Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Launched the CodeChix Indiegogo campaign today !!

It has been several weeks of hard work, filming, coordination, brainstorming, execution and ideation and so much more, but we finally did it !!

We (myself, Deepa and Elliott) launched our CodeChix Indiegogo campaign to raise funds to grow CodeChix and get our federal 501(c)(3) status through fiscal sponsorship !

I sure hope we reach our goal - that would really help us get some traction in 2014.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

My talk at VMware a week ago...

So, I gave my PiDoorbell talk at VMware (about a week after Silicon Valley Code Camp) at the bi-weekly internal Tech Talk series.

Here are some photos from it -

Starting my talk

Describing why I wanted to build PiDoorbell....

Praying that the live demo was going to work.....

Lots and lots of questions both during and after my talk.  Including lots of suggestions....

And now for a series of videos taken by my good friend Dave King - the awesome security guy.....

Start of Talk - Part 1

Middle of Talk - Part 2

Live Demo with Ravi S. as the volunteer - Part 3

Grace Hopper India !!!

I found out a few days ago that one of the proposals that I had submitted was accepted at Grace Hopper India !!

Yaaaaay !!

It's a hands-on workshop for which I did the curriculum and it's called "Getting your Hands Dirty with the RaspberryPi."  I have a bunch of great co-authors - Lakshmi, Shweta, Laxmi and Geetha.  We're going to rock it!

And then came the first of a series of gauntlets....

- Funding for my trip
- Days off from work although I can work from the VMware Bangalore office.  I have several colleagues that I work with on a routine basis and it would be good to be in their location for a change.
- VISA - !!  Oh my god - what a nightmare!
      First I had to get letters from India and from the US, then fill out two forms.  Minimum processing time was quoted at two weeks which meant I didn't have enough time to go the regular route.  So, I drove up to SF to try to talk to someone to see if I could expedite things.  After standing and waiting around in multiple lines and being re-directed, I finally got to the right counter when my number was called.  And then it turned out that because my OCI card is not on my current US passport (it's on my old passport) and because I got my OCI card in 2006 when they first started giving them out, I didn't have a renunciation certificate.  And the introduction of the renunciation certificate occurred at some point after 2006.  Great!  And to get the renunciation form submitted, they needed my naturalization certificate - are you kidding me!

So, back to San Jose, digging through old paperwork, looking for a document from 20 years ago....

After several hours of frantic digging, I finally found it.

And then headed back up to SF the following day.  And spent several hours waiting for my number to get called.  And after 15 minutes going through all the paperwork (this time I took every certificate, passport, form I could think of with me), they accepted my forms and I was lucky enough to have an extra $32 for the extra form.  And another $100 put me in the "Urgent Visa" line which should get me a turnaround of 5 days or so, I'm told.

And I was told to return for my passport + visa on Monday 5p.  Let's hope I finally get it.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Biggest challenge yet.....

Happenings over the last week or so....

I have to show that I can raise $25,000 in the year 2014 in order to apply for fiscal sponsorship so that CodeChix can be awarded 501(c)(3) status.... !

Deadline - mid November.. !


So, I'm roping in a couple of volunteers to help me set up an Indiegogo campaign and next week, we'll shoot a video (requirement for said campaign) and then launch it asap.  Hopefully, we'll get some funds through that avenue.

If anyone knows of any foundations/grants that might be able to help us in our mission of Education, Promotion and Mentorship for women engineers - please don't hesitate to ping me.

Pre-cursor to above requirement:

The IRS has sent me a letter stating that (after 6 months), they have managed to assign the CodeChix non-profit application to someone who will eventually read it to determine if we qualify for 501(c)(3).
What this means (according to the lawyers) is that it can take at least another year + to get notified from the IRS on our status.

During which time, we sit around with our hands and feet tied, trying to make ends meet and put on great monthly events for our membership and others on a shoestring budget funded mostly by yours truly.

So, now, I'm looking into getting fiscal sponsorship to tide us over until IRS gets around to our file - probably sometime in 2015.

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