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Sofia

Pessanha

Marketplaces, Product, Operations, Y Combinator

I’ve started a non-profit and 3 tech-enabled companies. In startups, I do everything except write code. I’m really good at starting from scratch, I look at the resources we have, the team, the idea, the relationships, and figure out what to do with it.

When we started Beta-i, the tech industry in Portugal wasn’t cool. I wanted to change that. But most of all, I wanted to bring together the people who were already interested in it. We organized conferences and mentoring programs. We created a community that was the spark for countless teams and countless new friendships. It was also the first project Vasco and I worked on together, and it made us want to work on something even bigger.


Unbabel eliminates language barriers so that businesses can thrive across cultures and geographies. I was particularly interested in the translator community: creating the tools for them to work on their mobile phones, offering financial opportunities, understanding what drove high-quality work.

It was the same interest in why and how people work that drove me to help start CareRev, a platform for Registered Nurses and Hospitals to work together.


I’ve been building early-stage companies for years now. Unbabel and CareRev have done well and I’m eager to share the lessons I’ve learned with other early-stage founders.


When I’m not working I love to spend time outside. I divide my time between the mountains, skiing, hiking, and the beach, swimming, biking, and running. I love endurance sports, probably because they’re so similar to startups.

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