lessons from entrepreneurs on starting your own business, Part 10
Hire people who believe in the vision
Maria Fujihara, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Sinai Technologies
While at Singularity University’s Global Solutions Program, I identified a gap in the climate tech market - bundling carbon accounting and software. Fast forward to 2018, I had solidified an offering for corporate buyers: software to measure, analyze, price and reduce carbon emissions. After dozens of conversations, the world’s largest steel manufacturer, ArcelorMittal, agreed to be SINAI’s first customer. All that was left was to conceptualize and build SINAI, which develops software to cost-effectively measure, analyze, price and reduce emissions.
Through colleagues, I was introduced to two people who made SINAI seem like a possibility - product manager Olena Klivtsova and CTO Alain Rodriguez. Both agreed to take an enormous risk - defer a salary and take all equity, rooted in their belief in the vision for SINAI.
Finding the first few people who believed in the vision as much as I did was what made the product come to life. Conceptualizing SINAI was a daunting and lonely task. Finding Alain and Olena made me realize, if I want to build a successful company, I need to build a team first.
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