2021 Visionaries to Watch: Vivian Chen, Co-Founder/CEO at Rise
Vivian Chen is the Co-founder and CEO of Rise, an organization that is creating a new paradigm for companies to connect with the most promising diverse professionals.
Coming out of the pandemic, women, BIPOC, and diverse talent were the most adversely impacted.
Rise is flipping the system, where companies make the first move to build meaningful relationships with coveted professionals.
With Rise, we are a step closer to a future where generic job descriptions, boring resumes, and bad hires are a thing of the past. Rise enables companies to co-design an aligned future with candidates to ensure mutual success.
Vivian Chen Interview
In what ways does Rise positively impact society through its services?
Vivian Chen: Rise empowers people to be unapologetically themselves and be celebrated for it. We believe that an extraordinary version of ourselves is waiting to be unleashed within each of us.
Being extraordinary doesn’t necessarily mean you have to climb Mount Everest, literally or metaphorically. It could mean challenging yourself to speak up when it’s outside of your comfort zone, making a career switch when you didn’t know how, or even just doing something consistently every day to prove to yourself that you could.
Through these micro-interactions, we can get a glimpse of the real, authentic, influential person beyond just your job title or where you attended school. With Rise, people connect based on commonalities, authenticity, and shared experiences.
What do you attribute Rise’s success to?
Vivian Chen: We’ve been fortunate to have had a great network of supporters and advocates. We just wrapped up a fundraiser, and one of our key strategies has been to find people who believed in our vision from the start. As entrepreneurs, we’re used to hearing ‘No.’
It’s great when people say no because it frees up time to find people who do believe in you. Another key factor for Rise’s success has been our focus on a single metric of success and aligning all our efforts to move the needle on just one thing.
Countless things are competing for our attention, and at the earliest stage, focusing on the right thing is the singular most important thing.
What advice would you give younger entrepreneurs who want to create businesses that affect positive change?
Vivian Chen: Building a business is hard. Too often, only see the fruit of someone’s labor, not the ups and downs they had to go through. Find something that can get you out of bed in the morning even when things get hard because things will get hard.
The best way to learn is by doing. Your job as an entrepreneur is to problem-solve. You will be out of your depth. You will not know what to do, so build a strong network of other entrepreneurs who are both at your stage and a little bit ahead of you to get you through rough patches – but most importantly, enjoy the journey!
It’s a gift that you get to do something you love. Cherish the opportunity!
Empowering the world to create our own ladders to go further, faster, on our own terms.
Rise is a women-focused talent community that connects members with the world’s most innovative and forward-thinking companies across roles and industries. We are a data-driven tech platform that provides access to impactful opportunities to those who want purpose, advancement, and equity.