Lisa Facilitates Targeted Collaboration Platforms for Startups in Singapore
What’s your story?
My story embodies the typical journey of an entrepreneur: From an English literature major to product marketing and NGO consulting, to FinTech. Without a finance background I could have chosen an easier industry than FinTech, but the challenging work environment is just too intriguing.
Right after high school, I could not decide on a career path so I began with what I enjoyed most, languages. While studying English and French in Germany, I also explored other fields. I took a job working as a project manager for a regional marketing agency where I gained experience working on consulting projects for local, small and medium enterprises. Then, my Entrepreneurship Masters program, in Finland, put me on an entrepreneurial path where I connected to FinTech during an internship at F10 in Switzerland. I work with a wonderful team at F10 and have had the opportunity to launch our first hub, outside of Europe, in Singapore.
What excites you most about your industry?
The transformative development of banking is probably one of the most exciting spaces you can work in, within the Tech scene right now. Possibilities abound to create something great in the finance industry. It is one of the few, or even the only industry, where entrepreneurs and conservatives can find a way to not only co-exist but to co-create. The intersection of ideas creates a synergy of new advances. The future of finance will be a balance of reliability and forward thinking.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I am an expat. I first touched ground in Asia as a tourist in 2016. Then I returned in 2018 to explore the possibility of expanding the F10 incubation program into Singapore. In January 2020, I moved to Singapore and am now putting our strategic plans into practice.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore – I’m biased because the city state provides the perfect place for business and private life. As a young European professional, it has been an easy transition to Asia and to Asian business culture. The openness of other expats and internationally-minded locals makes the transition super comfortable. So far, I have only encountered supportive individuals, and, as a newbie, I feel at home in Singapore.
As for our Swiss incubator, I still believe we made the right choice. Singapore and Switzerland share similar attributes. Both are the financial hub in their respective regions, they are small, yet strive to be leaders in the FinTech ecosystem. I truly believe both countries can grow from their strong base of traditional banking into global hubs of FinTech.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“Make use of the advantage you were given and use it as a launchpad, not a safe haven.” I am aware that being a woman in FinTech is still fairly novel, but I accept the challenge and enjoy contributing my knowledge and fresh perspective to innovate the future of FinTech.
Who inspires you?
My F10 team in Zurich. I love the team spirit, our diversity of experience and expertise, and the honest feedback we share.
The Startups I get to work with also inspire me. Their brightness, tenacity and strong will is what drives me to enable their success in whatever ways I possibly can.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Nothing lasts forever. When team members leave it changes the work dynamic and it takes time to reposition. This allows the opportunity to both reflect on the challenge at hand and also to adjust your own course. Sometimes new paths are revealed and you come out a stronger team as you focus on the values you sincerely believe in.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would learn how to code.
How do you unwind?
Meeting friends, Yoga & bouldering, and reading detective or literary realism novels.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Penang. It is culturally stimulating, and satisfies your hunger for local cuisine and the beach.
Everyone in business should read this book:
“Mindset: The New Psychology of Success,” by Carol S. Dweck, PhD (“Growth Mindset” by Carol Dweck. This is the name of a video by that author). It is rooted in education, but the principles are easily transferred to business relations.
Shameless plug for your business:
We are an ecosystem of Startups, Corporates, Experts and Investors, reshaping global finance through talent, technology and dedication. As a Zurich and Singapore based FinTech Incubator and Accelerator, F10 supports and guides Startups in transforming their ideas into successful companies while stimulating worldwide collaboration with international organizations. The home of FinTech is committed to driving innovation across the industries of tomorrow. Find more on: https://www.f10.ch/p2-selection-information-singapore/
This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connects’ series of more than 500 interviews
Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder and CEO of MBH Corporation PLC. He is the author of three best-selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’, ‘Agglomerate’ and ‘Entrepreneurial Investing’.