Ever found yourself in a new place, surrounded by unfamiliar faces, looking for friends or a community that shares your interest? Erin Zhao knows that feeling all too well.
With a childhood marked by frequent moves, each relocation brought Erin the recurring challenge of seeking kindred spirits who matched her enthusiasm for outdoor activities like cycling, golfing, and hiking. But here’s the thing: we live in an era where it’s so easy to connect with people virtually, have friends online, and yet feel like something’s missing.
As a person who loves solving puzzles and coming up with creative solutions, Erin founded OutWeGo, a wellness platform headquartered in the Bay Area, designed to combat feelings of loneliness and disconnection by facilitating personalized activities in an exclusive and curated community.
The Challenges of Being a Solo Female Founder and First-Time Entrepreneur
Erin faced distinctive challenges on her path to establishing OutWeGo, specially as a solo female founder and a first-time entrepreneur. One of them was finding the delicate balance between technological innovation and a human-centric vision.
Creating a digital platform that encourages authentic personal connections demands not only technical skills but also a deep understanding of social dynamics and user safety. Erin tackled this challenge by immersing herself in user feedback, embracing iterative design, and ensuring the platform was not only secure but also intuitively designed.
Another challenge that Erin faced was the weight of responsibilities that comes with being a solo founder. Managing everything from product development to marketing, finance, and user experience without the buffer of co-founders meant an increased workload and the necessity for rapid up-skilling in various domains.
Erin met this challenge head-on by embracing continuous learning, taking online courses, and networking with experts to acquire knowledge beyond her initial expertise.
Creating a Solution to the Problem
While doing extensive market research, including interviews with her friends and strangers, Erin found that the struggle of having real, meaningful connections these days is widespread. She discovered that many people, particularly those relocating or seeking companionship for specific activities, faced difficulties in finding suitable partners.
Realizing the commonality of this problem, Erin saw a clear opportunity to leverage technology and create a solution with OutWeGo.
Bridging the Gap with OutWeGo
Erin’s mission with OutWeGo is clear – to facilitate genuine, meaningful connections by bridging the gap between digital interactions and real-world social experiences. The vision is to create an exclusive, curated platform where individuals bond over shared interests, particularly in outdoor and sports activities.
For the Asian community, OutWeGo serves as a powerful tool for empowerment. The platform fosters inclusivity, providing a space where Asians in the diaspora can connect with peers who share similar backgrounds, values, and passions. OutWeGo nurtures a sense of belonging and solidarity, reinforcing cultural connections and supportive networks among Asians living abroad.
Erin’s role in advancing overall wellness and social cohesion aligns with the principles of diversity, inclusivity, and mutual respect, making a tangible difference in the lives of the Asian community.
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