Name: Sheena Allen
Business: Sheena Allen Applications, creator of mobile phone applications
Industry: High Tech
Location: Austin, Texas, U.S.
Reason for starting: I started Sheena Allen Applications after having a completely random idea for a checkbook app after leaving Wal-Mart. I had no previous experience with mobile applications and was actually in college to be a psychologist.
How do you define success? Changing a life for the better. You might not be able to change thousands of lives, but to be able to have a positive change on one life, that’s success. A lot of times as entrepreneurs, we are so focused on building our company that we fail to realize that others are watching. You never know who is being inspired by your journey. I come from a small town, but packed my bags and moved to a start-up friendly city to chase my dreams. I had a young lady send me an email recently to let me know that because of me, she learned that where you are from does not limit you to what you can do in this world. For my personal goals, I have much more that I want to do and achieve, but overall, I am successful because I have changed the life of an individual for the better.
Biggest Success: My biggest success so far has to be my mobile app, Dubblen. After having over a million downloads on the iOS version, I decided to release the app for Android. In less than 3 months, Dubblen received over 500,000 downloads. As a single founder and working with a tight budget with little to no marketing, Dubblen has been my biggest success story so far.
What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it? My top challenge has been getting funded. For women, only 24% (angel investment) and 7% (venture capitalists) of female-led companies are funded. The percentages for African-American led companies are even less. So being an African-American female, it can almost seem impossible to get funding. But just because the percentages are low doesn’t mean that it can’t happen!
Who is your most important role model? While Oprah is a role model for me in the business world, my most important role model is my mother. Thought I don’t have kids, to be older now and understand the sacrifices that my mother made and how hard she worked so that my brother and I had the best, she is my most important role model.
Edited by The Story Exchange