With a cumulative experience of over 12 years in tech, live digital entertainment and business, Zia Word, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of travel tech ecosystem chozun 途赞, has earned her reputation as a forward thinking leader in tech innovation. Merging her passion for travel with her vast knowledge of digital business, she launched chozun 途赞, alongside co-founder Teresa Truda, from Shanghai headquarters in early 2016. With chozun 途赞, Zia has combined frontier technology with the travel and entertainment industries to revolutionise the use of cryptocurrency whilst decentralising the loyalty system and ultimately becoming a major disrupter within the travel industry.
A futurist and visionary at heart, Zia has always been two steps ahead of the game. Having worked in fast paced businesses from startups to large corporates, advertising, ecommerce and TV, her talents and capabilities as a digital specialist have brought multiple international businesses into the digital age, including setting up a highly successful e-commerce business for Selfridges in London and leading their social strategy and integration. She also worked on the marketing, digital and social strategies for Big Brother UK and spearheaded one of the first teams to integrate online social media with live TV. Capitalising on a break between projects, Zia decided to explore Australia in 2010, where she met co-founder Teresa Truda.
Known for being a difficult market to crack, especially for women in tech, Zia identified a thirsty travel industry for the Chinese millennial traveller and made the risky decision to launch chozun 途赞 in one of the toughest business climates in the world. Her instincts to localise combined with her understanding of what people want made building and growing the company in China a powerful decision and the startup achieved some early milestones, including expanding to 22 cities across China, South-East Asia and Australia and building a self-sustaining business, all within just 12 months.
In her role as Chief Strategy Officer, Zia’s goal is to shake up conventional and outdated modalities within the travel market, to become a disrupter and bring fresh life to the industry. With her innovative approach, Zia is seen as a pioneer, implementing complex, multi-faceted digital strategies designed to get to the heart of what the millennial consumer wants. Zia’s interest in frontier technologies has resulted in the amalgamation of a travel app with the influence of artificial intelligence and data science to create a personalised experience for the consumer, driven by a revolutionary travel loyalty ecosystem and governed by blockchain technology making it incorruptible and transparent.
Zia has forged valuable relationships with big brands such as British Airways, Hugo Boss, Crown, Airbnb, BMW and Shangri-La and has secured over 3,500 providers across APAC. She continues to expand chozun 途赞 with more partnerships, fundraising and destinations while building out the value of CZN for all investors.
Zia is invited to share her expertise as a tech specialist and guest speaker internationally on a regular basis. She has spoken at GBC Women’s Entrepreneurship Prize, What the Crypto in China, the Conde Nast Influencer Shanghai Event, Dare to Dream Workshops, Tech Summit London and Intelligent Digital Innovation HK.
Zia’s expertise has been awarded the GBC first prize for Female Entrepreneurship across China in 2016, the Asia Super Team winner in 2016, and was recognised as a Seedstars Finalist in 2016 and an iGlobal Competition finalist in 2017.
Zia and co-founder Teresa are the first women in APAC to establish their own cryptocurrency and will be launching the ICO in April 2018. She was named in Travel Daily for creating one of the top five travel apps in China in 2016, and will be featured in the Netflix Documentary Cryptocrush in Q3 2018. She is set to publish her first book How to Think Independently later this year.
Nominee’s three achievements
1st woman (alongside co-founder Teresa Truda) in APAC to launch own cryptocurrency
GBC first prize for Female Entrepreneurship across China in 2016
Launched the world’s first travel ecosystem powered by AI, data science and underpinned by blockchain and cryptocurrency