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Isabella Maluf Vasconcellos

Our Positive Woman is Isabella Maluf Vasconcellos, creator of the Hestia Ventures ecosystem, a holding that supports science and technology businesses linked to healthy childhood and child autonomy. “The idea is to invest money and ‘bitco’ in revolutionary companies within the children’s market. I look for companies that are making products and services with children in mind, with science at the center of the development process”, he explained. A chemical engineer by training, with an MBA from Stanford, she worked at the McKinesey consultancy, at its headquarters in Brazil, Palo Alto and New Jersey. His keen eye on sustainable growth for the consumer goods business marks his trajectory. After motherhood, she decided to use all her expertise to transform the market in which she now operates.




1. How did your career start?

It started at McKinsey consultancy, in the São Paulo office — there I had the opportunity to learn about the best in business management, working on strategic projects for various industries, with the largest and most relevant companies in Brazil.


2. How is Hestia's business model formatted?

Hestia is a hybrid of some business models, with elements of search fund, venture capital and private equity. The idea is to invest money and “bitco” in revolutionary companies within the children’s market. I look for companies that are making products and services with children in mind, with science at the center of the development process. And, if it's a fit, I'll make an offer for a percentage. I am also working to build an “ecosystem” in which companies work and grow together, given a shared purpose.


3. What was the most difficult moment in your career?

Returning from maternity leave. At that moment, I had to choose whether I would continue in the company where I had made my career (and for which I have great admiration) or whether I would go for something entrepreneurial, totally new, without much form, trying to build something in a different format than what I had seen on the market, in an industry that is little looked at or valued.


4. How do you manage to balance your personal life x corporate/entrepreneurial life?

I can't (laughs). It's been increasingly difficult, lots of projects and demand — fortunately companies are growing, we have a lot of traction, so, at the moment, personal life has been a little aside. In the last three months, I have gained 5 kg and have been spending less time with my son. I am aware of this and actively trying to organize myself to rebalance things. I have a lot of help from my mother, my in-laws and my husband, which helps alleviate some of the “guilt” of leaving the little one alone.


5. What is your biggest dream?

I don't have any specifics, something I aim for and go after. Maybe because I have a temporal orientation towards the “present”, I don’t think much about the future. I hope that I can build something cool, that is positive for the children and that I can enjoy my family a lot along the way. Having a dream as a “goal” seems like something very final to me — I know that, if I set something to achieve, when I achieved it I would have a “new” dream. So, I don't think like that much. When I sleep, I think about my son and my husband.


6. What is your greatest achievement?

Self-awareness through a lot of analysis (laughs). There's nothing like knowing who you are (and that you're changing every day).


7. Book, film and woman you admire:

Book: Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It's a profound book, which made me reflect a lot on the “immigrant life” I lived during college, master's degree and working outside Brazil. And how we are all immigrants in some (some) aspects of our lives. Film: Gone with the Wind. Scarlett O’Hara made a big impression on me, I think she was the first most complex and multifaceted woman I saw in a character on the big screen. In a way, it gave me permission to feel some of the most contradictory feelings of my teenage years.


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