Episode 58: Navigating the Journey with SAP.iO’s Vanessa Liu

Navigating the Journey with SAP.iO’s Vanessa Liu

When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up? Did you grow up thinking that you wanted to become an astronaut and then go off in a completely different direction?

Well, in this episode, Vanessa Liu shares with us her career journey that took her from dreams of being an astronaut to becoming a Harvard lawyer to becoming a senior executive in digital media and technology innovation. No matter what her role has been, Vanessa has always been at the forefront of innovation.

Vanessa is the VP of SAP.iO, a global organization responsible for building an ecosystem of startups around SAP. In her role, she is overseeing SAP.iO’s North American Foundries in New York and San Francisco, including programs devoted to women and diverse-led B2B enterprise tech companies.

Highlights:

[02:13] Vanessa’s story
[08:57] Overcoming fears
[10:55] Vanessa’s superpower
[13:25] Awareness of identity
[17:07] What holds women back
[22:10] Advocacy from mentors and sponsors
[23:57] Approaching a potential mentor
[26:26] Showcase your capabilities
[30:38] Vanessa’s role at SAP.iO
[33:58] Advice for founders
[38:34] Challenges women face in raising capital
[42:43] Post-pandemic world
[46:18] Juggling competing priorities

Quotes:

“If something feels right from an impact perspective, and you are in a state of flow, because you know that your contributions are making a difference, you can then enjoy the journey, which takes a lot of the fear away.” – Vanessa Liu

“When building your network, make sure you give to the relationship so that it is just as fulfilling for the other person as it is for you.” – Vanessa Liu

“Understanding what your superpower is and matching that with organizations that also value that is essential.” – Vanessa Liu

“You need to be able to tell your story so that other people can understand it.” – Vanessa Liu

“We all have the same asset, which is 24 hours a day. And it’s about how do you spend it? And how can you spend it wisely.” – Vanessa Liu

“Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It means that you know yourself well and that you know where you need help.” – Vanessa Liu

About Vanessa Liu:

Vanessa is the VP of SAP.iO, a global organization responsible for building an ecosystem of startups around SAP. In her role, she is overseeing SAP.iO’s North American Foundries in New York and San Francisco, including programs devoted to women and diverse-led B2B enterprise tech companies.

Vanessa was most recently the Chief Operating Officer at Trigger Media Group, a $22MM digital media incubator. In her role, she co-founded, incubated and oversaw business operations and strategic initiatives of Trigger’s portfolio companies: InsideHook (the essential digital lifestyle guide for adventurous and discerning men) and Fevo (SaaS technology bringing friends and networks together for group experiences at live events).

Vanessa currently serves as a board observer of Fevo and is an advisor or investor in start-ups including Bounce Exchange, Grata Data, GroundSignal, Knotel and Narrativ. She mentors female founders through Declare’s Lead Program.

Previously, Vanessa was an Associate Partner at McKinsey & Company’s Media and Entertainment Practice, based in Amsterdam, London and New York. In this role, Vanessa was responsible for serving clients in a variety of media and high tech sectors including online advertising, magazine and newspaper publishing, television, video content production, and information services, particularly on issues of digital media strategy, emerging market strategy, growth and innovation.

Vanessa graduated magna cum laude with an AB in psychology from Harvard University and cum laude with a JD from Harvard Law School. She was a Fulbright Scholar at Universiteit Utrecht in the Netherlands where she conducted independent research on the International War Crimes Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and the International Court of Justice. She serves as Vice President, College Alumni Affairs, of the Harvard Alumni Association.

Links:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vanessawliu/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/vanessawliu

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *