Business Woman and Terminator


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Melissa Mowbray-D Arbela CEO Filligent Sue Williams Normal.dotm Titi Yu AppVersion Company
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Melissa Mowbray-D Arbela CEO Filligent Being a woman in business and I ve been a woman
uh in some very male dominated industries sure you re treated differently. So I decided
you know embrace that, use it to your advantage. Card: Melissa Mowbray-D Arbela CEO/ Filligent
A biotechnology company in Hong Kong I was born in England, and raised in England until
I was six years old. And then my mother made a very brave decision – she decided to strike
out anew in Australia. We were not rich at all. We were technically below the poverty
line. Um and growing up in that uh environment was I learned a lot. I learned a lot about
self-sufficiency and the importance of being empowered, and empowering others. Card: Melissa
has worked around the world: an architect, a lawyer, an investment banker, a private
equity manager. Ultimately, I wanted to be able to run a company that was based on ethical
and business elements – the way that you treat your employees, the way that you do your corporate
governance – the way that you treat your shareholders, or how you treat the environment. CARD: In
2001 Melissa started Filligent. Two years later, the SARS epidemic broke out in Hong
Kong. One of the things that we learned from that was that, wow, the population have very
little to protect themselves in-in the event of-of a epidemic or a pandemic. Melissa: You
guys came back with some very interesting results the other day… I came to work one
morning and I said, Gee, wouldn t it be a great idea if we could have an antimicrobial
face mask, so one that will actually kill the virus or the bacteria as soon as it touches
it, that would be breathable, that would be comfortable. And the beautiful thing about
working with a bunch of scientists – talented scientists is that uh you get this pregnant
pause literally, and they say Yeah, I reckon we can do that. Melissa: So when are you going
to be doing the 15 minute version? Or are you going to be doing it? We call it the bio
mask. It s designed actually for disaster relief situations. It s seen active duty now
in Haiti, with the earthquake there. In Pakistan with the floods; with the earthquake in Japan
and all the way across Asia especially for HIV hospices. As it relates to disaster relief,
we either sell it to NGOs or we actually-we do a lot of giving, we do a lot of donations.
Melissa: Do we have any um spores that we can use to test so…? Our approach to being
a biotech company is that anything we create. It has to be relevant to the world; it has
to be pragmatic to the world; it has to be affordable, accessible. It has to be also
IP protectable, because we re a business at the end of the day. It has to be able to be
sold in America or in China, or in Malawi. For the biomask, we knew that creating at
least one level of an antimicrobial shield, we d be able to make it work for us again,
and again, and again so that we could but it into many other different products. CARD:
Some pragmatic business advice For anyone who wants to start their own company, ask
yourself very, very carefully. Do I have the grit, the grace, and the gumption to be able
to do this? – Because you are going to need all three in bucket loads. And by grit I mean
that you have to have the ability to just keep going. And grace means that is literally
grace under fire. Can you be a better human as a result of all of this? And gumption is,
you better be wanting to love to solve problems, because you will be facing them on a daily
basis. Question: Have you ever been scared? Have you ever thought, I can t do this? ve
been scared ve never thought I can t do it. I think you do have to have a little bit of
fear um it keeps you honest. Um and it keeps you on your toes. And you asked me one more
question there – have I ever thought at I can not do this? And the answer is no. It
s got to get done so [laughs] I m sort of like the terminator, you know in that movie
that just keeps getting up and going, and going. And yes he does get killed in the end
but I m not, I m not focusing on that. “The story exchange” “where women mean business”
“woman entrepreneurs” “women entrepreneurs” “successful women entrepreneurs” “women in
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“stories of women entrepreneurs” “story of women in business” “women business owners”
“young women entrepreneurs” “ladies in business” minority-owned mentorship “role models” biotech
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