GrowthX Academy

by GrowthX Academy mentor, Odile Roujol. Originally posted on Medium.

I learned a lot in a few hours listening to great leaders at the Women Entrepreneurs and Investors Summit recently. The event, organized by Nyna Pais Caputi, enables women to connect and build a trust relationship with other women. There a few men in the room, happy guests and women from all over the world including India, Korea, Australia and Eastern Europe.

They all share one thing: the drive and ambition to succeed in the Silicon Valley and to have an impact in people’s daily life, whether they are founders about to raise money, or want-to-be investors. Whether in Paris or San Francisco, our challenge seems to be the same: Have confidence and show it!

I wanted to take the opportunity to congratulate the founder Court Buddy. She had the greatest pitch of all of the startups in the final session. Kristina B. Jones has a great business model for a market place connecting attorneys to customers. A 500startup alumni, she lives in Miami and came with her husband (co-founder) and her cute baby girl. Legal tech is on its way!

I also liked what Dawoon Kang, Korean entrepreneur and co-founder of “Coffee Meets Bagel” (platform and app for dating), said about her founding story and how her first angels were her own customers. Sena Zorlu CEO Instapio had great energy. Instapio is a platform for ambient intelligence, seamlessly connecting physical and digital worlds. Thanks for sharing.

I was humbled to be part of the following Investor Panel:

  • Nancy Hayes, Managing Director at Golden Seeds (Moderator)
  • Sydney Thomas, VC Precursor Ventures
  • Monali GokulchandJain, Angel Investor at Keiretsus Forum
  • Uriridiakogene Onovkapuri
  • Ivy Nguyen, Investor at NewGen Capital
  • Myself – Odile Roujol, Advisor NextWorldCapital, Business Angels Bay Angels in San Francisco, @50partners in Paris

Here are some highlights from my interview following the panel discussion:

Tell us a little about your background:

My name is Odile. I come from Paris. I’ve been in the Bay for a year now. I’ve spent a large part of my career with major brands in the field of beauty and luxury as an executive with L’Oréal, Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel.

I’ve been in my latest job at L’Oréal the CEO of Lancôme, #1 brand worldwide cosmetic brand in luxury retail. We’re in 135 markets internationally, so I believe I understand what being global is. I’ve spent a lot of time in flights from America to Asia!

I’ve spent the last 6 years at Orange, a leading telco in European and African markets, and my latest job has been Chief Strategy and Data officer, helping them to improve the customer experience. I fell in love with data analytics and how to better understand customers.

I came to live in San Francisco with my husband, as I’ve always been amazed by the energy and good vibes when I met people at Facebook, Twitter, Google, or data startups.

These people were successful but they were humble and talked about how lucky they were to be surrounded by talented people. I liked that.

Now, I help startups – especially in B2C, from seeding to Series B and C. I also advise Next World Capital (VC), for their portfolio scaling in Europe and also their Evergreen Fund, helping them to build a portfolio of great organic beauty brands.

In addition, I’m a Business Angel in Paris with @50partners, a network with great entrepreneurs investing in digital startups, and Bay Angels, which is how we connected with Nyna Pais Capputi.

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