Tech & Science How 23-year-old Samira Tollo is challenging the status quo and scaling a fintech

16:45  23 january  2020
16:45  23 january  2020 Source:   smartcompany.com.au

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Challenging the status quo is inspiring ordinary people to become extraordinary leaders. Every single leader, movement, and organization that has ever wanted to create greatness has had to challenge the status quo but some leaders are afraid of the challenge because it would mean they

The idea of how to challenge the status quo at work is a fairly fraught one. Most organizations have a tremendously deep belief in company hierarchy, and if Challenge the status quo : Quick personal story. Got laid off from my last gig. Ultimately it was because I screwed up some credit card receipts

a person standing in front of a wall: Elbaite© Provided by Smart Company Elbaite

Samira Tollo might be only 23 years old, but the cryptocurrency marketplace company she co-founded is celebrating its second round of capital investment with a new, experienced board of directors.

Challenging the status quo isn’t something new for Tollo. The electrical engineer escaped Afghanistan and the oppressive Taliban regime as a child with her mother, father and five brothers in 2001. Being the only girl in her family and witnessing war and oppression from a young age has only driven her to believe anything is possible if you have the determination.

Tollo and her brother Mortaza started Elbaite, a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency trading platform, which publicly launched six months ago and raised its second round of investment three months ago. As Australia’s only non-custodial cryptocurrency exchange registered with AUSTRAC, Elbaite works with traders’ seeking security, safety and control of their assets. It doesn’t hold a client’s cryptocurrency and charges no withdrawal or deposit fees, providing a cheaper trading option for buyers and sellers.

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The problem with telling people to challenge the status quo is that , without qualifiers, it can send the Think outside the box. Successful entrepreneurs do look at old ideas in new ways. But if you take it too Well, challenging the status quo is no different. It's more about the process - how you do it

Tollo cuts an impressive figure in the largely male-dominated tech startup sector. As Elbaite’s chief technology officer, she is one of just 14% of females represented in the fintech space. She has successfully negotiated two rounds of successful capital raising for the business, which has been valued at $3.6 million, and has overseen the appointment of an experienced board of directors, including online payment services expert Rod Tasker.

“I never took notice that there were very few females in the engineering industry, I was too fixated on the profession to take notice,” she tells Women’s Agenda.

Gaining access to VC as a woman in fintech is notoriously difficult. One survey of capital raising found that just 2% of funding went to companies founded by women.

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Twenty -two years later, Tewa is a well-established nonprofit in Nepal, driving out discrimination and injustice through women’s empowerment programs. Challenging the status quo . Thapa’s decision to launch Tewa may have appeared abrupt. But it was in fact the culmination of a lifetime of events

I am a single 23 year old -Spanish student at the. University of Barcelona doing a Masters Course. Before placing a firm order we would need samples of all materials used in the manufacture of the units. Could you please confirm that you guarantee all your products for two years against normal wear and

Tollo believes her difficult childhood, her parent’s belief in the value of maths and science, and her determination to make a difference have driven her success.

“As a result of the tragedies I witnessed in Afghanistan and seeing the contrast in safety living in Australia, I became aware that the rest of the world is hurting and suffering at an early age. I was heartbroken and felt ultimately guilty,” she said.

Science runs deep in Tollo’s veins. In Afghanistan, her father was an engineer and her mother was a maths and physics teacher. She adopted her father’s ideology that “there is a solution to every problem” and applied it to engineering.

“This thought was my hope and my escape from guilt. That there are people who are working to fix problems. I wanted to help the world and engineering seemed like a perfect route to this goal.”

Tollo previously worked as an electrical engineer in renewable energy. She became interested in microgrids and blockchain, and eventually cryptocurrency. The appeal was technologies that had the ability to change multiple industries and how they operate.

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My “ status quo ” that I’m challenging within myself is this, I spend about 1 hour per day driving. Additionally, I spend about 30 – 45 minutes per day I lived in Germany for 9 ~ 10 years of my life and feel qualified to speak to the ingenuity and quality of life the Germans have. Germans, not all, but the

Over the last three years , we’ve validated our suggestions in meetings with thousands of employees in large corporations, non-profits, academic institutions, and government departments at every level. We’ve found that no matter the organization, rebels are susceptible to making several common errors.

Her brother, Mortaza, a cryptocurrency trader, approached her with a trading model to solve many of the problems he had encountered through his experience in trading. Tollo worked on the business while she was studying, and in October 2019, they officially launched Elbaite.

Tollo’s advice for young women who find themselves outnumbered in technology or engineering is to have confidence in the quality of their work and product. Having a thick skin is also important; the co-founders were rejected the first time they applied for capital investment.

Tollo adds it helps to be an expert in your field, especially when approaching venture capitalists. Building a network of diverse, powerful and well-connected people, she says, is “the most important factor to raising capital”.

“Through my experience, people are willing to listen when the other person is confident, approachable and backed by a well-researched and rounded product. When approaching a potential VC … you should be teaching them something.

“I want my experience to show that you can do anything if you believe in it enough,” she says.

This article was first published by Women’s Agenda.

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The post How 23-year-old Samira Tollo is challenging the status quo and scaling a fintech appeared first on SmartCompany.

What's a fintech? 43 insiders at powerful Wall Street firms, hot startups, and big investors weigh in on the buzzy but hard-to-define term. .
Business Insider polled 43 executives across the financial services world to find an answer to a seemingly simply question: what is the definition of fintech? Fintech first entered the mainstream vernacular roughly a decade ago, but with every passing year the term gets harder and harder to define. We split the responses into three groups: traditional players, fintech investors, and fintechs themselves. The goal was to understand how different types of firms and people define a term that's applied widely but is nearly impossible to explain concisely.

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