New Web Series Highlights Women in Tech and Entertainment

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NEXT, a new webseries that is written, directed, and produced by women, is about a Silicon Valley startup conceived and led by women.

A Silicon Valley startup run by women (of a certain age): when does that happen? In the upcoming web series, NEXT, it happens right now. The series, which launched its Kickstarter campaign on 7/7/14, will follow the women who run a startup through a crucial period.

It’s about a Silicon Valley tech startup called ConNext, conceived and led by women, which is at a pivotal moment. Just before the release of their personal assistant device (affectionately known as the “Yes, dear” device), the CEO, Ilona, consults with a Silicon Valley executive coach, know as “the Startup Whisperer”. The coach recommends taking the entire company on a retreat to boost morale. Once at the retreat center, all employees must turn in every device they have with them. They have to survive days without cellphones, tablets, laptops,and google glasses. What will they do - left to their own devices?

In the tech world, women are "catching up” according to Karen E. Klein in Business Week, "Women Who Run Tech Startups are Catching Up". "Women-led private tech companies are more capital-efficient, achieve 35 percent higher return on investment, and, when venture-backed, bring in 12 percent higher revenue than male owned tech companies," yet they start only 3 percent of tech companies. In the entertainment business, Executive Producers of NEXT, the webseries Taylor Brock, Anne Hallinan, and Lisa-Marie Newton and Writer/Director/Line Producer Serena Shulman were shocked at the findings by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, which has found a dearth of women behind the camera, especially in power positions: (only 7 percent of writers and 20 percent of producers are female).

At the same time, Sheryl Sandberg’s TED Talk, where she asserts that, “Women systematically underestimate their own abilities,” struck a chord with all the producers. The producers of NEXT, the web series want to be a beacon for the film world and the tech world. They want to produce a series about smart, successful women who are both savvy and likeable. They want to change the way audiences relate to successful women.

These lofty goals need more than good intentions. They need capital, and so a Kickstarter campaign has been launched from 7/7/14- 8/8/14 The producers need to raise at least $4,000 in order to film the first season of the series. Find out more about the series and the campaign at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/864042368/next-the-web-series.

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Taylor Brock
@Tbrockact
since: 01/2010
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NEXT, the series
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