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What Sharesies learnt competing in the Pitch Like a Girl event

What Sharesies learnt competing in the Pitch Like a Girl event

A few weeks ago, some of the Sharesies team went to Hong Kong to attend the RISE conference. RISE is a massive conference that brings together people from all over the world to talk about tech. There are speakers from some of the world’s biggest companies, alongside really early stage start-ups. Co-founder Sonya Williams shares some key takeaways on diversity from the event. 

Sharesies was selected to exhibit their new online investment platform as part of their ALPHA programme. In New Zealand, we hear a lot about what’s going on in Silicon Valley, but it was great to see what was going on in a tech scene we don’t hear that much about in NZ and hear from tech giants like Alibaba, Stripe and Hike.

Diversity in tech

There were 14,000 people from 90 countries, so we were able to chat to people from all over the world.

Brooke Anderson, the CEO and co-founder of Sharesies, said she was was impressed by the real commitment for more diversity in tech.

"The Pitch like a Girl event was just one part of it. RISE had the most diverse crowd I had ever seen at a conference and I hope it’s just the beginning of the new norm," she said.

Pitch #likeagirl



As part of the RISE conference, there was an event for female founders to pitch to a panel of investors. Sharesies was selected as one of the 10 ventures (from 70 applications) to pitch at the event run by Dock @ Work and Next Chapter.

It was great to hear from female founders from all over the world sharing their ideas and business. And was cool to see two Kiwi companies in the 10 that were chosen to pitch.

We were a little nervous being up against 10 business from around the world, as Sharesies was in beta and had only been live for a month. We thought an international audience would scoff at the scale of our numbers, but Brooke ended up winning the pitch competition.

“We were amazed by how we actually do stand up on a global stage- and winning the pitch event was a great evidence of this," Brooke said. “Events, like Pitch Like A Girl a crucial to help female founders get access to capital, especially VC capital. As we know, only 12% of VC funding goes to female founded startups."

Key takeaways from the conference

The RISE conference is fast paced. With three stages over three days, with each speaker being about 15 minutes long.

Some key takeouts:

  • We often hear a lot about what’s going on in Silicon Valley. It was hugely inspiring to see what is coming out of Asia. Such big players owning the entire customer lifecycle with massive market sizes, the likes of WeChat, Go Jek (Indonesia’s biggest startup) and Hike in India.
     
  • Robo-advice and AI were defo the buzzwords of the conference — with some pretty in-depth discussions. There was even a panel where two robots debated the future of humanity.
     
  • It was cool to hear about the challenge and innovation that comes with engaging a market that been introduced to the internet relatively recently… and largely through mobile. Instead of relying on (or being constrained by) learned behaviours built up over time, it’s creating a simpler way of learning about the internet.
     
  • Most of the videos from the conference are available on their YouTube channel if you’re keen to check them out.

Sharesies is making investing easy for everyone. We’re currently in closed beta , but if you want to join the waitlist, head to our website. And to stay up to date with what we’re up to, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.