Unanimous Founder Spotlight: Mei Siauw, LeadIQ
“The founder’s journey is one of resiliency. Keep going especially when times are tough.” – Mei Siauw
Found-er (noun): a person who establishes an institution or settlement.
Behind every company is the story of a founder or team of founders who came together with a vision and persevered to bring an idea to life. Every founder story has its wins, but it also has its challenges. At the heart of every founder, one theme is common: resiliency. How do you make the hard decisions? What motivates you to keep going when things get tough?
We sat down with Mei Siauw, Co-Founder of LeadIQ, to share her founding story and take an inside look at the company in its time of growth and future ahead.
The Right Place, The Right Time
After graduating from Cornell University, Mei joined Oracle where she spent a decade moving up the ranks from leading a team of product managers to driving product management, product strategy, and GTM initiatives for new products for the company. Afterward she decided to shift gears and go back to school, enrolling at The Wharton School for her MBA. It was there that Mei was introduced to entrepreneurship.
Mei says, “I asked myself what else was out there and decided to look for other possibilities. I looked into joining other startups, then decided to do the MBA program at Wharton.” It was there she watched her MBA colleagues graduate and join other companies which inspired her to dive into the world of startups. She ultimately found her co-founders and together launched the company known today as LeadIQ, a Series B account-based prospecting SaaS platform that makes sales prospecting fun and easy.
The Early Days of LeadIQ
UC: What were some of the early wins you and your team saw that gave motivation to keep building LeadIQ?
Mei: The motivation early on came from a lot of small, small wins. As a team, we strived to be better every day and as we gained more proof points, we kept building. Some of our early wins were our first investor check from Jason Calacanis (who introduced us to the Unanimous Capital team), our first employee who believed in what we were doing, joining our first accelerator, and then came the first customers. We still keep in touch with our first customer to this day!
UC: What have been some of the hardest challenges that have turned into the greatest lessons in your entrepreneurial journey?
Mei: We got to where we are today with a lean team. It wasn’t easy to fundraise for the space we’re in which taught us early on the importance of being capital efficient. In our early days, we hired more junior people who were eager and could grow with us. They’ve become the backbone of our team. Today, we’re a Series B company with 150+ employees around the world.
A Growth Trajectory
UC: When and where did scale come into play?
Mei: We’re there right now. We were so used to operating with a lean team and being capital efficient that we didn’t bring on more senior people until our Series B. Now that we’re there, we’re focusing on bringing on team members with different experiences and mentalities who are used to building to scale. For example, hiring a VP of Sales. Scale comes into play when you recognize all of the missing things and build for those – you build to scale. LeadIQ is at that growth point and we’re excited and working hard to keep being better every day at what we do for our customers.
UC: How do you look at the next 5 years?
Mei: We’re determined to prove we can scale into larger companies and push up the market. Our dream is to see LeadIQ in the hands of mid-market companies with sales teams of 100+ people all using our platform.
Thoughts on the Future
UC: The work world is changing – how are you leading the charge to meet those changes with how your team works?
Mei: Creatively. Pre-pandemic, our team was based in two locations. Today, we’re over 150 employees who are all fully remote in 33 different countries – we want to be a global company. We’re finding ways to make our team feel connected and supported through community and culture. Being in 33 countries and dozens of time zones can make it hard to collaborate and is a bit more challenging, but we’re figuring it out.
Words of Wisdom
UC: Any other words of wisdom or advice you’d like to share with those embarking on founding journeys of their own?
Mei: (Laughs) I’m still on the journey myself. The founder’s journey is one of resiliency. Keep going, especially when times are tough. And remember, be capital efficient.