Womenlines ‘Entrepreneur of the Month’ is an incredible woman who is redefining women’s role in the field of technology through her cloud technology-based company.
It is such a pleasure to introduce Lynette Seah, founder and CEO of Alpha7, a company named one of the top 25 Most Promising Technology Startups in 2016 by APAC CIO Outlook.
Lynette Seah is an Australian Chartered Accountant with over 28 years of experience in MNCs such as PWC and J.D Edwards, including 8 years’ experience as VP of Finance & Strategy at Salesforce.com As a passionate advocate of digital transformation, she believes that the use of technology and data can help businesses to stay competitive and relevant in this aggressive and fast-paced digital economy. It is challenging for Enterprises and SMEs to adopt, adapt and plan their digital journey. Read about her entrepreneurial journey in her own words-
1.Please share with our reader’s little bit about yourself.
I feel I am living in a reverse engineering mode – Born in Singapore, Bred & Qualified in Australia, and Managed in an MNC environment in Technology covering Asia Pacific till I started Alpha7 in Jan 2014. I was so career focused that I missed out a lot of things. I am still learning a lot of EQ stuff along the way in my digital Alpha7 journey.
Although I have been told I am too hard on myself focusing on how to be a better person, I am focused that we “don’t know what we don’t know”. Where I can, I want to make a difference personally and professionally in this season in Alpha7.
2. So when did you started this venture and what inspired or motivated you to take a plunge into this venture?
This venture was part of my retirement plan set forth about 10 years ago. When my last employer requested I moved down under in 2013 to manage the business we acquired, we agreed to part ways as moving to my second home in Sydney was not my season then. I have strong family traditions in Singapore and as the eldest in the family, I felt the need to continue to be based in Singapore to be with my parents as they age. I started Alpha7 in Sept 2013 and began operations in Jan 2014 out of the basement of my home office.
3. Can you share with us some of the challenges you faced during your initial days?
Moving from Senior Management at a High Tech Corporate environment to becoming a startup entrepreneur has been interesting, both professionally and personally.
Professional Challenges range from People-related issues like Culture, Business, Relationship & Networking practices to Processes, Infrastructure, Priorities, Constraints & Budgets. The range is even more complex now with the West-meets-East and East-meets-West adoption of digital, cloud and technology. Planning ahead of the curve seems to be a challenge in more and more businesses in our digital age, hence, providing assistance to those who want to take this digital transformation journey.
Personal challenges range from adjusting and adapting to patience, humility and trust. My personal learning’s have been motivating but at the same time frustrating – imagine you lived many years in a well serviced managed home environment and have everything done for you and you move to a DIY home environment – Time is key to success to be able to adjust, adapt and adopt in a DIY environment.
4. So how do you balance your personal and professional life?
Interesting enough, the line is more blurred being an entrepreneur. Coming from an MNC environment before where my professional life doesn’t really cross the line with personnel on the professional front, I have come a long way and still learning to balance the 2 Ps with a lot of help and advise from friends & mentors in my Alpha7 journey. I seek spiritual mentorship from my church mentors for better work-life balance.
5. What would you suggest to other aspiring women who want to venture out on their own?
All dependent on what the venture is all about and at what stage women are venturing out. Planning ahead is key – plan and talk to as many other entrepreneurs (both men and women) for guidance & mentorship. I myself went through family and friends before I started out and still, wasn’t enough but I learnt a lot.
6. Is there any person who has mentored/supported/inspired you?
Many. I am a strong believer in having mentors and advisors to inspire and motivate me – men and women. To list a few of them in my journey…..
Mike Sheppard (RIP), Alvin Kok, Anurag Srivastava, Carl Schachter, Steve Cakebread, Steve Houck, Lee Thomson, Ismail Shariff, Roy Christian……
Gayle Sheppard, Marilyn Tyrrell, Sarah Friar, Deborah Ong, Lim Moh Cher, Quek Li Huan
7.What do you have in the pipeline for your venture’s future development?
Our immediate focus is to raise funds for my venture. After we launched our product in Aug 2017, our A7 IoB® Business Management Dashboard, the validation has been positive and we know we need funding to accelerate the pace of our venture in digital transformation. Anyone interested in an Investment opportunity, ping me?
Learn more about our A7 IoB® Business Management Dashboard and try it out for free here at this link: https://a7iob.com/
Also, journey with us and follow Alpha7 on our social media to keep updated on all our exciting news!