Member Profile: Khrys Kanto of Her Startup

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Real Name/SL Name: Khrys Vaughan/Khrys Kanto
Organization: Her Startup, LLC
12685 Dorsett Rd. #207
Maryland Heights, MO 63043

Position: Founder

Is your work here in Second Life as an individual or are you representing a foundation?
Both. What led me to SL in the first place was a personal desire to help women. My company allows me to do this on a broader scale.

Brief Summary of your organization:
We help female entrepreneurs and women business owners realize greater impact through the launch and growth of socially aware companies. In doing so, we help them create economic opportunities, lead more integrated lives, and do more with their companies than look at the bottom line.

How did you find out about NPC and why did you get involved?
We were surprised to hear that Kiva had ventured into SL and attended the kickoff. There, I met Glitter/Susan and she invited me to the NPC meeting. So did Skeeboo and Julles from Kiva. It was great to speak with people actively involved and passionate about what they do. I had no idea how many nonprofits were in NPC until the meeting. Once I saw CARE was also present (another org we admirer for their work with women), I decided to be a part of NPC and see how we could help.

Some say the professional networking opportunities in SL have been extraordinary. Have you found this to be true? If so, what advice would you give someone for effective networking in SL?
Yes we have. All it takes is one person to help you get off to a good start. The people in SL are friendly and very helpful, and it has been a great opportunity to speak with people we would not otherwise have come across. The best advice I could give to someone would be to build relationships and know the real meaning of networking :) I've seen people attend NPC meetings and get shut out because they try to sell something or are too pushy. The purpose of networking is to find out what others need so you can help them and to make sure they understand what you do so they can do the same. True networking is not blindly broadcasting your 'wants' and not a good way to build a relationship.

Why do you think virtual worlds such as Second Life are valuable for nonprofits?
Mainly because it is cost effective. Where else can you find a tool such as SL that brings together people from all over the world and that you can join for free. It is a great way to get your org before a broad spectrum of people, gather volunteers, collaborate on projects, etc. One day it will be commonplace to conduct business in environments such as this. Early adapters will benefit greatly.

Do you think every nonprofit should have a presence within SL or is it only appropriate for particular types of organizations?
I think it depends on the organization's focus. One thing for sure is that the nonprofit cannot have a fear of technology :) SL allows you to create whatever reality you choose and a safe way to experiment with ideas you may want to execute in the real world.

More than likely you are fairly new to SL. Since there is a learning curve, what advice would you give to make being in SL easier?
When I first joined SL, I left because it was overwhelming. I couldn't figure out what to do or how so I saw it as a huge waste of time. The second time around, I came back with a plan, but this was after reading articles and hearing stories about what others were doing in SL. I would encourage people to read all they can about SL to become familiar with it, then brainstorm about how it could possibly apply to what they want do. I would not advise anyone to blindly go into SL unless their main purpose is to just use it as a game or meeting place for friends.

Upcoming projects/events?
Every Wednesday at 1030a CST, In Her Company Radio
Visit the website to find info on special events, training, and services.

Current/On-going needs (RL or SL)?
Opportunities to participate in women-focused projects/initiatives.
Women business owners serious about developing their companies.


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