We recently asked you to nominate young leaders living or working in North San Mateo County for Patch's "30 under 30" series recognizing young leaders.
We've been impressed by the talented and influential young people in our area. We'll continue publishing profiles regularly until we hit 30, and we invite you to continue sending nominations of people who you feel should be honored. To nominate someone, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the person's name, contact information and a short description of why they are a young leader.
Name: Andrea Lo
Residence: San Francisco
Education: , , Kennedy Junior High (Cupertino), Monta Vista High School, UC Berkeley
Occupation: Entrepreneur, Founder of , a fundraising platform that helps young people raise money online.
Why did you choose your industry or field?
I wanted to make a big impact on the world, empower young people to do the same, and work in an environment where I was in control of my destiny. As an entrepreneur, you can rapidly innovate, put ideas into action, and see results immediately.
How did you get into that area?
I was told the biggest impact I could make was starting my own company. I then started getting exposed to all the amazing innovation in the Bay area tech startup scene and realized that being an entrepreneurship was just a mindset and a learnable skill. Then I spotted a real world problem--how do you empower young people and teach them 21st century skills--and tried to solve it.
What kind of challenges have you faced? How did you overcome them?
When you're starting your own company from scratch, there are many hurdles. In essence you're trying to bring something into the world that doesn't already exist. There are always going to be skeptics and days where you wonder if they're right. Even if you have to take one step back for every two steps forward, the key is always progressing forward. In the end, passion, innovation, and hard work will prevail.
Who inspires you?
On a more personal level, my mother. She has dedicated herself to helping those around her thrive and succeed. On a daily basis, it's the young people and teams I'm building my company for, where having more funds opens up a world of possibilities. My mission is to empower young people to be proactive, overcome failure, and think big. If they learn these skills early on, they will succeed in life no matter what their education or socioeconomic status.
What is your advice for aspiring leaders?
This may sound cliche, but answer this question, "What would you do if you could not fail?" After you answer that question, critically examine why you aren't doing that today and understand what is holding you back. Make a plan to overcome what's holding you back by mapping out all the steps it will take to get to that end goal you envisioned. And then take that first step!