Founder and CEO of Artificial Intelligence Company
Who is Laura Gomez?
Can you imagine crossing miles of desert in the heat, all for the chance at a better life? Laura Gomez can. Her parents immigrated to the United States from Central Mexico when she was very young, but left behind her and her three siblings. When her mother was diagnosed with cancer, she wanted her children with her, so she applied for visas. They were rejected and Gomez’s mother took matters into her own hands. She paid a “coyote” to bring her children across the border into Los Angeles, $2,000 per child. “I don’t remember exactly, but it was either July or August, and it was really hot. It was very hot, hot enough that the metal from the car burnt me,” she said. It was hours before Gomez and her siblings made it from Tijuana to Los Angeles and were picked up by their uncle.
Despite the rough start, at the age of 17, Laura Gomez obtained her work permit and started an internship at Hewlett Packard. There weren’t very many people who looked like her, but that did not discourage her from diving head first into the tech industry. She worked tirelessly, and before long, she held positions at Google, Twitter, and even YouTube. Using her experiences at these huge companies, as well as from her own life, she founded her own start-up, Atipica!
Atipica is a platform that helps businesses build a more inclusive working environment. It collects, visualizes, and predicts the diversity of a given talent pool. That helps businesses with tracking their own diversity goals. This is all through technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning!
Gomez only started Atipica two years ago, but managed to raise $2 million in 2016 and is working on another fundraiser. “I believe it’s the only company started by an undocumented woman of color in Silicon Valley that’s raised that much money,” she said. “I’m an entrepreneur — first and foremost, I’m a founder of talent, and I think that’s so important that people see a different face of undocumented America, when they see me.” Atipica has ten employees as of right now, but Gomez has bright goals of expanding to twenty by the end of this year!
Oh and, Gomez’s mother survived cancer. She lives a block away from her smart girl daughter today!
3 Things We Love About Laura Gomez?
Gomez made the transition in documentation status when she was in college, helped by volunteers at a community center! “They don’t go unnoticed. I don’t know their voices, I don’t know their names, but all I know is their impact,” Gomez said.
Gomez has a Bachelor of Human Development and Family Studies from University of California Berkeley, and a Master of Latin American Studies from University of California San Diego.
She is a founding member of Project Include, a non-profit for diversity in the tech industry.