Lynette Hundermark

August 5, 2014 in CEO, Founder, Profiles
Lynette Hundermark, Useful and Beautiful

Lynette Hundermark, Useful and Beautiful

Name: Lynette Hundermark

Designation: Co-founder, MD and Chief Product Officer

Company: Useful and Beautiful

What do you do every day? I am currently building up my start-up business. My daily activities include:

Business development (ensuring I move from startup to the growth phase within the next three months) – I am working toward this by meeting with existing and potential clients to make sure I understand their short-term and long-term business goals in order to identify the best way a mobile solution (be it apps or mobi) can help them meet those needs.

I also monitor the mobile consumer landscape so that I can advise potential clients on the best and most relevant solutions for their business at a strategic level. I work with designers and developers on existing projects so that the project execution is in line with the vision expected by clients. I also manage client expectations as the project unfolds.

As a veteran in the mobile space my job is also to educate my clients about the industry, so I proactively look for ways to improve their business using current technology trends.

How did you get into the tech space? I graduated with a BSc(hons) degree at university majoring in Computer Science. I was offered a bursary by Standard Bank during my third year of studies. On completion of my degree, Standard Bank placed me in their head office as an analyst programmer.

I continued working an as analyst programmer for several years thereafter, both locally and internationally (eight years in the UK) with clients including Citibank, Deutsche Bank and HSBC. I progressed to the level of senior enterprise analyst/developer and on my return to SA in 2010; I was approached by the MIH group to fulfill a new role as mobile product manager which requires a combination of technical, analyst and user experience skills.

My passion for the mobile space ignited during this time and I realised I wanted to focus in this ever-changing space. I have always been a gadget girl and it was a fantastic opportunity to combine both of my passions. Wanting to pursue a strong career in mobile by gaining as much practical experience as possible across a variety of industry sectors, I joined Prezence Digital (at the time, it was the best mobile solutions house in the country), to build and grow their mobile apps division. Earlier this year the holding company of Prezence (Primedia) decided to exclude mobile from their core offerings and shut Prezence down. That was a huge catalyst towards me making the big bold move to start up my own company and continue working in a space that I love.

What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? My good friend and mentor reminded me of a phrase by the great Mandela when I was torn with the decision of starting my own company or looking for a new job at a corporate: “It always seems impossible until it is done.”

What advice would you given someone wanting to get into the tech sector? Don’t look at it as a black and white career. Although IT can be seen to have an “old-fashioned” connotation, new channels such as apps belong in this realm. There are many paths and opportunities so you have to explore and cultivate your career to what you want it to be.

Females in particular seem to think that working in tech means you have to be a geek in the corner coding. While sometimes it may start out that way (I was one of those geeks in the corner for almost eight years), it certainly does not have to stay that way. Tech is wonderful, dynamic and so full of progress. If you are willing to embrace it, there are no limits to what you can achieve.

Find a tech space that inspires you and do the best you can. I strongly believe that women can have a career and a family as long as it is a career that inspires them. It’s really about loving what you do and working hard at it that will always yield results.

What motivates you to get out of bed everyday?

Nothing beats waking up every morning to do something I really enjoy and getting paid for it. Seeing a product evolve from just a concept on a napkin or a whiteboard to something tangible is the best feeling ever.

I love that tech is so dynamic; it excites me that a new gadget or operating system may be released at any time and I look forward to investigating what cool stuff can be built on it. Also as a gadget girl at heart and working in the tech space, it’s the best of both worlds for me as there is no real division between my personal and professional life. Life does not get any better.

Who do you want to be when you grow up? I am growing up really fast in my new role as a business owner using my own money to pay for things along the way. I suppose I would like to be regarded as a successful, well-established business owner, who is able to lead by example to help inspire and motivate people to realise that all it takes is hard-work, determination and a passion to succeed in life.

Find me here:
Twitter: @lynetteanthony @UandBMobile
Web: www.usefulandbeautiful.co.za
Blog: http://www.usefulandbeautiful.co.za/category/blog/
LinkedIn: http://za.linkedin.com/in/lynettehundermark

Tabitha Bailey

August 4, 2014 in CEO, Director, Founder, Profiles
Tabitha Bailey, Daptio & TWP

Tabitha Bailey, Daptio & TWP

Name: Tabitha Bailey

Designation: Founder and CEO

Company: Daptio and Together We Pass

What do you do every day? My days are way too busy, because for past year and a bit I have been running two companies with small teams – which means that I have to do pretty much everything myself.

This includes meetings with clients for Daptio, with training and support for people already using the system. Meeting new potential clients and doing software demos. General admin for Daptio and Together We Pass (TWP) – which always takes up more time than you think! Directing the marketing strategy and writing content for TWP – we are SEO and social media driven so it is hands on and takes a lot of time to do well.

I also have to keep up to date with our development plan for Daptio and TWP, and make sure the right tech is being worked on in terms of the biggest business need of the day. I also do bug testing – we’re constantly testing our technology to make sure it’s all working as it should be. Part of my day is also spent keeping an eye on finances, especially daily income but also expenses and matching to budgets. Then there’s strategy and management – on every level. From keeping track of the overall plan for the next few years, to what we need to achieve this term, to what we are doing this month, to what people need to be working on today. It’s intense!

How did you get into the tech space? Through business need. TWP was growing too fast (100% in 2012) and we could not scale at that pace without technology to assist us. I found a technology partner to help, and suddenly I was in ed tech! I now have two businesses that are technology-based, both in education.

What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? Build your network – you can’t do business without one.

What advice would you give someone wanting to get into the tech sector? If you do not have a tech background, be very careful who you choose for your technology partner.

What motivates you to get out of bed everyday? My son.

What do you want to be when you grow up? Permanently on holiday. Working hard enough for two lifetimes now – have to stop at some point.

Find me on:
Twitter: @tabbybailey @togetherwepass @daptio
Blog: http://togetherwepass.co.za/blog/
Google+: TabithaBailey

Shana Kay Derman

July 30, 2014 in Founder, Profiles
Shana Kay Derman, IntelliCred

Shana Kay Derman, IntelliCred

Name: Shana Kay Derman

Designation: Chief Innovator (Co-Founder)

Company: IntelliCred

What do you do every day? Meeting with clients, product review and development, searching for new customers, constantly recruiting for our development team (skills are rare).

How did you get into the tech space? I got into the tech space helping my uncle in his tech company and loved the element of troubleshooting problems and that the tech-space resides in an ever-changing industry.

What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? Not to worry about gender in this male-dominated space and to do the best job you can do. Sooner or later, they won’t see gender and only see the person who does the best job.

What advice would you given someone wanting to get into the tech sector? Life long learning is key is the tech-space. If you love learning new things and understand that technology is constantly changing affecting businesses and its processes, the technology space is perfect for you.

What motivates you to get out of bed everyday? Making my business successful so that I can provide more for my family is key to kick-starting my day. In addition to this, the overriding belief that my business is going to be a global success is always at the top of my mind so I hardly ever feel like not getting out of bed :).

Who do you want to be when you grow up? A “serial-technology-philanthropist-entrepreneur”.

Find me on:

(Business)
Twitter: @intelli_cred
Website: http://www.intellicred.com/
Blog: http://www.intellicred.com/blog/

(Personal)
Twitter: @shanak
Blog/Website: http://www.shanakay.com
LinkedIn: https://za.linkedin.com/in/shanakay
Philanthropy: http://www.annualtoydrive.info

 

Robyn Farah

July 25, 2014 in Content creator, Founder, Owner, Profiles
Robyn Farah - KAT-O

Robyn Farah – KAT-O

Name: Robyn Farah

Designation: Owner & Project Manager

Company: KAT-O (Kick Ass Technology – Obviously)

What do you do every day? I come up with awesome ways to integrate and improve tech in people’s companies/lives – from designing interactive marketing campaigns to improving/modifying client products. I organise tech talks and courses in Arduino, Raspberry Pi, electronics and code for people of all ages and backgrounds.

How did you get into the tech space? I studied composition and wanted to make the world a fun interactive audio space, so I started delving into different ways I could do this. I found my answer in electronics and programming combined with audio. 😀

What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? This applies to life and work – practice delayed judgement and surround yourself with people that improve who you are.

What advice would you give someone wanting to get into the tech sector? Collaborate, share and go for it! The KAT-O motto – “embrace technology, it allows us to see that our only limitation is our imagination”.

What motivates you to get out of bed everyday? Wow, loads of things! I am lucky to be in a field that is developing and changing so rapidly – so waking up to discover what new discoveries/gadgets have been happening overnight in the tech world while I was asleep – that’s enough to get me to up.

Who do you want to be when you grow up? Easy – the Michel Gondry of the tech world!

Find me here:
Twitter: @RobynFarah
LinkedIn: http://za.linkedin.com/pub/robyn-farah/33/608/200
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/1/+RobynFarah/posts
FB: https://www.facebook.com/KickAssTechObv?fref=ts

Barbs Mallinson

July 21, 2014 in Digital, Founder, Profiles

Barbs MallinsonName: Barbara Mallinson

Designation: Founder & CEO 

Company: Obami

What do you do every day? A mix of things… I catch up with my team, do some business development and product development, strategise, create content, dabble in marketing, travel, speak, network – whatever’s needed for that day – all fuelled by too many cups of coffee.

How did you get into the tech space? I started my own tech company because of a strong distaste for corporate life, coupled with a sense that the Internet was only going to get bigger and better.

What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? If it’s not scary, it’s not worth doing!

What advice would you give someone wanting to get into the tech sector? Go for it… be prepared to shed a bit of blood, sweat and tears – the more you do, the luckier you’ll get.

What motivates you to get out of bed every day? Knowing that Obami is doing some pretty cool stuff… at a pretty cool time in African history.

Who do you want to be when you grow up?  I’d like to be my same ol’ self, but hopefully wiser in many ways.

Find me on:
Twitter – @barbsmall
LinkedIn – za.linkedin.com/in/barbaramallinson
Obami – obami.com/members/barbs

 

Joan Joffe

July 3, 2014 in Founder

It seems fitting to launch this blog by profiling one of the legends of the local ICT sector. Joan has been involved in the sector for years, working for various companies in the US and South Africa, including IBM, Hewlett Packard, Wells Fargo Bank and Standard Oil of California.

In 1977 she launched her own company, Joffe Associates, which was the first organisation in South Africa to import, sell and service the IBM PC. She took the company national, and sold it 10 years later.

She then spent 10 years at Vodacom where she filled the roles of GM Marketing, and Group Executive Corporate Affairs and Communications, and Chairman of the Vodacom Foundation. She retired from Vodacom at the end of 2003.

She is a founding member of broad-based women’s empowerment group, Nozala Investments. She served on the board of IT company, Datacentrix Ltd and was a board member of several non-profit organisations including the Freeplay Foundation, Women and Men Against Child Abuse; and Readucate.

She is a former Businesswoman of the Year and a recipient of the Wits University Lifetime Award for Entrepreneurship. She is a Fellow of the Computer Society of South Africa and a winner of the organisation’s Fellowship Award for 2004.

She currently consults to companies in the ICT sector and represents several offshore technology companies.

Thank you, Joan, for being an inspiration and a role model, and for agreeing to be profiled here. 🙂

Sam

Joan Joffe, Joffe Associates

Joan Joffe, Joffe Associates

Name: Joan Joffe

Designation: Founder

Company: Joffe Associates

What do you do every day? Surf the web, evaluate tech opportunities that come my way, mentor others.

How did you get into the tech space? By chance – I met someone who invited me to interview for a position as a programmer at a computer company. I got the job and that set the direction for the rest of my life and I abandoned my plans to become a lawyer.

What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? There are no limits to anything except those that you set for yourself.

What advice would you given someone wanting to get into the tech sector? Go for it! Start at the bottom if necessary and don’t ever think you see a glass ceiling because there isn’t one.

What motivates you to get out of bed everyday? Life’s challenges and opportunities.

Who do you want to be when you grow up? Exactly what I am right now!

Find me on:
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/pub/joan-joffe/a/a9/4a8