Kesha Garner of QReviewApp.com
1. Who is Kesha Garner and What is QReview?
I’m a strategic Project Manager with a background in non-profits and start-ups. I earned my Master of Arts degree in English at Clemson University where I focused on post-structural and feminist readings of British and Irish absurdist dramas. After earning my degree, I moved to DC to intern at LGBTQ non-profits. After receiving my Project Management certificate at Georgetown University, I started working at a D.C. based startup.
In short, QReview is the intersectional business rating network for mapping and creating inclusive spaces for the LGBTQ+ community. While we focus primarily on LGBTQ+ folks and issues facing our community, we recognize that discrimination doesn’t happen in a vacuum — that’s why our app allows users to rate and review based on multiple aspects of their identities.
2. How did the idea for the startup come about?
My best friend Kevin Hawkins and I are always coming up with fun business ideas and when I pitched the idea of an LGBTQ business rating system, we were both shocked to discover that it didn’t exist—that’s when we knew that we had to create QReview. After many conversations, we realized that it was important to make our app one that doesn’t just focus on discriminations based on LGBTQ+ status. We want to make sure that consumers’ dollars are going toward businesses that respect all aspects of their lives.
3. What does it mean to be a female founder?
For me, being a female founder is all about representation. Not only are women underrepresented in tech, but women have historically been underrepresented in LGBTQ+ spaces as well. I am excited to be a part of a movement that recognizes that women are powerful and capable and necessary in these spaces. I think it’s also important to mention that, while I am a female founder, I’m also non-binary, so I hope that I can bring attention to those folks who are in this field as well.
4. How are you improving the lives of women?
QReview can directly impact the lives of women by driving the marketplace toward businesses that respect ALL of us. QReview pushes users to recognize discrimination in any form- for example, a bar may be LGB friendly, but their “All Lives Matter” sign makes it unsafe for women of color, or there’s no wheelchair access, or trans women aren’t allowed to use the restroom of their choice. Furthermore, while QReview can improve businesses locally, we also want to create a network of users globally and I believe that there is power behind knowing that other women are facing the same struggles you’re facing.
5. How do we get more women interested in tech?
I think the best way to get more women interested in tech is to start young. Breaking down stereotypes about what little girls are interested in is one of the first steps toward empowering them to be interested in tech. Representation is another important factor—championing powerful role models and providing mentorship and leadership programs are great examples.
6. What’s next for QReview?
The next step for QReview is to raise enough money through investments and crowdfunding to build our app. We’re dedicating most of our energy right now to finding investors and crowdfunding so that we can begin app development.
7. When can we expect to be able to download and use the app?
Once we raise the money, we expect the QReview app to be ready for launch within a few months —we’re aiming for a goal of early 2017.
For more information, check out Kesha and her startup: