#gamechangers // Lina Chan, CEO & Founder of Adia
I'm really excited for this month's #gamechangers post, which has been sitting behind the scenes for a couple of months now. Today I'd like to introduce you all to Lina Chan, the Founder and CEO of Adia, which is an amazing digital health platform empowering women to be proactive and empowered when it comes to their health and fertility. She is a mother of three now, having recently welcomed a third little member into her family. In our Q&A, she shares more about her own pregnancy losses and conception struggles, how she was able to re-build confidence in her own body by re-educating herself and better understanding the importance of nutrition, exercise and emotional wellbeing, and how through her experiences (with a lot of hard work and dedication) she has been able to build a company that has been able to have an amazing, positive impact in many women's lives. I hope you enjoy this Q&A as much as I did! As always, make sure to check out the website and links shared at the end of this post.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am an optimistic, positive and determined woman passionate about making a contribution to society. I was born in Brazil to Chinese immigrant parents who were hard-working entrepreneurs. I was fortunate to go to school in the US and am now living with my husband and two daughters in the UK. I have grown into who I am through overcoming my challenges as an immigrant starting a career in the US, working as a woman in finance, losing my two angel baby daughters to pregnancy complications - all of which has made me passionate about dedicating myself to empowering women and social impact.
How have you got to where you are today in your career, and what inspired you to start Adia?
Hard work and dedication.
I spent most of my career working as a private equity investor in the US and UK. After experiencing pregnancy loss and difficulty conceiving, I realised how reactive and fragmented current care pathways are for women’s health. Why should women try for a whole year before taking fertility tests? Or miscarry three times before seeing a specialist? Why should women rely on “Dr. Google” to guide them in one of the most important decisions in their lives? Why does the system completely ignore emotional health?
I felt the need to build more companies by women for women. I am now the Founder and CEO of Adia, a digital health platform empowering women to be proactive about their health through easy at home finger prick blood test, access to specialist doctors and a science based preconception plan.
What are some of the things that you have loved the most, and have found the most challenging about starting Adia?
I love the impact that we are having on women’s lives. Some of the feedback we are getting from our community and users is really inspiring and it makes all the hard work worthwhile. We have also met amazing people along the way who have supported us with advice, time and resource and we are tremendously grateful for them. We wouldn’t be where we are if it weren’t for their support.
Entrepreneurship is a roller coaster. There are good days and bad days, even within a day there are ups and downs and it requires a lot of optimism and patience. It’s challenging but I can’t imagine doing anything else. There is a tremendous feeling of reward at the end of every day because I know I am working on something I am really passionate about.
Has your journey to where you are today inspired you to do anything you never thought you'd be brave enough to do?
I never thought I would start a company. Particularly not with 2 kids at home and a third one on the way. During the first days of Adia my daughter was just 6 weeks old and I had her strapped onto me as I ran around town having meetings. One year into Adia I am having another baby! It’s all a bit hectic but somehow it all works out. I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Do you have anything exciting in the works for Adia over this next year?
We plan to expand our product offering so women can access more trusted services and products. We will also look to integrate with more medical services so women can have a personalised and supported experience with Adia.
How has your approach to food, movement, and your body changed over the years?
When I experienced my losses and struggled to conceive I lost a lot confidence in my body - both physically and emotionally. I was only able to build back that confidence by re-educating myself and understanding the importance of the interconnectedness of nutrition, exercise and emotional wellbeing. It was during those years that I became a certified yoga teacher, I took many nutrition courses and started to meditate. These practices have made a huge difference and allowed me to have a healthier and happier life.
What are your top three tips for staying healthy physically, emotionally, and mentally?
Exercise. Try to move your body every day, even if only for 15-20 minutes. Pick something you love to do so you’re more likely to stick with it and ask some friends to join in for some additional fun! Exercise is tremendously helpful both physically and mentally.
Practice gratefulness. When you’re grateful for all that life gives you (both the good and bad) you will feel happier and see more opportunities.
Practice healthy and mindful eating but also allow yourself the occasional treats. I have days that I eat very well, and days that I will have quite a bit of chocolate!
What is your favourite go-to meal to make after a busy day?
Broccoli! I can eat Broccoli every day. When I was growing up we had broccoli in almost every meal. Eating broccoli makes me feel healthy and also reminds me of home.
What is your favourite recreational activity?
I exercise! Any form of exercise makes me happy and helps me wind down. It’ll range from lifting heavy weights, to yoga or a walk around the park depending on my mood. And of course... playing with my kids. Hearing my daughters laugh melts any tension away and makes my heart feel full.