Passion behind she1K: Connecting corporate women executives to startups
Building a bridge between Female Angel Investors and Startups
We had the pleasure of interviewing Christina Teo, Chief Builder, she1K, Founder, Want Things Done, to learn more about how passion drives she1K in connecting corporate exec women worldwide, from all industries, to empower innovative entrepreneurship with high growth potential.
What is the passion behind setting up She1K ?
I was a corporate woman myself for more than 2 decades so I understand what it is like. Our personal identity is often tied to our corporate or work identity so our vision is to get corporate women to think and participate outside of their industry, their function by being more involved in startups. Why wait till your role is disrupted or till you have retired? In fact by engaging startups, you empower your career today and in future because you keep yourself abreast in the latest technology and innovation. Better yet, you know what you don’t know.
What difficulties have you experienced with Women Angel Investors, if any?
Women are more cautious when it comes to any kind of investing. There are many reasons why they hold back : a) they prioritise family eg. children’s education or saving for the rainy day ; b) they don’t know many other women who invests to seek opinion from c) they don’t have time to do the due diligence themselves d) they don’t have a network to go to. Unlike male investors who have trusted networks built on “bro-code”.
Could you share your best event experience ?
Every Womenchangemaker is high energy. It always gratifies me to see lots of women speaking to lots of women they have never met before, engaging in real conversations and wanting to catch up even after the event. Nov 24th 2018 we held our biggest Womenchangemaker, we featured 24 corporate women and corporate women who turned entrepreneur in a beautiful setting sponsored by Philips at their natural sunlit roof atrium in their office in Singapore. The experience was surreal with amazing authentic stories but also the whole environment to listen to all the stories. Speakers felt they were getting energised themselves and getting more out of it than they were giving.
Women ChangeMaker#7 will happen in HK for the first time on March 30th, what made you come to HK ?
I arrived in HK on the day of handover 1997 June 30 and have lived here and built a significant part of my career. So HK is always close to heart. I would like to think I know Hong Kong and it is definitely not like Singapore.
Your mission is to inspire, who inspires you? Was the role model that changed your life and if yes, who?
A blessed life and a blessed career is my inspiration. I am at a stage of my life where giving and empowering others is more important. When you have had so much, you must give.
You’re very active in educating and inspiring women working in the corporate world. What is the type of world you envision to build?
I envision women who position themselves in strength. Women have the power to contribute and make huge impact if they allow themselves to. Take charge. Take the lead.
What would be the best advice to convince women to join your event ? Whats should they expect ?
I am basing on feedback we have received from the women who have attended our previous 6 WomenChangemakers. They walk away feeling that some speakers resonated with them. It could be because they are going through something similar or they were stuck in some perspective and listening to these accomplished corporate women as role models helped them. Mostly they were just blown away by the authenticity. It is not an understatement when we say that this is the most authentic event and where networking is not intimidating. People who come to share and to listen come with an open mind and find true connections.
After working in some many international conglomerates, what brought you to starting your own company ?
In fact, I have learnt I am not for running a company. I have ran business units and countries for large corporates and almost all of them I was in a pioneering role like launching a new division or a new product category or expanding to a new market. Thats my forte. Now I really don’t want to run a business. What I am doing now is building communities and platforms to empower others, to give others a voice and to connect people to necessary resources.
What is the most valuable experience or learning you brought over from your previous experiences?
Connecting the dots or building synergies. I do not like re-inventing the wheel so I am always finding a niche, an unmet need or a differentiation. If an area is already being served by some other entity, I will seek partnership. I enjoy gaining trust from another party to leverage getting help such that both parties stand to gain and grow together.
How are you a ChangeMaker?
Being a changemaker for me means you take charge of your decision, you rise above the mundane and status quo and you empower others towards a bigger purpose beyond yourself. You must walk the talk.
Click here to become a part of WomenChangemakers #7.
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