For those of you that know me, you have seen my company, Interos, achieve success following 15 years of focus on bringing AI to supply chain (or third party) risk management. In a world where Carta (2019) reported that ‘only 1 in 3 people in venture-backed companies is a woman, and women are granted less equity on average’, I’ve been in the fortunate position that 2 blue-chip Silicon Valley venture capital firms believed in me enough to invest. A humbling and inspiring experience.
I’m often asked what made the difference for me to find myself in this growth position. Two things come to mind: (1) I learned in Year 2 not to be afraid to ask for help and (2) I never lost focus on the purpose of Interos.
Asking for help is often difficult until you start doing it. I’ve found that people will come out of the woodwork to help if they can. Which is not to say all your wishes will be answered, just that getting past any negative connotation that you cannot succeed by yourself – and knowing that you REALLY CAN’T succeed by yourself – is both freeing and enabling at the same time.
Another key is purpose – which does not mean the path to get there won’t change. I can point to five different points in Interos’ history where I had to make a difficult decision to make it to the next milestone. I predicted 30 years ago that the global economy would rely on a supply chain of interconnected companies and countries around the world, and that would create both risk and incredible opportunity. The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) news coverage is riddled with concerns over the supply chain, and Interos has the best market position to help our customers.
I’m proud of the successes and mistakes I’ve been able to make in getting Interos to the market position it now occupies. Along the way, I’ve had the opportunity to give back to women business owners in the US as Chair of Women Impacting Public Policy and as a part of the global women’s entrepreneurship movement through the Women 20 (W20) engagement group under the G20.
As we celebrate another International Women’s Day and female accomplishments throughout this month, I hope each of you feels empowered to accomplish whatever you want in life. I believe that you, too, can experience people looking out for you and helping you – you just must find your purpose and believe!