Investment analyst and tech entrepreneur.
Kori Adu is an investment analyst and tech entrepreneur who aims to shake up the modern day advertising industry. He is the founder of the award-winning tech startup Westlink – the online marketplace for brands and bloggers, which makes building and tracking sponsored campaigns easier, less stressful and more rewarding. He is also the founder of Creators Hub – a tight-knit community where creators across every industry can come together to network and collaborate. Having been shaped by his experiences growing up between Ghana and the UK, Kori developed a passion for creating impactful projects that create value for people in their lives and careers.
What does diversity mean to you?
Diversity is extremely important to me. What many people do not realise is, not only does diversity grant opportunities to those would not have had the opportunities otherwise, but diversity benefits everyone including the so-called ‘majority’.
Many people would wrongly assume that diverse groups easily fall apart due to conflict and find comfort in groups of people that mirror themselves. But in reality, having a mixture of races, genders, cultures, abilities and opinions can actually create a stronger and more effective team.
Diverse teams are much more creative and can tackle problems from different perspectives that wouldn’t be considered by a group of people with the same way of thinking. I would like to see more diversity across every field – everybody deserves an equal opportunity, or rather the right to be judged based on merit and merit alone.
What is your advice to a young person starting their career or entrepreneurial journey?
My best advice would be to start and continue. In other words, have a bias towards action and discipline or rather consistency. A bias towards action is needed because unfortunately as an aspiring entrepreneur, usually we don’t have perfect information or sometimes even the resources to acquire that. I am asking you to forget about that. Do what you can, with what you have, sometimes through that process you can achieve your goal or sometimes it doesn’t work out, but you end up with a better idea of what to do next time. “One of my favourite quotes is ‘you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”. Discipline and consistency is needed because often things don’t go your way: a cofounder quits, your CV gets rejected, a potential customer isn’t interested or an investor says no. It is important not to disregard this, but to revisit why this may have happened, reassess and go again. When you take this approach, often you’ll eventually get what you want, sometimes even better and usually unexpected. I honestly believe this is what separates every successful person in any field from others.
What inspired you to start your current journey?
I grew up in a family of entrepreneurs and always knew that I would want to start a venture of my own. I remember being young and saying how I’d want to be a footballer, then retire and set up a bank.
However, as with most people in school and university, you tend to focus much more on the careers at the end of your degree. For me this was investment banking, I spent a lot of my time and energy applying to, working in and towards a role in an investment bank. The long-hours and the experience I gained through the journey were extremely valuable though. It showed me my capacity for hard-work and strategic thinking. However, it also taught me that it’s very possible to fall into the trap of working hard whilst still taking a risk (i.e. can still be fired) and limited upside (i.e. capped salary) until life’s responsibilities hold you back from making that leap for what you truly want.
For me, whilst I had time to reflect on my experience as I applied during my last year of university, I realised that the trade-off doesn’t immediately make sense and if I wanted to exploit my youth, energy and freedom that I have now and take a chance on one of my crazy projects. Westlink also happens to be one that I really enjoy and something that I have always wanted – my own entrepreneurial journey.