In an exclusive blog for W.I.T. Republic, we sat down with Co-Founder and VP of Design at Ash Wellness, Mio Akasako, to talk about everything you need to know when starting your own company in the tech space.
Including the key to a successful start-up and the particular skills you should focus on before starting your own company!
Q: What are the biggest benefits of starting your own company as a woman in tech?
A: You have a direct influence in the core essence of what your company is—the vision, culture, values, and how your company will be built. If you value diversity in your team (genders, ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds), you can make it happen. If you want to have your company cover health insurance costs, you can make it happen. If you want to foster a culture of empathy, you can make it happen. You don’t have to settle for what is handed to you. You are your own advocate, and just as importantly, one for your employees.
Q: From going through the process, what would you say are 3 lessons you have learned along the way?
A: Lesson 1. Make sure you have a stable foundation. This applies to finances, mental health, stress coping mechanisms, support system, etc. Starting your own company is a series of unpredictable ups and downs, and the more you’re equipped to handle that, the better your chances of success in building up the company.
Lesson 2. Surround yourself with talented AND empathetic people. Empathy goes a long way both in fostering a nurturing environment within the company, and being able to create a product that truly makes lives better for your clients and end users.
Lesson 3. When you have the money to do so, hire people who are better at certain tasks than you, and delegate. Trust that they can do the job faster and at a higher quality than you can. You may be an expert in one field, but you are not in all. Your time should be spent doing the things you’re good at to better contribute to the company.
Q: Are there any particular skills that people should be looking to develop before they start their own company?
A: You will be talking to many people of various backgrounds and personalities. Acquire the skill to talk to anyone at any time—with enthusiasm! You never know which meeting or chance encounter will blossom into something more. I am also still working on this!
Q: In your opinion, what is the key to a successful start-up?
A: A talented team that truly believes in the company mission, and supports each other to accomplish it. You are only as good as the people you surround yourself with.