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Women Tech Entrepreneur in the UK: Inspiring Story of Tugce Bulut

Women Tech Entrepreneur in the UK
Streetbees, the world's first human intelligence platform, analyses real-life moments recorded from over 4.5 million users – or 'bees' – in 189 countries across the world to uncover how and why people behave. And behind this innovative platform, its founder Tugce Bulut empowers businesses in better understanding their customer behaviour.

Men in the UK corporate sector have traditionally outnumbered women. The statistics aren't encouraging whether we're talking about board positions or launching new tech businesses; female entrepreneurs hold only 32 per cent of the entire UK business ecosystem.

Even if the recent ten years' development is maintained, it will take over 50 years to achieve equality. There is much more to be done. However, we ask what we should do to empower them and inspire them to join the UK tech community?

And when it comes to empowering other women, we cannot underestimate the importance of a female role model. And female entrepreneurs are the best role models as they have been shaping the development of technology and the business world. With that in mind, we have presented here the inspiring story of Tugce Bulut, who started StreetBees in 2015 and scaled it into one of the most innovative businesses in the UK and won a €34 million Series B fundraising round in October 2020, and €5.5 million in investment in December 2020, putting them on track for even greater expansion in the years ahead.

Motivation behind StreetBees

Tugce Bulut entered the tech industry to uncover customer behaviour in underserved markets worldwide. As a strategy consultant, she observed resource-limited places and recognised a lack of accessible and relevant information for consumer enterprises in these markets. That's when she got the concept of Streetbees.

StreetBees empowers consumers to capture real-life moments through text, photos, and videos on its app and connects companies with the much-required data to base their market strategy. StreetBees’ AI-enabled software employs Natural Language Processing (NLP) to turn the unstructured data into actions or recommendations for companies and works as an interface between consumers and businesses.

Rejecting old-school survey practices

While working as a strategy consultant, Tugce realised that existing market research solutions were insufficient. Traditional surveys' over-reliance on multiple-choice questions limits what customers may say and only reinforces long-held beliefs. Furthermore, purchasing market research from established sources is expensive and time-consuming. The biggest issue was that companies would always wind up with useless knowledge and data – and we would never hear anything they didn't already know.

This means that brands are unable to innovate effectively, but that many consumers' requirements go unsatisfied. To provide a solution to this problem, Tugce decided to reject old-school survey practices and founded StreetBees with a dream to build the world’s first human intelligence platform, providing data about the lives of real people in real-time.

Integrated community experience

StreetBees makes the community experience super easy within natural life flow. Consumers are already sharing their experiences over the internet through videos and photos. Tugce introduced them to a Data exchange platform that allows people to enjoy their time while they take pictures or record a 1-minute video answering simple questions such as what they are doing, who they are with, what brought them to the platform, and what's their mood is like. It's that simple. So, companies can get data from millions of people daily.

The dream team

StreetBees proudly employs some of the best and brightest technology professionals in Europe. Tugce had one innovative idea, to use technology to make buyers and sellers happy, and her dream team helped her turn into reality. Needless to say, this novel approach to consumer research necessitates the formation of a unique group, and preconceived notions and preconceptions had no place in StreetBees. By deploying rock-solid training programs, Tugce formed her dream team. Presently, StreetBees boasts a team of more than 200 technology experts. About 20 to 30 per cent of them are PhDs in physics and mathematics, inventing the most cost-efficient, fastest solutions every day.

50/50 Gender balance

Diversity is deep-rooted in the company culture. StreetBees is one of the rare tech businesses with a gender balance of 50/50 – this is incredible! The company's leadership team similarly consists of a 50:50 men and women ratio, which is even more unusual for a tech company. Encouragingly, the StreetBees team consists of 30% BAME (Black and Minority Ethnic) employees from nationalities such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, Iran, and Nigeria. Tugce has demonstrated the potential of women leaders in achieving greater diversity in tech companies, and StreetBees continues to be the best example of tech diversity.

Started solid, going strong

Tugce started with a handful of support from some brands that needed her thoughts, which is an unusual way to approach a business. Many startups begin with a brilliant idea, then scramble for funds to develop something and prove their notion. But Tugce started from a demand aspect, which is exceptionally intriguing.

She believes that living in London comes with many privileges, and it is much easier to raise money. She focused on her vision despite all ups and downs in her entrepreneurial journey. Her advice for women entrepreneurs is to focus on the problem and how to solve it, “if someone is not being gender-neutral, or you don’t feel like they see you as an entrepreneur, just move on”. Surrounding yourself with the people who believe in you is the key to a successful business.

More About Tugce Bulut

Tugce is a firm believer in the power of data and the positive impact it can have on the world. She graduated from Cambridge University, United Kingdom, in the year 2005-2009, specialising in Political Economy. She was awarded full funding for four years by the Cambridge Overseas Trust and Jean Monnet Programme. During her Cambridge years, she published a book and articles in peer-reviewed academic journals focusing on the issues of the impact of global supply chains on emerging markets and the success of microfinance schemes in poverty alleviation. Prior to starting Streetbees, she worked as a strategy consultant for six years, advising technology and consumer firms on how to accelerate expansion in international markets.

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