Sylvia is the CEO & Founder at mymonX,an AI-powered health and wellness device with a focus on healthcare prevention.
She is an experienced founder who has created pioneering and technology-driven models using AI innovation. Sylvia and AITIS’ work is delivering technological solutions to the medical, financial, transport and construction sectors.
How did you land your current role? Was it planned?
After spending 20 years in the banking sector, I founded AITIS in 2020 – a deep-tech AI innovation company. It allowed me to build on my interest in AI applications outside of financial services and into sectors such as healthcare to make an impact on people’s lives. Earlier this year, I launched mymonX – an AI-powered health and wellness wearable with non-invasive glucose monitoring capabilities that focuses on healthcare prevention. It analyses vitals to proactively empower people’s control of their health, underpinned by AI.
Getting to this point wasn’t planned when I first started my career, but I knew that I wanted to use my experience to transition into a new health-focused venture. Technology has always interested me, having studied computer science at university, so applying this passion to a sector which had real-world applications was a key driver.
Did you (or do you) have a role model in tech or business in general?
I’ve had many role models throughout my life. Initially, it was a colleague at a major bank who believed in me when I started my banking career – they were very formative years, so I am grateful for their positive influence.
More recently, I have been fortunate to have access to fantastic advisors with an amazing network, making sure I maintain a balanced view when navigating difficult business situations. And finally, there is my mother who urges me to continue delivering healthcare innovation that is not currently available.
What are you most proud of in your career, so far?
There are many things to be proud of, but if I had to choose just one it would be seeing the roll-out of mymonX to market. It was the culmination of years of research, development and testing and we are now so happy to see it being used by people everywhere.
One of the great things about our work is hearing the inspiring stories from customers who have made positive changes to their lifestyle because of our product. It was a long process in the making, but getting that feedback makes me so proud of all the hard work we put in to get here.
Are there any specific skills or traits that you notice companies look for when you’re searching for roles in your field?
The technology sector has changed significantly over the last few years and there is a much stronger emphasis on soft skills. People are building highly successful careers in technology without coming from a technical background, which is a big step in the right direction. People starting out just need to bring a genuine interest and enthusiasm to learn – I call it the ‘can-do’ approach.
Each year we run our own internship programme which encourages young people to get hands-on professional experience, providing a platform for their professional growth. I am immensely proud of their work and it’s been so rewarding seeing them do inspiring things each day.
Has anyone ever tried to stop you from learning and developing in your professional life, or have you found the tech sector supportive?
In general, I’ve found the tech sector to be supportive as long as you work hard and deliver. It can be a highly challenging environment to work in due to its fast-paced nature and how receptive it is to change.
For this reason, the only person that can stop you from learning is yourself. I’ve faced many obstacles throughout my career but realised that getting past them is my responsibility, so it’s about taking ownership to get where you want to go.
Have you ever faced insecurities and anxieties during your career, and how did you overcome them?
Of course. This process never stops but what’s most important is how one handles the ups and downs of their career. For me, the downs are opportunities for learning and the ups are there to enjoy but continue to work hard. Having a good balance between my career and personal well-being, both physically and mentally, helps me to deal with career anxiety and insecurity.
Entering the world of work can be daunting. Do you have any words of advice for anyone feeling overwhelmed?
I remember starting out, being surrounded by people who were much more experienced and feeling like my work didn’t have the same value as theirs. However, it’s important to remember that everybody has been in that place before and is there to support you on your journey. My advice would be to embrace the challenges and listen closely to any feedback so that you can continue to grow.
What advice would you give other women wanting to reach their career goals in technology?
I have always stood by the belief that education is the most beneficial thing in life. The technology sector can be highly technical so having an awareness about how it all fits together is important. Science is very accessible and there are endless opportunities for people if they bring enthusiasm and curiosity about the field.
Otherwise, I would say it is important to continue expanding your network. Nobody can do it alone and there are people out there who will support you as you familiarise yourself with new roles, companies, and sectors. I couldn’t have achieved what I have in my career without having a strong network around me, so my final advice would be to cultivate a group around you who you can depend on and share learnings with.