Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I moved a lot with my parents growing up, both in and outside the US. It provided perspective. When I graduated from North Carolina State University two years ago, I was determined to do something different and exciting that could make a real difference. So, with little promise of success, I decided with a small group of my fellow engineers to jump headfirst into making Undercover Colors a reality.
What is your role at UC?
I'm the Co-Founder and CEO. We have developed a wearable nail technology that can detect prevalent date rape drugs in an assortment of beverages. We started Undercover Colors after a friend was drugged and raped. Our hope is that this product can serve as a valuable deterrent against drink spiking and help change the culture around sexual assault, particularly on college campuses.
What are some of your other accomplishments besides UC?
I am proud to be a member of the Board of Directors at InterAct, a local non-profit organization that provides safety, support, and awareness to survivors of domestic violence and rape/sexual assault. They touch the lives of over 45,000 individuals and serve over 9,000 survivors each year.
I was first exposed to “social entrepreneurship” during the summer after my freshman year in college. I traveled with a non-profit group to rural South Africa where I helped a woman named Angie start her first business. Angie spoke English well and had access to the community’s only printer, so she founded a small business to help students apply to college. It’s become quite a success, and an increasing number of kids are receiving educations because of her.
Where did you come from?
Both of my parents are academics who love traveling and learning new things. They instilled two things in me that I appreciate every day. My mother is the main breadwinner for our family and taught me the importance of working hard for what you believe in. She's well known in her field, but to get there she had to fight the uphill battles that women often face to be recognized for their work and contributions. My father’s training is in biology, and he taught me the value of trying to understand why things happen, how they work and how you can change them. It's probably no coincidence that I ended up doing what I am.
What are some of your hobbies and other interests?
I love photography and still make time to shoot on the side. I’m also a semi-serious runner and get out on the trails when I have time, unfortunately less so as the company grows. Lastly, I like practical jokes, especially at the expense of my co-founder, Steve.