SHERoes Unplugged: Q&A With Our Female Warriors!

SHERoes Unplugged: Q&A With Our Female Warriors!

Thursday Mar 07,2024 | IIE News



As we commemorate International Women’s Day, we are thrilled to shine a spotlight on the remarkable women who are driving innovation and entrepreneurship forward. From startup founders to mentors, partners, and students, our female warriors are leading the charge in shaping the future of business!

In this spirit of celebration, we've gathered insights from a diverse group of female founders who have been incubated at the Business Innovation Generator (BIG) programme, VCs and experts who served as mentors and partners of BIG and Protégé Ventures, and students who participated in our Global Innovation Immersion (GII) programme! Join us as we delve into their stories and perspectives through a series of fun Q&A sessions!

Q: Who is your ultimate female role model? 


"Brene Brown. She is a research professor, speaker, and author who focuses on topics like vulnerability, shame, courage, and empathy. One of her quotes that resonates a lot with me is Clear is Kind. Unclear is unkind. - Cassandra Ong, Founder of Otterhalf.

"Katherine Johnson - one of the “Hidden Figures” of NASA. She overcame discrimination to single-handedly determine how spacecraft orbit Earth and land on the Moon. I am inspired by her resilience, and aim to mirror her value of empowering women, and breaking barriers." - Madison Feehan, Founder & CEO/COO of Space Copy

"Koh Soo Boon is my ultimate female role model because of her exceptional leadership in the venture capital industry. Her strategic thinking, resilience, and trailblazing achievements inspire me to push boundaries and make a lasting impact. She is also a mentor to many young ladies (including myself), helping to move them forward selflessly." - Anna Haotanto, Founder of ZORA Health.

"Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a trailblazing U.S. Supreme Court Justice. She's my role model for her unwavering commitment to gender equality, advocacy for women's rights, and resilience in the face of adversity." - Karen Cheah, Founder & CEO of Alterpacks.

"Falguni Nayar - Founder and CEO of Nykaa. Wearing make-up is a show of confidence and I love how accessible and normalised she’s made make-up and beauty in India. What she said when Nykaa listed was so inspiring: “I started Nykaa at the age of 50 with no experience. I hope the Nykaa journey can inspire each of you to be the Nykaa (heroine) of your lives.” - Visa Kannan, Partner of Saison Capital.

"Oprah Winfrey. She demonstrated strong resilience and perseverance as she battled with her tough childhood marked by poverty, sexual abuse, and teen pregnancy. Her determination to succeed demonstrated difficult beginnings and environment does not define one’s future!" - Lynette Lee, Venture Lead/CEO of SC Ventures

"My mom for sure! Her selflessness and compassion inspire me everyday – she even gave up her career to homeschool my brother and I full time before we entered primary school, and looked after us at home throughout most of our schooling journey, only returning to the workforce a couple of years ago." - Cheryl Vanessa Devan, SMU SOA Year 4 and Greenhouse Community Manager


Q: If you could have any superpower, what would it be?


"Heart-reading. In a world of surface-level communication, it offers direct insight into genuine emotions, fostering deeper connections and empathy for the other party." - Cassandra

"Mind reading. This ability would enhance communication, understanding, and empathy, enabling me to navigate challenges more effectively in both personal and professional relationships." - Anna

"The power of Precognition/Retrocognition to catch glimpses of the future or the past thus enabling me to counter my plans or learn from past mistakes to become a better hero." - Lynette

“Mind melding” from StarTrek. Conscious fusion and alignment of the best ideas are so desperately needed for today’s climate, biodiversity and inequity challenges. I believe this superpower would help accelerate the outcomes we need." - Michele Lemmens

"Definitely to be able to learn any skill in 3-4 days! This would be immensely valuable especially when launching a startup where everyone knows you'll have to wear multiple hats to get things off the ground and running." - Si Min

"I’d choose teleportation! There are so many places in the world to explore and people I want to meet, not to mention I’d never be late to class again." - Rae Ann Ho, SMU LKCSB Year 3 and Global Innovations Immersion (GII) alumni 2023


Q: What is your alter-ego (job)? 


"A poker player. The strategic thinking, risk management, and resilience required in poker resonate with my approach to business. Alternatively, as a soccer player, teamwork, discipline, and determination align with my leadership style." - Anna

"My alter-ego profession would be an environmental activist, leading global initiatives to combat environmental pollution and save the animals." - Karen

"Food blogger. I love food and explore different cultures through food." - Pahrada (Mameaw) Sapprasert, Partner at 500 TukTuks

"It would be an Impact Torchbearer enabling women! It’s incredible to see what women can do when we are encouraged and enabled to deliver. Women have the energy, passion and commitment to make tremendous differences in the world! Being able to support social entrepreneurs, start-ups, and young girls in their journeys would be so rewarding!" - Michele

"Military pilot. I’ve always had a fascination with aviation – with 2 of my family members either having served or looking to serve in the Air Force. Fun fact – I do have real flight controls at home which grant me my ‘Top Gun’ moments now and then!" - Cheryl

"I’d be a book illustrator; I love creating art and immersing myself in novels, so merging both to bring stories to life would be a dream." - Rae Ann

Q: What is the last book you read or the last podcast you listened to? 

"Radical Candor" by Kim Scott. It emphasises the importance of combining care personally with challenge directly in workplace communication to foster a culture of honest feedback and meaningful relationships." - Cassandra

"Working Backwards." This insightful read by Colin Bryar and Bill Carr, former Amazon executives, provided valuable perspectives on leadership, innovation, and customer-centricity, influencing my strategic thinking in running Zora Health." - Anna

"The last podcast I listened to was "The Forum" by BBC World Service. It brilliantly decodes the present by unraveling the past, with experts shedding light on historical events, iconic products, and pivotal cultural moments." - Karen

"Fast like a girl" by Dr. Mindy Pelz - I chanced upon her videos on YouTube. I bought her book to understand in totality the benefits of fasting and specifically how to do it right for females." - Raen Lim, Group VP, Asia at Splunk Inc.

"I'm currently reading "Think like a Monk" by Jay Shetty in preparation for my meditation retreat in Bali, and I listen to "The School of Greatness" by Lewis Howes when I go for my podcast walks! He brings some of the most successful individuals to share about a plethora of topics to help us live a better life." - Si Min
Special thanks to our featured Female Warriors!

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