SU Student Presented His Startup at DivInc’s Demo Day
Southwestern University student Donté Houston, class of 2018, CEO and co-founder of technology startup Voya, pitched his company to potential investors as part of DivInc’s Demo Day at Capital Factory on Thursday, June 29th.
DivInc is a 12-week pre-accelerator program focused on championing diversity in the tech startup ecosystem. Launched last fall, its goal is to foster the growth and development of ethnically diverse and women-led tech companies.
“DivInc is an amazing opportunity for startups, and our company has benefited tremendously from the program,” describes Houston. “The training, extensive network, mentorship and resources it provides helped us in all aspects of turning our small startup into a scalable business model.”
Voya is a technology company aimed at reducing distracted driving. Users download an app that monitors their driving, enabling them to accrue “safe” miles for free gifts, discounts or incentives at local restaurants or retail locations.
Voya’s official launch is scheduled for early 2018, but this August they’ll begin a pilot program partnering with local schools. The company is particularly passionate about working with teen drivers and their parents due to of the devastating impact distracted driving has on that age group. “Distracted driving is the number one cause of death for 15 to 19 year olds,” Houston explains. “If we can save even one life with our app it will be worth it.”
Houston co-founded Voya with Louis Daily and Malik Djiba and transitioned to CEO in May. Most tech startup CEO’s are busy, but Houston takes busy to a whole new level! He’s currently pursuing a degree in philosophy at Southwestern University, even taking a full load of 18 credit hours last spring. When asked how he juggles school, work and family Houston credits the support of his Southwestern professors, his time management skills and most of all his passion for what he does.
“Southwestern gave me the tools to think outside of the box, and view ideas and concepts from multiple points of view. It fosters an entrepreneurial ethos that encourages students and graduates to make a positive impact with their business endeavors. With Voya, we want to get schools, parents, families and local businesses involved in saving lives. It’s truly is a win-win for the entire community.”