MEET - Hopes & Dreams

I love helping entrepreneurs realize their dreams… just like I am!

I grew up realizing the importance of financial independence and what it meant to me and to all women whether they were born in New York City or an African village or in a small farming town in Canada like I did.

To me, entrepreneurship means the possibility of true freedom and the ability to live the life I truly want and deserve. I am passionate about that for ALL women.

But being a female founder also comes with the potential for a great impact on your health, relationships and bank account. I have learned this first hand!

I have a traditional MBA but am also schooled in entrepreneurial hard knocks. I created the first version of Stiletto Dash in 2012 as a media company for women business travelers. As a former corporate warrior, I wanted to help women be healthier and happier on the road by giving them access to the best information, resources and products for business travel.

But despite significant efforts, a friends/family funding round, and a great team, ultimately the business model was not viable and the working capital and my personal finances ran out. After two years, I was nearly broke and in stage two of adrenal failure (there are only three!). I had learned incredible lessons about what not to do and this led me to want to help other women entrepreneurs make the startup funding process more clear and less stressful.

In the meantime, my background as a capital markets expert and over a decade advising small cap companies on going public helped to pay the bills while I was building my startup. I consulted with growth companies (particularly women entrepreneurs) on their business planning and investor readiness. 

As I watched other entrepreneurs with the same struggles and challenges I had, I decided to combine my professional expertise with my own startup experience and “Stiletto Dash 2.0” was born!

Delilah Panio
Chief Dasher

I am part of the movement of women investing in the economy and empowering women entrepreneurs to raise capital to grow their companies and create value, economic wealth, and increased community contributions.

It is critical for women to step into their power and ask for the money to build their companies.

And it is equally important for high net worth women to start investing a percentage of their portfolio in women-led businesses.

This would be so powerful and provide the opportunity for economic independence for so many women!

My Work in the Women Entrepreneur Community

  • Co-Chair of Women in LAVA (Los Angeles Venture Association)
  • Host WinLAVA’s quarterly Pitch Workshops (next one is April 2016)
  • Pitch Coach for the Women Founders Network annual Fast Pitch competition
  • Co-Founder of We Are Enough (check out the TEDx talk!)… a movement to educate women on the importance and opportunity to invest in women-led businesses

My Former Corporate Life

  • 10 years in business development at the Toronto Stock Exchange, including as the Director, Business Development & Strategy
  • Advised many companies on the going public process and can provide an understanding of private and public financing options in Canada and the United States, particularly for small cap companies
  • A unique expertise in the business development of North American marketplaces; and have consulted with companies like Direct Edge (stock exchange), the Startup Stock Exchange, and the California Stock Exchange

My Education & Training

  • Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Master Practitioner, Advanced NLP Communication and Life Coaching
  • Masters in Business Administration (MBA) in Enterprise Development
  • Bachelor of Arts in English

ABOUT - Dee on Bench