#DigiWomenKA: Fibi Nguyen

Fibi Nguyen Gründerin von Aimino. Foto: Katharina Iyen

Female role models are important. They point out possibilities, help us to define our own goals and we can learn from their experiences. In our blog series #DigiWomenKA, Katharina Iyen meets one such role model from Karlsruhe’s digital sector once a month to find out more about them, their experiences and their commitment. In our special edition, she talks to the founders of CyberLab , the IT accelerator of the state of Baden-Württemberg, which is run by CyberForum e.V.. This time she spoke to Fibi Nguyen, Co-founder of AIMINO Tech. She and her start-up went through the CyberLab accelerator program. From the 23. to February 24, 2024, the successful founder shares her experiences at the CyberLab event Empowering Female Founderswith other female founders.

by Katharina Iyen

I meet Fibi Nguyen at Hoepfner Burg in the Cyber Lab. The welcome from the co-founder of Aimino is very warm. She first shows me the premises of her start-up, where they are currently busy programming – before we move into a large meeting room with a beautiful view of the Hoepfner-Burghof site.

With this in mind, we start our conversation and I get to know the founder. She talks about her time at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). After completing her schooling in Germany, she first studied business informatics and then a master’s degree in computer science with a focus on deep learning and AI, both at KIT.

Fibi Nguyen with Katharina Iyen. Photo: Katharina Iyen
Fibi Nguyen with Katharina Iyen. Photo: Katharina Iyen

“It was a demanding time, but every challenge took me further,” she recalls. “At university, I initially felt prejudiced because of my pronunciation,” she continues, explaining that she had difficulties being accepted into working groups. “But I have learned that my performance is ultimately the most important argument,” she says with a smile.

Aimino: Human-centered artificial intelligence

And with Aimino, it is clear that the days when Nguyen had difficulty finding a group are long gone. The start-up specializes in AI-supported lead generation. “Aimino was created during the coronavirus pandemic, when digital networking became increasingly important,” Nguyen tells me. The company uses Chat GPT and AI to redefine the lead generation process. “Our software automates time-consuming manual research and initiates personalized contacts,” explains Nguyen. The software enables individual approaches on LinkedIn that are specifically tailored to the needs and interests of the target group.

“We see AI not just as a tool, but as a partner that helps to build more human and efficient business relationships. Our vision is not just to automate the sales process, but to enrich it with real added value,” summarizes Nguyen. AI makes it possible to make processes both more efficient and more human-centered. Her approach is to use technology in such a way that it fulfills real human needs. “Validation always remains in human hands to ensure that the contact makes sense for both sides. We want to facilitate the initiation and make a good match so that human contact is made when it really makes sense for both sides”.

Photos of Amino employees in the kitchen of the Caber Lab. Photo: Katharina Iyen
The Aimino team. Photo: Katharina Iyen

“You can definitely learn something from the elephants in the room”

I encounter this kind of attentiveness again and again in our conversations. For example, when we talk about your leadership role as a founder. Nguyen reports how essential it is not to overlook problems, but instead to address “the elephants in the room” directly. These “elephants” represent the diverse needs and requirements within the team. “We not only celebrate successes, but also failures, because both contribute to our progress,” explains Nguyen.

Whether these attitudes are influenced by the experiences of her youth in Vietnam is a question I ask not only myself, but also Nguyen directly. She reports that having to fight to get enough to eat is a formative experience. “You had to fight for everything, it really wasn’t easy, even if you put in a good performance,” recalls Nguyen.

Arriving in Germany

At the age of sixteen, Nguyen came to Germany with her family, where her school education was not recognized. She had to learn German and go back to school at the age of eighteen, this time in the seventh grade of a secondary school, but even in this experience Nguyen can see positive and instructive things: “It was undoubtedly a hard time, but my hard work and the friendships I made helped me to overcome the difficulties”.

Entrepreneurship in the family

After secondary school, he attended a business high school. “My hard work was really appreciated and I was liked. The principal of the secondary school wrote me loving postcards from her vacations in Vietnam”.

She devoted her weekends and free time to helping out in the family restaurant near Kirchheim Teck. “I come from a working-class family and I value my origins,” says Nguyen. Her parents have built up the “Sumino” restaurant chain with four locations. These experiences in the catering industry also shaped Nguyen and were a school of life. “I learned and enjoyed interacting with people from an early age,” she explains.

Fibi Nguyen in the AIMINO office. Photo: Katharina Iyen
Fibi Nguyen in the AIMINO office. Photo: Katharina Iyen

Vision for women, prejudices and hurdles

These experiences are still useful today. In meetings, she says, she is often surrounded exclusively by men and sometimes feels overheard – an experience she had particularly in the early days of her career. “Sometimes I’m underestimated, but I let my work speak for itself,” she says with a mixture of determination and composure. She also talks passionately about the need to encourage women to get involved in the IT sector and actively shape their careers. “We need more visibility for support programs and need to expand women’s networks even further. Many women quietly doubt themselves and are unaware of the resources available.” At this point, she emphasizes the importance of role models and mentoring to break this cycle: “We need more women who dare to lead the way and share their stories – that inspires and opens doors.”

Female role models

Nguyen experienced such inspiration himself. A presentation by Iris Schwenk, one of the founders of HQS Quantum Simulations, was such a game changer: “Iris Schwenk spoke openly about the compatibility of family and career and the hurdles involved in running a start-up. I saw many more opportunities and solutions for myself as a result.” Such impressions are often needed in order to see opportunities, which is why the visibility of role models is so important to her.

It is also particularly important to seek and make use of support. Personal coaching sessions and workshops in the areas of leadership and personal development are of great importance to her: “Coaching sessions have helped me to hone my leadership skills while remaining true to my “true self”. When you combine two cultures, it’s a constant journey of self-discovery”.

Staying true to yourself and inspiring others

Nguyen’s view of the future paints a clear picture: “I have already achieved much more than I ever dreamed of, but my drive to develop new things remains strong. ” It is a very demanding process to find your own voice and to position yourself confidently with your own story. “I want my story to inspire others. For me, it’s about leading a meaningful life and being able to look back proudly at the end of it – especially on a biography that is valuable in human terms.”

Contact Fibi Nguyen
Aimino website

Photo: Nasko Flan
Theauthor of the blog series #DigiWomenKa ,Katharina Iyenstudied German Literature and Philosophy in Karlsruhe and Heidelberg and Business Management – specializing in Marketing & Media – in Heilbronn. She is the winner of the Scheffel Prize of the Upper Rhine Literary Society.
Katharina works as a freelance conceptioner, copywriter and consultant in digital marketing. Katharina is a social climber and is involved in
Network opportunities. Her topics are “The power of words and stories”, “new feminism” and “social justice”.
Katharina runs the text agency for text & conception
EdiCut in Karlsruhe and is part of the business storytelling agency Employer life