HomeRule BreakersFounding Spinnr and Vengo AI: Kristin LaSalle, Igniting Creativity and Fostering Inclusivity

Founding Spinnr and Vengo AI: Kristin LaSalle, Igniting Creativity and Fostering Inclusivity

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As part of the Morning Lazziness series about empowering women who encourage and do incredible things with their ideas in society, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kristin LaSalle.

She is a 41-year-old woman with 13 years of experience in the tech industry. She is the proud mother of a son who is starting college this year, majoring in the medical field. Despite facing tragic losses with the passing of both her parents, she has a profound passion for bringing people together and providing a safe space for them to share their interests and skills.

Having served as a promotional model and spokesperson for esteemed companies like Ogilvy & Mather in Manhattan, NY, she is deeply committed to women’s advocacy. She has contributed as a blogger and has been featured on platforms such as the Today show, CelebrityFitness.com, and Spinnr. With a background in sales and marketing spanning various industries including Commercial Finance and Pharmaceuticals, she has built strong connections within the startup and tech community in Philadelphia.

Currently, she holds the positions of CMO and Co-Founder at both Spinnr and Vengo AI. As the CMO of these companies, she is dedicated to driving positive change and empowering women entrepreneurs to pursue their aspirations in the fields of social media, video, AI marketplace, and hobby apps.

Here’s what we found out about Kristin‘s daily routine, followed by an exclusive Q+A.

Can you share the story behind your journey as an entrepreneur? What inspired you to start your own business?

As the Co-founder of Spinnr and Vengo AI, I was inspired to start my own business for two key reasons. Firstly, I wanted to use my creativity and had a desire to help others. This fueled my entrepreneurial spirit and although it was a big risk, I needed to try, or I knew I would have regrets later in life. I have always been known for thinking outside the box and approaching challenges with passion and understanding. I get people and can connect with them and their needs. Secondly, despite my success in making other companies very profitable, I  felt constrained by office politics, favoritism, and a lack of appreciation for my unique qualities and creative nature. This led me to pursue my own ventures and surround myself with creatives who think more like me. Now, I have a team I look forward to collaborating with every week. I was able to  create a culture that embraced diversity, creativity, and individuality at Spinnr and Vengo AI, where we allow these aspects to shine. 

What challenges have you faced as a woman in the business world, and how have you overcome them?


 I worked in a lot of mens industries from pharmaceuticals to commercial finance and even technology. One significant obstacle I faced was the struggle to be heard and recognized by male counterparts. Often, I found myself overlooked and pushed to the background in meetings or important decisions, despite my contributions and efforts in driving the company forward. This disparity in visibility and acknowledgment led to a sense of being undervalued and underappreciated. Additionally, I have experienced disparities in opportunities and compensation compared to my male counterparts, highlighting the gender biases that persist in all industries. Despite these challenges, I remain steadfast and determined to make my companies succeed to show other girls they can dream big too. I’m fortunate at this point in my career to have a Co-founder who collaborates and appreciates my professional and creative advice and makes me feel I am a valuable piece to our success.

How do you balance your professional and personal life as an entrepreneur?

I prioritize maintaining a balance between my professional and personal life by setting a set schedule and keeping a calendar. I achieve this by adhering to a structured schedule, holding myself accountable, and taking regular breaks, including a dedicated lunch break daily. By establishing a routine that mimics a traditional workday, I ensure a sense of consistency and structure in my entrepreneurial endeavors. Additionally, I prioritize spending quality time with my  family on the weekends, and sticking to a routine during the week. I recognize the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance and how having this only makes you more creative, less tired and more organized, as well as adjusted.

What strategies have you found most effective for networking and building connections in your industry?

I also engage in networking and building connections in my industry. I try to engage with everyone. I don’t fear anyone or say that a person is too important or too busy to talk to me. I also prioritize those who respond and support me by taking extra steps to engage with them. I always go the extra mile to support their small business, events or social media accounts. I not only show appreciation but also strengthen the relationship. This reciprocal support fosters a sense of community and mutual benefit, leading to more meaningful and long-lasting connections within the industry. I have been very fortunate to build a great network and it has helped not only build a solid foundation but also organically grow our company with the help of my networking friends.

How do you approach mentorship and seeking guidance in your entrepreneurial journey?

I know this might sound cliche, but my biggest mentors and guides have been my Co-founders and my team. I can’t tell you how many new skills or creative ideas came from our brief meetings. They know how to help me open up and tap into my creative wild mind. It’s quite an experience. If you can value others’ skills and learn from them, you can also gain their knowledge and better yourself.

Can you talk about a specific setback or failure you’ve experienced in your business, and how you bounced back from it?


One specific setback we have experienced in our business is the challenge of securing adequate funding, which has limited our ability to scale and fully realize our vision due to budget constraints. Despite this obstacle, we have remained resilient and focused on maximizing the resources available to us and really building a strong knowledgeable in-house team who can serve as multiple departments with unhinged skills. By prioritizing efficiency, creativity, and strategic decision-making, we have adapted our plans and operations to make the most of our limited resources. This experience has taught us valuable lessons in financial management and resource optimization, ultimately strengthening our business acumen and determination to succeed. We remain hopeful and keep moving against the current.

In what ways do you prioritize diversity and inclusion within your company or startup?

At our company, prioritizing diversity and inclusion is fundamental to our ethos. We ensure gender balance by maintaining that at least 50% of our employees are female. Our team’s racial diversity is evident as half of our developers are Asian and the other half are Indian and Latin American, reflecting our commitment to creating a multicultural workspace. Leadership is similarly diverse, with key roles like our co-founder and our director of diversity being Hispanic. Beyond workforce diversity, our products are designed with inclusivity at their core, aiming to be welcoming and accessible to LGBTQ individuals, people with disabilities, and those with mental health issues, ensuring our applications are as universally approachable as possible.

How do you stay motivated and resilient during tough times in your business?

 I have had an extremely turbulent life, and I have gotten through many things on my journey that I thought I couldn’t overcome. I remind myself that everything is temporary and in my business, it changes hourly, so I try to take things one step at a time. I work daily on building a strong support network, both within the team and externally. My team always provides valuable insights and encouragement during challenging times. I maintain a sense of purpose and passion for the work we do and always remind myself where we started and how far we have come.

What advice would you give to other aspiring women entrepreneurs who are just starting out?

I would advise aspiring women entrepreneurs who are just starting their careers to have confidence in their ideas and vision. Do not be afraid to take risks and pursue your goals. Even if it doesn’t work out, try your best and learn valuable skills you can take with you. Surround yourself with a supportive network of mentors, advisors, and peers who can provide guidance and encouragement along the way. Remember that your unique perspective and experiences as a woman in business can be a valuable asset in driving innovation and success. Stay focused, stay determined, and never underestimate the power of your own potential. I always say , “For every good man there is a woman standing close by him!”

Can you share a memorable success or milestone that you’ve achieved in your entrepreneurial career?

During Covid, the world was in shambles and people were crying out to connect. There was literally a loneliness epidemic. Instead of sitting on the sidelines and feeling bad for ourselves, my team and I developed a solution. A community that not only met the needs of our market but also exceeded expectations. This led to widespread adoption and positive feedback from users. This was the most significant milestone in my career. Not only did it validate our innovative approach but also solidified our position as future leaders in our industry. It was a proud moment for me and my team. We showcased our ability to drive meaningful change and make lasting impacts while leveraging technology to help others learn new skills, share hobbies, and feel connected again.

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