In space, no one can hear you scream. In the FinTech space, everyone can hear you scream. That’s why Chase Yeung, Co-founder and CEO of 7QUBES, is leveraging artificial intelligence and blockchain distributed ledger technologies to make life easier for financial service professionals. In this interview, she shares her thoughts on risk, empowering employees, and why an entrepreneur’s journey is far more important than the destination.
Say what you want about the innovations that have come from the FinTech industry -- this heavily regulated sector is, in many ways, still very much in its infancy. And as any financial technology expert will tell you, there are a number of obstacles that challenge both industry veterans and newcomers alike, whether that’s executing a contract, securing a payment, improving logistics, or simply maintaining data security.
Chase Yeung says it’s an issue that’s affecting everyone from your local bank to the highest skyscrapers on Wall Street.
“The big traditional banks and financial service firms are investing in innovation, but that’s a challenge for them because they’re still using legacy systems. Meanwhile, FinTech startups are having trouble navigating through regulations because they are always changing and that means they have to scale quickly with limited resources.”
With cyber-attacks estimated to cost an annual amount of $6 trillion by 2021, it’s easy to see why many FinTech companies are on edge. You can’t blame them for going through time-consuming and resource-heavy processes like checking, re-checking, and re-re-checking their security systems to ensure that all their data and payments are safe and sound. However, Yeung’s company 7QUBES is tackling the problem with some 21st-century ingenuity.
“We’re applying Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT) to solve security issues, automate processes, minimize redundancies, and allow for greater resource allocation. Basically, we enable our clients to shift their focus away from labor-intensive, tedious manual processes so they can concentrate on their products and build the best customer experience.”
While Yeung is happy about 7QUBES’ many offerings and how far her company has come, she remembers a time when things weren’t quite so rosy.
“The journey has been a roller coaster ride. At first, we thought, ‘hey we have this great platform and people will love it!’ That wasn’t always the case. It took a while to get where we are now, and I think that the most important thing was that we kept learning from the feedback we were receiving and applying those lessons. We’ve moved very quickly in less than a year and we’re excited to be launching the beta version of our consumer platform (GoPlutus.com) in the next few weeks.”
Like many entrepreneurs, Yeung had her doubts when she decided to leave a successful career and pursue a far more uncertain -- yet more fulfilling -- occupation.
“I came from a private equity firm where I was making good money. It was a very secure job. Now, I have days where things are just completely off the wall. Despite all of that, I’m still very happy that I took the entrepreneurial route. Is there a lot of stress? Yes. Is there a lot of risk? Yes. But if you truly believe in your idea, I think you just have to do it.”
Yeung believes that the fear of the unknown is often mitigated when it’s shared. For entrepreneurs, that means having a strong team and a strong network. And despite everything you may have heard about business operations, Yeung says that it’s the people, not necessarily the processes, that drive growth.
“At many companies, employees just do their job and stay in their lanes. I want people on my team to be a Swiss Army Knife so that they’re capable of doing anything. I want my staff to empower themselves and become the CEO of their own companies so that one day, I can point to them and say, ‘hey, this person started at 7QUBES.’”
And speaking of people -- that’s exactly what drew Yeung to WiSTEM, 1871’s 12-week accelerator program for women entrepreneurs. After attending WiSTEM’s C6 showcase, she was so impressed with the quality of its members that she immediately applied for the program’s seventh cohort. She says that, although the cohort numbers have changed, the caliber of its members remain the same.
“The network at WiSTEM is one the program’s greatest strengths and that really has to do with the high quality of individuals here. I always tell myself that if things don’t pan out for me, I’d be happy to work for any of the women entrepreneurs in my cohort.”
While it comes with the territory, ambiguity is a condition that, at best, is tolerated by most entrepreneurs -- but for Yeung, it’s a welcome friend.
“I say embrace, embrace, embrace. Embrace the people, the process, the work, the good, and the bad. As a founder, it’s easy to get tunnel vision and focus too much on the results. Instead of trying to control or predict everything, I find that it’s better to just enjoy every step of the journey and accept that your actions, good or bad, can lead to a variety of outcomes.”
Learn more about the WiSTEM program here.
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