As a part of Studenteer’s Women in Leadership and Business campaign, we spoke to Rebecca De Beukelaer, CEO and Founder of UniSalad, to hear about her career journey as a woman in tech and business founder.
What’s a typical workday like for you?
“I start at 9am, answer emails, get on calls with the team to get weekly updates of where we are and where we need to be by the end of the week.
I tend to split my week into different areas of the business: marketing, development, design, finance, HR etc, so I’ll focus my day around the more urgent one. I then finish around 7 or 8, depending on the level of work needed.”
Could you describe your career journey so far?
“A learning curve. I feel like I’ve become a jack of all trades, but sadly master of none. I’ve done a bit of just about everything: sales, marketing, team leading, managing, hiring, firing, finances, strategy planning, pivoting, app development, app design, customer service and probably many more!”
If any, what additional challenges have you experienced as a woman in tech?
“It’s very male-dominated. I’ve found men are generally more confident than women and find they’re able to really sell themselves and their business. Being a solo female founder is also a tricky one, it’s harder to convince people to invest in you if you are a solo founder as it is.“
If you could start your career again, what would you do differently?
“Have a co-founder, really understand what starting a business was before getting stuck in, and get product-market fit quicker.“
UniSalad started back in 2013 as a Facebook Group for Nottingham University student to sort out all their needs. Founder & CEO, Rebecca De Beukelaer, created the group whilst studying at the University of Nottingham. From selling tickets, to finding housemates, flagging lost property and sharing stories and advice, the Facebook group was the hub of university student life.
As it grew to 35,000+ users, Facebook showed limitations for the group’s improvement, and it became increasing unorganised and unsafe due to scamming and the rise of fake accounts. Our founder decided to transform the group into something more secure, easy to use and valuable to benefit university student life. In January 2019, the UniSalad app was born.
UniSalad is a student-only platform where you can connect with other students from the same university, ask questions, share advice and solve your everyday needs. the app is made up of 5 categories: Q & A, Buy & Sell, Lost & Found, Housing, and Travel, for you to easily filter through to find exactly what you need whilst at university.