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Wissee’s Female Founders on Solving Problems and Using Alternative Data in the Financial Market

22 Sep 2020 – Blog
Qingqing Han

Wissee’s founders @QingqingHan and @HuinaMao recently joined the @Founders_Live podcast with @NickHughes, where they discussed the process of developing a data analytics engine and shared their experience as female founders in the male-dominated financial technology industry.

Qingqing Han
Huina Mao

QingQing (QQ) and Huina first met while earning their Ph.D. degrees at Indiana University in 2009. After their time together, Huina continued her research in data science at Microsoft Research, Thomson Reuters, and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Respectively, Qingqing went on to pursue her mission of having a positive social impact and began working at the United Nations. Throughout this time the two remained best friends and eventually joined forces in 2018 to found Wissee.

The main motivation for starting Wissee is social-economic impact. Entrepreneurship is about building something for the good of the society and to help people in need. We are all working for something bigger than us.
– Qingqing Han – Co-Founder, Wissee

Wissee’s work is built on the pioneering research co-authored by Huina, the first scholar to conduct impactful research using twitter data to predict the stock market. Now their mission is to unleash the power of machine and human intelligence, provide reliable and accessible insights, foster data-driven business decisions, and contribute to sustainable economic growth.

At the heart of Wissee’s mission, there are two main problems we aim to solve:

  1. The noisy and unstructured nature of online data: The sheer volume as well as the ambiguous and fragmented nature of the social media and news data makes it hard for people to find valuable and reliable knowledge. This explains why big data analytics is a 200-billion-dollar market and data analytics in the financial market is a 35-billion-dollar industry. While some may shy away from the challenge, Wissee believes when presented with a promising solution, the data presents tremendous opportunities.

  2. The information black box in the investment world: Fund managers are. constantly looking for alpha, or the early market-moving signals in order to gain an advantage against the competitors. There is an overwhelming number of signals online and in alternative data space with the knowledge that can greatly impact their decision-making. However, for the majority of investors, the ability to unpack and use social media, news sources, and online data continues to pose a big challenge and an untapped wealth of information.

We strive to provide efficiency and granularity in processing the analyzing and cleaning of the data and reliability in detecting the market moving signals in the alternative data space.

In addition to challenging the financial industry with a new information edge, the founders aim to confront gender and race discrimination in the technology and finance industry as Chinese-born women and non-English natives. Through their current roles and previous experience in male-dominated areas, they hope to implement changes, such as:

  1. Be a role model for the younger generation looking to work in the startup world. At the beginning of 2020, there were only 37 female CEOs out of the Fortune 500 companies, which calculates to 7.4%. Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon all have male founders and CEOs. Qingqing and Huina inspire and dare the younger female generation to go for what they want, as well as pave the way for women as founders and leaders in the startup and financial industry.

  2. Create a community of female leaders. Utilizing their power and privilege, Qingqing and Huina hope to pose as mentors and resources to other female founders, leaders, and dreamers. At Wissee, they are immersed in many different industries and communities, allowing them to challenge these outdated ideals in their daily lives and meet many who feel the same.

As the founders continue to push forward for their company and fight against stereotypes, they believe a key take away is to think big and act small— break down your vision through actionable steps and be agile for growth for the long-run.

In light of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing, we would like to dedicate this article in honor of her memory and influential work. She was and will continue to be an inspiration for women everywhere. We thank her for all she has done, may she rest in peace.

“As women achieve power, the barriers will fall. As society sees what women can do, as WOMEN see what women can do, there will be more women out there doing things, and we’ll all be better off for it.”

Interested in hearing the full conversation? Check out the podcast episode.

Please share your thoughts in the comments below, we look forward to hearing from you!