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Polly Rodriguez of Unbound, a Columbia Venture Competition Finalist

Much has been said and written about the lack of women in the tech sector, be it as investors (or associates), founders, or in management positions at major companies. Is the problem the old boys network – or that success in technology is seen as a young man’s game?  In this series, we speak with some of the top women in tech in New York as they discuss the challenges they face, the perceptions that need to be changed and the work that’s being done – or not – to help to promote women in tech.

Today we hear from entrepreneur Polly Rodriguez, who founded Unbound, a female sexual wellness company that is changing the way women understand and shop for products that promote a healthy sex life.  The company founded in 2012 grew 700% last year and has expanded its offering to include its own product line.  Investors this is a startup that you will want to pay attention to.

What’s your background and how did you develop your career as a female entrepreneur in the NYC tech ecosystem?

As the CEO of Unbound, I have always been drawn to turning terrible experiences into great ones for customers. With a background in strategy consulting, I started my career at Deloitte specializing in customer experience. I then went on to be the Director of Growth for a YCombinator startup which focused on the worst experience of all: dating in New York City (and subsequently globally). Yet, there was always one shopping experience that I found to be the worst – buying your first vibrator as a woman. Years later, we created Unbound, a sexual wellness company that is making sex better for women everywhere by providing a sophisticated, reliable, and affordable shopping experience.

What are the advantages of being a woman in tech?

Being a woman in a male-dominated industry is a competitive advantage. Women are bringing unique perspectives to solving difficult problems, often problems that have been overlooked by men (by nature of the fact that they’re, well…men). For example, when Apple first released the Health component of the iPhone, there were zero tools for women to measure and track their menstruation. I’d venture to guess that if you looked at the team behind the development, the majority of them likely weren’t women. Today, there’s an entire sector dedicated to technology enabling women: FemTech.

 

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