In a world with too few female founders, those who do break into the startup world tend to do it well. Founders like Paula Schwarz, Anna von Mangoldt and Nina Faulhaber embrace the challenges that come with being a minority in an industry head on.
Jasmin Taylor and Sophie Chung are no different. The two founders have used their unique backgrounds – Taylor is Middle Eastern, Chung is Cambodian – to create unmatched companies. Taylor’s company, JT Touristik, is a tour operator specializing in the UAE. Junomedical, founded by Chung, was inspired by her work at an NGO in Cambodia.
“Travel as much as you can. As far as you can. As long as you can”
Jasmin Taylor isn’t your average CEO. She came to Germany from Iran with just 500 dollars. She didn’t speak the language and she didn’t have any connections. But she persevered, completed a master’s degree in the US and today runs JT Touristik – a tour operator that has offers for 150 destinations worldwide. In its sixth year, the company made over 121 million Euros.
While Taylor may not have had any connections in Germany she did have many from back home. Drawing on this, JT Touristik specializes in travel to the UAE, especially Dubai and Abu Dhabi. In 2015, 330,000 customers made use of the company, booking holidays to exotic locations. The website promises that only hotels with a recommendation rate of over 70% stay partnered with Touristik.
With JT Touristik, Taylor has made her own brand. You’re likely to find her wearing her signature bright pink outfits in her matching Berlin office. For her the colour symbolizes femininity and emotionality. On a woman who overcame many hurdles to become an entrepreneur, it also represents her strong will and free spirit. It fits in perfectly with her motto: “Travel. As much as you can. As far as you can. As long as you can ”
Democratizing healthcare in a world without borders
Sophie Chung, doctor and founder of Junomedical, was born to parents who were Cambodian refugees. Her company aims to democratize healthcare in a world without borders. And though it may seem like a third-world problem, Chung believes that it is a global issue.
Chung, who has worked as a doctor in Australia, studied in Vienna and provided access to healthcare through an NGO in Cambodia, knows global issues well. Sophie is on a mission to connect patients with the best accredited doctors so that they can receive high-quality treatment at an affordable price. What does this mean in practice? For example, wait times for hip replacements in the UK are particularly long. But in Berlin there is much more availability for the surgery and it’s only a two hour flight. Junomedical allows patients to search for procedures and see hospitals by country which offer care. The digital platform has already been used by 20,000 people. It’s also secured a large seed funding round from Project A. Her motto: “There is no compromise to excellence in patient service.”
These two female founders show how diverse backgrounds can be capitalized on when building successful companies. They have used their experiences to come up with original ideas and execute them. We are very happy to announce that they will be joining us at the HEUREKA 2016 conference on June 7th to speak on the topic of ‘Refugees: Challenge or opportunity for the economy?’
They will join a host of other great speakers sharing their founders’ stories with conference participants.
The full agenda for the HEUREKA conference is available now! Check it out here.
About HEUREKA Conference 2016
Date: June 7th, 2016
Location: Alte Münze
Tickets: Startups – 199 Euros (+ VAT), Services & Corporates – 399 Euros (+VAT), Students – 29 Euros (+VAT)
available on heureka-conference.com