Cynthia Kirkeby is Founder of Seasonally Fresh and Adaptifyed, and Co-Founder of Inkable Arts and eCertifyed. She and her partners (Anthony Ko, Matt Evilsizor and David Chen) are pursuing transformative technology in AgTech and AdTech, as well as building materials and anti-counterfeiting technology. Known to some of her friends as the ‘Tech Tool Girl’, Cynthia also does workshops and assists startup teams from local universities, such as UCI, UCLA, Chapman University, and Cal State University, Fullerton, USA. In this interview Cynthia talks about the latest trends in tech and gives an insight into what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur…
Please could you tell us how you started your journey on the career ladder…
I started my first company in college. I made extra money doing custom illustrations that incorporated people’s names into the designs. The company had a terrible name, which taught me a great lesson in branding. It was ‘You Name It Inkings by Cyn’… much, much too long! No one liked to write out the checks. I rebranded the company shortly afterwards as CYN-ARTS, and shifted the company to a full design firm as I finished my degrees in Graphic Design & Illustration and English. I never looked back after I started my first company, and I have had companies in a number of different sectors since then.
What are the three key attributes every entrepreneur should have if they want to succeed in business?
Perseverance, a willingness to listen and learn from others, and respect for the people you work with.
Branding, research, product design… that’s a lot of roles and skills, which are your favourites?
Branding and research. I’m an excellent designer but I’m a kickass researcher!
Please could you give our readers a quick introduction to Seasonally Fresh
Seasonally Fresh simplifies the sourcing of certified foods – it’s very cool, because there is such a need in the agricultural community for good technology that is simple and effective. You can read more about who we are and what we do here.
What’s the most important aspect of your role as Founder of Seasonally Fresh?
Like most founders, I’m the Chief Mucky Muck and bottle washer. However, that aside, I think a good founder must be able to explore various options and avenues while still keeping a vision of where the company is headed.
You’ve founded three companies – what is the key to your success?
Actually, there have been more than that! Some have been successful, and some have run their course and closed. The key to success is solving a significant pain in the marketplace and surrounding yourself with an amazing team, and knowledgeable mentors who believe in what you’re doing.
Finally, do you keep an eye on the latest tech developments? What do you think will be the top trending topic of 2023?
I watch trends very carefully. There is disruption coming in a lot of areas. Personalisation of experiences will accelerate. Data visualisation will be used in new ways. Biomed is making some amazing strides but the breakthrough will be dependent on some investors focusing on the social impact possible. Who owns your data will be more and more important.
Follow the official Manning Global LinkedIn page for more top interviews and tech articles!