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Founder Spotlight: Vivian Chen

Tell us a bit about your company.

Rise is a flexible work platform for entrepreneurial women.

Powered by technology, our modern work ecosystem brings together flexible jobs, opt-in benefits, and a supportive community. We use high-skilled, work-from-anywhere roles to accelerate a woman’s career. By working on a wider range of opportunities in a shorter amount of time, women can rise up faster. Companies seeking to fill internal skills gaps, staff part-time leadership roles, or complete time-sensitive projects can use the platform as a new avenue for recruitment.

Why did you start Rise?

I started Rise two years ago after leaving my 9-to-5 job to try my luck at entrepreneurship. Like many first-time founders, my first venture failed. Luckily, as a Wharton-grad, I found success as an independent consultant, advising companies big and small. The aha moment came when after a few months of going independent, I was offered a job that was several levels above where I had been a year before. I realized I had ‘hacked’ my career by pursuing a non-linear path. That’s why I founded Rise, a modern work platform for self-starting professional women. We empower women to take charge of their careers and rise up on their own terms through flexible, remote, project-based and full-time roles.

What are your learnings from 2020?

2020 taught me that it’s okay to be vulnerable. It’s okay to not know all the answers and to ask for help. Like many companies, Rise has seen its fair share of ups and downs this past year. There were moments when I questioned my sanity in starting a company and whether I had what it takes to be a founder. But through it all, I found my voice and footing as a leader in ways I didn’t anticipate. I learned to open up, to be more authentic, and to share the good, the bad, and the ugly to let others in on this crazy journey with me. By being vulnerable, I was able to connect with others more deeply and candidly. The outpouring of support that came from me opening up got me through this decidedly unprecedented year.

Follow Rise, or connect with Vivan for updates on Rise’s progress!

Wharton Alumnae Founders & Funders Association (WAFFA) accelerates the success of women in the startup ecosystem. Join us: HelloWaffa.org

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