CEO of Peek on Building a Successful Startup | in-person | J.P. Morgan


(upbeat modern rock music) My journey was pretty
unusual in the sense that I grew up in
the north of England in a small, a very tight-knit, conservative
Pakistani community. And so, it wasn’t
really an environment that fosters the best
kind of opportunities for young women women
of entrepreneurship. I started Peek
after having worked for a few years in finance. I was extremely interested
in the travel space. I went on a trip to
Istanbul with my friends and I found it really,
really hard to figure out what to do and then
be able to book it. I thought that was
a big opportunity in
the activity space to help people book
great things to do, whether they were
at home or abroad, and so I started working
on the idea for Peek and eventually started the
business with my co-founder. I think there’s a few things
that investors look at in order to fund a
company and the first is, is the market really big? The next thing the people
look at is the team. Making sure that you’ve
got a group of people who are able to go out
and scale business. And then, I think, the third
piece has been around timing. The market that we’re in
has really been offline. You couldn’t book their
activities in real time on their websites. And so what we saw
was that mobile was gonna revolutionize that. Both because consumers
are using their phones to find great things to do, but also because the
tour operators recognized that they could use
that mobile phone to run their whole business. I think often what’s happening
in a lot of way that, with the way that
kind of senior roles, a selectee can be because
it’s been an all-boys club or a friendship
group that emerges. So I think the
first thing is just to kind of make sure that
you’re giving opportunities to people who are different. And ensuring that some of
those social connections that are happening
involve everybody. I think the second thing
is to actually ensure that you are challenging people to take risks in their career. Often, a lot of the
data shows that women will not apply for jobs
until they’re already meeting all the qualifications. And then I think
the last piece is just ensuring that you
have great diversity in the earlier
parts of the funnel, when people are really
junior joining your team. Make sure that you’ve got
parity on the diversity side. If you’re thinking about
becoming an entrepreneur, I think you’ve really
got to make sure that the market team
and timing is right. But beyond that, I think
it’s just to stay persistent. There are gonna be
tumultuous moments. You know, someone
wants to leave the team or you make big mistakes
in the business. And I think it’s really
having the fortitude to stay through that and through the
emotional ups and downs. I think that’s a lot of the
early stages of a start-up are around being able to get
through the survival moments and having that persistence. And having that passion and
confidence to keep going.

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