Average to Savage
Average to Savage

Episode · 2 years ago

Christina Lila Wilson | Average to Savage EP44


This is the forty-fourth episode of the Average to Savage podcast featuring entrepreneur Christina Lila Wilson. Paul Guarino talked with Christina Lila Wilson discussing her how she chose her career path, working at AngelHack, and the future of technology. Follow Christina Lila Wilson www.instagram.com/lilalive Powered by Current Wave Marketing www.currentwavemarketing.com

This is the average to savage podcast, with ball Greno, everyone in anyone, athletes, so e's and much more. Stop everybody, on back for another episode of the average savage podcastsor special guest today is Christina Leela Wilson. Christina has it going very good.Good to be here. Let's just jump right into it. Can yougive us a brief background about yourself before I ask you some indepth questions?Sure. Yeah, yeah, I'm directing social innovation for Angel Hack, whichis a global developer ecosystem and Hackason and accelerator company. Love it has togetherso many things I'm passionate about. Before that, I worked with a groupfocusing on investing in women and have worked for quite a few nonprofits around theglobe to so really we're trying to kind of connect a lot of the socialimpact innovations with technology and start up. Yeahcha, and you went to Uclafor an Undergrad and you went to Georgeown for graduate school. Would you studythere? I studied social and public policy at Georgetown and before that, anUndergrad, I studied of political science and religious studies. I was definitely stillexploring, which I still am today. But yeah, I really enjoyed allthose areas. So I going for those two degrees. What was your likegold like job buys or career wise? It's a good question. I mean, at this time I really wanted to be involved thin human rights and Ithought the legal path would be really powerful for that. But then I wasworking in that field and I think I got a little disillusions. I worked, you know, wanted to go into the nonprofit industry after that. Ithought that was the biggest way to make change and always had this passion kindof international issue. So I couldn't find like the perfect path that would combineall those things I always loved as a kid. I think for a whileI wanted to be like a global spy or something, but not for I'mnot for any government. So but I think empowering people in their dreams wasalways something I wanted to do. And then after after some time kind ofbeing disillusioned with the numprofit industry that, you know, go focused on fundraisingconstantly and you know your hands are tied in a lot of ways to makebig impact, I definitely had another iteration and my career goals and stumbles onthis intersection of this amazing, like startup text community and how just lightning fastit was and how it was the space where people could experiment with all sortsof creative solutions to all societies problems and just it was so exciting and hadthis like fire and electricity around it when I started kind of getting into thehackabone and the text base. So I even after Georgetown, I ended updoing a tech boot camp just to kind of really dive in and get moreexposure, and then that that led to this, which I totally didn't expect, that this is really, you know, creating a platform for people to comeon and experiment and put their entrepreneur dream which I think, you know, I think a lot of us think we're in the age where anyone coulddo anything they want, but I think we're just at the very beginning ofthat. The potential that we have to go so much further. Yeah,for sure. I was just talking one of my friends the other day thathas a daughter that's, I think, like eleven, and I was justlike there and everyone's just going to be like way smarter just because all thetechnology. Yes, I mean we see it. So I'm constantly humbled atour hacks on a lot of time the winners are like fifteen or fourteen yearsold. They've literally like had so much experience. And I mean one ofour winners. The investors are all grilling him and he's huge fourteen and theywere likely, you know, what are you going to do if this thingyou're presenting is actually successful? And you know, and he was. Hehad already sold two companies, so he was way ahead of so I'm veryexcited. You know, when that generation...

...is you know, the people thathave had that passion took always learn to have resources humanity has never had before. So I think ran for some amazing surprises. The fourteen year old soldto companies. Yes, yeah, he and he he's a blockchain developer expert. He's just he lives in California. I think he's been back in schoolnow like focusing on that, but a lot of the ones we talked tothey feel a little held back by school. You know, we've definitely seen itall on. A lot of the ones internationally are from very poor backgroundsalso, and it's just amazing to see what they've done to be able tokeep to bring themselves the resources and how hard they fought always be learning.Yeah, for sure. Now going back to the UCLA and in George Own, so there's a two notable schools. Like what was the difference between likegoing to school on the West Coast and then coming back to the east coastand like was it a different like how different was the experiences and like thecultures are of like the colleges? I'm definitely I yeah, I grew upon the east coast and spent a lot of time in the west coast.I always had a love of both, but I do think they're very differentcultures. I think for Georgetown I was really missing this electricity that I fellfrom the east coast around dream building and just, you know, people willloot at such a fast pace and be ready to go work on an idea, you know, on social justice, that was just contagious amongst all thepeople they would bring together. So I think I was very lit up bythat. I definitely love you say that I loved this diversity at Ucla andI just got to be exposed to so many different things, but I wasI was more in the political I was like at the time I thought politicswas going to be the avenue. I wanted you know to take and Iwent through a few phases of dissolusion it. So, but it was very good. It was good for all the all the good debates and exposure totwo different ideas. Yeah, definitely. And how did that all lead toyou going to Angel Act or working for Angel that? It was actually through. I went through like the time I was disillusion with the nonprofit Shas.I really felt sad and I was like I just felt like wow, thisyou know, it was sad to see so many of the path I thoughtwere going to have, all this avenue to do so much we're kind offading away. So I definitely went through a time of like confusion and butI followed the things that I saw that were working and I was with agroup that was literally organizing hackathons on as a volunteer basis and we would wewould do them around global issues, like we did one around Pakistan issues,and you know, popstone has some of the worst problems in the world forcorruption and it literally, you know, all sorts of poverty issues, somany endless things, and we would do hackasons building solutions to some of thespecific problems and it was amazing. Like idea of people built prototypes in aweekend were able to be implemented in impact millions of people's lives and that,you know, I was doing that on the side while I was working fora nonprofit that that was helping women in entrepreneurship. So it kind of startedcoming together. And then the Angel Hack Group was trying to, you know, expand globally, which to me, I was always so passionate about,you know, the global aspect. To me it's it's like this beautiful partof American culture, like the innovation that we do. You know, havethis great respect for the work ethic and that culture of even around Sulican Valley, I always felt like, okay, the whole world needs this and downso many communities. We see around the world they're just going ahead. Evenin some areas like like, for example, the Arab world has more more womenthan soil come valley involved and the base like I think one at oneand three companies have a female founder.

So it's amazing to see like thereally high levels of adoption progress they're getting for innovation, starts, investment,all of that, like the the scene of just lighting up all over theworld. In definitely it can you just give me like a brief summary ofwhat Angel Hack does? Sure, yeah, so we started really just as thisweekend competition around peck and people would come together and you know, it'sfocus on one problem or an industry and people would create their solutions, workall day Saturday. They were always over night. So people would something tostay up all night and then Sunday they would present to angel investors and byMonday at least one or a few of the teams would have investments really experimentwith their idea. So that was that was the initial model back in twothousand and eleven. From there we've really expanded and you know, how dowe keep a lot of these a lot of this magic that is sparked atthe hack upon to encourage them to test and launch an experiment. So nowwe have an accelerator that is twelve weeks long that will, you know,take at least one of the winning ideas that put it through that so ithas that longer term support. But it's been really amazing to enter some partsof the world that didn't really have a very strong scene and there's something verycontagious about it. I've got it's fun. It brings that fun feeling back tothat space, like you're working with such different people than usually would.I mean that used to be even the Edison's invention factory was like bringing youknow people you would typically work with them. That's when you get that fresh thinkingoutside the box at different ages, different backgrounds, everything, and soyou know, we've we've still evolved from there. Now we will run hackasonswith partners around the world, always, you know, as different themes.We do it for governments that are looking to support new innovations or people lookingfor specific solutions in an industry. And then we have this tour that doesabout fifty cities every year. Competition and then start up investment. It's crazy. What's been some of your like favorite winners? Oh Wow, there's goingto be tough. I mean we've had one winner two years ago that it'sjust kind of aimed at millennials, teaching them about really being smart with theirmoney, manage sing their money and investing. Started in Spain and it's just becomeso popular. Their growth is insane. The number of Delmas were getting andwe've had a few. We had one in Africa that I really lovedthat was getting people transvest in the environment. So you could go on their platformand like literally invest in different parts of African environment and you know,ultimately that's one of the best investments on how that pays off to every sectorin the economy. We've had somewhere someone could, you know, in partsof the Middle East, they created something where women could report or get counselingor something for Carrabsman or domestic violence or whatever, and it just uncovered thishuge need because a lot of women couldn't talk to the police. They couldhave talked to their neighbors. They they literally couldn't mention anything. So itlike uncovered this huge shadow base that, you know, had no outlet before. So there's a lot of things like that that, you know, younggirl wanted to build it and you know, it didn't require a lot of technologybut have such an amazing impact. Yeah, so are most of theseare like apps? Yeah, most of them are APP, some Web APPs, some for the phone, but yeah, all of our stuff is just peckenabled. God. So it's like kind of like changing through lifestyle almostwith some of that, like in the form puts. Yeah, so,even I mean with someone in Dubai made something around depression, you know,getting more acts to wellness resources and mind from ess resources, or so manyof the people that are working they are separated from family. You know,there's just it's amazing because we allow the participants in each of the participating citiesto kind of determine the problems that are they're the most passionate about. Soit's really it's fun to go see the...

...demo days because you're seeing just such, you know, fresh thinking around these problems that are just being ignored ina lot of ways. Like I mean, even when you look at the UNsustainable development goals of like, okay, these are the biggest problems humanity isgoing to have over the next ten years, you don't see investment goingtowards a lot of, you know, a lot of those kind of problemsglobally. So you know, we're trying to do that and allowing the useand a lot of these countries, where they're living in the problems, theyhave a lot of the best ideas that it's just a very smart investment likethat has a high r line. Like we've even seen, for an,aid programs that pump so much money into you know, cookie cutter solutions orworn out solutions, and you know, the young. I saw one reportingpux one of like Tenzero was only put into this startup accelerator and had amuch higher impact than millions that were put in. You know, some ofthe traditional systems. How many haggathons you ever yours? We have about eightytwo hundred that we have, you know, about fifty every year. That willbe to our global story of competition. So how do you how do youpick words going to be? We're doing in that process right now andit's it's it's always a journey because there's so many places we want to goand so many places that, you know, really want more of these kind ofopportunities. But we try to pick cities that will have that talent,you know, really strong talent that is hungry for this opportunity. Like wealso don't want to go to places that are so saturated with a million hackof songs. We try to pick places that have that high potential and thatalso have partners. We love to work with local partners that also will kindof invest in them side by side with us. So, for example,like an accelerator in Kenya give prizes out at our hack of bombs and mentorswinning teams that, you know, we love to do that because it's notjust a one way exchange. It's really, you know, it's always been thewest kind of teaching their ways to the world. That, like,it really is amazing to have this exchange of their wisdom and we learn alot from each of them, each of the cultures that we encounter. Isthere any is there any country that you really want to go to? Iwould love to. I mean there's so many still that we haven't done,like even Iran. I'm happy Ronni in I know this the sea. There'sso amazing, like the text talent and people that you're, you know,hungry for more supporting opportunities. So many. I mean just Saudy, another onethat we will probably go to this year. I love going to placeslike that where we're trying to do some around women, you know, haven'thad as may opportunities in the Middle East. But Oh yeah, that list isis Ms. There's, you know, so many new cities that get thisemerging text scene that are just have that excitement factory when you say youlived in the Middle East or you've traveler all the time or post lived there? No, but for the past few years of we've been doing the programspending a lot of time in the Middle East and Africa. That those aremy two regions focusing on me. Yeah, so what's it? What's it likegoing over there all the time? It's it's very it's very exciting,I feel. I feel like I just learned so much, encounter so muchbeauty and, you know, as a law of the world is kind ofbecoming the same and the modernization profs. I always look at it like,you know, this is also the competitive advantage of all these beautiful cultures that, you know, I don't want to diminish. So I go there andI've always been amazed, like even Justin Dubai, like the scene around supportinginnovation and the excitement about all the you know, future visions and goals.It's just really contagious and know, the...

...environment they're building for young changemakers andyoung innovative thinkers is so exciting. Like I mean I just went to thehuge government funded area that was all about youth learning. It's such a suchan exciting innovative way where they could play with so many new tech tools,and I mean even I walked into this cafe that was the most beautifully designedcafe I've ever been to and every they said it was all designed by underfourteen year old. So, you know, places like that and then seeing likesubcultures in places like Nigeria or Afghanistan, like all the there's a movement inAfghanistan of reverse brain drain, you know, the youth. The movementhas always been to leave the country in a lot of the world as soonas they get good education and opportunities. So the best minds that are themost likely to involve their societies are leaving. But this movement was like bringing allthese amazing young people that, you know, had incredible education. Theyall could get jobs in Europe or US and they're living in Afghanistan and they'rejust building these incredible places to, you know, provide support for the younginnovators, and seeing things like that was always really exciting. It's pretty Ifeel like I'm going on a world tour just talking to you. So it'sit's beautiful. I know, I wish I could like publish a book ofall the you know, these emerging scenes that we encounter of all over theworld. I mean I'm always you know, my my co workers are telling thestories from all over Asia, you know, South America, all it'sjust end left. Do you guys ever do videos and sit like vlogs oranything like that? We do. Yeah, well, like we have even theAngel Hack instagram that will some of us will do takeovers and do kindof stories going through some of these emerging tech hubs. So that might bean interesting place to see some of it. But I hope we do put somemore, you know, in a other platforms just to tell some ofthe stories. I think it's it's beautiful to really see that. It justgives me so much hope because I think, you know, we've had conflict amplifiedin media and so many ways and people feel feel enmyby but then youknow, always seeing around the world will like the average person all kind ofwants the same thing. They all like want to build this beautiful future andthey have more in common with each other than with a lot of governments,you know. So it's nice to see this like community and especially in thetext star world, they all have that kind of forward thinking attitude of evenlike the open source movement. We see that as so many of our hands. Like so some of the teams that win and have get opportunities. Theythey make all their technology open. They don't even care about getting credit,like they're just like always want to contribute to this these causes. So,you know, seeing seen all of that gives us a lot of hope forthe future. Ye, it's awesome and you got you guys. Are Stuffin the US to right? Yes, definitely. I will have at leastfive hack of bombs are around that in the US this year. Yeah,and jumping into like women in Chech what have you seem like? Have youseen like women grow in business and tech over the past few years? Iguess to say, yeah, yeah, I think. I think it's definitelyan exciting time. We always start thinking about I mean I hear a lotof people in the US talk about the gaps and opportunity and I think it'strue. I think I saw the most recent report was like still two percentof VC funding was going to women. So you know, and globally,I think when you see the numbers globally, I saw a report that was sayinglike two thirds of the words world working hours are from women, butthey only have ten percent of global income,...

...which is insane to think about becauseso many of the lowest billion in poverty are women. So I thinkin a lot of the world it's interesting like where they don't have they weren'traised in that way, that technology was a path for men, and alot of the world, like women are equal in the field of technology oreven having a higher number of women. So it's it's amazing. will golike a lot of the last we bring the experts to teach the pack uponatteney's about Ai and it would be a woman. You know, a lotof the time it was really awesome to see. But I think I thinkwe are entering that. Feel like there's a lot more interested investing in womenbecause they're performing really well as entrepreneurs. When they're looking at the numbers andit's it's crazy because I think we're still we're not even at the place likewe think we're the most advanced gender wive society, but I don't think we'reeven at the places of a lot of ancient cultures, like even the oldIranian culture had women were considered the from the greatest advisors, so all thebusinessmen and commanders of military and kings would have email advisors, and it's excitingbecause I think we are getting to that place again where it's really being valued, even at pack funds that we have focusing on women's issues in a lotof the world. A lot of men came and they're like this is,you know, a really important issue for our society and they're all thinking abouttheir daughters. So yeah, I think I think we're seeing just really excitingsigns and signals of how that how that all of that is going to changeall over the world. Then, in your opinion, how do you thinkit's gonna like change and say five or ten years? I think it looks, I mean if the trend will continue that, you know, the numberof people getting some investment will rise and and I don't like to just thinkof investment embers, because I do think that model is kind of broken andwe've kind of still been exporting it and people have been trying to copy itaround the world. But I think the you know, looking at the trendsof democratizing access to capital so that average people can experiment. But I mean, for me it's not just women, it's poor people, like you know, poor people that are have less money have had such a small real chanceat getting their ideas experiments in, but then we also know that they dosuch an amazing job. Like if you look at some of the most amazingsuccessful innovators, like came from really, you know, tough backgrounds, andso I'm always thinking like it's just sad that we're still not at that placewhere if someone has a great idea, no matter where they are, theycan at least get some experimentation. And I think, as you know,even things like I'm seeing a lot of these funds coming out, that youdon't need to be an incredible investor and like the twenty two x funds thatlink of times could start up. Average people could invest in a accountable waywith with founders. So I think it's going to be really interesting how thatpans out over the next five ten years, like you know, where someone justhas an amazing idea, they'll be a little more accountable way to reallyexperiments and then have support from mentors and you know, it's I see peoplereally building innovative models around that. So I think, yeah, I thinkit, you know, hopefully will matter a lot less, like the littlefactors like your age or your gender any of those things? Yeah, forsure. Ready for some fun questions? Yeah, sure. So, ifyou had to create an APP, would kind of APP would you create?Oh Wow, okay, I definitely think about it, like I've always athappens on them, like Oh, Tis, like I should, I should goback and participate. I think I'm very passionate about wellness and health.Then I always think it's very strange the conflicts in our industry. Is likehow the health industry profits off sickness, not wellness, and we've just forgottenso much of the ancient wisdom around that.

Like even just India alone, theold IRA vedic the signs of life, not just for wellness, for energy, for it's almost like the technology of the human body. They masteredit and we just like lost all of that. But I think some kindof they may might be something like this, but an APP that would really bringthat wisdom into modern life in an easy, digestible way. That wouldbe something amazing. I mean, I guess just democratizing different industries, I'mthat's always kind of my favorite thing, like whether it's I just want tosee more artists supported, you know, not just technologist but any platforms thatwould help people invest in artist for designers or, you know, musicians,whatever. I think that would be like a really exciting for me. Yeah, yeah, that that'd be interesting. In the whole time we were doingthis interview, just the Hackathon just remind me of like shark tank. So, like, are you a fan of that show? What's still no sharktank? Oh, Shark tank. Oh, definitely, I love I love watchingthat and it also kind of shows some of the problems with the space. I think sometimes when you watch your like you see an idea that's reallyamazing and they're like Oh, just because you're not putting profit totally first,like we're not going to invest you, or there's like an ego battle,and that's real, like that's that's like people in the space. You seestuff like that all the time, like or when they no one invests inan idea that is really targeted for poor people, but they don't relate becausethey don't have that experience. Like why, you know, they're like I thinkECO flowers was like on and they're they're like, we don't understand whyanyone would want this. We like fresh flowers, but she proved them wrongso bad. You know, and the huge market. But I do lovewatching it and I think it's awesome for young people that now see. Ithink it because it gets you dreaming and gets you passionate, and now wejust need, you know, more doors open opening up. I was watchingwith my niece, Biz kids. That is just it was so amazing.I was like, I wish this was around when I was a kid,because it was encouraging children to the you know, play around entrepreneurship in afun way, and it is fun. It's like the best education. You'relearning about so many spaces and hey, why not like be smart about thinkingabout money at, you know, even at a younger age? So therefor sure. I think even like Short Tang itself, like I seen,I don't know what I was watching, but instead of the kids want tobecome entrepreneurs now, instead of like an athlete or actor, actress, stufflike that, which is we're just cool. I think. I think it's amazingand I think, I hope that that's the direction that we go.I mean even in business in general, like I just saw a report showingthat we're moving the opposite direction overall, like we're moving towards higher concentration andindustries where it's just a few, like most of the domination is just withthe few players, like it's gotten much worse over the past twenty years,and but we know that that's not good for society. Like we know everyoneworks harder and everyone is more lit up and connected and putting in their heartand soul when they feel some kind of ownership. SPAKE that. Instead we'rekind of concentrating ownership, so you know, and companies that have been experimenting withthat model of like employee ownership, and you know, all of likeif just they do so, they outperform other businesses like crazy. And sothat's my help is we go in that direction that, you know, whereanyone can like feel some some sense of entrepreneurship in their life, even ifit's even if it's just a small portion of a company they're working for.Yeah, definitely. What last one? If you SEELA and Georgetown are playingin the sporting event, who are you rooting for? That's awesome. Iokay, I'm I've never been that into...

...sports, so I don't want todisappoint just point you too much, but if I was picking loyalty and somebattle, I would be really hard for me. I would I would takeit as a sign from life, which which one one, and I liketo do that. I like to make it a signal from the world,because I couldn't picked between the two because they each played such an amazing roleat different stages of my life. But yeah, I mean right now Imight say. I might say George Hans my favorite right now because I'm stilllit up from all the social justice energy I got there. Yeah, Yeaha. Well, I appreciate you coming on. And where can people find you andAngel Hack on Social Media? Yeah, so, Angel Hack HQ is ourinstagram. I'm a Leel alive on instagram. That's just you know.I'll post about along our hacks on adventures there, and we're also on twitter. Same, same name. All Right, thanks, appreciate thank you so much.

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