Read Time 3 Minutes
It’s hard not to go all fangirl on Mixtroz’ Ashlee Ammons. She’s fun, smart, energetic and going places. And, she’s the millennial daughter of Baby Boomer biz partner Kerry Schrader. Together, they are the dynamic duo at the helm of Mixtroz.
In case you and Mixtroz (pronounced “mix-troes”) haven’t met yet, the name stands for “mixer+intros.” As in, you go to an event where you want to meet people—conference, wedding, school, whatever. Through the wonders of technology, they help hook you up with cool people.
In no time at all, you go from answering a couple questions on your phone to chatting IRL with your new BFFs. You might both be from the South. Or maybe your families are both more like the Simpsons than the Kardashians. Whatever it is, thanks to Mixtroz, you’ve got a fun way to connect with actual humans at your event. At the same time, event organizers learn more about you and all the other folks at the event. Win-win.
It’s not just that they’ve come up with an app that takes the awkward out of networking. They’ve also been featured on Rooster and Butch, won $100,000 in the 2018 Birmingham Rise of the Rest competition and recently completed a historic $1M funding round. Birmingham, we’ll be able to say “we knew them when.”
When Google got in touch, Mixtroz had to check to make sure the email was from a real person
“It was the funniest thing,” said Ammons. “I was on the way to a meeting with my mom and the rest of the team when I got an inbound email from Google. It said ‘we’ve heard about you and would love to talk with you about an International Women’s Day event. We though you’d be a great fit.’ I went to LinkedIn to check: ‘is this a real human?’
For a tech company, when a brand like Google reaches out to you for anything, it’s like ‘oh my gosh they know about me.’
When I met up with the rest of my team, I was like ‘guys I got an email. Guess who it’s from? They said ‘Oprah?’ My mom said ‘The Google’ emailed you?’”
Google wants Mixtroz to talk about being women entrepreneurs
“We’re super-candid,” Ammons said. “We talk about everything: the good, the bad, and the ugly.” She also said they bring a unique millennial / baby boomer perspective.
Their talk will be a March 14 fireside chat at Google in Atlanta. It’s one of 22 events that form The Women Techmakers Global Event Series Celebrating International Women’s Day.
The core of Mixtroz’s message, according to Ammons, will be “using the skills you have today to build the business you want tomorrow.”
Birmingham and Mixtroz make a good team
Mixtroz’s founders are grateful for the support they’ve recieved in Birmingham. They love the local tech ecosystem, including Innovation Depot’s Velocity Accelerator Program, and have been able to raise real money here. In fact, they recently became the 37th and 38th Black females to close a $1M funding round.
As such, they’re committed to paying it forward. Ammons is on the board of Tech Birmingham. Schrader was recently selected for Birmingham’s first Small Business Council. In their spare time, you’ll find them answering questions from aspiring entrepreneurs.
According to Ammons, “we take our involvement very seriously. It’s important to us to share our success and everything before that—how real the struggle was, and why it doesn’t have to be that hard. We are very cognizant that brown and black children need to see somebody in tech that looks like them.”
Mixtroz is paving the way for those who will come after them
Before we finished talking, I asked Ashlee what gave her and her mom the courage to continue on this long and sometimes grueling journey. She reminded me that before they got started, she and her mom were definitely not techies.
But “we cared the most about solving this particular problem. Along the way, we turned it into a business. Then, as people of color, trying to make it in tech, we realized that entrepreneurship shouldn’t be a sport for the elite. It should be accessible to everyone. We know our story is making it easier for all the people coming behind us.”
You can be part of Mixtroz’s journey
Wherever you look for them, they’re @Mixtroz. While they’re most active on Facebook, you can also follow them on Instagram and Twitter. Finally, you can also download the Mixtroz app from the App store to get an idea of how it works, or check out their website to learn more.
We’re cheering on Mixtroz as they head to Atlanta, and can’t wait to see what the next parts of their journey hold.