Sylvia Yin is the Batch Director at Iterative. At Iterative, Sylvia is responsible for the accelerator and building new programs, products, and services to continue helping founders even after graduation.
Before Iterative, Sylvia was the co-founder of Omnilytics, a retail insights platform. At Omnilytics, Sylvia was the COO and VP of Customer Success, growing NRR to >100% and serving global clients like Uniqlo, Lenzing, and Lidl. In 2016, Sylvia was the youngest tech entrepreneur on the Asia Forbes 30 Under 30 Retail & eCommerce list. Sylvia has a BA in Economics from Durham University.
Get to know Sylvia in this Spotlight series:
What was your first job?
I was a waitress in a neighbourhood restaurant.
What's something about you or your past experience that would surprise people?
I drank around 100 cups of coffee in a 1.5 months timeframe during the customer development phase of my first startup. I asked every potential user I spoke with to recommend 3 other potential users for me to interview. Many of them became our first cohort of users when we launched - and I even ended up being friends with some!
What’s your motivation for working with founders?
The startup journey can be intense. The highs can be high, but the lows can be very low. If I did not have a community of founders and mentors who shared their experiences and advice with me, the journey would be far more challenging. I feel compelled to do the same for other founders even if it's just to lend a listening ear.
What’s something you’re especially good at or like helping founders with?
I've been told I am a good listener and thought partner. I enjoy holding space for founders to freely express their thoughts and help them achieve clarity through asking questions that challenge assumptions.
I have built and grown Customer Success teams and functions from the ground up. If you are wondering what Customer Success metrics matter at different stages of growth, customer onboarding processes, how to systematically think about generating expansion revenue or what to look out for when hiring Customer Success Managers, hit me up!
Prior to focusing on the Customer Success function of my company, I was the Chief Operator and was charged with ensuring the company is a well-oiled machine by looking after its overall business operations, from product management to people & culture. I'd be more than happy to share my experience and resources in these areas.
If you could go back in time to the moment you decided to start your first company, what advice would you give yourself?
Pace yourself. Running a startup is a marathon, not a sprint.
I'd be more intentional in building in time to step away from running the startup. This is easier said than done as most founders are often obsessed with what they're building. But time away and a shift in perspective will do good for your well-being and ability to problem solve.
Our current batch is underway, but we're always open for applications. If you'd like to work with Sylvia, you should apply here.