This is an interview with Lisa Matthews of HellyHolly, a startup in the AI/chat space and a productivity platform for managing the competing demands of all the different domains of your life – work, social, home, family.
“I’m an engineer by background – Civil and Architectural, with a PhD in computational fluid dynamics (which involved spending four years writing C# code). So a pretty logic-driven and practical person. When I got into industry I did a lot of different things. I project managed one of the first electric vehicle demonstrator projects in the UK, optimised the design of an opera house to save 3000 tons of carbon and worked out how to stop some wind turbines sinking in the North Sea.
I’ve always liked doing new things. Then I pitched to my employer that I should start a new regional business for them (so I could cut my commute and see more of my then 1-year old daughter!). And I spent five years doing that, winning business, managing clients and growing the team. That business is still going strong and I’m hugely proud of it. But about two years ago I had a burn out. It was the weirdest thing, to feel less and less in control and less and less able to make the right decisions. So I took a sabbatical and my experience ultimately inspired me to start HellyHolly. Now I run HellyHolly, Carba and also help my previous employer with their digital venturing programme. It’s a great mix, and I love it.”