A great example of how networking led to the creation of new opportunities started at a happy hour event at my husband’s previous job. He was the CTO of a NYC-based startup and his team was part of Barclay’s incubator with Techstars. They had about 12 fintech companies and every week they would a have happy hour meet and greet and I was regularly invited by his CEO. She is very smart and quite good at rubbing shoulders with investors. I guess it was kind of a “lady helping lady” thing but she always encouraged me as another woman in tech and an entrepreneur. At the party, I met many investors, bankers, techies, programmers, and VCs from Silicon Valley.
One person in particular I wanted to talk to was a co-founder of this women-centered investment platform that utilizes machine learning and behavioral finance. I had a similar idea and was looking to dig deeper into that industry. He was a nice fellow and we chatted over a couple of dry martinis. While we were talking, there was another guy in his early 40's standing there listening to our conversation, which I thought was a little strange but I didn’t pay too much attention to it. After I ended the talk and was looking for my husband, the man who was listening to my earlier conversation came over and asked me about my background. It turned out he was one of the investors and mentors at the accelerator who was included on Forbes' World's Billionaire List. He was looking to recruit a new team of mathematicians, financial experts, data scientists, and other startup people for his new company. I had several meetings and phone calls with him afterwards and was offered a position to lead one of the teams in Taiwan.
It was great opportunity and I absolutely loved his tech and strategy and would have been happy to move to Taiwan for six months but around the same time he made the offer I found out that we were expecting a little one. He was happy and sorry for me at the same time but we stayed in touch and he has introduced me to many interesting people. So, when I'm ready to get back into startup world, I have an amazing contact to start with.
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