Karena Belin is a recent GA grad, and co-founder of W Hub, a profile-driven platform that showcases the entrepreneur and team behind the startup. Karena took the Business Fundamentals & Tactics course to build a foundation for her startup’s business plan.
Hi Karena! Tell us more about yourself.
I am a working mum of three little, adorable girls that make it more than worthwhile to go the extra mile, be it for the family or fulfillment in my professional life.
I am the co-founder of W Hub, a profile driven platform showcasing entrepreneurs to help them bring their business to the next level and attract skillful talent. This means not only advertising their product and services, but also promoting their crusade and all the advantages their startup can offer: a true impact on society, flexibility in work hours and location, equity participation or other flexible compensation, and flexibility in roles and responsibilities.
How did you come up with the idea for W Hub?
The idea was born on a Monday morning around a cup of coffee with my friend, and now Co-Founder, Karen Farzam. Like most startups, it started by identifying a need we had ourselves: we wanted to keep our personal learning curve steep, acquiring new skills, and even thinking of reinventing our careers. When realising that this was a common need and so many people felt that they were“wasting” part of their brainpower, we knew we needed to find a solution.
We were lucky enough to be exposed to entrepreneurs amongst our friends and witnessed their struggle to find the right resources and talent to bring their business to the next level. So here was the perfect match! Immersing ourselves more and more into the growing startup scene, we knew the passion and energy of the founders would be contagious and motivate talents to make the leap into this exciting ecosystem.
We define our current stage as the “validation” stage: we have launched our MVP just 4 weeks ago and, loyal to the lean startup approach, and are now collecting feedback from our growing user base and reiterating areas that have room for improvement.
Simultaneously, we are expanding our services. Today, startups can showcase who they are and what jobs they offer. In the next stage, talents will also be able to create their own profile so that startups can proactively contact them.
Why did you decide to take Business Fundamentals & Tactics at GA?
I decided to take Business Fundamentals and Tactics for two simple reasons:
- My great experience with my first course taken @ GA, i.e. the Digital Marketing class held by Jay Oatway
- Meeting my BFT class teacher Niomal Liyanage at an GA event and talking about my business. His passion and input convinced me that he would have a lot of great advice to give!
Coming from a background in business and administration, and having gone through university and MBA education previously, I felt the need to get advice super specific to the startup scene, where you are the designer, creator, and executer of ideas all at once.
Tell us about your experience with GA. How did your instructor help you achieve your goals?
For both of my courses, GA truly lived up to my expectations and the promise given: creating a learning community and putting the people before the machine.
This includes learning as much from your colleagues and their business ideas, opportunities, and failures as you do from the instructor. Practical homework applied to real businesses with direct feedback and discussions in class.
This also includes the instructor, Nio, who was always adapting and personalising the course content to the imminent needs of the class. He truly tailored the learning material, including bringing out-side resources of high value into the class, such as “staging” a shark tank pitching exercise with Hong Kong’s number 1 angel investor business Nest.
Finally, Nio’s availability and approachability had no limits! He replied and gave input 24/7 and was always willing to meet up before or after class to answer any open questions.
What were the top 3 things you learned from GA that are most helpful to your current projects?
- How to pitch my business in a highly impactful way.
- Putting a number and dollar amount on the market potential of my business.
- Validating my next 36 months KPIs.
What about life after GA? What’s next for you and W Hub?
There is no more life “after” GA, but as of now only a life “with” GA!
In the short term, we will be executing W Hub’s business model and expand our MVP with the launch of the next services such as the Talent sign-up and Expert corner. In the short-term, we will be looking to attract investments to support our geographical expansion.
We will definitely stay in close touch with GA and the classes and seminars offered, as well as alumni and former colleagues for mutually beneficial exchanges.
Interested in learning more about our Business Fundamentals & Tactics course? Sign up for our next info session!