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.


By Roadtrip Nation

Paola Santana

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Paola Santana HighlightInterview Highlight
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InterviewThe Interview
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Balancing Profit And ImpactWeb Exclusive
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Definition Of SuccessWeb Exclusive
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How And Why I Started My Second CompanyWeb Exclusive
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Motion Vs. ActionWeb Exclusive
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Finding My Tribe At Singularity UniversityWeb Exclusive
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Dealing With FailureWeb Exclusive
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Day In The Life Of An Entrepreneur In Tech And GovernmentWeb Exclusive
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Commit To Something And Go DeepWeb Exclusive
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Starting My First CompanyInterview Excerpt
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Using Tech Entrepreneurship To Influence PoliticsInterview Excerpt
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My Career PathInterview Excerpt


My road in life has been direct.
Born and raised in the Dominican Republic where I grew up surrounded by poverty and inequality.
Seeing the struggles that people like myself dealt with growing up in a poor country, I decided to take on inequity and has made that a central focus of my life.
After receiving my bachelor's degree in law in the Dominican Republic, won a Fulbright Scholarship to pursue my 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, I realized that the conversations within government weren’t solving problems in the way they should.
Made decision to leave politics and began pursuing paths in technology that might solve the “big” problems I saw countries facing all over the world.
Joined a Global Studies Program at Singularity University in Silicon Valley where I worked with leaders to research and develop ways to apply exponential technologies to the world’s problems.
In 2011, I started my first company, Matternet, a drone company enabling organizations around the world better access to goods—we've partnered with Boeing, Mercedes Benz, NASA, FAA, and the ICAO.
Founded in 2017, my 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


High School
Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra
George Washington University


Founder & CEO

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

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
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:

Computer Science
Computer Software Engineering


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."

Challenges I Overcame

Socio-Economic Origin
First-Generation Immigrant
Work Stress

Interviewed By

Venture Forward

Venture Forward

Tech Entrepreneurs Roadtrip