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“I Want To Help Groom, Support And Grow The Next Female Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos And Steve Jobs Of The World” — Leanne Robers

The co-founder of She Loves Tech hopes to support women in technopreneurship.

“I Want To Help Groom, Support And Grow The Next Female Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos And Steve Jobs Of The World” — Leanne Robers

She Loves Tech, started by Robers and two other female co-founders, aims to build an ecosystem for technology, entrepreneurship and innovation, and create opportunities for women. Founded in 2015, it is the world’s largest tech start-up competition focused on organisations either led by women or that serve to impact them.

Prior to this venture, Robers co-founded two other tech start-ups including Comish, an e-commerce platform that connects users with creators who personalise art, music, food and fashion. The psychology graduate got her start at Siemens UK, where she taught herself basic programming and steered her team to multi-million-dollar projects.

She Loves Tech uses technology to showcase an efficient setup for small start-ups “She Loves Tech’s global reach and community is a valuable point of difference for our start-ups. To be in more than 20 countries in a few years with a small full-time staff of 15 requires being absolutely efficient and resourceful. We automate as much as possible and create flexibility through technology for our team to work anywhere in the world. Our director of growth uses a combination of workflow and collaboration tools to help us stay in sync. We were using WhatsApp and WeChat to communicate internally but last year, we switched to Slack. Slack separates our personal and work messages, allowing us to have separate groups for each team and project. We can assign tasks and exchange documents through it. We also use Trello to track and manage some of the tech products we build internally. The best part is, Trello and Slack can be connected.”

She Loves Tech is created to groom and support companies that are women-led or that use technology to impact women positively “Before She Loves Tech, I had started three companies. Being a founder is challenging enough without the additional challenges of being a female CEO. In meetings, for example, investors would look past me and speak to my male cofounder instead. They’d look surprised when I answered them. Then, they’d pose a follow-up question — to my co-founder. Such experiences took place daily. I reached out to other female founders for advice and realised they faced similar challenges. So I started to give back — advice, support, connections — anything to help make other female technopreneurs’ experiences easier. As I immersed myself in the local female start-up community, I could see the impact I was making, and wanted to do more. This led me to She Loves Tech — where women technopreneurs can take part in an international tech competition to gain recognition, support and funding.”

She hopes to groom and support women to succeed in technopreneurship “The biggest lesson I’ve picked up about building tech products is to make sure your technology solves an important problem; don’t create a tech first, when there’s nothing to resolve in the first place. She Loves Tech gives women the tools and resources to learn from one another, whether she is a health technopreneur in Pakistan or a renewable energy expert in Singapore. I want to help groom, support and grow the next female Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Steve Jobs of the world.”

This story is one part of a multi-person feature on the women changing the tech industry. For the other stories, click here.

This story first appeared in the March 2020 issue of A Magazine.

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