Most coaching and mentorship advice is not unique. At the very least it's derivative. That's why who delivers it matters. The key is whether or not you trust the source enough to follow the advice, which is where context comes in. I'm sharing details about my experience below to give you context for how I've developed my expertise. If it resonates with you, I'd like to help.
I grew up with humble beginnings in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as a Chinese Malaysian. I had a rough upbringing in a somewhat disruptive household with divorced parents, which is why I turned to childhood/relationship psychology and did a lot of personal growth work to heal from it.
I focused on excelling in academics and sports, and got a full scholarship to study engineering at Cornell University, which is when I first came to the US. I got another full scholarship and a teaching assistantship to get through my Master's degree at Cornell. I had to work on being independent and confident in a foreign country with no family around.
My first few jobs was in management consulting, and I lived in AZ and NYC. After the financial crisis in 2009, I started my first startup CityPockets, and finally found my footing as a tech entrepreneur. I raised over $1M and was named Mashable's Top 44 Female Founders to Follow and L'Oreal's Top 10 Women in Digital in 2012. We subsequently pivoted the company to Reclip.It and was acquired by Walmart Labs in 2013. I got a ton of learnings and startup war stories from that journey. The experience was transformative and gave me the perspective that helps me connect with founders today.
After the acquisition, I was head-hunted to be the Founding CEO of MaGIC (Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Center), a $30M organization to spur the startup ecosystem in Southeast Asia, launched by President Obama in 2014. I grew the team to 100 and set up the largest equity-free accelerator in the region and MaGIC became one of the best places to work at in Malaysia because of our unique culture. See our 2-year impact report here.
I've also been a CMO twice, for Hack Reactor and Tendermint, where I had managed over $3M in marketing budget per year and led a couple of key launches for the company.
After speaking out against a well-known investor about a sexual harassment incident, I was listed as TIME magazine's "2017 Person of the Year," as the 13th "Silence Breaker." Then in 2018, I Co-Founded #MovingForward, a non-profit to make anti-harassment/discrimination policies in Venture Capital more transparent and inclusive, currently participated by 175+ firms in 25 countries including Sequoia, Greylock, a16z, Softbank, YCombinator, GV and more.
I'm currently the Founder & CEO of a stealth startup in life sciences, working on gut microbiome. Most recently, I was an Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) at Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), where I incubated a few startup ideas while I helped the bank with early stage startups. I'm also an advisor and angel investor to various startups, and am an LP in a small fund.
I have a leadership coaching practice on the side because I'm really passionate about it. I've been advising founders and product managers for over a decade now, but coaching gives me the opportunity to help transform people in a consistent and sustainable manner.
I am married to Jason, a Kiwi who's CEO & Co-Founder of Supercast. We have 2 incredible little ones under the age of 3, so if you're a parent, there's a lot that I can relate to you too.
I don't know who set it up, but I have a wikipedia page here.
Cheryl Sew Hoy : SF Bay Area, CA