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Asmau Ahmed is founder of Plum Perfect, a visual search engine that provides personal beauty recommendations to shoppers when they upload their photos. Ahmed was able to combine her knowledge of technology and chemistry to provide a resource she found lacking while shopping as a consumer. Noticing a void in the market, Ahmed, a native of Nigeria, used her experience as a “citizen of the world” and her educational background to give women of all ethnic groups a Web tool that makes shopping for beauty products that much easier.
Coleman: What advice would you have for other women of color looking to fund tech-based companies?
Ahmed: We are already used to working harder than everyone else. The same applies here. Network with other entrepreneurs and learn from their experiences. Black Founders has a great community of entrepreneurs, so start there. Build a team of doers — effort doesn’t count for anything in a startup, results do. Investors want to see results and a well rounded team they can trust to deliver. Become an expert in the non-tech aspects of your business. Nail down and validate exactly how you are going to make money. Articulate, very clearly, what your go-to-market strategy will be. It’ll change with time and experience – the savvy investors know that.