Meet Woman Fellow: Simone Barakat (Autumn 23)

January 14, 2024
Stories from the Women Fellowship: Simone Barakat Autumn 23

We’ve caught up with some of our incredible Fellows to see what they’re up to now.

Meet Simone

Before the fellowship Simone Barakat was a Senior Product Manager at water monitoring and management company, Farmbot. Now she’s the Chief of Staff at Number 8 Bio – a synthetic biology start-up.

Why did you apply for the fellowship?

I had friend's that had taken part in the Women's Fellowship and I had heard such great things. As I already had experience in startup environments, I saw it as a chance to broaden my horizons within the startup ecosystem. The fellowship was also an opportunity to learn from awesome speakers and mentors as well as connect with talented people.

How would you describe the fellowship to someone else?

When describing the women's fellowship course to someone, I say it's a course that focuses on 3 main buckets:

  • Professional Development: It's a launchpad for understanding your potential and mapping out the trajectory to achieve it.
  • Startup Fundamentals: The course offers a deep dive into the startup world through the lenses of investment, founding, and operations.
  • Networking: It's a golden opportunity to expand your professional support network.

Would you recommend the fellowship and why / why not?

Absolutely - The Startmate community is incredibly vibrant and welcoming. I made so many friends within my cohort, learnt so much from the speakers, and the mentors were so supportive.

What sort of person would you recommend it to?

This fellowship is ideal for anyone eager to delve deeper into the startup universe, ready to challenge their preconceptions, and keen to expand their professional toolkit in a supportive and dynamic setting.

What were some unexpected takeaways?

I guess not so surprising but the amount of energy and motivation I drew from the people I met and how helpful everyone in the community is. Connecting with like-minded individuals brought a lot of joy and inspiration.

Describe your journey since finishing the fellowship, professionally and personally.

Professionally, the fellowship paved the way for my current role as Chief of Staff at Number 8 Bio. I was actually introduced to the team through the Startmate community. It's an incredible early stage start up that is working on innovative ways to combat methane emissions in ag which is the perfect blend of my two passions - agriculture and sustainability. Personally, the fellowship was an opportunity for reflection and growth and I've tried to maintain that momentum of continuous learning/improvement since!

Pssst. Women Fellowship applications are open

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Jessica McKellarJessica McKellar

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