1- Hello Patricia, can you tell us a bit about yourself
My name is Patricia Wilson-Smith and I am the co-founder and CEO of Safe2Meet.com, a tech startup headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. I’m an author, technology executive, educator, and a seasoned enterprise solutions architect with over two decades of experience with a variety of technologies and in a variety of industries.
I’ve managed teams of Microsoft and J2EE developers in companies as varied as Equifax and InComm, and worked extensively with enterprise e-commerce solutions, and built development teams and methodologies from the ground up. I love music and writing – I’ve published a few books – and my current love is helping to make meeting online safer with Safe2Meet!
2- How would you describe “Safe2Meet” in under few words?
Safe2Meet is a peer-to-peer background verification service – in other words if someone wants to meet you to sell you something, or for a first date, you can both use our system to confirm and verify identities and do a basic background check.
3- What are your focus areas and why?
We’ve developed a platform that we think will help people stay safer on the web. Once you’re a verified member of the system, you get a badge that you can display anywhere to show your status. We were tired of hearing about all the stories of people being scammed or worse on sites like Craigslist. Safe2Meet solves the problem of anonymity on the web!
4- Where do you think you are making an impact?
I believe we’ll make an impact on a number of fronts. Obviously, if you can verify that someone is who they say they are, then safer, more successful one on one transactions can take place, but our platform will also keep people safe from those who use online sites to look for victims. But in as important a way, we’ll also help business professionals, service workers, etc., distinguish themselves from their competition.
5- What are some things that most people don’t know about your job?
Well, I’m more of an entrepreneur than someone who has a job – I always tell people that the difference in being an entrepreneur and an employee is that you get to CHOOSE the four hours per night you get to sleep. Trying to build a business is nerve-wracking, exhausting, and completely satisfying.
6- The Tech industry is every changing, where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
In five years I hope to still be building on the foundation we’re creating for Safe2Meet now, and able to leverage exciting new technologies like artificial intelligence, learning machines, and data transformation tools to continue to find ways to use technology to keep people safe.
7- What were some of the biggest challenges you encountered while working on “Safe2Meet”?
The same things any entrepreneur encounters – how to find funding, how to wear every hat you need to in order to make progress. And also, how to get out of your own way. This is a BIG problem for me, since I’m used to trying to make everything happen myself. I’ve had to learn to build and depend on a team, and that’s been really hard believe it or not.
8- What are you most excited about at the moment?
Our Indiegogo campaign! We just launched today, and we’re excited about getting the support of people around the country to help us bring Safe2Meet to the marketplace! You can check out our campaign at http://www.safe2meetindiegogo.com!
9- What can you tell to young Entrepreneurs that are about to start?
You’re living in an AMAZING time when almost anything is possible – don’t be afraid to dream, but put in the work that it takes to make your dreams a reality. There are no shortcuts or silver bullets to being an entrepreneur – you have to have great ideas and be able to execute on the plan to turn them into a business.
10- A last Word or final thoughts?
If you want to know more about Safe2Meet, visit our website at http://www.safe2meet.com, and don’t forget to like us on Facebook! You can find us there at http://www.facebook.com/safe2meet!