40 Minute Mentor

October 5, 2022

Embracing A Non-Linear Career: From Shoe Design To Tackling Climate Change with Amali de Alwis, CEO of Subak

“If we’re trying to say that the only way to find answers and the only way to fund climate issues is through equity based investment, it’s just not going to work. It doesn’t suit every type of business.” 

In this week’s 40 Minute Mentor episode, we’re joined by the brilliant Amali de Alwis, CEO of Subak, the world’s first not-for-profit accelerator that scales climate impact through data, policy and behaviour change. 

Prior to joining the team at Subak, Amali was Managing Director of Microsoft for Startups UK and CEO of Code First: Girls. 

Amali is a woman of many talents who wears many hats, including being a Board member at Ada National College for Digital Skills and the Raspberry Pi Foundation

It was a great honour to have Amali join us on the podcast and she shares some really insightful mentorship, including: 

➡️ What her nonlinear career has taught her and why changing careers frequently can have positive effects on your trajectory [05:46] 

➡️ How she landed her first CEO role [12:39] 

➡️ Amali’s journey with Code First: Girls and the milestones she’s most proud of [16:22] 

➡️ What the tech industry needs to do to level the playing field and make it more accessible for women and especially women from underrepresented backgrounds [20:41] 

➡️ Why you just need to get started if you’re looking to get into tech [26:06] 

➡️ Subak’s incredible mission and why Amali got involved [28:19] 

➡️ What Founders can expect from the accelerator [32:16] 

➡️ Why equity based investment can simply not be the only solution to tackle climate challenges [34:42]

➡️ Why we all need to start understanding the data behind climate change [36:32] 

➡️ The importance of having a strong board of advisors [39:17] 

➡️ How Amali juggles her many responsibilities and why being a board advisor makes her a better CEO [41:51] 


Helpful links:

➡️ More about Amali: https://www.linkedin.com/in/amali/ 

➡️ More about Subak: https://subak.org/ 

➡️ More about Code First: Girls: https://codefirstgirls.com/ 


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To learn more about Alchemist and see how they work with some of the most innovative companies in the world, head over to https://thisisalchemist.com/40minutementor/ to find out more. 


📅 Join us at the Sifted Summit! 

We’ll be recording a 40 Minute Mentor panel discussion at this year’s Sifted Summit in London, on Thursday, October 6th

To join us at the event and a chance to ask your questions during our live recording, claim one of our 40 FREE tickets, by redeeming the code: 40MMFREE for your Startup ticket on www.summit.sifted.eu 


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