She’s on a mission to impact a billion lives by 2025 and democratise safety. Serial social impact entrepreneur, humanitarian, technology disruptor, inventor, and TEDx speaker, Stephenie Rodriguez is the CEO and Founder of WanderSafe.com and the recipient of the Women In Tech “Inspirational Woman of 2022” global award.
Tell us why you invented the WanderSafe Beacon.
WanderSafe’s ecosystem empowers vulnerable people to live confidently. Being in control of one’s safety by harnessing the power of de-escalation protocols used by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) through an Internet of Things (IoT) device and the WanderSafe Beacon application, was the logic developed to close the loop of essential information, environmental awareness, and equipment.
How does the WanderSafe Beacon work?
The WanderSafe Beacon has a bright light to illuminate a threat, a strobe for distraction, a blaring 140 decibel alarm for attracting attention and a discreet silent Bluetooth SOS button that triggers the SOS functions in the app and notifies preselected contacts that the user needs urgent assistance with location information.
How did one business trip change your life forever?
I contracted Cerebral Malaria and fell into severe septic shock while in Africa. This resulted in a coma, 440 days in hospital, 39 surgeries, and ultimately becoming a bilateral above-ankle osseointegrated amputee. I had to rebuild my body from complete paralysis to upstanding, over years during the Pandemic.
Why is inclusion and diversity at the heart of what you do?
I represent those without voices – women who struggle to attend work or school for safety reasons and those living with a disability. Disabled people make up nearly 20% of the population but are underrepresented. I am also a Latina, and we too are an ethnic minority.
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