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Roundtable: Starting a Business in a New Environment — October 22, 2020

In today’s changing climate, entrepreneurs, communities, and markets across the globe are redefining the way they work, build relationships, and bring ideas to life. Whether you are entering a new physical environment or — like the rest of the world — are learning to navigate this new, increasingly digital environment, it is helpful to hear the perspectives of those who have taken unpaved paths before. In this special global roundtable, WAFFA sits down with three Wharton alumni entrepreneurs who have gone through the experience of starting up in a new environment — to glean some insights and life lessons that we might all be able to bring into our work and life.

Date: Thu, October 22, 2020
Time: 7AM PST
Location: Online
Cost: Free

About Lucy Xu Founder & CEO of The Port Global (Athens, Greece)

Lucy Xu is Founder & CEO of The Port Global, a marketing and business consultancy supporting startups and growing businesses across Greece and the U.S. She holds a business degree from Wharton, is a TEDx speaker, and has a background in technology and marketing (formerly IBM, Curalate, and Startup Grind NYC). In 2017, Lucy moved from New York City to Athens to explore a unique thesis on the potential for innovation, cooperation, and expansion that exists between these markets.

About Sasibai Kimis Founder & Chief Innovation Officer of EARTH HEIR® (Ampang, Malaysia)

Sasibai Kimis left a successful career in the finance industry to start the award-winning social business and craftsmanship focused brand, EARTH HEIR®, in February 2013. Earth Heir’s story began with a desire to create thoughtfully designed, contemporary heritage pieces handcrafted by master artisans in Malaysia. Earth Heir works with disappearing heritage art forms, and advocates fair trade principles, sustainability and ethical partnerships. As part of its social and ecological mission, Earth Heir focuses on the sustainability of its products and supply chain. 

Earth Heir won the British Council and Arthur Guinness Projects Social Enterprise Award 2015 and Sasibai was one of Wharton’s “40 under 40” award winners in 2015 and an Eisenhower Fellow in the 2015 Women’s Leadership Program. She is also a Vital Voices Grow 2019 Fellow, an Asia21 Young Leader 2017 with the Asia Society and is the Country Coordinator for Fashion Revolution Malaysia. 

Prior to Earth Heir, Sasi was a Vice President in the Investments division at Khazanah Nasional (Malaysia), a Director in the Private Equity team at First Avenue Partners LLP (London), worked in Ghana with Opportunities Industrialization Centers International and the United Nations Development Program, and in New York as an Investment Banking Analyst at Lehman Brothers.

Sasibai received a B.S in Economics (Finance and Management) cum laude from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and an M.Phil in Environment and Development from Cambridge University. She has spoken widely at universities, conferences (such as TEDx) and forums in Malaysia, Mauritius, Singapore, Indonesia, U.K., United States, Switzerland and Japan.”

About Mitchell Sauers CEO of Uganda, UpEnergy (Kampala, Uganda)

Mitch loves building organizations that improve quality of life for all stakeholders. He currently serves as CEO of UpEnergy Group, a company that brings aspirational products within reach of low-income customers. Previously, Mitch spent time working in the investment bank at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in New York, LATAM Airlines Group in Chile and Fenix International scaling up their solar home system business throughout Africa. He is passionate about income equality and climate change. Mitch holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

About WAFFA

The Wharton Alumnae Founders & Funders Association (WAFFA) is a 501c3 non-profit organization. Our mission is to accelerate the success of Penn Wharton female founders and investors. Today, 13% of Penn founders are women but they raise just 6% of venture capital. WAFFA harnesses the power of the Penn Wharton network to educate, support, and foster connections for female founders and funders.