Commentary & Perspectives

GHC 18 Featured Speaker: Sophia Dominguez

There is no denying that Sophia Dominguez is passionate about technology.

“I am obsessed with all things tech,” she said. “I love new gadgets, new applications, and new content. I feel like I couldn’t be doing anything but work in tech. I wouldn’t fit in doing anything else.”

Knowing that she wanted to follow a career path in technology, Sophia emailed a startup company asking if she could learn how to become a software developer. The company hired her as an intern for the summer, allowing her to gain new skills and experience working in the tech world.

Unfortunately, entering the tech field was not without its share of problems. “Early on in my career,” Sophia revealed, “I was hit on at a dinner by the CTO of a company I was interviewing with, resulting in me leaving the dinner and, of course, not moving forward with the position.

“At the time, it killed me because I wanted the job, and I was angry that I was not able to get it because of the CTO’s inappropriate behavior,” she continued. “But I stayed in the industry. I didn’t let being told ‘no’ stop me or get in my way.”

Starting Her Own Company

Luckily, Sophia found allies to support her along her journey. She credits Alex Chung, CEO of GIPHY, as one of her biggest inspirations and an important mentor. “Without Alex, I’m not sure I would be where I am today,” she said. “He’s taught me so much about consumers and how to build a successful company.”

After discovering an interest in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), Sophia decided to start her own business. She co-founded SVRF, the first search engine for AR/VR, and currently serves as the CEO of the company.

“Creating a company in the AR/VR space where we get to employ incredibly smart people working on hard, interesting problems is a huge achievement for me,” she said.

Shift the Future

Sophia hopes that other women technologists will likewise persevere despite any biases or challenges they may face along their career paths.

“Don’t doubt yourself,” she stated. “Do what you think is right and do not be afraid to speak your mind. The world needs you, your opinions, and your ideas.”

She encourages women to find mentors and supporters to help them enter and stay in the tech field, and advises them to seize networking opportunities such as the Grace Hopper Celebration. “It is one way to help shift the future,” she said.

Sophia will be one of our featured speakers at the 2018 Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC 18). Learn more about our featured and keynote speakers.