Building a social video and collaboration platform for geeks + hobbyists.
location: Concord, NC
Role: Founder, CEO
As one of the 76 million people in the US who participate in anime and gaming fandom, I found it hard to find people to talk to without facing harassment online. Our company spent a year interviewing and working with hundreds of cosplayers, gamers and geek creators to create a platform where people feel supported in exploring their interests.
On being a founder.
Being a woman founder means that I get the opportunity to join in on the mission of representation for half of the human race and to work towards creating a startup ecosystem where other female/womxn founders can thrive.
For founders, especially women and people of color, funding can be an obstacle. This has been especially true in building QuirkChat, since it’s a consumer software product that requires us to gain traction before amassing revenue. So we’re grateful for accelerators such as Wefunder’s XX Fund, Techstars, and Yellow LA (Snap, Inc.) which have enabled us to raise enough funding to build out our product and prove traction.
Thankfully, there are more opportunities for women fundraising than ever before (although, this still needs improvement) so I advise aspiring entrepreneurs to think about throwing their name into lots of hats. Don’t let imposter syndrome or the thought that you aren’t far enough along in your startup journey stop you from applying to opportunities!
With all of the horrible stats about how little of VC funding goes to women and Black founders, I was discouraged when I first tried fundraising; however, I realized that I couldn’t allow myself to be an obstacle in my own success. I will always be Black and will always be a woman, that will never change for me. What I can control is making sure that I align myself with investors and community that genuinely celebrate those factors and focus on forging my way to success.
In building QuirkChat, I’ve deeply valued the support I’ve received from other women founders. I personally look to power role models Kathryn Finney and Arlan Hamilton. They’re both dedicated to the mission of helping women and people of color throughout their startup journey - and neither take no for an answer!