Not your typical founder: What early stage investors can learn from Amira Yahyaoui

Amira Yahyaoui — CAYCE CLIFFORD, via Sequoia Capital
  1. She is not a technical founder. Amira had never founded a technology company and considers herself “the worst coder on the team”. However, she did know how to build a movement, lead a team and tackle huge incumbent structures (including governments). Founder market fit doesn’t always look like Stanford CS degree. What is the core job that the company needs to get done, and how do you solve for that authentically in a founder? What is the founder’s personal motivation for doing what they do?
  2. She had no homegrown network and no warm intros from family/friends. Amira grew up in the Tunisian desert, yet is now building a fintech company in arguably the most competitive country in the world. She is an immigrant and English is her third language. When she told her mother she was going to build a bank, her mother replied: “Are we allowed to do this — US?” (to which Amira replied, “Yes mom, us, normal people, can do whatever the hell we want”.) Amira believes being an immigrant and not having a homegrown advantage has made her more ambitious, helped her run through walls and pushed her to continue to challenge the status quo. “My lack of knowledge [has] kept me going.”

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I like investing in consumer and technology companies // 🇨🇳+🇬🇧 export // harvard and oxford alum // partner @ sweet capital

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Pippa Lamb

Pippa Lamb

I like investing in consumer and technology companies // 🇨🇳+🇬🇧 export // harvard and oxford alum // partner @ sweet capital

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