Interview by Marija Butkovic
Daisy Stapley-Bunten is a keen intrapreneur helping tech startups to connect the dots on their own entrepreneurial journeys through Startups Magazine, a digital and print publication based in Kent, but serving the global tech community.
Daisy, tell us a bit about your background and your projects so far.
Surprisingly, my background and University degree is actually in English Literature - I was first introduced to the world of tech when I joined a publishers, Electronic Specifier, which has a series of titles for electronics engineers. While I certainly didn't have a natural interest in the microchips and FPGAs I was writing about, it was the potential application of this technology which got me excited. Finding out that one tiny component could enable incredible new technology across various sectors which could have a real-world impact was what first got me hooked on learning more.
How did you get into this industry?
Working with Electronic Specifier I would report on events, one of those was an IoT startup showcase at Hardware Pioneers. It was here where I met an amazing community of tech startups, and as I spoke to them, I was inspired by their stories, knowing for many it was their side hustle, and they had bootstrapped their way to be there, and it was here that the idea for Startups Magazine was born. Long story short, after the research and creating my own editorial prototype, I pitched the idea to the two Directors at Electronic Specifier, who took a leap of faith and invested in the idea. Just over one year later, and we are about to publish the ninth issue of Startups Magazine and host our tenth event.
What does your current job role entail?
Everything! Not, but seriously, as a startup brand it can feel like you are wearing a million hats and spinning a thousand plates, but I work alongside an amazing in-house team at Electronic Specifier, without whom I couldn't have survived. An average day for me will consist of designing the layout of the next issue, organising speakers for our upcoming events, interviewing startups and writing articles for our platform and building partnerships within the startup community.
What projects are you working on at the moment?
Now halfway through 2019 we have two more issues to publish (September and November) and more events to organise and host. We are working with a great team of partners on various projects for 2020 including a podcast launch and video series to achieve our underlying mission informed by our core values: to increase diversity by helping startups to champion the representation of women in tech from their inception, and to create a community to raise awareness and create a support system for entrepreneurs to talk about mental health.
What are your biggest achievements to date?
I would say, so far I am most proud of our Women in Tech issue (September 2018), which is a theme we are celebrating again with our next issue (September 2019). The event we hosted to launch the issue has been my favourite, we brought together a community of amazing women and held discussions and debates around the issues facing women in the tech industry, I've never felt a more positive and inspiring vibe in a room of people before.
What does the #WomenInTech movement mean to you? What are the challenges of being a woman in tech / STEM?
This is something, as I've explained, that we really want to help achieve. Not only the representation of women in tech, but the treatment of women in the industry and in startups with education and awareness through our publication. By profiling female-led tech startups we are offering them valuable exposure which both benefits them in a business sense, and features them as role models for younger generations to encourage them into STEM subjects.
In multiple articles we have explored the challenges facing women in tech, and they range from encouraging girls into STEM subjects to begin with, to the hiring process of tech companies, undesirable work cultures and for startups, misogynistic discrimination from potential investors and partners. There are a lot of issues to be addressed in the industry, and we are proud to be doing what we can to help address them.
What is the most important piece of advice you can give to all female founders, entrepreneurs and designers in this industry out there?
From my personal experience, as a younger woman in the tech industry, I have a few war stories to tell of my treatment in the industry, but sadly this is all too common. I am inspired on a daily basis by incredible women in the startup industry, who are not only making waves in their sectors, but are pulling other women up with them. My advice would be to be like them, whatever you achieve, collaborate with other women and raise them up with you.
In your opinion, what will be the key trends in the tech and STEM industry in the next 5 years and where do you see it heading?
I think we have already seen a change in the conversation around STEM, from all angles. It's not just the fear of too little talent and too many tech jobs to fill in the future which is driving the conversation, let alone the disadvantageous treatment of girls around STEM subjects finally being addressed, but also the advent of edtech. We are living in an ever increasing digital age, and digital literacy is now essential. Surrounded by sophisticated technology, children experience, first-hand, its potential. Over the next five years, I would hope that school curriculums are modernised to better equip children with digital and practical skills, that courses are no longer associated with gender stereotypes and that female role models in tech are abundant.
Who are your 3 inspirational women in tech and / or STEM?
Every woman I have spoken to in the tech startup ecosystem, hand on heart, has been inspiring to me. Three to watch out for this year I would say are Olga Kravchenko, Founder of edtech startup Musemio, Sian Winfield, Founder of CoStartup&Go and healthtech startup Co-Founder, Sharon Corburn.
This interview was conducted by Marija Butkovic, Digital Marketing and PR strategist, founder and CEO of Women of Wearables. She regularly writes and speaks on topics of wearable tech, fashion tech, IoT, entrepreneurship and diversity. Visit marijabutkovic.co.uk or follow Marija on Twitter @MarijaButkovic.