How She Got There: Jacqueline Ros and Andrea Perdomo, CEO & COO of Revolar

Name: Jacqueline Ros
Age: 25
Job Title and Description: CEO & Founder of Revolar
College Name/Major: University of Florida/Interdisciplinary International Studies & Spanish
Website: Revolar.com
Twitter Handle: @jackie_ros

Name: Andrea Perdomo
Age: 25
Job Title and Description: COO of Revolar
College Name/Major: UNC-Chapel Hill/International Business
Website: Revolar.com
Twitter Handle: @andrea_maria03

What does your current job entail?

Jacqueline Ros: Is there such a thing as a typical day? My job is absolutely different every single day. However, overall the job of a CEO is three-fold: set and implement the vision, hire talent (I’m proud to say that I have the best team in the world; no bias) and make sure we don’t run out of money.

Andrea Perdomo: I love that there is no such thing as a typical day. Every day is completely different. At Revolar, we believe in having freedom and that translates to meeting twice a week team-wide and the rest of the time achieving the goals we set the week before. Being a part of a young company I wear many hats, from HR, budgeting and fulfillment to planning bowling night and community relations. That is truly what make my job the best job in the world. I am never bored.

What is the best part of your job?

JR: At Revolar we are empowering individuals with wearable safety technology. From day one, people have responded powerfully to our product and thanks to their support, we know we are building technology that will truly make an impact. Why is this hard? Our product helps many, from young women to those facing health concerns, but the initial impetus for this product was my little sister’s sexual assaults and my desire to keep her safe and help her heal. Our technology will help disrupt rape culture by giving survivors tangible data to stand up to their attackers.

Currently, when someone tries to stand up, the legal system revictimizes them: What were you wearing? How much were you drinking? [These are] questions no one would ever think to ask you if you were reporting your car getting stolen. The hard part of this mission has been the heartbreaking realization that so many more people that I know intimately have faced this struggle. They see me as a safe person to speak with (which is an honor) but as each of them, male and female, speak up, it breaks my heart as it strengthens my resolve.

AP: Our incredible team. There is something about working with a group of people with one goal and one passion. We all want to improve safety worldwide and that mission is what drives us all.

What was your first entry-level job in your field and how did you get it?

​JR: I created my job so there wasn’t quite an entry-level job as much as a "learn as you go" model. However, straight out of college I joined Teach For America. I taught in Colorado for two years while bootstrapping Revolar. Then I worked a part-time job with Leadership for Educational Equity (LEE), training teachers to run political campaigns in order to change the educational system from the top down. Both jobs were incredibly invaluable at giving me the necessary skillset and emotional intelligence to handle my current role.

AP: If we are talking [about] tech, this is my first. My passion is to put the puzzle that is a business together to function as one and move forward. Management is a big piece of that. I worked at Belk right out of college as a member of their merchandising and management program. I was managing over 90 people while driving sales and merchandising entire departments. One of the recruiters from Belk reached out to me [on LinkedIn] and it started there. 

What is one thing you wish you knew about your industry when you first started out that you know now?

​JR: I wish I had known how incredibly cool technology is before leaving college. If I could go back, I’d be an engineer. Technology is the future, and currently women and minorities are incredibly underrepresented. We need more voices shaping this future, so consider joining!

AP: Everything always takes longer than you expect. Luckily for me, I have loved every minute of the journey, but it has definitely taken longer to put those puzzle pieces together. Tech is hard, and creating hardware is even harder. 

Who is one person who changed your professional life for the better?

​JR: Emily Elsenbast from LEE was the best boss I’ve ever had. She made me feel empowered in my role. I do everything I can to emulate her style.

AP: My father. He has not only been my inspiration and biggest cheerleader, but my number one mentor. Without his support, trust and advice I would have never made it this far. 

What is one mistake you made along the way and what did you learn from it?

​JR: I didn’t trust my instincts as soon as they came roaring early on. Trust your instincts and act quickly. It’ll save you stress and probably money. Also, talk to an accountant about how to set up a business before you speak with a lawyer.

AP: Doing too much at once. There is such a thing as burning out. I have learned that without a healthy body and mind, you are not efficient. Work-life balance is very important. This journey is not a sprint, it’s a marathon, and it's important to know when to stop, breathe or go to yoga. As a company, we make weekly goals to take care of ourselves. Being healthy is our number one priority. 

What has been the most surreal moment of your career thus far?

​JR: We just closed a three million dollar round with the Foundry Group. This is the group whose portfolio includes FitBit and Sphero (the Star Wars robot). They are an incredible group who want to help me end rape culture and help as many people as humanly possible along the way. It’s been surreal to know the level of faith they have in my team and I. It’s surreal and humbling. I feel the same way about my team. I’m constantly blown away by their passion and commitment. It’s surreal to think I’ve built the life of my dreams, a life where I’m surrounded by empathetic, brilliant people who stimulate, push and support me on a daily basis. 

AP: Definitely April 23, 2015. It was the day that Jacqueline gave me my first paycheck. After working odd jobs for over a year (nannying, data entry, you name it), being able to create our own paycheck was an unreal feeling. No one can take that moment away from me. I knew then that Revolar was now more than a dream, but a reality!  

What do you look for when considering hiring someone?

​JR: I look for self-motivated people. I didn’t micromanage 5-year-olds; I’m sure as heck not going to micromanage adults!

AP: Passion and drive. It has been my passion for Revolar and what it stands for that has kept me going. This is hard, and you need that passion and drive to keep going and do quality work.

What advice would you give to a 20-something with similar aspirations?

​JR: You can absolutely make your dreams come true, but no one will hand them to you. Do your research, read as much as you can on what you are trying to accomplish, become the expert on your topic and always trust your instincts. Also, saying [this as] I’m a whole 25 years old: Don’t think you’re ever too young to make a huge impact.

AP: Just do it! Ask yourself, what is the worst that could happen? You get a no? Well, keep trying, and it will happen for you. If this wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. I am a 20-something, and I wish someone had told me this when I was in college. 

 

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