Plug and Play’s mission is to drive innovation by connecting entrepreneurs, corporations, and investors worldwide. While it is harder for big corporations to pivot, entrepreneurs bring the ability to move fast and innovate. Plug and Play has created a global ecosystem to empower startups and corporations, giving them the best chance to succeed.
Neda Amidi has worked in both startup and corporate environments, where her experience will help her thrive as Plug and Play’s new President. We sat down with her to learn about her experience, where this new journey will take her, and how she will help the company grow and succeed.
What does becoming President of Plug and Play mean to you?
I am honored for this opportunity. I remember when we used to have our Monday morning meetings at 8:15am in a small meeting room with only 10 people. Today, we have grown to over 500 employees globally, and this continues to motivate me.
As President, I would like to inspire the team and ecosystem the same way Saeed has inspired me. I want to make sure our amazing staff has a voice and work together to drive innovation the same way we do externally, internally. We’ve had amazing growth over the past 15 years and I look forward to the opportunity to scale and strengthen our company to what I know one day it can become.
What opportunities are you most looking forward to in your new role?
Plug and Play has the unique opportunity to connect startups, corporations, and venture capitalists. We want to remain at the forefront of technological trends and continue to support the partnerships formed within our ecosystem.
Additionally, I plan to further our community by promoting diversity and growth opportunities for our team. Each member plays an essential role in the company and I want to foster the entrepreneurial mindset in all of our employees.
What was your most unexpected lesson you've learned when leading a team?
Leading a team can be difficult, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Today it’s more important than ever to have trust, respect, and unity. Understanding your team’s personalities, strengths, and weaknesses will allow you to work productively together. One strategy that has worked internally was to have our teams take the Birkman test. This has helped us identify individual and team synergies.
How do you maintain work/life balance?
This past year was a very special one because not only did I grow my career, but my husband and I welcomed our first baby girl into the family. With a newborn and new responsibilities to manage, I have learned that time management is incredibly important. I had to eliminate things that are no longer seen as a priority. I have realized how important it is to take time for yourself to reflect and recharge, for me that’s always been through exercise and yoga.
What advice would you give to other women who want to take on leadership positions?
Be clear in what you want, don’t feel guilty for asking what you deserve, and speak up so you are heard. Set your goals high - you are capable of achieving more than you thought was possible. It’s important to find a mentor both inside and outside of your company. Having a variety of mentors has helped guide me throughout my career and given me the confidence and courage to take on new leadership roles and responsibilities.
Who inspires you and why?
There are two people who have inspired me greatly throughout my life, my parents. Unfortunately I lost my father very early on, but the stories I have heard about him are what inspire me to this day. His respect for family, compassion for people, and passion for business and organization have been instilled in me. As for my mother, her strength, courage, and selflessness have made me who I am today. I never felt the absence of my father as she always kept his memory alive and filled both shoes so gracefully. I am inspired by her everyday and hope to have a sliver of her resilience in every part of my life.