Being the Co-founder of Finuprise & Board Advisor, Heidi is in charge of fundraising and the sustainability team at Finuprise. She worked previously at Morgan Stanley, Perella Weinberg Partners and The Wharton School.
Heidi Harim Lee was born and raised in New Zealand, an island of just 4M people when she left at age 18. She cheerfully remembers, “It was an amazing place to grow up. Kiwis (New Zealanders) are easy-going and adventurous people very in tune with nature. However, our biggest sectors are tourism and agriculture, and I wanted to see more of the world and push myself to grab every opportunity that came my way.”
Before she started Finuprise with my cofounder, Heidi was lucky enough to get into The Wharton School, an ivy league university in the United States. Education democratises opportunities and this was one of the turning points of her life. She then started her career in investment banking at Morgan Stanley in New York and Perella Weinberg Partners in San Francisco. Finance is typically a male-dominated industry, and Heidi found that being a minority has a lot of advantages. She states, “You stand out, and you have the chance to represent the change you want to see in the world. I was very lucky to have a lot of support from both men and women who led by example early on in my career and I’m still very close to today. Whatever you do, be authentically yourself. In banking, as long as you show results, that’s what counts. When I was having a very hard time, I wasn’t afraid to show my vulnerability or cry in the office. But at the end of the day, since I had built a reputation over time, I was in high demand to work with, and I ended up on some of the biggest deals in our office (total transaction size of over $5B). I’ve had amazing experiences because I’ve said yes to a lot of great opportunities that came my way.”
After doing banking for a few years, Heidi realised this isn’t how she wanted to live her life. She dreamt of a rich life full of experiences, not just focusing on work. So she left her very high paying job in San Francisco and moved to Denmark, where she didn’t know a single person. It was one of her best decisions in life. She expresses, “I’m living the dream life that I’ve created. I built my friends, network, hobbies, and lifestyle that I want. Today, life outside of work includes soaking in the sun, kayaking, yoga, sauna-ing and winter bathing. And if I hadn’t moved, I wouldn’t have started Finuprise. Finuprise is the investment platform for millennial and gen z retail investors to invest with impact. The vision of the company is to make sustainable investing the new norm, by making it easy and accessible to invest for a better future for the planet and communities – Money talks, so let’s be loud! Moreover 800 signups to our waitlist from 80 different countries showing that this is a global problem – Received a Danish grant from the Innovation Fund of Denmark – Won 2nd place in the Venture Cup competition Visit the website: www.finuprise.com & sign up on the waitlist if you’re interested.”
Overcoming the tough phases initially was when the job givers ask for experiences which most of the people don’t possess. However, Heidi was ready to take up the roles to adapt and learn new skills instantly and that’s how she isn’t scared to ask anyone for help. She has very well established her skill sets and career at extra levels and the present challenges tune her mind to think about what she really wants in life. Heidi adds, “I’m very selective about how I spend my time. And it’s very important to support strong women doing strong things. I try to shift my time to now mentoring employees and friends. I’m very humbled when friends come to me for advice, but I’m also just trying to figure everything out as I go. I have a great support system of mentors and friends around me, and I try to pay it forward when I can be helpful to someone else.”
Heidi believes, “I think life is about constant change. Until recently, I was co-founder and CEO, now I’m changing that role to co-founder and advisor. This was because I’ve reflected on how I want to spend my time and add value. It’s important to remember when you start a venture, that you are not your company, and your company is not you. Life is a marathon and not a race. This way, I can continue to add value to Finuprise in the long-term for the company to thrive. And life is way too short to be living it for anyone else.”
Heidi Harim Lee has defined success in her own way by which she leaves a mark with her truly inspiring words. “You have everything you need to live a fulfilling life. Even when you think times are hard, that’s when you grow the most. Don’t be afraid to say no or quit. This is an amazing article I read every year to motivate myself & keep things in perspective: https://blog.samaltman.com/the-days-are-long-but-the-decades-are-short.”