PrideWyse - The Journey Of A Female Tech-Entrepreneur

April 23, Melbourne

So what does it feel like, to risk it all in the pursuit of a dream? Have you ever fantasized about quitting your job; leave the security of a monthly paycheck, to pursue the hopes of fulfilling a dream?

To follow a dream, a vision, a goal, and desire are whispers in our hearts to take action for a step closer to success. These are the stories we like to share. We enjoy living vicariously through our dreams as well as others. It keeps us alive. Its not often we get an opportunity to be apart of a dream, and its important that we don't forget our own desires in the process, and learn to pursue our hearts desires.

Xuan (pronunciation: /Tsu-an/) Tran, Entrepreneur & Founder of PrideWyse Pty Ltd, experiences the day-to-day challenges face on, to make her own dreams to come true and has released a crowdfunding campaign on Pozible to realise her dreams.

Crowdfunding, or crowd-sourced fundraising, is a way of attracting cash for charitable projects or business start-ups. Individuals make pledges of anything from $1 to $1000 to help entrepreneurs reach a cash target. In return, the entrepreneur promises investors something. Depending on the amount pledged, it could be a sample of the product or just a humble thank you.

Xuan aims to raise $30,000 for Project eX, a digital library of stories. and ends on 20 May 2013.

Xuan's idea came from a journey of independence to inspire others, by delivering a message to push the boundaries in the challenges in life, and to realise anything is possible in spite of the circumstances that are given to you.

As a first generation migrant from Vietnam, she endeavors to live by the sacrifices her parents had made as a refugee in to give her chances and opportunity in Australia in 1985. Her parents worked 18-hours a day, 7 days a week, sewing thousands of items of clothing in a poorly ventilated garage to afford a home, afforded the simplest clothing, whilst Xuan sleeps in a cupboard space as her room or on furniture. In witnessing hard work, Xuan at young age of five, she eagerly began to sew and fold clothes for hours with her siblings to help her parents to meet deadlines.

With no other relatives in Australia and only the support of her immediate family, Xuan had to give up her talents as an artist, lived independently at 19 and pursued a career in technology where she had to fight to gain the respect for the simplest luxuries.

One for example, was the right to use her original name in business. Prior to her role working as a Business Development Manager in the IT sector, there was discussion on what name she should change to that would help minimise intimidating her customers.

"I was asked to change my name, to a western name in fear that it may be too 'ethnic' for conservative buyers. But I refused to accept it, as I persisted that I needed to respect my origins and represent my country."

Xuan continued in the technology sector for 7 years, to challenge glass ceilings, gender bias, office politics, cultural differences,\ and general inappropriateness to quickly realised her dreams in escape of her frustrations in ongoing chaos in the corporate world that was beginning to drain her own physical health.

"In the corporate world, I was taught to play a part, play a perception of a successful person, such as emulating masculine traits, despite how miserable and unnatural I was."

She began her journey to inspire herself and find new levels of challenges, and networks by beginning a new life based on a positive set of principles, experiences, and core values. A decision solidified her choice to leave her profession, with the genius support of Dr. Marcus Powe, Entrepreneur in Residence at RMIT University.

"It is so far removed from my experiences now where I am empowered to just be myself. In business meetings, I am my authentic self with no compromises to my character and I work simply to get strong results. As such, my message has become richer, simpler and further from complication. I was able to see myself from a new perspective, deal directly the truths that affected my life, and realise my idea into actions. Something I believe more women can do too."

Her brother, Khoa Tran, had provided personal insight by encouraging her to gain closure from her former experience, and be an advisor for support group, which seeks and empower other women professionals. Tigress was born out of serious dissatisfaction of the way women professionals are valued in the Australian workplace.

LinkedIn Group: LinkedIn Tigress Network

Facebook Group: FaceBook Tigress Group

"I wake up every day, with hope that I can help, and do something. Our research shows us, that 73% of female managers believe barriers to advancement still exist, compared with only 38% of men. Women hold only 12.3% of ASX 200 directorships, 9.7% of executive key management personnel in the ASX 200, and 9.2% of executive KMP positions in the ASX 500."

Xuan uses the journey of chasing her dreams, as an example for women and professionals that anything is possible.

"Since the decision to invest in myself nine months ago, I found peace from the chaos in my old life, and embrace a happy future. It has been a humbling experience. I was a passenger in my life when I was working for somebody else' vision and success in naivety. Now I have clarity, now I can directly responsible for my own results."

Xuan began to find her genuine support network, both personal and professional. "Its interesting that during my entrepreneur experience, you find out who are your real supporters are, and who were the ones who were attempting to take advantage of you. It is a great opportunity to test words from action. I have witnessed great gestures from old networks, new networks, and those I never knew who had believed in me, had taken great lengths to see me do well".

Xuan says her own personal metamorphosis alongside a group of personal and professional support group, has given her the focus she needs to pursue her dreams.

"As a start-up, I am now free to discover and testing the viability of business models to ensure that when I do launch, I would have the foundations ready for the business to succeed without 100% of my attention. Seeking advice from the best minds in sales, experience, and business."

"My dream is to inspire people to build the best digital library on the Internet. To change the way we communicate with each other, taking it beyond face value, and value people from their life journeys."

Xuan has leveraged her background mix in technology, relationship management, marketing and creativity to design her own hundred page prototype as a proof-of-concept, and run focus groups, and feedback sessions for her idea.

"Melbourne has been very supportive of start-up businesses, with the City of Melbourne enterprise group providing start-up grants, start-up incubators, investment firms, non profit organisations, as well as private organisations to support start-ups. In my case, I believe its best to be practical, gain direct feedback from the community and gain perspective of your business' strategies. Pozible's crowd funding site is a great way to do so, especially if you are not fortunate to have your own source of disposable cash to make the necessary steps to get to the next stage in business."

Xuan has remaining 29 days to see the fruits of her labor when the results of the campaign are released. With both excitement, fear, and acceptance, Xuan may soon realise her dreams to deliver news to her mother and father, see the pride in their eyes to her success, and celebrate with a bowl of noodles at their favorite Vietnamese restaurant in Footscray.

"Regardless, I will have no regrets, it's about the journey, just like it is for everybody else. I just want the chance to give everyone a new voice. One where we respect each other, and the stories behind them."



My friends who have a passion in these areas need places to express themselves to the world, and PrideWyse will give them the vehicle to do this. -D.A

I found just what I was needed, and it was entertaining! -S.V

This site is like a classroom, except I don't hate it! -L.M