LinkedIn: Adrienne C. McWilliams
Athlete mentality is a “never quit” mentality. I don’t give up when it starts getting hard, I continue until all my resources and options are exhausted.
Travelspective provides a window into destinations and experiences around the world. Our TV and mobile apps allow you to tap into a city and see what’s happening around you.
THE BIG IDEA:
I always believed in the power of video content. Video is the fastest way to get people to engage in something and lean in. Users are constantly searching for things online, and it should be more visual. Every business moving forward will need a video presence, and travel is the most visual industry. We’re connecting businesses and viewers in that moment of intention, while helping businesses and travel brands get seen.
We’re building a platform that will allow people to connect locally, around the world. We want to make it easier for people to connect at home or abroad and discover what’s around them — by location, time of day or interest.
ON GROWING UP/LIVING IN MIAMI:
I moved to Miami to play soccer at FIU and have been here ever since. I was born in Mississippi, grew up in Oklahoma and always wanted to be in a place with more diversity. The warmth that I felt here, not just with the weather, but with the way the people embraced me is why I love it here so much. It was the first place I had ever been to where people kiss you to say hello, which showed me right away how different Miami is from the rest of the United States. I’ve lived here longer than anywhere else and started my first business here. I have so much love for Miami.
ON GENDER DISPARITY:
I’m aware of the existing bias against me, I’m not naïve, but I don’t let those potential bias be the reason I can’t achieve something. However uncomfortable it can be at times. I never walk into a room thinking that I’m at a disadvantage. If I do, I’ve already lost. More women need to feel comfortable taking the first uncomfortable step, and we need more women in the room taking up space.
ON BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR:
Many women like me, come to entrepreneurship from some sort of life where things were going well for them, like getting straight A’s throughout school and college, playing sports, etc. Once you become an entrepreneur, things will go horribly wrong at some point. When I hit my first setback, I felt like I was the biggest failure in the world, and that I had embarrassed myself. But you have to learn to understand that every “bad” thing that happens, is happening for you, not to you. There’s always something to be learned.
I learned a lot from playing soccer, things like team dynamics, for example. You don’t have to get along with everyone on the team personally, but once on the field you have to unite. I translated that knowledge into the teams I’ve built for my company. One of the key things here is giving everyone a role for them to shine. Every team member has an important role.
Growing up, my parents wouldn’t let me quit anything I started. I had to be committed to any team I joined or activity I pursued. Learning that kind of responsibility early on was very important.
ON WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT:
It’s helpful to have role models, even as an adult. Representation does matter. I admire Kamala Harris for instance seeing someone like her and other black women in leadership positions has helped me to have the confidence to continue doing the work I’m doing and share my big vision for Travelspective.
We launched the Travelspective prototype with Apple TV. In the summer of 2020, we will launch our first mobile apps and new TV apps across Apple TV, Firestick & Roku in 2021. We plan to have a window into 50 destinations, 25 US cities and 25 international cities, by the end of the year.
#MIAMIFOUNDER campaign celebrates Miami’s top 30 Female Founders for their significant innovative contributions today and tomorrow. With the generous support from the Knight Foundation and with the help from the (WIN) Lab Miami we want to tell the story of Miami as a place where women lead, innovate and engage in meaningful entrepreneurship. JOIN THE CONVERSATION