Relocating from one country to another is never an easy task. For some, the decision would probably mean sacrificing friendships, family, and other things you enjoy in your pursuits.
Adriana Gascoigne, the CEO and founder of both Girls in Tech and HelpLearn.Asia, initially moved from the United States to Singapore for personal reasons. When things fell through, she quickly picked up the pieces, and secured a position in startup within a couple of months. After eight months in sunny Singapore, she decided to embark on her own venture, HelpLearn.Asia, while continuing the expansion efforts of Girls in Tech throughout Southeast Asia. She is also currently working on a social enterprise, which will also be revealed in the upcoming months.
Prior to starting up, Adriana had a taste of both corporate and startup life. She was the vice president of marketing at SecondMarket, where she was responsible for marketing, branding strategy, event production, and digital media efforts. Adriana has also worked at various technology startups, such as ImpulseFlyer, hi5, SocialGamingNetwork (SGN), Jambool’s SocialGold, and GUBA, where she spearheaded marketing, communications, and analytics. Her background as the vice president of 360 Digital Influence at Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide and vice president of the digital group at Edelman has also reinforced her experience, which proved essential in the setup of HelpLearn.Asia, an e-learning platform providing tutorials on online and digital marketing tools.
With regard to the Girls in Tech Singapore chapter, that initiative grew to over 600 members in just a couple of months. Managing a non-profit organization virtually poses two challenges: How does Adriana(pictured right) motivate the managing directors of each chapter? And how does she manage to grow her member base so quickly?
In the video interview above, Adriana tells us that she leads by example. Regardless of the circumstances or challenges posed to her, she continues to work hard and is dedicated to build her passion around technology startups. She hopes to empower, engage, and educate women in technology, and is driven to make Girls in Tech succeed.
Was the move to Singapore worth it? Does Adriana miss her family and her friends?
She admits, yes, but communication tools like Skype have helped her to stay connected to her loved ones back home. In Adriana’s words:
It is a sacrifice but also an opportunity. I’m learning a lot about doing business in another part of the world, [where] the economy is thriving and people are eager to learn from those of us who have lived in Silicon Valley for many years. I most likely won’t be here forever, but for the time being – I’m living everyday as if it was my last – enjoying what I do, the people who I surround myself with, and focusing on the things that make me smile.
What’s her advice to fellow female entrepreneurs? Take risks.
If you would like to find out more about her entrepreneurial journey, challenges faced, and how she overcame them, check out the video above.
This is part of Tech in Asia’s series on female entrepreneurship.