Entrepreneur of the Month: Say Hi! to Hei Dingo and Dafne Meneses

The Shortcut is thrilled to announce that we are launching a new monthly blog series to spotlight the immensely talented individuals and entrepreneurs in our very own community. This month, we are super delighted to kickstart with one of our previous Sparkers, who has worked hard to make her startup dream come true.

Meet Dafne Meneses, a participant of Spark Academy 2023. Within just one year, she has made remarkable strides to realize her startup vision, overcoming numerous obstacles along the way. Today, Dafne is the proud founder of Hei Dingo, an innovative platform that connects international women with forward-thinking recruiters, streamlining the job search process and fostering diversity in the workplace. The business is now thriving as it launches a testing MVP for 300 users, which comprise both recruiters and talents.

“I learned to balance perfectionism with adaptability”

Dafne’s direction for Hei Dingo is to build a platform that revolutionizes the job search experience for international women, cutting through the lengthy application process and facilitating direct connections to interviews. In describing the business, she reflects on her own entrepreneurial journey and the lessons that she has learned along the way.

“I’ve learned invaluable lessons. One significant takeaway is the importance of balancing perfectionism with adaptability. While it’s crucial to have high standards for our work, it’s equally important to remain open to evolving our vision and embracing the input of our team.”

Entrepreneurship has also taught Dafne the importance of team selection and maintaining cohesion within the team, which she believes is crucial in transforming ideas from paper into practice.

Assembling the right team members is essential, as they are the driving force behind turning ideas into reality. More than ever, we understand why it’s important to highlight the hidden gems for recruiters to make business goals achievable in no time, as one of them mentions.”

Dafne pitching Hei Dingo at the second annual Female Founder Pitching Day 2023. 

reflecting on past mistakes

Running a business is not always as glamorous as it seems. Mistakes and pitfalls are not uncommon, and they are something every business in its early stage needs to face at some point. We asked Dafne if there were any mistakes she could share with The Shortcut community so others can learn from her experience, and lucky for us, she was more than happy to oblige.

“One notable mistake we encountered was not solidifying a clear 5 or 10-year vision early on and outlining specific steps to achieve it as a team of 7 women and 1 amazing man,” Dafne recalls. “This lack of clarity led to confusion and a sense of isolation among all us in 2023. In the dynamic landscape of startups, rapid changes are inevitable, and having a well-defined vision coupled with actionable steps is crucial for maintaining focus and alignment.”

Dafne with her team at Hei Dingo.

looking to the future

So what does the future looks like for Hei Dingo? According to Dafne, the main goal for the company now is to exponentially increase the number of success stories in less time, scaling up their platform in the process.

“While we’re proud of the seven amazing success stories facilitated by our MVP, we’re committed to enhancing our platform further.”

Dafne further reveals that they are implementing new features and changes to help them get closer to achieving this goal. We’re introducing an integration to accelerate our process, enabling even more women to find meaningful employment opportunities swiftly. We encourage everyone to sign up for our newsletter to stay informed about our progress and how we’re making this dream a reality,” she said.

Author: Evan Bui