Lalitha Wemel is the Global Director of Engagement in Commuinity at Techstars, the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed. She has been actively overseeing the partnerships and programming of startup ecosystem development across 17 countries in the region since 2015.
How would you describe yourself and what do you do?
At work, I am the Global Director of Engagement in Commuinity at Techstars. I lead a global network of startup ecosystem leaders and communities in increasing access to programs, network and opportuitnties in entrepreneurship.
We believe that great entrepreneurs come from everywhere, and we actively do work to build strong startup foundations all over the world to cultivate great talent, ideas and support from the start of their journeys.
Outside of work, I am a first daughter & recovering workaholic who is working on being kinder to herself, continuously refining my purpose and creating opportunities of experience and fun.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
Honestly, going back to sleep. Haha. I am not a big morning person, I find my greatest peace in the wee hours of the night. So the honest first thing I do when I wake up to my one of seven alarms, is go back to sleep and snuggle in tight.
But right after that, and I hate saying it, it is 100% to pick up my phone and check it. Horrible habit (I know) but for my own anxiety, it works. I don’t reply anyone but I do create a mental to-do list of what’s going on.
Then I chuck my phone to one side and start my mini morning routine of “very light” stretching, hydrating, skincare, making my bed and picking a comfy outfit to start my “work from home” day. And like at step number 7, it’s make the coffee, which is when I officially wake up. Haha.
What are you most passionate about?
If I really had to narrow it down to one thing, I feel my biggest passion in life is people and doing work that tangibly impacts lives in a positive way. It is what drives the work I do now, and I don’t think it is a drive that will be slowing down any time soon.
My other biggest passions are making exceptionally amazing brownies and travelling to the beautiful places my tiktok is constantly recommending to me.
What do you usually do to stimulate your creative juice?
Just like Jess in New Girl, I am a huge HUGE fan of “idea walks”. Hahaha. I have gotten some of my best ideas just walking and talking and getting inspired by something random I come across.
When I am too stressed or focused on something and hit a roadblock, the best thing I have found works for me is to take a break, hit pause, change my scenery and have a laugh.
So yes, IDEA WALKS & LAUGHTER!
What part of you that you are most proud of?
I am most proud of my growth in seeing and valuing my own self-worth. On the outside, it’s deceiving what confidence, a big smile and a highlight reel on instagram showcases.
I had low self-esteem growing up and imposter syndrome was a big hurdle for me to overcome. And over the last few years, I can proudly say that I have intentionally worked on recognising my worth, reflecting on my accomplishments and not shying away from feeling secure in what I have achieved.
It is still something I am working on, but building up my self-worth has allowed me to hold stronger boundaries, be more assertive in my decisions and find more joy in all the things I experience. It is 100% the thing I am most proud of me for.
What are you doing that helps your mental health the most?
Being kind to myself, giving myself space to heal and not feeling bad when I am not 100% me. And the biggest thing I am doing right now is finding time to rest and disconnect so that I am giving myself the space to recharge.
We (I) sometimes forget the fatigue that comes from work, life and everything in between; and the importance of disconnecting even from things that you love so that you can come back to them at a 100%.
What’s your biggest influence?
It’s cheesy but it’s definitely my parents. They have thought me to be everything I am today. They’ve instilled my greatest values and created so many of the experiences that have shaped who I am today.
They constantly pushes me to be the best version of myself, and comfort me when I need to take a break on that long journey. It’s not always been the least dramatic journey, but reflecting on it, they are like yin and yang - and I got to find a solid balance in between both of them.
Top 3 series that you’re currently watching at the moment?
I just started my yearly rewatch of New Girl. I am going to start We Crashed. And I can’t wait for the new season of Only Murders In The Building.
What do you want to see more of in the world?
Everyone in the world, having a billion times more empathy for each other. I would even settle for a little more empathy for each other :)