Welcome back to our Dai’namic Woman series. This week, we’ve had the honour to get to know a little bit more about Anne-Laure Le Cunff, founder of healthtech startup Lysa. Having always wanted to be an entrepreneur, she made the leap in April 2017 and started her own business after working at Google, where she was able to travel to countless countries and work on exciting products in the health, fitness and fashion spaces.
1. Hey! What’s your name and age?
I’m Anne-Laure Le Cunff, and I’m 27 years old.
2. Where did you grow up, and where do you live now?
I grew up in Paris, and moved to New York when I was 21. I then lived in London, Tokyo, and San Francisco, before moving back to London a few months ago to start a company.
3. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I absolutely love traveling – thirty countries and counting! When I don’t have time to travel physically, I do it through reading and writing. I also love trying new foods, listening to and dancing to electronic music, and doing my part by mentoring kids or young professionals.
4. What is your current work hustle? How did you get into your current role?
I’m the co-founder and CEO of Lysa, a healthtech startup. Our goal is to make dietetic support available to everyone. I used to work at Google, managing marketing for health products such as Google Fit and Android Wear. While working there, I noticed that lots of nutrition apps had a high number of downloads but a low retention rate: people want to eat better, but the current solutions make it hard for them to stick to a diet. Having grown up in a family where several people suffered from diabetes, I’ve always been passionate about nutrition and healthy eating. Earlier this year, I decided to make the jump and build a solution that would be both efficient and fun to use.
5. What achievement are you most proud of professionally?
I’m proud of how diverse and fun my career has been so far, and how I’ve adapted to different challenges, cultures, and teams. I went from testing cosmetics at L’Oreal, to selling French wine in New York, to helping brands make the most of YouTube, to working on wearables and health apps in Mountain View. Not all professional paths need to be linear and “make sense”: each opportunity has allowed me to connect with amazing people, learn, grow, and explore.
6. Who inspires you and why?
Whitney Wolfe, the CEO of Bumble, is an incredible source of inspiration and a powerful advocate for women. I love how she stands by her values and has built a product to solve an issue she’s personally experienced. She’s also done a great job at building a unique brand and company culture, which are two very hard things to achieve.
7. What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to someone looking to do what you do?
Surround yourself with talented people you love working with! This is what will keep you going when you’re hitting a roadblock, and what will motivate you to get up in the morning and do great things. You should never think you’re the smartest person in the room. A great idea will never turn into a great product without the right team.
8. Your ultimate style icon?
Being French, I have to pick a French style icon! It’s a close tie between Lou Doillon and Clémence Poésy. They both have this casual bohemian-chic look that’s both elegant and comfortable. You will very rarely see them wear high heels, and they’re great at finding one simple accessory to elevate their outfit. It’s basically the essence of the Parisian style!
9. Your favorite item in your closet?
I have an old faux-leather jacket I bought in a vintage shop a few years ago. It’s super versatile and I wear it often, both in formal and informal situations. It goes very well with a long flowery dress, or just jeans and sneakers.
10. Next big splurge?
I need a new backpack! I love the Explorafunk ones by Louboutin, which are supposed to be for men, but they’re out of my budget, so I’ve been looking for alternatives.
11. What’s the one piece do you love from Dai and why?
I love the Pipeline dress in black. That’s the kind of item you can wear at work and after work, that’s comfortable yet elegant, and that works well either with high heels or flat shoes. I really like how versatile it is.
12. Describe your dress code at work.
I usually keep it simple. A blouse, trousers, and a jacket or a trench coat depending on the weather. I can go from hanging out with my co-founder to meeting with a potential investor, and I usually walk quite a lot, so comfort is essential!
13. Your go-to everyday outfit?
If I don’t have time or the headspace to think about what I’ll wear in the morning, I’ll go all black: black top, black trousers, my leather jacket, and black shoes. I’ll just wear an accessory such as a necklace or a bracelet to accessorise.
14. Favorite day-to-night outfit?
The basic little black dress always does the job! I just bring a different pair of shoes in my bag, and voila.
15. Outfit that makes you feel totally empowered?
Not an outfit in particular, but I used to own these high heel shoes that were super comfortable. I could run after a bus, wear them on stage when giving a speech, or dance for hours, without ever feeling any pain or discomfort. I sadly forgot them on a train from Paris to London, and I still haven’t found a new pair that’s doing the job so well.
18. What workwear piece have you owned the longest, and what’s the story behind it?
It’s an old jumper my mom gave me, that she wore when she was in her twenties. It does look old but it’s the most comfortable thing in the world. I love to wear it when I’m working from home in the winter.
19. If you could change one thing about the accepted professional dress code for women, what would it be and why?
I’m lucky to be working in tech where the dress code is pretty casual, but I really feel for women in other industries who are expected to wear stuffy and uncomfortable business outfits with high heels all year round. A few of my friends working in finance can’t wait for the weekend so they can dress more comfortably.