Technopreneur Ann Jacobe always finds positive things in challenges. A former math and programming instructor, life hasn’t been easy for her at first. “I was working hard while playing the role of a single mom. It was a very, very difficult time for me,” she recalled.
A scholarship grant to take up a master’s degree in Information Technology exposed her to the opportunities in entrepreneurship. She smiles as she recalls the trials she had to endure11 years ago. “From an employee to being my own boss, I’ve always felt that it was magnificently fast. Surely, it was the power and magic of time that’s working when you do something you believe in and love.”
For the love of shoes
One of her first ventures into technology entrepreneurship was driven by her love for shoes. Being a shoe lover herself, she decided to launch in 2011 Shoephoric.com, an online community for footwear aficionados who aim to share, swap, or sell their footwear merchandise. The website also gives updates on the latest trends and features promising shoe entrepreneurs in the market today.
“It started off as MyShoephoria–a personal database for footwear collection. It was when I was featured in a magazine that I received inquiries from fellow enthusiasts and friends asking for their own online shoe closet. This triggered me to open the website as a social network,” Jacobe shared.
Opportunity in failure
Aside from managing the online shoe closet, she also serves as CEO of Youphoric Labs Inc. Interestingly, its concept stemmed from a rejected thesis proposal back when she was in post-grad school.
“It started off with a thesis that my professor rejected. But I believed in the idea of Youphoric Labs Inc. beyond words. I was obsessed to do it. With a lot of hard work and sleepless nights, I was able to launch this concept,” the technopreneur disclosed.
She successfully launched the online company in January 2013 with the help of several IT experts who shares the same vision as hers. At present, it is one of the promising online service providers in the Philippines that offer web design services, social media marketing, mobile messaging, and application development, among others.
Life outside the business world
Despite her busy schedule, Jacobe still manages to spend time with her family. “I may be busy but being your own boss means you can organize your day and find time for the more important things in your life. Being a mom is a non-stop job, and you can never compromise it for anything less important,” she admitted.
Moreover, she still enjoys her other passion–yoga and dance. For her, these activities have been helping her cope with pressure. “Dance and fitness serve as my second wind in my busy life. I can reconnect with myself as well as with my family and friends.”
For budding technopreneurs who are planning to establish their own online business soon, she has this advice: “Surround yourself with positive people. Always chase your dreams. Take risks, and be fulfilled.”
Main photo courtesy of iAcademy and smart.com.ph.