[R] Startup19 - Assets

Sendy: AWS Startup Stories Notes from Founders Vol1

Amazon Web Services Resources EMEA

Issue link: https://emea-resources.awscloud.com/i/1146508

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4 STARTUP STORIES Notes from Founders: Sendy 'My pets, Teddybear and Maddybear, represent what's important to me - love, play, cuddles and lots of sleep!' 'People and focus have helped us to succeed' I'd attribute much of our success to our team. We had good techies as founders and it's hard to find good tech in Kenya. I come from an investment background, so we've been lucky having a mixed pool of investors. I also think focus has made us successful. Two years ago, we brought an agency in that helped us with our focus. We worked hard at understanding our mission, vision and priorities. 'We should have hired more people from the start' Looking back now, I see that we should have hired more talent right away, especially senior team members, lawyers and tax consultants. We're doing a lot of cleanup right now trying to fix mistakes we made in the past that easily could have been avoided. We also should have invested in better servers. Before we got set up with AWS and started using services like EC2, Amazon RDS and Amazon CloudWatch, we had all sorts of issues with our system. Once, our entire system went down for a day and it just blows my mind that could happen. Luckily since we moved to AWS, we haven't had any issues. 'My parents must have inspired my wanderlust' My parents, who are Canadian and Dutch, met in Kenya 40 years ago. So when I was born in Massachusetts, they named me Malaika, which means 'angel' in Swahili. So here I am in Nairobi, a white American girl with a Swahili name. When we host a meeting, everyone expects a Kenyan girl and then they get me. Growing up, I had three passports, which allowed me to bounce around the world and must have inspired my adventurous streak. I went to college in the United States, then got two master's degrees in Europe. My first job was in The Netherlands as a brand manager for TomTom, which offers navigation, traffic, map and fleet management services. After a couple of years, I realized my life was too easy and too wonderful in Amsterdam and clearly I needed to take on another challenge, so I decided to move to Africa and push my comfort zone. 'In my time off, I love to exercise' I do both boxing and crossfit to stay in shape and I also love running. When I run, I scope out all the new cafes. Five years ago, when I first moved here, there was nowhere hipster or fun where you could get Western food. I still haven't found good bagels here. If I had the time, money and energy, I would build a bagel food truck for Nairobi.

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