Jewel's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Women In STEM

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    Atlanta, GA

JEWEL BURKS

Co-Founder & CEO
Partpic Inc.

“Don’t be frustrated with curves in the road...Try to find the glimmer of goodness in the bad turns.”

INTERESTS:

Engineering Science

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Determination Societal Pressures Confidence Individualism Inspiration Choices Community Opportunity Support & Encouragement

FOUNDATION:

Problem-Solving

TAGS:

challenges, conviction, engineering, entrepreneur, industry, inspiration, learning, managing, meetings, parts, passion, problems, questioning, sharing, start ups, stereotype, story, team, telling your story, work

BIOGRAPHY:

  • Attended Howard University; while she was there, she connected with an on-campus recruiter from Google.
  • Moved to Silicon Valley after college and realized that there was a whole “world” of tech-loving, entrepreneurial people like her, living in one place.
  • She was employed at Google for several years before deciding to leave to take a job in parts distribution.
  • Right when she started her new job, she realized she’d made a huge mistake—she freaked out and wondered why she’d left Google.
  • Decided that instead of giving into regret, she’d look at this new job from a Silicon Valley perspective: she’d use the job an opportunity to find a new idea and innovate the business.
  • She was working in the call center when she realized that people were struggling to describe the part that they needed—they wanted to take a picture of the part and send it to her.
  • Inspired by Shazam—the app that can “listen” to music and tell you which song is playing—she decided to build a visual search tool to match these pictures of parts to their distributors.
  • She gathered a team of engineers by networking and hanging out at nearby Georgia Tech; she eventually connected with her co-founder and together they started Partpic.

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