IEEE Foundation


Founder Office Hours Program


By Maria Clara Magalhães

The Founder Office Hours Session assisted me, Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Be.Labs, with three specific points: investment, networking, and Product/Building & Seeking Problem-Solution Fit.

Specifically, the program provided insight into the structure of our virtual reality project, which has been gaining strength within the company.

Maria Clara Magalhães Co-Founder & Chief Creative, Be.Labs

What was the mentoring process like?

I was very amazed by my mentor Joanne Wong, 2020 Vice-Chair, Investor & Industry Activities, as my experience opened up a way of looking at my company as a whole that allowed me to find gaps that were preventing the company from getting investments and funding.

Joanne studied my startup and was very surgical about my mentoring points. Feedback from people with such experiences is essential for errors to be mitigated while assisting a company to be more sustainable.

How did the program help me as an entrepreneur?

The Founder Office Hours Program is a unique opportunity to combine the experiences of transforming social realities with the latest technology. My mentoring process was a cross-cultural, socio-technological exchange; after all, sharing and learning from people around the world makes everything possible.

More specifically, the program helped me understand how I could structure my company’s growth, how to raise funds in a more incisive and accurate way, and mainly, how to measure the impact, making KPIs very clear. As Be.Labs is a technology company with a social impact, knowing what circulates within the entrepreneurial market is essential to scale up and impact more people.

Joanne Wong 2020 Vice-Chair, Investor & Industry Activities

Why should other Start-ups apply for the Founder Office Hours Program? 

I believe that the mentoring program opened previously unimaginable paths. The connection with my mentor provided enormous internal growth within Be.Labs. I recommend this program because I know the quality and capacity that the mentors must possess in order to be able to listen to our problems, make us feel more confident, and prepare us to run our business more intelligently.

An awesome extra was being able to have a female mentor in the technology area; feeling represented, heard, included, and inspired to continue being a female tech entrepreneur.

Get to Know Maria Clara Magalhães

I am Brazilian, from Alagoas. I am very eclectic in my activities and I love to get involved with social impact initiatives, all guided by my purpose of bringing balance to the world through the freedom of the feminine.

I have been an IEEE Student Member since 2013. Worldwide under 35 change-maker for The Economy of Francesco, Ambassador of the Brazil Conference at Harvard & MIT, Social Entrepreneur, Futurist, and designer developing new tools from the perspective of building a more empathic world, especially for women. I have a degree in Electrical Engineering and am also trained in Futures Thinking by the Institute For The Future.

My startup, Be.Labs, arises from the radical desire to change gender gaps in Brazil. It is scary what happens here. Brazil occupies the 92nd position in the ranking of gender equality and is the fifth most violent country for women according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Be.Labs was awarded the UN Women WEPs Brazil Award for pioneering, invited to do a TEDxTalk on Gender Balance, and the company had an encounter with Pope Francis in 2020 to discuss a new economy – more inclusive for women. Now, we are developing a pioneering program in the use of virtual reality to solve social problems. Through Be.Labs, more than 150 women-led companies were accelerated, through classroom and online classes.