career transitioner/ restarter

CHRISTINA TEO

Chief Builder, she1K

(In her 50's)

 

Her story (In her words)

Returned to Singapore 5 years ago to no network. Entered unchartered territory of startup, spending first 2 years learning and networking. Then started the world's 1st corporate executive angel investing syndicate with 70% female executive participation. As LinkedIn Top Voice 2020 in Singapore, alongside Lee Hsien Loong. I started leveraging LinkedIn only since my return.

 

2 main pillars to me - 1st : women empowerment. I demonstrate that through stories and content I publish on LinkedIn. I also ran 11 in-person WomenChangemakers followed by 9 consecutive lunches during COVID and have staged more than 120 executive women to speak. 2nd : angel investing in startups. Launched a unique program, C-shark Tank, three times a year where executives invest upfront without knowing who is coming to pitch. This calls for immense trust. There is no such formula in the world.

 

I frequently dedicate my time to coach startups, young undergrads in SMU, NUS, SIM, judge and coach at startup competitions, speak at women and startup events to inspire.

 

I was not looking for anything and was complacent with being obsolete but the startup world fascinated me with its maze and the accelerated learning on all fronts. And I wanted to put my money where my mouth is. I know I can't do it alone so that's why I built a syndicate but that requires design and commitment and a high service level. I walk the talk by personally investing alongside my community. I do not see myself as an event organiser or an entrepreneur. I see myself as a platform and eco-system enabler, empowering others - all these I really learnt in these later years, despite a stellar career in IT, dotcom and mobile.

 

I enjoy being a first mover and count myself very lucky to be in the position to #giveback. I relish being able to re-start from scratch and am thankful that I have even gotten support from the government and the eco-system.

My personal epic story is also that I retired at 41 to go to New York to look for a husband and I got married at 46. Left Singapore at 23 and returned at 53.

 

Greatest achievement

Building 2 communities - one is world's first C-suite executives with 70% female executive representation through a structured program called C-shark Tank (there is none other like this) and one is for professional ladies (mostly in their 30s) under the program of WomenChangemakers, empowering women executive role models to engage with younger ladies. And I recently was awarded LinkedIn Top Voice 2020 after getting active on Linkedin only from 2017.

 

Biggest challenge thus far

I came back to my own country in my 50s to nothing - restarting from scratch, having left for 3 decades.

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what judges say

Much older age to restart from, very impactful work on women