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Asmau Ahmed

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Asmau Ahmed is the founder and CEO of Plum Perfect.

Ahmed’s story starts in the store aisles. Ahmed would pace back and forth, unsuccessfully navigating the aisles in search of makeup and clothing colors to make her look her best. Years went by and the problem never changed — so she took matters into her own hands.

As an engineer and beauty and fashion enthusiast, it only seemed natural that Ahmed would address this beauty problem with technology. From there, came Plum Perfect, a visual search engine that provides instant personalized recommendations to shoppers using their photos.

Ahmed has loved innovation since childhood. When she was a child, she would read her father’s encyclopedia and read all of the entries she could find on technology — particularly chemistry. She did this so often that her parents would eventually change their laundry room into a chemistry room. So you can say it just made sense that Ahmed would eventually go to the University of Virginia and receive her Chemical Engineering degree with honors.

But Ahmed also loves to innovate. It’s just been a part of her life. She would eventually go on to earn her MBA from Columbia Business School, and she was always itching for a new entrepreneurial endeavor. One day, the fashion enthusiast in her spoke to her and that’s when the idea for Plum Perfect came about.

Source: National Center for Women & Information Technology, Plum Perfect

Companies and Investments

Plum Perfect (founder, CEO)

Lessons Learned

Start now. Start where you are. Start with fear. Start with pain. Start with doubt. Start with hands shaking. Start with voice trembling, but start. Start and don’t stop. Start where you are, with what you have. Just… start.

Sometimes, when we are going after something, we have to be okay with opening ourselves up to rejection. Comes with the startup journey.

Inspiring Quotes

Women are more economically active in Africa—as farmers, workers and entrepreneurs—than anywhere else in the world.

Joyce Mabudafhasi, Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture (South Africa)

Asmau Ahmed's Quotes

I think virtual reality, anything virtual reality is great

Asmau Ahmed

All I knew was that I wanted to do something radical, make a difference. I wanted to build something out of seemingly nothing, but put pieces together. That was my one goal really in life.

Asmau Ahmed

Influential Books

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - Americanah