This week’s interview is with a woman who is an executive, entrepreneur and advisor with 15+ years of experience across the US, EU and emerging markets.
Aida Lutaj is the Co-Founder and CEO at Legitify. She is an On Deck Scale Fellow, and also a current Executive MBA Candidate at Stockholm School of Economics.
Legitify is digitalising the in-person notarisation process in the EU, UK and other markets. The tech company offers an AI-powered solution using audio-video authentication that allows customers to notarise documents online. The firm is targeting individuals, businesses and notaries with its solution.
It has been making progress, and was announced Winner of Hackernoon’s Best Startup of the Year (2021) in Dublin. Legitify is backed by Antler VC, NDRC and Alchemist Accelerator.
How and where did you start your career in tech?
I have had an interest in technology from the early days of my career when I was working in financial services on Wall Street (in New York) after graduating from college. Throughout my career, I have had different exposures to tech professionally, however the impact of technology in our daily lives has always been fascinating to me, as well as our reliance on technology to get things done quickly and efficiently.
Are there any women in tech that have particularly inspired you?
There are so many women in tech that have inspired me. From previous generations shaping the path to these days, when a woman can launch her own tech venture. We have come along so far!
There are many female colleagues and other tech female founders which have inspired me with their courage, hard work and desire to make a change using technology. I am inspired by them every day.
What’s the most pressing issue for women in tech today?
There are different perspectives here, depending on who you talk to and what their personal experiences have been.
If you look at the data, under-representation of women in tech is one of them. I would like to see more women in tech roles and tech ventures, for sure.
Societal expectations of women’s career and life trajectory can also play a factor. It’s 2022, it is OK to break societal expectations of what women can do and how they do it.
Also – it is important to build a solid network around you: advisors, mentors, sponsors, peers that will help you progress in your path. Speaking up, asking for what you want, learning to command a room etc., those are all important skills that will help women progress in their respective roles.
What challenges did you face when founding and running Legitify?
This will sound surreal but in 2020 during COVID-19 restrictions, the biggest challenge was opening up a business bank account in another country in the EU – it took months. We basically had an investment waiting to be deposited in our business bank account, which has not been opened yet.
What advice would you give to women looking to get into tech?
If you would like to start a company: find the right mentors, advisors and investors that will help you get started and will support you in your growth. Invest in relationships and take time to genuinely connect with them as well as other professionals that can help with their expertise, insights, networks, etc.