Shattering Startup Stereotypes


(upbeat music – I feel very empowered
to continue breaking the glass ceiling, in
terms of having more women in leadership positions,
in entrepreneurships, starting our own businesses, and as well as pursuing technology. – I really just loving
being on the team with African American women
who are so intelligent and so knowledgeable about
science and technology. It just literally feels like
I’m being a part of history. – We’ve had to pivot several
times in our business, and to date we have over
22,000 users registered for our mobile app. – What I’m most proud of,
being on the team of Myavana, is really being on a team
of women who have a heart and desire to change the
beauty industry for the better. (upbeat music) – My name is Candace Mitchell. I’m the co-founder and CEO of Myavana. Myavana came to be through
my own personal challenges with my hair. One day I woke up and
it was dry and brittle and it broke completely
off, and I was mortified. And so, I began to research
how to know what products are best to use for your hair. And since I majored in computer science, my approach was through technology. And so I began to research
how to analyze hair, how to build software
that recommends products. – My name is Asia Wilson,
and I’m the Lab Analyst for Myavana. Well, my typical day as a
Lab Analyst, is that I go to our mailbox and pick
up our customer samples, and I take them to the
Clean Room, the Marcus Nanotechnology Room, and basically analyze texture, type, and condition
of all the strands. But each customer gets a
personalized hair care profile with their lab results,
recommended products, recommended ingredients,
stylists, and salons. We really take time to, in
a sense, get to know our customers and get to know
the things that they need. And that’s how we’re
differentiating between all the other companies, is that
we take personalized care of your hair, and then
merge science and technology and beauty. – I am Vanessa Bell,
and I have been working with Myavana for probably
about a year now. I was having specific issues
with my hair around the area of scalp psoriasis, and no
one really had an answer for me of how to keep this under control. ‘Cause psoriasis isn’t
something that you can cure, it’s only something that you can manage. So, when I ended up discussing
that with the Myavana rep, so much insight into
how I could manage that, and really helping me identify products that were gonna best help
me, and keep my hair healthy, and actually have hair goals again. – The biggest hurdle as
a young African American female entrepreneur is
really disrupting the pattern matching that a lot of people
equate to what they feel is successful. The current pattern in
trends today is, you know, young white men are the successful leaders of tech businesses. We provide more diversity of thought, and we provide insight
into untapped markets. I mean, who ever thought
that hair and technology could create a new market, and serve women in a whole new way? – Tech really prepared me
as, probably to ignite like a certain fire inside of me. Like with Tech, you just
learn to really persevere, and endure, and be resourceful,
and really think outside the box. – Dr. Merrick Furst
was a huge impact on my entrepreneurial career. Not only was he my professor,
he really challenged, and really opened my eyes
into how to start a business, and really get to, how to
really fulfill the need of your customer. He started the Flashpoint
program at Georgia Tech, which is the startup accelerator,
that I participated in when I decided to quit
my full time job to start the business. And having the opportunity to
gain mentorship and funding, I don’t think it would have
been possible without him. Relationships with other Tech
Alumni in the Georgia Tech network are really important
to how we got started, and how we grow our business today. I was able to connect
with professors and deans to get us access to the
Clean Room at Georgia Tech. And also, there are a lot
of Tech Alumni who have businesses in this industry. It’s other salons, brand
partners, different product lines, and we just know that
Georgia Tech cultivates a lot of phenomenal people. And, by us sticking together,
and really being innovative, we bring a new perspective to the market. – I’ve always had a passion
for the arts, and for beauty, and for hair. But I also really love
technology and science. I really enjoy being able to
get to the root of the problem for each and every woman,
and just being able to get them on their journey so
they can feel more beautiful about their hair. – The most valuable business
lesson I’ve learned is, perseverance is the key to success. We’ve endured many failures along the way. So if you are facing a
challenging time right now, the only key is, don’t give up, and greater days will be ahead. – It definitely kinda turned
around my hair journey, in a really positive way, so, I love it.

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