs speaking at The Business Sisters on Saturday, October 26, 2019? Click below to save your seat!