In a pandemic-plagued world, virtual communication has never been more significant to ensure society continues to run in an orderly fashion.
Co-founders Camille Padilla and Mary Mellor decided to create the perfect virtual teleprompter device to improve virtual communication.
At the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreaks, Padilla worked in political advertising and was working on a virtual video for a highly competitive Senate race in Maine. Throughout her digital coaching, she realized there was no seamless, transparent application that sat on top of Zoom or other video conferencing applications to make people feel more comfortable and confident giving presentations.
Immediately, Mellor was on board, yet she was surprised to learn there was no similar invention.
Before the launch, “people had their spouse holding up poster boards behind their computer, putting sticky notes right on their laptop, and even buying actual teleprompter equipment that was set up right behind their camera.” Luckily, there was a market fit, and the market was receptive to the project.
When crafting Vodium, Padilla explains that “[she] reviewed a lot of teleprompter applications that were either on your iPhone or were on the Mac store but did not sit on top of any applications…which was the very most important thing for the future of work.” Ultimately, the transparency of the software created a defining line between Vodium and other software programs.
From the beginning, the business timeline moved quickly. “In four months, we had a beta product that was launched to market with customers across the country,” Mellor added.
Importantly, Vodium was the first of its kind to market and has a diverse female-founded team.
Despite neither woman having a substantial technical background, they have recently raised a seed round of seven figures and have a global team. Mellor and Padilla find a balance of unique vendor partners, full-time employees, and consultants. “We’ve really prided ourselves in not ONLY hiring the best, smartest people we can find, but ALSO people who share our values of being nice, kind, open, honest, and collaborative,” Mellor explained.
One of the most valuable parts of Vodium is its ability to appeal to many people of different backgrounds. The team has found a product-market fit that allows for two distinct market sectors. On the B2C side, individuals who are in college or interviewing for jobs, yoga teachers, and professional small business owners are using the software. In comparison, the team’s B2B focus is on large enterprises, nonprofit organizations, corporations, and Fortune 50 companies.
Next Steps for Vodium
With deep ties in Tennessee, Padilla and Mellor strive to continue adding more partners and investors in the states and other countries worldwide. Their immediate goal is to deploy the new investments into innovating the products, finalizing user research, and building a product roadmap to provide more value for customers.
The colors of the brand represent the creation of a non-traditional tech brand. Together, they decided on pink, purple, and baby blue to exemplify how friendly and easily accessible Vodium is.
As a diverse female-founded company, the team is looking to ensure women have the tools to effectively and confidently communicate. Nonprofits involved in helping women are encouraged to reach out to the team.
“We created this company to help, not just to create a tech company to be the next unicorn,” said Padilla.
Photos provided by Vodium
About the author: Julianna Bragg is studying Political Science and Journalism at Agnes Scott College. After college, she hopes to pursue a career in broadcast or digital journalism. Currently, she’s looking to connect the stories of entrepreneurs and innovators to improve social, racial, and environmental issues of the time.