Paola Santana

Paola Santana

Founder & CEO


Social Glass

San Francisco, CA USA


You don’t need to lean in, you need to jump in. If you see an opportunity, you lead it. If you see a problem, you go and fix it. Commit to something.

Videos

Videos

By Roadtrip Nation

Paola Santana

Highlight
Now Playing
01:15
Paola Santana HighlightInterview Highlight
Now Playing
06:13
InterviewThe Interview
Now Playing
02:53
Balancing Profit And ImpactWeb Exclusive
Now Playing
03:26
Definition Of SuccessWeb Exclusive
Now Playing
04:23
How And Why I Started My Second CompanyWeb Exclusive
Now Playing
01:36
Motion Vs. ActionWeb Exclusive
Now Playing
03:56
Finding My Tribe At Singularity UniversityWeb Exclusive
Now Playing
02:48
Dealing With Imposter SyndromeWeb Exclusive
Now Playing
00:46
Dealing With FailureWeb Exclusive
Now Playing
01:36
Day In The Life Of An Entrepreneur In Tech And GovernmentWeb Exclusive
Now Playing
02:55
Commit To Something And Go DeepWeb Exclusive
Now Playing
01:39
Starting My First CompanyInterview Excerpt
Now Playing
01:53
Using Tech Entrepreneurship To Influence PoliticsInterview Excerpt
Now Playing
02:18
My Career PathInterview Excerpt
See More
Milestones

Milestones

My road in life has been direct.
Born and raised in the Dominican Republic where she grew up surrounded by poverty and inequality.
Seeing the struggles that people like herself dealt with growing up in a poor country, she decided to take on inequity and has made that a central focus of her life.
After receiving her bachelor's degree in law in the Dominican Republic, won a Fulbright Scholarship to pursue her master’s degree at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
After working as a paralegal and in the Constitutional Court in the Dominican Republic, realized that the conversations within government weren’t solving problems in the way she hoped.
Made decision to leave politics and began pursuing paths in technology that might solve the “big” problems she saw countries facing all over the world.
Joined a Global Studies Program at Singularity University in Silicon Valley where she worked with leaders to research and develop ways to apply exponential technologies to the world’s problems.
In 2011, started her first company, Matternet, a drone company enabling organizations around the world better access to goods—they've partnered with Boeing, Mercedes Benz, NASA, FAA, and the ICAO.
Founded in 2017, her second company, Social Glass, is a software ecosystem that uses AI to help governments digitize, streamline, and scale good processes and decision-making.
Keep following my journey
Education

Education

highschool
High School
undergrad
Bachelor
Law
Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra
graduate
Graduate
Law
George Washington University
Career

Career

Founder & CEO

I am the founder of a software ecosystem using AI to power high-performing governments.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Technology
Technology
Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship
Upholding a Cause and Belief
Upholding a Cause and Belief

Day to Day

I'm working on waking up early...I meditate, plan my day, check my agenda and priorities, check my email, work on my priorities in the morning (MVP, fundraising, recruiting), take calls in the afternoon, work on complementary projects in the afternoon, workout/dance twice a week, coding and AI classes twice a week.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

Business and negotiation skills, flexibility to learn and do what's needed, mentoring/coaching from someone who's been there/done that. To be a tech entrepreneur, you have to have the right incentives to do the work. Believe that you have a viable solution to a problem and do whatever it takes to get it out into the world. Use the knowledge you have beyond technology (law, politics, art, whatever) to your advantage and solve problems from your unique perspective.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

Be curious and research everything you can about what you want to do. Caring about even the tiniest of details is imperative. Have guts and remember why you are doing what you are doing.

Recommended Education

My career is not related to what I studied. I'd recommend this path instead:

undergrad
Bachelor
Computer Science
undergrad
Bachelor
Computer Software Engineering
Hurdles

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Society in General:

"Why are you talking about drones and technology if you are a lawyer from the Dominican Republic? You should just go home and leave it to us to figure out."

I dealt with a lot of imposter syndrome early on. I felt like I shouldn't be talking about a technology that I didn't fully understand. I eventually realized that in its early stages, nobody else knew much about drones and their potential either. I dedicated myself to being a pioneer, facing the uncertainty and the challenges, and creating a new path.

Challenges I Overcame

Socio-Economic Origin
Socio-Economic Origin

I grew up in the Dominican Republic surrounded by poverty and inequity. Seeing this growing up, I developed a strong dislike for inequality and that has persisted throughout my career.

First-Generation Immigrant
First-Generation Immigrant

I grew up in the Dominican Republic and came to the U.S. to pursue my master's degree. It was a hard decision, but coming to the U.S. gave me the resources to succeed and pursue my interests.

Work Stress
Work Stress

I started being an entrepreneur before I even really knew what that meant. I've had to teach myself most of what I know now and have had to navigate a lot of this industry all on my own.

See More