Nina Tumanishvili: Connecting Like-minded People through Technology

The technology has become a global phenomenon which is connecting people from all corners of the world. An ardent entrepreneur, Nina Tumanishvilli, the CEO and Founder of HelloHub, realized that people were becoming lonelier despite being online and connected all the time. She also saw and felt a great need for people living in large urban cities to meet likeminded individuals. She always aspired to have a positive impact on the world with whatever she went on to do. Hence, when she first had the idea of bringing people closer together in real life through technology, she was absolutely compelled to do it. This led the inception of HelloHub.

Nina is an extrovert by nature and hence, truly believes that being open to new people and opportunities have absolutely shaped her life for the better. She founded HelloHub straight out of university with a mission to invent a social ice-breaker that is a bit like her to help others connect and get together in an easy non-awkward way. Her aim is to utilize technology as an enabler vs. a disconnector. Her transition into tech and apps was a bit of a random one as her background at school was in Economics and the Humanities and she had aspirations to work in the international development sector.

A Social Icebreaker App

Over three years on being committed to her mission, Nina developed a product to be used by young urban millennials, who are tech savvy but unhappy with the current way people are consuming social media. She along with her team launched their introductory product TubeChat, a social icebreaker app for the London Underground, to help make commuting more fun, encourage friendships and solve the “no network” problem that is characteristic of the London Underground. With the help of this app, she wants to boost the chances of real-life serendipity for these people and by default herself too. It is this belief in what she is doing that has helped her overcome challenges and perseveres.

Rising above the Challenges

According to Nina, female entrepreneurs are often not being taken seriously enough and hence, are not being gifted many opportunities and chances. Similarly, in her case, fundraising has been challenging. She is convinced that some investors have not taken her 100% seriously as she is young, female and sometimes preconceived as naive. But, she enjoys proving people wrong and thus, don’t get too disheartened by rejection. She tries to adopt a more positive mindset about being young and female in the largely older white male-dominated tech industry. Her attributes help her stand out and get her message heard. She also gets a lot of love from her friends/family and young people who feel inspired by what she has achieved, which helps her keep going.

She can foresee how managing family life might be a tricky as a solo female founder because of the sheer amount of time one must invest in the early days to get a start-up off the ground. But she has no doubt that balancing both is possible especially with the right people in the surroundings and life experience to manage commitments better. The key is to work smarter.

Coming together is the Key

Nina always tries to build companionship with her competition. She believes that it’s hard to be successful in this space as one needs all the support and help one can get. She is of the opinion that owning a smaller stake in something massive is better than having full ownership and control of something worthless. Adhoc mesh networking is a notoriously hard space to crack so businesses spend a lot of time testing their tech and rely on collaboration to make it work. According to her, businesses would be much more successful if all came together as a community and built something amazing.

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