Meet Idea Incubator Cohort member, Zahra Jackson
Zahra Jackson, Co-Founder of Vrenz, shares her journey in the tech industry. Inspired by personal experiences, she and her co-founder, Coral Megahy, created an app for lesbian, bisexual, and bi-curious women seeking hook-up opportunities.
What inspired you to start your tech entrepreneurship journey, and what problem or opportunity were you looking to address?:
Vrenz was established in March 2021. A couple of years ago, we both went through breakups and weren’t quite ready to get into new relationships.
We were eager to get back into the single world and reignite our sexual journey with like-minded individuals. In the age of technology, it made sense that we both used apps to find women who were commencing this journey as well.
After a couple of months, we realized that there were no apps that were specifically for hook-ups for lesbian, bisexual, and bi-curious females. This realization ignited the fire to come up with a solution to this problem. That is when Vrenz was spoken into existence.
What role has mentorship played in your entrepreneurial journey, and do you have any advice for finding the right mentor in the tech field?
Mentorship played a significant role in this journey. Being able to ask questions and get answers from those within the tech field has been very beneficial.
We were able to give honest feedback that allowed us to make crucial decisions for our app and company. My advice would be to ask your friends and family or join an incubator program like this if possible.
How do you navigate the ever-changing regulatory and legal landscape in the tech industry?
We have a really good lawyer who has helped us stay abreast of the changes and make sure that our company is covered legally. We also depend on our app developers to keep us updated on the ever-changing regulatory landscape and make the necessary changes to stay within the Apple App Store and Google Play guidelines.
What ethical considerations do you take into account when developing and marketing tech products or services, especially in areas like data privacy and artificial intelligence?
We make sure to stay abreast of new technologies that are focused on data privacy and security. We want to make sure that our users feel safe using our app, so we must do all that we can to make that happen.
Growing up in the Virgin Islands, did you ever think that you would have a tech career?
I never thought I was going to create an app, let alone have a tech career. I always thought I would be teaching and coaching for the rest of my life, but the universe had other plans, and I am here for it.
Who is a fellow Caribbean Techies that you admire?
I really admire Zayd and Khalid Saleem, Owners of Boomerang Eats. They helped motivate me to pursue this app development journey.
They pivoted from their other careers just so they could go back to the USVI and pursue their dream. Now, several years later, that dream has come to fruition through hard work and dedication. They are truly an inspiration, and I strive every day to work just as hard and be just as dedicated so that my dream comes to fruition.
If there was an app that could bake and immediately deliver your favorite tart, what flavor would always be on your favorite list?
Team Guava all day!
Which fun, existing tech advancement do you wish you created?:
If technology in the Territory allowed you to work all day at the beach, which one would it be?
Dorsche/ Sand Castles