Helen Ma is the CEO and Founder of Anteam.
Anteam is an innovative start-up aimed at reducing carbon emissions from the transport industry. As such, Anteam is targeting to save thousands of tonnes of CO2 per year from this sector. Helen Ma founded Anteam shortly before enrolling on the Big House Accelerator and puts much of the business’s recent growth, and her ability to successfully transition into her new role, down to the benefits derived from the Accelerator.
Anteam was actually inspired by Helen's four-year old son's passion for the ant community in her garden - hence the name Ant Team, Anteam. During the pandemic Helen was quite worried about the excessive number of delivery vehicles on the road and the associated carbon footprint, pollution, and traffic congestion.
Inspired by the example of her son observing how ants work together as a community to move things around, Helen began to think about how to leverage technology to unlock the logistic capacity within communities to move things around.
Helen reflects that before she became an entrepreneur, she was embedded in a company with support from experts from across a range of skillsets along with access to mentors to support and guide her. But when she decided to go-it-alone and start her own business, that support was no longer available.
Helen describes the Big House Accelerator as the 'perfect value proposition' owing to the wide range of support available across every angle of operating a business. Helen found the opportunities for peer-discussion about real life experiences invaluable in terms of giving her the confidence and resilience to keep going during the early stages of the business. Helen feels that the workshops provided the tools to help deal with the mental pressures of setting up and scaling up a business.
Reflecting on starting a business on her own, Helen feels that life as a founder in the early stages can be quite lonely. Helen remarks that the Big House programme opened her up to a diverse community of entrepreneurs and organisations, reassuring her that she wasn't alone, and that they were there to support her. Being part of the cohort, Helen got to meet like-minded people going on the same journey as her which proved to be highly valuable for sharing and solving problems. She also found the workshops and the one-to-one mentoring provided through the programme to be ‘super informative.’
After completing the Big House Accelerator, Helen and Anteam have won a number of awards from the UK Government. One of them being the ‘Women in Innovation Award’ from Innovate UK. This was a competitive process with only 38 leading female entrepreneurs chosen from across the country - for their most innovative and ground-breaking ideas. Helen is proud to have been part of this select group hopes to inspire more women to start their entrepreneurship journey.
Anteam has also won two ‘TRIG’ awards from the Department for Transport under both the Decarbonisation and Future Freight themes. Helen concludes that: ‘it is amazing to see that the Anteam way could be the future of how things are moved around.’
The Big House: Accelerator