#5: Hind Elidrissi

Episode 5 - Hind Elidrissi - French problems, French solutions

Coming out of one of the top business schools in France, Hind had plans to create a startup and take the world by storm.  And then Dot-com went Dot-bomb and like many other aspiring entrepreneurs, Hind put those dreams on the shelf and joined a big company.  It was the sensible thing to do and much more secure than the collapsing Internet world.

Back then, creating a startup took more than just a good idea: you needed lots of cash to buy equipment (the hardware alone to run your servers could easily be well into six figures). So Hind hunkered down in the steady world of insurance, but she didn’t give up on her big dreams.  She took on new projects within the global company and learned a lot

Hind is clearly super smart, but let’s be honest: there are plenty of smart people out there who aren’t cut out for the wild world of startups. Thanks to the calmer environment of a big corporation, she was also able to focus on improving her people skills and developing a better EQ. According to Hind, learning a trade is possible in a relatively short period of time, but developing people skills is a never-ending process. In a business landscape littered with Tech Bro jerks who can’t grasp the basic skills required to engage with others, Hind stands out as a true role model.

After extensive study and following lectures at The Family, a startup incubator and accelerator in Paris, she took the leap and created Wemind. While their core product has remained intact since the beginning, they’ve pivoted to add different components. Their initial offering, while important, wasn’t building significant enthusiasm among her target market, so Hind did what good entrepreneurs do: she listened. And listened a bit more. And then some more until she truly understood what her market wanted.

Hind’s can-do spirit and people skills shine through in our conversation with her, and confirm that her choice to set out to become a startup CEO was the right one. She studies extensively to learn about the market dynamics, listens to her target audience, and then executes.  It’s no wonder that at launch she had 15,000 prospects lined up and ready to buy.  

Watch this space because there’s a big future ahead for Hind Elidrissi and Wemind.