More than just a revolutionary music tech startup; Ivoreez creates the unique ability of its users to learn music with ease of modern day technology instead of sheet music.
I had the privilege of interviewing Jennifer Rodriguez, a mother of seven and the innovative creator of the Ivoreez startup, which helps people who want to learn music do so in a fun and easy way through technology. I was able to gain some insight on what it was like for her as a woman and the challenges of beginning a start-up in a male-dominated industry, balancing family life with professional life, as well as the joys of creating a revolutionary music program that easily allows everyone unleash their "inner rockstar"!
Right down to the name itself, everything about Ivoreez is innovative, creative, and makes a powerful statement. "The name is a play on the classic colloquial expression 'tickle the ivories,' which was used to describe playing the piano because the tops of the white keys used to be veneered with ivory. The 'eez' portion of the name is our subtle way of saying that using our method is easy. I am hoping to bring this classic phrase back into the daily dialogue of music makers," shares Rodriguez, who is also a passionate music teacher.
"I am also hoping that our name will bring awareness to the plight of the elephants. Although the ivory trade has been banned for over 20 years, the illegal and brutal killing of elephants just to harvest their ivory tusks still continues. We would like to partner with a non-profit organization that has a mission to aid these intelligent animals and educate the public about this issue," she added.
Rodriguez is no stranger to being one of few women in a man's world, but she takes it in stride by being a powerful force and game changer in start-up.
"Historically, it was purely as a numbers game. We didn't have as many women going into the science and technology fields out of college. But that is definitely changing as we are beginning to see more women starting technology or technology dependent companies. There is a long list of women who ARE currently senior VPs or CEOs of technology companies, it's just not widely publicized. Women like Carly Fiorina are role models for young women who have a desire to enter the technology field. In fact, just last night at my daughter's high school awards ceremony, it was the girls who dominated the science and math awards, winning about 85% of these awards," recalled the CEO with pride.
Through Ivoreez, Rodriguez is revolutionizing the art of learning to play music through technological advances that make playing piano as simple as reading lyrics from an iPod.
"No one wants to devote the time, energy and money necessary to play an instrument yet we all want to be rock stars. So, IVOREEZ serves this underserved market that want to play without learning. We give the ability to play popular top 40 songs on the piano in just 60 seconds by reading lyrics, not notes," said the startup powerhouse. "It's a simplified, non-technical style of "sheet music" for the non-musician. My vision is to allow everyone the chance to be a rock star and integrate the benefits of music in their lives," explains the educator who also owns Trinity Home Care Solutions, an organization that provides compassionate and trustworthy care to seniors in their own homes.
The multi-business owner bestowed some wise parting words and advice on women that want to break into the startup industry and as a woman who has successfully balanced cultivating a successful music start up professionally as well as raising seven children.
"My advice to anyone who wants to start a business is to ensure that the business is something that you are passionate about. Being an entrepreneur requires a lot of hard work and dealing with adversity. Overcoming adversity feeds your soul and gives you a great sense of accomplishment. Being an entrepreneur is difficult. Being a mother is difficult. Doing both simultaneously is VERY difficult. Know that there will be sacrifices made. Plan ahead for the challenge of balancing your time and take each hurdle in stride without being critical. Be fully present for each role and if you must make a choice between people and things, always choose people," concluded Rodriguez.
Ivoreez decals for piano and keyboard cost $9.99ÔÇô$15.99