Items filtered by date: Monday, 03 March 2014

Y Combinator's a US business launched the first Female Founders Conference which brought approximately 500 women together last Saturday afternoon to hear discussions of startup struggles and stories of success. G8FMFJG2AJ2V

YC co-founder Jessica Livingston said they were please with the turn out and plan to repeat the conference again next year, Saturday's event took place in California’s Hahn Auditorium at the Computer History Museum. Keynote speakers included several female startup founders who shared their views including business inspiration, successes and also failures, but the key message was trial, error and persistence are the common keys to a successful business

Adora Cheung’s journey stood out. She is founder of Homejoy, an online platform for home services. For years, Cheung and her younger brother Aaron tried several startups unsuccessfully before finally getting it right with their current business. Their latest endeavor has been a big success and is now established in 30 markets nationwide across the U.S. The business boasts 100 employees, with offices in San Francisco and New York City. Cheung successfully raised around $40 million in venture capital, and has now exceeded a monthly revenue in millions. But she described their first 1,000 days as "the dark ages," eventually stumbling upon the realization that its not worth working on draining projects and best to focus on those that can be developed rapidly and effectively. Interestingly the idea for the business came when the siblings worked out of bachelor Aaron's apartment, which Adora said, was a mess with a bathroom so disgusting that she refused to use it. That led to a frustrating experience of looking for a house cleaner, then the realisation, "There's actually a problem here we can work on," she said and Homejoy was created.

Aaron and Adora Cheung of Homejoy

Speakers included:

Adora Cheung, Founder, Homejoy
Michelle Crosby, Founder, Wevorce
Diane Greene, Founder, VMware
Julia Hartz, Founder, Eventbrite
Elizabeth Iorns, Founder, Science Exchange
Ann Johnson, Founder, Interana
Jessica Livingston, Founder, Y Combinator
Jessica Mah, Founder, inDinero
Kathryn Minshew, Founder, The Muse
Danielle Morrill, Founder, Mattermark
Elli Sharef, Founder, HireArt
Jamie Wong, Founder, Vayable

fundedflow looks forward to seeing the lineup for next year, for more information please visit the website

Published in Features
Monday, 03 March 2014 21:10

Asia's Power Businesswomen, 2014

Running for three years now “The 2014 FORBES ASIA Power Businesswomen list”, presents a selection of 50 women from a range of industries that includes venture capital, lingerie, toolmaking and constructions. New additions that make it onto the list are Alison Watkins, who rises to the top of Coca-Cola Amatil,l who became only the second woman to head up a top 30 listed Australian company; Ong Chih Ching, an entrepreneur and property magnet based in Singapore with a taste for yachts and fast cars. Also onto the list is veteran Hong Kong movie producer, Nansun Shi, whose career spans almost four decades.

The Researchers at Forbes say they use the following criteria to qualify who makes it onto the list: company revenue (rarely less than $100 million, frequently in the billions), the woman’s position at the company (if she’s the boss that’s a big plus) and how involved she is (preferably running operations day-to-day).

Chew Gek Khim of Singapore fits all this criteria and then and beyond as she transforms Straits Trading, a staid colonial-era tin smelter, into a sleek 21st-century holding company. The Forbes team also selected entrepreneurs, like Noriko Nakamura of Poppins from Japan and Australian retail queen Naomi Milgrom, who have nurtured their own businesses.

It’s a tough process finding and judging women across a large geographic space and this year’s selection includes 13 countries. The range of industries is also very diverse as are the cultures and economies that must be taken into account. A company in Vietnam with $100 million in annual sales for example might be a standout on the local stock exchange but would register barely a blip in a more developed market. Countries such as Indonesia tend to throw up family-run conglomerates rather than listed companies, where information is easier to come by. And then there is culture: In Greater China women seem to advance more smoothly than in many other countries in the region, where tradition can remain a barrier.

A survey by Grant Thornton International Business Report notes a sharp rise in senior management positions held by women in mainland China to 51% (as of February 2013) from 25% a year earlier. Compare that with 7% in Japan, rock bottom of the heap of 44 economies studied; 22% in Australia; and 34% in Asean overall. The global average is 24%.

From a daring bright spark creating an online social media venture in Myanmar to a longtime executive just named the first woman to run an Indian oil major, these women are a small selection of those driving change.

Research: Shu-Ching Jean Chen, Susan Cunningham, FORBES INDONESIA, Don Frazier, Ron Gluckman, Jane Ho, Joyce Huang, Seline Jung, Naazneen Karmali, Sunshine Lichauco de Leon, Noelle Lim, Lan Anh Nguyen, Anuradha Raghunathan, Lucinda Schmidt, Jennifer Schultz Wells, James Simms, Blessing Waung.

Source Forbes Asia

 

Published in Features

Hong Kong — A shop selling the virtual Bitcoin currency opened in Hong Kong last Friday, as fresh concerns grew in Asia over the currency's viability and security.

Touting itself as the world's "first" physical Bitcoin retail store, Hong Kong-based exchange ANXBTC said it could help raise the popularity of the crypto-currency.

It came on the day that Japanese Bitcoin exchange MtGox was forced to file for bankruptcy protection, saying it had lost nearly half a billion dollars' worth of the digital currency in a possible theft.
ANXBTC Chief Executive officer Ken Lo said the MtGox saga was only "a drop in the bucket" and the Bitcoin market remained bullish.

"There is no shortage of demand," Lo told AFP at the opening ceremony of the shop located in the residential district of Sai Ying Pun, where people later queued to open an account or make purchases.
"What we want to do is enable people to have an easier way to purchase Bitcoins," Lo said.

"I'm quite bullish in the long run," Daniel Chan, a 27-year-old blogger who purchased one Bitcoin, which amounts to around HK$5,000 (US$644) from the store, said.
The Bitcoin market would improve as it matures, Chan said.

"I feel virtual currency is a trend. I will save up to buy when the price drops," Charlie Wu, a 22-year-old from Shenzhen in mainland China who travelled to Hong Kong for the opening ceremony, told AFP.
Analysts have warned that the lack of government support and security risks may fuel further uncertainties for the digital currency.

Late last year, the People's Bank of China (PBoC), the nation's central bank, ordered financial institutions not to provide Bitcoin-related services and products while cautioning against its potential use in money-laundering.
Vietnam has also banned its banks from handling Bitcoins, saying the virtual currency is not legal tender in the communist nation.

Japan's finance minister said earlier Friday he had always thought Bitcoin was suspect and that the country might take action following the MtGox debacle.

Story: AFP

Photo: Philippe Lopez, AFP