Not many engineers are named alongside Oprah Winfrey as NBC Newsâ€™ 100 History Makers in the Making.Â However, not many engineers are Mary Spio.
Spio is a deep space engineer who honed her skills as a wideband/satellite communications technician in the United States Air Force. She worked on high-tech systems including digital microwave radios, high and low-speed digital multiplexers, fiber-optic communications sets, and encrypted devices.
Today, Spio is the founder of Ceek VR Inc.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬â€a platform that brings social events to life through virtual reality, using any VR headset and one single app, the Ceek VR app.
Engineer, Entrepreneur, and Author
Born in Syracuse, NY, but raised in Ghana, Spio obtained a Masters Â in electrical engineering and computer science from Georgia Institute of Technology and earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering degreeÂ from Syracuse University. She is the recipient of the prestigious Yueh-Ying Hu Memorial National Award for Innovation and the Boeing Outstanding Achievement in Electrical Engineering Award.
SpioÂ is also an accomplished author. Sheâ€™s written a novel, A Song for Carmine, and Itâ€™s Not Rocket ScienceÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬â€œ7 Game-Changing Traits for Achieving Uncommon Success, published by Penguin Books last year.
Yet, itâ€™s not as though success comes effortlessly to this talented woman. She faces the same challenges of most black female entrepreneurs.
In a blog post, Spio wrote:
“â€¦more than 97% of the billions of venture funding went to companies with male CEOs; leaving a mere 3% in funding for women-headed companies. This hits very close to home for me. People are shocked when they learn of the difficulty I’m having getting my companyÂ CEEK VR funded, in spite of the fact that we are a revenue generating virtual reality distribution platform used by industry giants such as Universal Music, Nicklaus Childrenâ€™s Hospital, Berkshire Hathawayâ€™s Richline just to name a few.”
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Despite it all,Â she thrives. She further advises about launching a successful business venture as a woman of color, â€œI’m not suggesting that it’s impossible. It takes longer to break through the wall than to walk through the door. It is only through deliberate, proactive linkages that we will change behaviors and ultimately mindsets
Engineers and other STEM professionals will lend thier vast insight and experiences to attendees at Black Enterpriseâ€™s TechConneXt Technology Summit.
Register for Black Enterpriseâ€™s TechConneXt Technology Summit: The Intersection of Innovation and Opportunity, held October 10-11, 2016 at the San Francisco Marriott Waterfront Hotel!