Teresa Truda, co-founder of chozun 途赞, is one of the speakers for the upcoming second event of Superwomen in Data.

chozun 途赞 is a travel ecosystem that gives people an option to do custom travels. Its technology is powered by cryptocurrency and blockchain, which helps inform travelers about the best places to go based on their style and preferences.

Check out our interview with her today on Superwomen in Data.

Can you introduce yourself & your company?

Teresa Truda Chozun

My name is Teresa Truda. I’m a bit of a geek and I’ve always been passionate about tech. I like to break down the truths of startup life and have a human approach to all I do.

I had over 9 years of experience in global advertising agencies in Australia leading their digital departments. I always knew that I wanted to do my own thing, but I didn’t know what it would be.

Prior to chozun 途赞, I ran a Digital Consultancy and eCommerce shoe store in Australia, which we exited in late 2015.

When I made the decision to leave the corporate life, it was much to everyone’s disapproval. My family believed it was best for me to stay in my stable job, have a stable income and live the dream of what they deemed as a success.

But I knew I’m capable of so much more, and I wanted to prove it. I was driven by the excitement and challenges that a startup life could bring.

chozun 途赞 was born from a pain point both Zia (my Co-Founder) and I had. We want to easily discover unique experiences when we travel. We spend hours trawling sites, looking for local experiences and services in new cities.

But most of the time we became crippled by indecision when looking for places and experienced that will fit our personal tastes.

Zia and I quickly realized that other people, specifically travelers, are experiencing the same struggles as well. So we created chozun 途赞 to solve this.

chozun 途赞

chozun 途赞 is an ecosystem for travelers to discover, book, and access the best personalized local experiences & services. It is powered by proprietary AI & Data Science, driven by cryptocurrency & the blockchain.  

We decided to bootstrap chozun 途赞 in early 2016 and we raised our first seed investment shortly after relocating to Shanghai.

In less than 12 months, chozun 途赞 launched in 22 cities across China, SEA, and Australia – with HQ now in Shanghai & Melbourne.

Today, chozun 途赞 is still expanding. We are focusing on building out our Blockchain infrastructure in the coming months.

Why have you chosen to become an entrepreneur?

I had Senior roles within Advertising Agencies, so I’ve been a leader and a problem solver for years. Because I like helping people and creating solutions, I got the nickname ‘Mother Teresa’.

While working with others and building products for big brands, I formed the skills I needed to create a sustainable product.

I also wanted to solve the problems that travelers often face. So, together with my team, we created better solutions for them. The best part? It’s fulfilling and it doesn’t feel like work.

What are your biggest accomplishments and failures in your professional life?

My biggest accomplishment was my first exit from the eCommerce shoe store, Pata Pata. It started as a passion project a couple of years ago.

I was traveling to Mexico for leisure when I came across a style of leather boot I liked. Without any experience in the fashion or design industry, I set up a supply chain and created an eCommerce shoe brand in Australia. We imported handmade leather boots from Mexico to Australia.

We sold them online and most proceeds went to a women’s fund in Mexico to contribute to women’s equality. I set up the supply chain and sourced materials for the boots. I also built the distribution network and the online store.

In late 2015, I decided to leave the company to focus on chozun 途赞. That was a huge success for me because I built something great from scratch.

I don’t have failures because I don’t believe on them. I think people are just thrown with challenges along their journey that drive them to be better versions of themselves.

Is being a woman in a digital environment with a majority of men an advantage or not? If yes, how do you use it?

I try to never let this be a thing. I am a massive women’s advocate and that includes supporting women-led business ventures.

I think sometimes if we females make such a big deal of it, it may perpetuate gender equality. Women are and should feel strong, independent and know their worth. If you practice that, you’ll experience less resistance.

I don’t want to surround myself with bias and resistant people towards women. A lot of our advisors are successful, strong women that empower us. I think it’s important to surround yourself with people who support you, no matter the gender.

What advice would you give to those who want to launch a company in China?

Firstly, learn how to laugh. Everything is temporary, and a decision you may make today may change tomorrow.

Also, there are 5 things to consider when launching a company in China:
  1. People – build a great, strong network around you.
  2. Resilience – be tough, learn how to take a hit and get back up.
  3. Culture – be aware of the differences, practices and be respectful.  
  4. Know your customer – is there really product/ market fit?
  5. Be adaptable – it’s a fast moving, ever-evolving environment.

What’s your advice for women to help them to succeed?

Be confident and resilient. We’re naturally great. Know what success means to you and work towards your own personal goals.

Most importantly, don’t let your gender affect you or make you doubt anything. Just be you.

To know more about the event Superwomen in Data on November 21, scan the QR code below and follow their WeChat account superwomenindata. You can also register directly on this link.

superwomen in data qr code

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Rose Tornandeso is a freelance writer from the Philippines. Aside from writing for NextStep, she also enjoys writing fictions. When she’s not chasing deadlines, she plays legos with her son and visits art galleries.

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