A Dream on a Paper Napkin
I used to paint as a child, traveling with my paintbrush to places my father had been around the world. As an adult I found myself writing people’s conversations on cocktail napkins in NYC where I grew up.
My dream of becoming a writer came to fruition during the War in Iraq, and the thought of traveling to the Middle East as a journalist. This at the time was quite silly to most.
Into the War Zone
With no formal education, and against my parents wishes I arrived to to Beirut, Lebanon at the tail end of The Iraq War and at the beginning of another catastrophic event: Arab Spring (Demonstrations). My career as a professional news writer unfolded at a local daily newspaper where I captured the stories of political and social unrest. Little did I know that matters would only get worse. Going undercover in Syria and Iraq opened a new world to me, one in which complexities of culture, region, and economies shaped new discussions of human rights.
In the midst of it all, my brother called to invite me to his college graduation. It was time to come home and apply for positions with CNN. With no luck nor clear direction, my mother had steered me in the direction of pursuing a master’s degree.
While it had been 10 years since I had taken a math class, I told myself that pursuing a degree at a technical school would be the best way to focus on public policy. I would attempt another full ride after receiving my first in undergrad, and hope for the best. After three exams and two rejections, I received a partial tuition coverage from Carnegie Mellon University, home to Robotics and Artificial Intelligence. It was at this school that I began my passion for tech and entrepreneurship. I helped launch a startup called Metrolab Network, that deployed robotics and IoT solutions from research labs to cities for beta testing. We grew to over 30 public and private partnerships in less than 10 months; receiving recognition from President Obama and funding from the White House. Next, I started my consulting agency, Through the Changing Glass, to position startups for capital raise in Silicon Valley; pitching to 50+ VC’s and Angels from Accel Partners and Sequoia Capital to DFJ and Sand Hill Angels.
The Road Ahead
I love being a woman in tech, specifically a thought leader in the blockchain industry that is driven by some of the world’s top creatives, disruptors and collaborators. As a founding team member of Pitch Investors Live, we launched a successful sale of our Cryptocurrency ‘PITCH,’ listed on one of the top ten exchanges. I desire for more women to capitalize on the many opportunities in this space. One way I am setting an example is with the launch of my new blockchain program called New Economies filmed at NASDAQ studios in Times Square, New York, to showcase new projects and companies through interviews with thought leaders and influencers.
Each morning I think to myself, “Why not? Here is my shot.”