Founder Profile

Daniela Perdomo

goTenna

She’s upending telecom infrastructure by allowing devices to connect without a cell network or Internet connection.

Daniela Perdomo. Courtesy subject

Daniela Perdomo was struck with the idea that would lead to goTenna in 2012, when she saw New York City residents struggle with poor mobile connectivity during Hurricane Sandy. She teamed up with her brother, Jorge, to create a small cellphone accessory--essentially an antenna--and a messaging app that together allow users to connect without a cell network or internet connection. While goTenna didn’t invent so-called mesh networking, it was the first to offer a viable commercial application of the technology. After several years of selling a consumer version, in 2018 goTenna launched a more advanced version for first responders, the military, and other professional users. The company, which has raised some $40 million in venture capital, doesn’t aim to replace existing communications networks but rather connect the so-called “last mile”--people who are left out because of their location, their economic status, or circumstances such as natural disasters. --Tom Foster

Industry
Telecommunications
Year Founded
2012
Location
Brooklyn, New York
Industry
Science Pioneers
Co-founder
Jorge Perdomo
Twitter
Data as of Publication on Sep 16, 2019
Inc. Honors
Inc. Female Founders
2019

Daniela Perdomo was struck with the idea that would lead to goTenna in 2012, when she saw New York City residents struggle with poor mobile connectivity during Hurricane Sandy. She teamed up with her brother, Jorge, to create a small cellphone accessory--essentially an antenna--and a messaging app that together allow users to connect without a cell network or internet connection. While goTenna didn’t invent so-called mesh networking, it was the first to offer a viable commercial application of the technology. After several years of selling a consumer version, in 2018 goTenna launched a more advanced version for first responders, the military, and other professional users. The company, which has raised some $40 million in venture capital, doesn’t aim to replace existing communications networks but rather connect the so-called “last mile”--people who are left out because of their location, their economic status, or circumstances such as natural disasters. --Tom Foster

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Leanne Pittsford

Lesbians Who Tech

She started the most diverse networking community in tech—and built a tool to help companies hire from that network.

Leanne Pittsford. Courtesy subject

“The tech industry doesn’t have a pipeline problem--it has an access problem,” says Leanne Pittsford, the founder of Lesbians Who Tech, a community of 40,000 mostly LGBTQ techies with a mission to promote diversity in hiring. Her seven-year-old organization runs an annual tech conference (past speakers include Hillary Clinton, Stacey Abrams, and Laurene Powell Jobs), and this year it has branched out into building a digital recruiting and mentoring service, Include.io, that companies can use to find diverse talent from its network and track their diversity-and-inclusion efforts. Currently in beta, the product is being tested by 100 companies. “We have to shift the white-male-centric culture that Silicon Valley has built,” Pittsford says. --Christine Lagorio-Chafkin

Industry
DEI Advocacy
Year Founded
2012
Location
San Francisco, California
Industry
The New Girls' Networks
Data as of Publication on Sep 16, 2019
Inc. Honors
Inc. Female Founders
2019

“The tech industry doesn’t have a pipeline problem--it has an access problem,” says Leanne Pittsford, the founder of Lesbians Who Tech, a community of 40,000 mostly LGBTQ techies with a mission to promote diversity in hiring. Her seven-year-old organization runs an annual tech conference (past speakers include Hillary Clinton, Stacey Abrams, and Laurene Powell Jobs), and this year it has branched out into building a digital recruiting and mentoring service, Include.io, that companies can use to find diverse talent from its network and track their diversity-and-inclusion efforts. Currently in beta, the product is being tested by 100 companies. “We have to shift the white-male-centric culture that Silicon Valley has built,” Pittsford says. --Christine Lagorio-Chafkin

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Brynn Putnam

Mirror

For understanding how we really want to work out

It’s safe to say that Brynn Putnam, a former professional ballerina and the founder of Refine, a group of three fitness clubs in New York City, knows a thing or two about exercise. But, after having a baby, she found herself in an unthinkable position: she was a gym owner with no time to go to the gym. Putnam also noticed her Refine members loved it when she installed more mirrors, something Putnam had been used to as a ballerina. Putnam hooked up a Raspberry Pi computer to a mirror to create a hacked-together mirror-slash-fitness instructor. Many iterations later, that product became Mirror, which streams fitness classes and is second only to Peloton as the breakout fitness product of the pandemic. Retailing at $1,495 plus subscription fees of $39 a month for on-demand classes, Mirror is not for everyone. In July, though, Lululemon decided it definitely was for them, and purchased the company for $500 million. –Gabrielle Bienasz

Industry
Consumer Products
Year Founded
2016
Location
New York, New York
Industry
Health
Data as of Publication on Sep 16, 2019
Inc. Honors
Inc. Female Founders
2020, 2019

It’s safe to say that Brynn Putnam, a former professional ballerina and the founder of Refine, a group of three fitness clubs in New York City, knows a thing or two about exercise. But, after having a baby, she found herself in an unthinkable position: she was a gym owner with no time to go to the gym. Putnam also noticed her Refine members loved it when she installed more mirrors, something Putnam had been used to as a ballerina. Putnam hooked up a Raspberry Pi computer to a mirror to create a hacked-together mirror-slash-fitness instructor. Many iterations later, that product became Mirror, which streams fitness classes and is second only to Peloton as the breakout fitness product of the pandemic. Retailing at $1,495 plus subscription fees of $39 a month for on-demand classes, Mirror is not for everyone. In July, though, Lululemon decided it definitely was for them, and purchased the company for $500 million. –Gabrielle Bienasz

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Olivia Ramos

Deepblocks

Her A.I. software promises to take some of the cost out of real-estate development.

Olivia Ramos earned master's degrees in architecture from Columbia University and in real estate development at the University of Miami. But it wasn’t until she was working as a construction project manager in Miami that she saw a need for software that would merge demographic, zoning, financial, and legal data all in one place. “There was a glitch in the system,” says Ramos. She founded Deepblocks at Singularity University in Mountain View, California, in 2016 and launched her program this past May. Deepblocks’ A.I. software accesses and integrates construction costs, income, and other market data that is publicly available but often difficult to track down, saving developers, investment brokers, and architects huge amounts of time. Even a developer who knows a market well might need six hours to come up with a feasibility analysis for a given parcel of land. “But with our software, they can do the same amount of work in 20 minutes,” says Ramos. Real estate pros in 1,100 U.S. cities are already using the software, which the company is also testing in the United Kingdom, Panama, and Nigeria. Ideally, the cost savings will flow through to property renters and buyers too. If it does, says Ramos, “perhaps we can lower the cost of living.” --Hannah Wallace

Industry
Software
Year Founded
2016
Location
Miami, Florida
Industry
Money Movers
Data as of Publication on Sep 16, 2019
Inc. Honors
Inc. Female Founders
2019

Olivia Ramos earned master's degrees in architecture from Columbia University and in real estate development at the University of Miami. But it wasn’t until she was working as a construction project manager in Miami that she saw a need for software that would merge demographic, zoning, financial, and legal data all in one place. “There was a glitch in the system,” says Ramos. She founded Deepblocks at Singularity University in Mountain View, California, in 2016 and launched her program this past May. Deepblocks’ A.I. software accesses and integrates construction costs, income, and other market data that is publicly available but often difficult to track down, saving developers, investment brokers, and architects huge amounts of time. Even a developer who knows a market well might need six hours to come up with a feasibility analysis for a given parcel of land. “But with our software, they can do the same amount of work in 20 minutes,” says Ramos. Real estate pros in 1,100 U.S. cities are already using the software, which the company is also testing in the United Kingdom, Panama, and Nigeria. Ideally, the cost savings will flow through to property renters and buyers too. If it does, says Ramos, “perhaps we can lower the cost of living.” --Hannah Wallace

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Christina M. Rice

OMNoire

She created a social wellness community for women of color.

Christina M. Rice. Courtesy subject

In 2015, when Christina M. Rice was running her own PR firm in New York City--and completely burnt out--she decided to get her yoga teacher certification as a way to relax. But Rice felt out of place; she was the only black woman among the 50 students. “The feeling of being the other in a class of women who don’t look like you can be intimidating,” she says. She launched OMNoire in 2017 to highlight yoga and meditation instructors who were also women of color, and then created destination retreats with the same theme. After revenue grew by 200 percent in 2018, Rice closed her PR business and moved OMNoire to Atlanta. This year she launched OMNoire’s first six-week, virtual retreat, priced at $395, for customers who can’t afford to buy plane tickets or to take time off. --Emily Canal

Industry
Consumer Services
Year Founded
2017
Location
New York, New York
Industry
Fitness Nation
Twitter
Data as of Publication on Sep 16, 2019
Inc. Honors
Inc. Female Founders
2019

In 2015, when Christina M. Rice was running her own PR firm in New York City--and completely burnt out--she decided to get her yoga teacher certification as a way to relax. But Rice felt out of place; she was the only black woman among the 50 students. “The feeling of being the other in a class of women who don’t look like you can be intimidating,” she says. She launched OMNoire in 2017 to highlight yoga and meditation instructors who were also women of color, and then created destination retreats with the same theme. After revenue grew by 200 percent in 2018, Rice closed her PR business and moved OMNoire to Atlanta. This year she launched OMNoire’s first six-week, virtual retreat, priced at $395, for customers who can’t afford to buy plane tickets or to take time off. --Emily Canal

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