5 Questions with Aldrich Huang, Mentor at Techstars Sustainability Paris Accelerator

Feb 07, 2023

Aldrich Huang is CEO of UXTesting.io and main organizer of Savvy UX Summit. 

Aldrich is a seasoned entrepreneur known for delivering results and problem solving. He excels at managing an international remote team from diverse backgrounds, conducting competitive analysis, ideating, bridging cultural barriers, leading with a clear vision, and creating innovative business solutions in competitive markets. With extensive experience in UX leadership, research, strategic planning, and operational management, Aldrich excels at building buy-in relationships and showcasing the business impact of creative UX culture.

Referred by Sunil Sharma, MD of Techstars Toronto, Aldrich is an All-Star mentor who is actively involved in the Techstars Toronto and Paris accelerator.

01. What are you looking for in startups when accepting to become a Mentor?

I am a Techstars alumnus from Techstars Cloud in 2016 and a believer in the #givefirst culture. As an all-star mentor of Techstars for several years to support several Techstars programs, I appreciate this opportunity to give back to the Techstars teams. My several years of experience helped the team grow, fundraise, and develop the business model, but also for me to understand how my expertise #userexperience can apply to different industries and products—better UX, Happier User.

02. What are some of the biggest learnings from your career and entrepreneurial journey that you bring to being a Techstars Mentor? 

Supporting the founders is the same as what we do for user/clients interviews. Actively listening is the key for me to offer advice to the teams. Usually, as a founder, we are easily biased. Therefore, bringing different prospects for the team is one of the most valuable things. Trying is always better than thinking; we like to plan and think, but lack of execution of trying may lead you to grow slowly. Failure is part of success, not the opposite of success. Owning a healthy mindset can support the team in facing all the problems.

03. What is your favorite thing about the Sustainability startup scene?

If you can start your own business and be passionate about what you love, you can at the same time have a positive impact on society and the environment; how can you complain? That's my favourite thing about the sustainability startup scene; you can see how committed the founders are to improving our planet and creating a truly sustainable environment.

04. Describe a situation with a startup founder or team where you felt like you made a difference. 

I'm delighted to see that the teams are very passionate about their idea and are increasingly focusing on the 'experience' for their vendors and users after mentoring several Techstars programmes. We talked about the user journey, behaviours, user interview skills, research and how to get in-depth information for a better experience to get users hooked. Life always has its ups and downs; the same goes for startups. You won't feel alone because the founders are together to share and help each other.

In my hard-won experience, it all comes down to decision making, founder alignment and trust... aka essential building blocks to deal with the inevitable day-to-day challenges as a team.

05. As a Founder and Mentor, how do you leverage these two roles?

After several years as a founder, I have more experience in building the team, expanding the market to other countries, managing the global team, etc. There are a lot of really practical tips and advice that I can share with early-stage teams. Another value is that I am passionate about supporting early-stage teams to conduct user interviews to get feedback from early adapters so as to avoid creating features and products that are not suitable for users. On the other hand, the startup is a very intense job, and I am delighted to support the founder’s mental health and give advice from my experiences.  

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