Honeysuckle is proud to present Nadya’s Entrepreneurial Corner, a running column that provides special insight into the ever-changing world of entrepreneurship. Through exclusive interviews and op-eds, social entrepreneur Nadya Rousseau explores how innovative minds are moving us forward every day – and what you can do to make progress happen for yourself.
Although only recently recognized for their contributions to technology, black women have always been at the helm of pioneering innovation. Gladys West contributed to the mathematical modeling of the shape of the Earth. Katherine Johnson, who recently passed away at 101, put John Glenn into space with her otherworldly math skills. Throughout Black History month, the world has paid homage to women like Johnson, but there are still so many other black women in present day that are overlooked for what they bring to the table.
Glenise Kinard-Moore, a techie and burgeoning entrepreneur out of Atlanta, is one black woman who demands to be heard. To make things even more interesting, Kinard-Moore is stepping into a unique faction of tech — sex tech — with her adult-wearable product, The VDOM. Sex tech, now a $30 billion dollar industry, is quickly coming to the forefront as one worthy of attention. From VR, to apps, to sex bots, women are inventing and introducing new products to the market. While mainstream technology is traditionally over saturated by men, sex tech, specifically, is gaining traction as intelligent, ethical, inclusive, and woman dominated.
As founder and CEO of SkiiMoo Tech LLC, a research, science, technology and engineering firm born out of the southside of Atlanta, Moore spoke to Honeysuckle about her plans to democratize sex through her device, the VDOM. Her invention, the VDOM, is an adult wearable bionic penis that revolutionizes sexual intimacy between partners by removing the awkward usage of a strapon appendage.
Nadya Rousseau: Tell us about you. Who is Glenise Kinard-Moore and what makes her tick?
Glenise Kinard-Moore: I am a wife, a daughter, sister (youngest of three), tech nerd, idealist, and visionary. I like to say that my superpower is breaking apart many things to create new things.
NR: You are on a mission to humanize sex and positively disrupt the sex tech industry with VDOM. How did the business idea come about and is it your first foray into entrepreneurship?
GKM: The VDOM idea came from one simple fact: I wanted to be able to have sex with my wife anytime and anywhere. I like to use strap-ons when my wife prefers it, but I hate to go through the awkward, uncomfortable and just plain stupid process when using a traditional strap-on. So I wanted to use my tech skills and knowledge to challenge myself to find a solution to the annoying world of traditional strap-ons. I knew it needed to be able to be worn comfortably all day, it needed to be hands-free as much as naturally possible and it needed to be able to go from non-erect to erect via a simple process. No more permanent woodies, tie downs and backpacks.
NR: What is the difference between an “adult wearable” and a “sex toy” and why is it necessary to differentiate the two?
GKM: An adult wearable is different from a sex toy for a few reasons. One, an adult wearable to me says that this device is for a lifestyle and aligns with your daily life whether you are a lesbian or queer woman who has a date that you know might get hot and heated and you want to be ready for the possibilities, or if you are a transgender individual who wants to be able to wear a unit all day and utilize a device that can easily go from pack to play without having to jump through hoops to have an erection. A sex toy is just that, a tool utilized for a job, not necessarily a lifestyle need.
NR: Who is the VDOM for?
GKM: The VDOM is for any individual who is used to using traditional strap-ons but prefers to maintain the moment during intimacy, who doesn’t want to have to carry around and assemble a device, and/or who doesn’t want to have the awkwardness associated with utilizing traditional strap-on devices. Also, [it is] for individuals who like to utilize technology for their everyday lives.
NR: VDOM is HQ in Atlanta, a city that boasts one of the fastest growing startup scenes in the country with a large number of black entrepreneurs coming to prominence. How involved are you in this growing community?
GKM: I am VERY involved and seeking new ways to be even more involved. I knew a long time ago that our city could and would become a tech hub because it is a city of so many creative individuals. The essence of Atlanta is creativity and anywhere you have creativity there has to be tech and where there is tech there has to be startups. So I am not surprised that we are officially here and it’s only going to grow.
NR: Why is it important for more women of color and queer people of color to become involved in sex tech?
GKM: Women of color and queer people need to become involved in sex tech because we need to be included in the conversation about this industry and we need products that specifically represent us.
NR: What does “social entrepreneurship” mean to you?
GKM: It means collaboration and truly wanting to see each other win as entrepreneurs and helping each other out in whatever way we can.
NR: Who has been your biggest inspiration?
GKM: My wife, for sure. She is very straight-foward, open-minded and a great supporter. And she is all of those things with a foundation of the best integrity. Also, Lena Waithe, a great representative of women of color and queer individuals in a creative space on some of the worlds largest platforms in an arena usually mostly dominated by individuals outside of our community. And Cindy Gallop for sure, she is a true trailblazer in the sex tech industry.
NR: If you only had five words to do an elevator pitch of VDOM what would they be?
Black History Month may be coming to a close but the “herstory” that continues to be made through black women’s accomplishments certainly does not. Kinard-Moore is certainly proof of that.
You can follow the VDOM at @the.vdom on Instagram and contribute to their ifundwomen campaign here.
Nadya Rousseau is the founder and CEO of the purpose-forward global marketing agency, Alter New Media. She is also a writer, producer, and advisor to startups from all over the world. When she’s not working, she can be found savoring a double espresso macchiato somewhere cool. Follow her adventures on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Nadya’s Entrepreneurial Corner is a running column that provides special insight into the ever-changing world of entrepreneurship.