Meet The PE Class Of 2018: Christine Schindler, Co-Founder and CEO of PathSpot Technologies
The 2018 PE Intensive, taking place April 13 & 14, brings together the the top 200 female founders from the PE Venture Competition for hands-on workshops and mentorship in New York City. Among the 200 are 10 finalists who have been given the additional opportunity to participate in the pitch competition on Saturday, April 14 for a chance to receive a $10,000 grant and a spot in a five-week accelerator program hosted at Rent the Runway’s headquarters.
In the week leading up to #PEIntensive18, we’re featuring the 10 pre-selected finalists (two additional wildcard companies to be chosen during the Intensive will also present at the live pitch competition) and introducing them and their companies to our PE Community. Visit our 2018 PE Intensive website to meet the entire #PEClassOf2018, join our mailing list for Intensive updates, and follow Intensive highlights and behind-the-scenes with hashtag #PEIntensive18.
Christine Schindler is Co-Founder and CEO of PathSpot Technologies, a system that protects restaurants and their customers from the threat of food-borne illness. Prior to founding PathSpot, Christine was an Innovation Specialist at Cigna where she worked at the intersection of healthcare and technology innovation. Christine is also CEO of the organization Girls Engineering Change, which aims to provide educational engineering opportunities for girls to create devices for populations in need. We chatted with Christine to learn more about her company, the feedback she’s received on her product, and what she’s most looking forward to at #PEIntensive18.
What inspired you to start your business?
As a biomedical engineer, I am constantly looking at the world with an engineering mindset, [looking for] gaps where technology could be utilized to solve real problems. PathSpot started from a desire to fill an unmet need in the over 50 million Americans who contract, are hospitalized by, or even die from food borne illness. When I realized that there was no technology-based method for solving this problem, my co-founder and I got a bunch of wires and electrical components and decided to make one ourselves!
What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
In starting a company, there are so many different aspects of the business that are constantly demanding my attention—technology improvements, sales, customer support, finance, legal, and more! The biggest challenge I face on a day-to-day is prioritizing all of the different aspects of the company and making decisions on what the most important aspects will be to drive the vision and mission of the company forward.
What’s been the greatest reward?
The greatest reward has definitely been getting the product into the hands of ‘real life customers’ and hearing their feedback and thoughts on our technology. When a customer tells us that this product is really working for them—and when we review the data to see positive trends in sanitation culture, [including] decreased numbers of failed hand scans—and watch employees really engage with our device, it is incredibly powerful. These conversations and moments really center me; they remind me that something that was just an idea in my head could really be used to make a difference and inspire me to continue working towards my vision for the company in the next year, five years, and ten years!
What changes would you most like to see in your industry, and how are you working to make those changes happen?
As we learn more and more about the importance of and [make a] shift towards prevention and preventative care, I believe that detection tools at the intersection of illness and humanity are crucial. We cannot prevent illness without the ability to detect and plan for it. Our vision is for the PathSpot system to be a detection tool at the interface point of illness far beyond food borne illness to a method for detecting and preventing illness at large.
Who or what motivates you to keep going, even when things get tough?
When roadblocks, challenges, or seemingly insurmountable difficulties frustrate me, I always go back to my friends, mentors, and my family. Hearing a fresh perspective, and having a network and community around me that constantly challenges me and thinks through problems with me, is what keeps me going. I’m also constantly inspired by the other members of the PathSpot team—when one of us feels discouraged, the rest of us are always there to jump in and help, no matter what the task may be.
What about #PEIntensive18 are you looking forward to most?
I’m most excited about getting to meet with and talk to the other members of the #PEClassof2018! I cannot wait to see the things these incredible women are building and learn alongside each other throughout the Intensive. Learning from other women who are pushing to make the world a better place and make their dreams a reality is incredibly motivating, and I can’t wait to have the opportunity to exchange and discuss our lessons learned, challenges, and triumphs.