Founders Fridays is a new StartupAmsterdam initiative that showcases local entrepreneurs who help strengthen our ecosystem. By inviting founders to answer five questions, we want to shine a light on our ecosystem’s most inspirational stories and role models. We hope that we’ll all learn and grow together by providing startup founders with a space to share their insights and experience.
This week we spoke to Micky Chen, the co-founder of Minite. The Minite platform lets companies and freelancer students connect to each other. Companies can utilise top talent and at the same time students can meet the future workforce in a low-risk setting.
1. How did your career journey lead you to found Minite?
As students, my sister Linky and I struggled to find flexible study-related work. As a result, we had little exposure to the business world, leaving us with a ton of questions as to what kind of world we were about to venture into. 80% of recent graduates claim to have made the wrong career choice and attribute this to a lack of exposure and experience.
During my time at Salesforce, I worked with lots of innovative startups and scale-ups. All of them shared one major challenge: finding the right talent to help them grow. They had many things that needed to happen, but lacked the skills, time, or budget to execute.
That's where I connected the dots: I decided to bring the skills of top students to startups and scale-ups in need, so that they can grow faster. And, in turn, those students would build a strong CV, increase skills and knowledge, meet future employers and ultimately make better career decisions. And Minite was born! Our mission is to unlock every ambitious student’s full potential and help startups and scale-ups thrive.
2. Why did you choose Amsterdam to start and grow your business?
Our ties with Amsterdam are solid. We come from the ACE incubator (Amsterdam Centre for Entrepreneurship), and I completed my MSc at the University of Amsterdam. Amsterdam has such a vibrant, innovative startup community. Through this vital community, we met so many inspiring entrepreneurs, mentors, coaches and other stakeholders that make the Amsterdam startup ecosystem so great. Many of our clients are from the Amsterdam region, and they constantly spread the word within their community, so we keep growing our base in Amsterdam! I’m also part of the WE RISE class of 2021, an initiative by the municipality of Amsterdam for 20 female future role models.
3. What’s the most valuable piece of advice you’ve been given?
To never walk alone. Collaboration is key, and it’s vital to build a strong team of people that you can trust and who feel the same sense of purpose in their work. We have an extended team of mentors and advisors, which is an incredible source of knowledge that we can readily tap into. Our High-Flyers (student freelancers) are also part of the extended Minite team, and together we form the core of Minite: a strong, warm community where we all work together and learn from each other. I always surround myself with people I look up to because they inspire me to be better every day.
4. What’s a recent achievement you’re proud of?
5. What has been a recent challenge for your business, and what have you learned from it?
A recent challenge has been streamlining our processes in order to be more efficient with our time. We’re always looking for ways to further innovate and, at the same time, it’s necessary that we also keep up with the daily operations. At times, it can be challenging to find that balance between keeping the business running and finding enough time to constantly innovate, but I have learned to distinguish nice-to-haves from must-haves, and to always consider the impact on the business and our users first before implementing anything. Rather than diving headfirst into things, we rationally evaluate the situation first. This has helped us act quickly on customer feedback and provide them with the features they truly want.
Want to learn more about the women breaking through the startup scene? Check out this roundup of Amsterdam’s wonder women.
And if you want to share your story with our local ecosystem, you can contact us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.