Rutu Mulkar-Mehta is the founder of Ticary Solutions, which specializes in helping computers understand human language. A commitment to being true to herself led to success when she decided to leave her previous job in order to pursue her new venture full time. Learn more about Ticary on their website and follow @ticary.
What inspired you to start your tech company?
The inherent need to do something different with my life, to make a difference by bringing more women into tech, and to have the time flexibility and freedom to spend time with my children without letting it affect my career all influenced my decision to start my company.
What coding knowledge has helped you the most in creating this business?
I have a PhD in Computer Science with a specialization in Natural Language Processing (a branch of AI). I code primarily in Python now, but I used to code in Perl, Java, and C++.
How do you balance all the different commitments of life between being a mom, wife, and tech founder?
Being a mom founder isn't very different from being a dad founder; the recipe for being a founder of a successful company is a supportive spouse, childcare for your children, fun and quality evenings with the family, and zero guilt about loving your career.
What advice would you give to fellow moms who are looking to start their own tech company?
Find your niche, find people who can use your niche, and sell your services/product. Life is too short, so be true to yourself and do it now. A happy parent = A happy family!
One of the hardest things I have done is to quit my safe and secure full-time job and jump all-in to run my startup instead. It was hard to give up the known - my paycheck, my commute, my regular interactions with people - and settle for the unknown - undefined clients, undetermined paychecks, and a life of isolation as a founder.
So why did I do it? I asked myself this question: "If I don't quit my job and switch full time to my company, would I regret it ten years down the line?" The answer was a resounding "Yes! I need to do this now!"
It was the best decision for me and my family. I am more efficient with my work and the lack of commute helps significantly. I have more time to spend with my kids, and best of all, I work on so many interesting projects and meet so many wonderful people! I would not have this amazing experience had I not taken the chance or the risk to follow my heart. Ticary just celebrated its third anniversary in September 2017, and I couldn't be happier.
What is the most important thing you hope your children learn about women in tech as they watch you in the years to come?
I hope my children learn that it is a wonderful thing to be connected to yourself and follow your heart. Whether it is coding and tech or dancing and art, if you are true to yourself, magical things happen for you in your life!