Esra’a Alsanie – Founder at EnvaTechs and Product Manager at Mawdoo3.com

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Women need more confidence, trust and support in order to grow bigger. Unfortunately, I can’t deny that sometimes the first blocker for our growth is us, the limits we build in our minds for what we can achieve, in addition to the tradition of giving men more duties in the tech field.

Esra’a Alsanie is a passionate young lady with a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering, who believes that changing the world can be achieved through young people who are given the chance to dream. Esra’a is the founder and CEO of EnvaTechs; a Tech-startup that aims at influencing the behavior of people and corporates toward the environment, by utilizing immersive technologies such as Virtual and Augmented Reality, and she is also a Product Manager at Mawdoo3; the largest Arabic website in the world, leading a Social Content Platform; Molhem. In the past couple of years, she has been working on enhancing the educational experience for school and university students by founding the first ASCE student chapter in Jordan and holding several training programs for students. furthermore, and among other activities, Esra’a has taken a key role at many international entrepreneurship events and competitions in Russia, Sweden, Germany, Dubai, and USA. In 2019, Esra’a was chosen as one of the top 3% TechWomen out of 3,260 applicants, to participate in a 5 weeks program in Silicon Valley to work at Unity Technologies, the world-leading game engine, in addition, at the same year, she was selected as one of the top 10 influencing women in Technology by (SANAD Entrepreneurship Academy) and (Womenpreneur Initiative) around the region.

In a nutshell, tell us a bit about your job, and what role technology plays in it?

As a Founder of my own Startup; EnvaTechs.com, and a Product Manager at Mawdoo3.com, MENA’s number one digital platform, Technology is playing a crucial role in my professional life.

At EnvaTechs, which is a Tech-Environmental Startup that aims at revolutionizing the world’s perspective toward the environment, I work with my team on utilizing immersive technologies such as; Virtual and Augmented Reality in influencing the behaviour of youth and corporates toward the environment, by providing simulations of educational materials and engineering projects futuristic scenes.

Furthermore, at Mawdoo3, I’m leading a Social Content Platform; Molhem.com, aiming at giving users the inspiration they need through community leaders, influencers and businesses blogs that meet their needs and interests, all in one smart-social platform.

Where did your professional journey start and how did you get to where you are now?

My eyes were first opened on the professional world at my 21st, when I met my first mentor; Dr.Naeem Abdulhadi, who was helping me establish a student community at the University of Jordan, which ended up being the first official American Society of Civil Engineers Student Chapter in Jordan.

This experience has opened my eyes on how the world after graduation would look, and what skills I need to build in order not only to survive, but to excel. Two years later, when I graduated, and because of the experiences that I’ve gained in building and leading communities, I insisted to go off the usual flow, and to shift my career from a civil engineer into a business owner where I’ve established my own startups. Few months later I’ve got my first offer at the world’s leading Arabic Tech-company; Mawdoo3.com, and here’s where my story has started. I was working as a full-timer Research and Innovation officer at Mawdoo3 and on EnvaTechs after work and during the weekends.

2018 was a year of exposure for me in both jobs, where I’ve taken a key role at international entrepreneurship and Tech events and competitions in Russia, Sweden, and Germany, which has expanded my horizon into various subject matters in the field of technology and internet businesses.

A year later, in 2019, I’ve witnessed a great boost in my career, where I was chosen among the top 3% of 3,280 applicants to participate in the TechWomen Program to experience 5 months in the world’s tech hub; Silicon Valley, working at one of the top game engine companies; Unity Technologies, which has inspired me to enhance and develop my startup; EnvaTechs, by adopting the latest updates of the VR and AR Technologies they are implementing. Furthermore, in the same year, I was promoted to a product manager at Mawdoo3, which was challenging, yet a great opportunity at a young age.

I believe that persistent, dedication and commitment were the main ingredients of my journey, regardless of the challenges associated with it.

I believe that persistent, dedication and commitment were the main ingredients of my journey, regardless of the challenges associated with it.

What is the greatest transformation in technology you’ve witnessed in your career?

I believe it wasn’t a one transformation, there were many throughout my journey, the first was when selected to represent the University of Jordan at the MIT Media Lab workshop in Dubai, back in 2016, it was my first exposure to immersive technologies; VR, AR & MR along with experts from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), it has introduced me to the latest technologies out there, especially the ones that are still under research.

Later in 2018, when I started working with Mawdoo3, I dived deeper into the internet businesses, from digital marketing to software as a service, it has opened my eyes to the wide range of life-saving ideas that can be delivered through the internet. Furthermore, since my main role was to study the company’s assets and come up with new revenue streams, I got the chance to study so many aspects and get rich mentorship and guidance from experts in the field. All of that, along with my thrive to learn more, have inspired and transformed my journey in the technological field.

When you think about ‘women’ and ‘technology’ what comes to your mind first?

What creates a fruitful future is gathering great dreaming minds with the best tools to achieve these dreams.

“Hope”, hope for a better future. What creates a fruitful future is gathering great dreaming minds with the best tools to achieve these dreams. Imagine what a mom can do to create a better life for her children if she got the best tools to do it. That’s exactly what happens when giving passionate women the smart technologies they need in order to innovate.

Through the past year, I’ve got the chance to meet great women in tech, leading startups, businesses and initiatives, utilizing technology in many aspects to enhance our lives. Whenever I get the chance to go through a deep conversation with any of them, I was able to touch their drive and enthusiasm towards what they are doing, which gave me hope for a worthwhile future.

We always hear there are not enough women working in Tech. What needs to happen to change that? Using your own words, why do we need women focused groups in the tech community?

Women need more confidence, trust and support in order to grow bigger. Unfortunately, I can’t deny that sometimes the first blocker for our growth is us, the limits we build in our minds for what we can achieve, in addition to the tradition of giving men more duties in the tech field.

It’s not easy to break this tradition, however, small initiatives can indeed make a difference. No doubt, women communities would create a huge change in this area, and for me personally, all I was looking for during my journey is a role model, a passionate successful women role-model who has went against the stereotype of women capabilities, especially when we are talking about the balance between her personal and professional life.

Women focused groups, especially in the tech community would create a rigid foundation for young ladies to find role models who would support their journey, and give them the confidence that all of us have been through the same challenges, yet managed to keep going.

Who are your tech influencers and why?

Well, I was lucky enough to meet a lot of influencing tech leaders who inspired my journey, however, I can recall three leaders now, who have left a tremendous impact in my personal and professional path;

(1) Mawdooe3 founder and COO, Mohammad Jaber, especially that I’ve got the chance to work with him at the beginning of my professional life. He showed me what a young passionate dreamer can achieve at a young age, regardless of all the challenges we face in our communities, especially for a person who studied medicine, and then decided to shift his career from being a doctor to an entrepreneur leading one of the top tech companies around the region.

(2) Unity CMO, Clive Downie, who I’ve got the chance to meet during my internship at Unity Technologies in Silicon Valley, he has left a deep lesson in my mind, when he told me about his journey of joining Unity, and the values that Unity as a gaming company is bringing to the world, which has proved to me that a worldwide company’s drive is people, and the impact it brings to their lives.

(3) SalesForce EVP & Chief Philanthropy Officer, Ebony Beckwith, who is the Female role model in the tech field, that I was looking for. I’ve met her at one of the sessions at Salesforce headquarters, and in one speech, she was able to touch one of my deepest fears, which is the work-life balance especially for high-achieving women in tech, furthermore, her mentorship sessions for women from all around the world that she holds for us every couple of months are so inspiring to the level where she can literally teaches us the lessons that she has learned throughout her life.

What has been the greatest piece of advice you have received in your career so far?

“Be well structured in your leadership and keep a  consistent follow up” an advice from my first mentor, Dr.Naeem Abdulhadi, Deputy CEO of Arab Center for Engineering Studies in Jordan. He was the very first person who introduced me to the professional life, when I was still studying. As a person who is leading one of the top engineering firms over 10 branches all around the region, he used to share the best lessons he learned throughout his journey with me, since he was working with our student chapter as a practitioner advisor. Dr.Naeem, at my first meeting with him told me; “in order to lead a team of students, engineers or even leaders, you need to be well structured and keep a consistent follow up with your team”, I believe it was hard for me to understand the absolute meaning of that back then, but later on during our meetings, events and arguments, I realized what it really takes and how to practice it well.

If you could host a dinner party with 3 influential people in tech, who would you invite and why?

My favorite combination of tech influencers would be; Mohammad Jaber, Clive Downie & Ebony Beckwith. I can imagine a table with a passionate soul like Jaber, and an experienced wise man like Downie along with a determinate, strong heart like Beckwith, how a mixture of those minds can bring to humanity!

I believe that the three of them can draw a special unique perspective for any topic, which I believe is the essence of innovation.

Esra’a Alsanie is a passionate young lady with a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering, who believes that changing the world can be achieved through young people who are given the chance to dream. Esra’a is the founder and CEO of EnvaTechs; a Tech-startup that aims at influencing the behavior of people and corporates toward the environment, by utilizing immersive technologies such as Virtual and Augmented Reality, and she is also a Product Manager at Mawdoo3; the largest Arabic website in the world, leading a Social Content Platform; Molhem. In the past couple of years, she has been working on enhancing the educational experience for school and university students by founding the first ASCE student chapter in Jordan and holding several training programs for students. furthermore, and among other activities, Esra’a has taken a key role at many international entrepreneurship events and competitions in Russia, Sweden, Germany, Dubai, and USA. In 2019, Esra’a was chosen as one of the top 3% TechWomen out of 3,260 applicants, to participate in a 5 weeks program in Silicon Valley to work at Unity Technologies, the world-leading game engine, in addition, at the same year, she was selected as one of the top 10 influencing women in Technology by (SANAD Entrepreneurship Academy) and (Womenpreneur Initiative) around the region.

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