“They say you can’t be a mum and own a start-up. I don’t accept that”

As the CEO of Clue, a fertility-tracking app, Ida Tin has made it her mission to help women – and she won’t let anything stop her

It’s perhaps unsurprising that some men have taken a little convincing of Clue’s place in the mainstream market, but since launching around two years ago, this app has helped a whole load of women. Clue, which has been downloaded two million times across 180 countries, enables users to track their periods, monitor their fertility and better understand their bodies. It’s been a journey to get there, but CEO and founder, Ida Tin, the Danish serial entrepreneur, says budding business people should follow their instincts…

The truth hurts (but it works) “After business school, my first employer asked me to go to India as a consultant on a major project. The night before I was due to leave, the company cancelled my trip, saying they thought I ‘lacked the corporate mindset’. At first, I was angry, but after a while, I thought: ‘You know what? They’re right’. It made me realise I was better following my own path.”

Listen to good advice “When I was 14 or 15, my mum said I was the sort of person who needed to create her own tribe. Years later I was in Berlin with my team and we were on one of our days when we get out of the office and share ideas, and it hit me that I had finally found my tribe. They all had so much energy and enthusiasm about the business. It was humbling.”

Trust your instincts “Things have to be meaningful for me before I will do them. My world is shaped by beliefs and values and these come from my gut. It’s an instinct that leads me to where I should be going – and I apply my mind to it afterwards. When my instinct told me to explore the ‘menstrual space’ in 2009, there were no period tracking apps for mobile phones. So, I did my research, planned my business and set out to fill this glaring gap.”

Make time for family “People say if you own a tech start-up you can’t be a mum. I don’t accept that. It simply must be possible. When my baby came along, I hired a friend to look after her alongside me at work full-time. It was a privilege, as owner of the business, to be able to do that, but I’m willing to see that my employees can make it work when they have children too.”

Be adaptable “I used to lead motorcycle tours for a living and when I was doing this, a lot of unexpected things would happen. There would be torrential rain or someone would get a bad back and wouldn’t be able to ride… The list was endless. But life is unexpected and businesses have to adapt to whatever comes along. They need to be reactive.”

Follow your dreams “It might sound like a cliché, but you have to find your cause, the thing that you really care about, if you are to stand any chance of success. And that goes double if your field is taboo like mine [menstruation and fertility] – or not widely talked about. I spend much of my working life trying to communicate a need that is completely self-explanatory to one half of the population. It can be tough, but you have to stand by what you believe in.”

Be an inspiration to others “I get invited to speak at a lot of events and receive positive feedback from many women. They tell me that I’m something of a role model for being a woman in a tech start-up. I do what I do because I think it’s deeply meaningful – and if it inspires others to follow their dreams, so be it. I think women can make their ideas come true in any industry. It’s about stepping forward and wanting something – and then getting a lot of help.”

Do things differently “I grew up in a family who travelled the world on motorcycles, and that has given me a global and wide-ranging outlook. I have ‘trained my courage’ in different ways and it helps me to deal with the uncertainties and risks associated with being in business. Very often what has worked for someone else won’t work for you, so you have to tread your own path.”

This interview was carried out by SIM7’s Simeon de la Torre and first appeared in easyJet Traveller magazine. To read the latest issue (and the entire back catalogue of magazines), visit: https://ink-global.com/our-clients/portfolio/easyjet-traveller/