Tips & Take-Aways


What I have learned from 50 female founders from Thailand and the Philippines

A year ago I started interviewing and featuring one female founder a week from either Thailand or the Philippines on my Connecting Founders website. My goal was to capture their “secret sauce”, how they built and managed their businesses, and share their lessons learnt to inspire others–people who are just starting out as well as established entrepreneurs. Regardless of how long you have been in business, there are always good days and bad days and reading or listening to someone else that has gone through similar things or that has an inspiring story can be tremendously energizing and remind us why we do what we do, even if everything seems to go wrong that day. Read more here.

Mindful Emotions – How to use Emotional Intelligence in every day life

Anita Barot wrote this insightful piece for Wanderlust magazine.

“Have you ever said something you later regretted — to your boss, a colleague or a loved one — because you let your feelings commandeer your mouth? If this sounds familiar, you’ve experienced how easy it is to make poor choices when emotions get the best of you. Have you ever been shocked to discover you’ve hurt someone’s feelings and can’t figure out how? If so, you know that sometimes it’s difficult to gauge how other people are feeling and that what you say and do can impact others in surprising ways.” Read more here.




How to Pitch to Investors

At the Pitching to Investors session of the Women in Business series on December 14th, 2016, Tee Plern Suraphongchai, partner at Venturra, a USD 150 million venture capital fund, and previously of Ardent Capital, a Bangkok-based investment fund, discussed how to structure a Pitch and what to consider.

K. Tee started by saying that every investor is different so there is not one right way to talk to them. Some investors are focused on seed funding, while others – such as Venturra – are focused on series A and series B. This affects both the size of the funding they provide as well as the type of information they will be looking for from a potential investee. More here. 

Defying Gravity: Lessons from the Flightline

Lean In ASIA Launch (3 Dec 2016): Pearl Phaovisaid, Director of the Global Studies and Social Entrepreneurship program at Thammasat University, Thailand,  shared her lessons learned while serving as a helicopter pilot for the US Army in Iraq.

“Allow me to take you on a journey of discovery, about trying, flying, and some lessons I’ve learned along the way. I want to take you back 30 years ago, to a small kindergarten classroom about 1000km north of here. Little girls and boys are playing with toys scattered throughout the room. Without warning, something compels these children to drop what they are doing and run toward the open window. Out there, against the clear blue backdrop, was something so awesome, so inexplicable moving slowly across the sky. The wonder and impossibility of it all kept these kindergarteners packed tightly along the windowsill. I was one of those kindergarteners and that was my first exposure to flight.

LESSON #1: It always seems impossible until it’s done.

People often ask me why I joined the military and how I became a pilot. The answer goes back to my high school days. I was restless, idealistic, and I wanted to push the limits of my capability. I didn’t think the normal college experience would do that for me so I considered applying to the military academy.

And yet, my goal seemed an impossible feat.”  Read more here. 

Launch of Lean In Asia

Lean In chapters from all over Asia gathered in Kuala Lampur on December 3rd, 2016 to launch Lean In Asia, an initiative led by Lean In Malaysia, Lean in China, Lean In Tokyo, and Lean In Pakistan. The one-day summit discussed the experiences of several women from across the region, highlighting both challenges and opportunities of women as professionals and business owners and how addressing barriers can lead to a more inclusive society where everybody benefits. Lean In Thailand joined the launch, with Caterina Meloni of Connecting Founders and Vivian Ke Story of Story Seoul representing the Thai chapter. Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and founder of Lean In, sent her well wishes by video. Read more here. 


From Good to Great Teams – The Power of Motivation & Diversity 

14 September 2016 – The 4th session of the second Women in Business series focused on building a great team and on tips on finding and retaining talent. It was hosted at the Embassy of The Netherlands in Bangkok. K. Waewkanee Assoratgoon (Poom), managing director of KFC Thailand and Yum! Foods Thailand shared her experience of building a corporate culture that puts people first and focuses on diversity. Marie Lucchini, a global certified executive coach and founder of Coach Executives International Co. Ltd., discussed why motivation is so important as a driver of performance and profitability and how you can measure it. Read more here.


Marketing for Startups –  a killer marketing & PR strategy on a budget

Opened by his Excellency, Mr. Karel Hartogh, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Thailand, we discussed Marketing for Start-ups – how to craft a killer marketing strategy on a budget with: Pattamon Mekavarakul, Vice President of Cape Dara Resort; Karin Lohitnavy, Founder of MIDAS PR; and Abir Abdul Rahim and Sarah Chen, co-directors of Asia Women Circle (Lean In Malaysia). Our speakers shared tons of tips and practical advice from their personal experience building 5-star resort Cape Dara and Lean In Malaysia, and MIDAS’ many years of experience supporting Thai and international companies communicate with success. Read more here.


Welcome by Dutch Ambassador Mr. Karel Hartogh

His Excellency Mr. Karel Hartogh, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Thailand gave a welcome speech to kick-off the Women in Business meeting hosted at the Dutch Embassy in Bangkok on 17 Aug 2016.“Promoting female entrepreneurship is a key priority of the Dutch government. The position of women in Thailand is very strong. Half of entrepreneurs are women; Thailand has the highest number of women CEOs in the world, and Thai women were the first in Asia to get the right to vote in 1932. But it remains a man’s society in many ways and you have to work twice as hard to reach the highest levels – regardless of whether you are self-made or are born into a business family. I commend you for sharing your knowledge and your experience and for supporting other women that are still at the beginning of the journey.” 


Branding & Storytelling

14 JUL 2016 – The 2nd session of the Women in Business Southeast Asia series was all about Branding & Storytelling. We discussed how to craft your message and how to tell your story so that customers will remember you and your products or services.

We had three fantastic speakers: Nantanuch (Nanta) Tangudtaisak, Managing & Creative Director of Anyallerie, a custom-made, fine jewelry brand; Oranuch Lerdsuwankij (Mimee) is the Co-Founder & CEO of Techsauce Media, a community for tech start-ups, and Co-Founder of Thumbsup Media, a digital marketing platform focused IT and business; Shradha Dudeja is Strategy Director at global creative agency Havas WorldwideRead more


Turn Your Idea into a Business

On June 22nd, 2016 we kicked-off our second series of Women in Business Southeast Asia, a training and mentoring program for women-led startups and aspiring entrepreneurs. This first session discussed How to Turn Your Idea into a Business – validating your idea, marketing research, and business planning through the experienced of three seasoned women entrepreneurs: Nikki Assavathorn, CEO of Infinity Levels, an awards winning games studio recognized for its unique games and beautiful artwork. Chatkeo (Moss) Srisuwan, Founder of Mosstories, a Bangkok fashion brand well-known for her handmade custom jewellery, women’s wear, footwear and accessories. Allison Morris, Co-founder of Project Hub Yangon, Myanmar’s first incubator for entrepreneurs. Read more.


What Makes a Great Leader in 21st Century Thailand?

The final session of the Women in Business Southeast Asia series brought 3 outstanding Thai businesswomen to discuss leadership and what are the key qualities of a great leader. Nualphan Lamsam “Madame Pang”, President and Chief Executive Officer of Muang Thai Insurance PCL & manager of the Thai Women’s national soccer team; Roongchat (Jang) Boonyarat, Director & Chief Operating Officer of Malee Sampran Public Company Limited (MALEE); and Shannon Kalaynamitr, Co-founder & Group Chief Marketing Officer of Orami shared their own personal experiences. Read more


Is Exporting A Good Strategy for my Business?

Why, when, and how to export is what we discussed with 3 Bangkok women entrepreneurs at the 5th Women in Business Southeast Asia event in Bangkok. Their businesses export throughout Southeast Asia, are expanding fast, and are reaching well beyond their region to reach Korea, Maldives, Ivory Coast, and soon Europe, Australia, and South Africa. Two of the three businesses were founded as recently as 2011. Read more


Tips on Finding and Retaining Talent in Thailand

“To attract talent you first have to find your story, clearly define your core values, your philosophy and the type of company culture you want to build. This way, you will know what kind of people are a good fit and you want to invite to be part of your story”.  This and more we discussed at the 5th Women in Business Southeast Asia event on “How to Build a Great Team” on January 26th, 2016 at the US Embassy. A panel of three women entrepreneurs Read more


Why do We Talk About Women Entrepreneurs?

Recently I was invited to be part of a panel to discuss the topic of female entrepreneurship at one of Bangkok’s largest entrepreneur networking groups. Fundamentally, the theme was ‘Is it a good idea to make a conscious difference between female entrepreneurs and male entrepreneurs or does it create more bad than good?’ Read more


Business Failure & How to Learn from It

A packed room of entrepreneurs and professionals ditched office parties and other end-of-the-year festivities around Bangkok to listen to three female founders talk openly about their experiences of business failures at the 3rd Women in Business Southeast Asia event on December 17th, 2015. Read more


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How to Build & Market your Brand

Hundred women entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs joined the packed-out second event of the Women in Business Southeast Asia Series to hear four successful businesswomen share their candid experiences on how they built and market their brands. The Series, organized by Connecting Founders, the US Embassy in Bangkok, and MOXY, is a “for women entrepreneurs by women entrepreneurs” program of events. Read more


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Why do we All need Mentors and a Business Community

Over 100 business owners, aspiring entrepreneurs, and professionals joined the first event of a “Women in Business Series”, hosted by Connecting Founders and the US Embassy in collaboration with MOXY, an online shopping destination for women on October 27th in Bangkok. Read more


What Bangkok’s female founders are saying about Branding & Marketing

“When it comes to marketing, there is a big difference between the first ten years and now. During the first ten years it was all about building our brand, creating something exciting for the market. But now we are not new anymore so it is about how to make sure we can maintain our clientele and how to distinguish ourselves from other young designers.” Read more

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