Sonya and I met while we were both members of San Francisco State Marketing Association. She is currently the CEO of Netqr. A dating app that combines philanthropy and dating. But let her tell you about it. Trust me, she is one of the coolest people you will ever meet.
“I believe that being an entrepreneur is about being a rebel and thinking for yourself and not conforming and doing you to make a difference.”
— Sonya Davis CEO of Netqr
Epifania: What was your childhood like?
Sonya Davis: I was raised by super healthy ex-hippie nomads that had both lived in an Indian ashram [separately] for the same Indian guru. I lived in 6 different states from east coast to west coast and abroad in Nepal. Growing up and being an only child I got opportunities to travel abroad and see other cultures. They also brought me to meditation camps, shamans, and various healers. This coupled with moving around a lot helped shape life and give me new perspective. My parents had me in every type of creative class growing up and encouraged me to volunteer a lot. My mom is an artist and art therapist and my dad an acupuncturist/inventor/healer and music junkie. I definitely had creativity and entrepreneurialism in my genes. I also never felt like I fit in and was basically a black sheep.
E: You introduce me to Neqtr last year. Describe Neqtr to the readers.
SD: Neqtr is an invite-only relationship app for socially conscious, health conscious, and creative people to connect. To make new friends and new loves via causes and lifestyles. It helps them meet at planned dates like volunteering and yoga. We’re working to build community, deeper connections, and redefine sexy for good. Being a team of predominantly women, we’re also working to giving women a voice and a safe place to date. We’ve partnered with 40 plus nonprofits and other conscious businesses to aid in our planned dates. We’re known as the “anti-tinder”, and offer an experience unlike any other app on the market.
E: But with so many dating apps, why Neqtr? Why did you create Neqtr?
SD: For various reasons. I’m personally passionate about Neqtr and in love with the cause. I’ve always loved giving back and the fulfillment felt while doing healthy things that better the community. The dating scene has become one big hookup, and there needed to be a better way to meet quality people doing positive things. Since that app wasn’t on the market I decided to build a team and make it a reality. It’s definitely needed and we’re finding more reasons to fall deeper in love with it every day while engaging with users and our target market.
E: Wow! I love that you solved a problem. Do you think you were born an entrepreneur or did you became an entrepreneur?
SD: It’s hard to say. A little of both. I’ve always been very creative and an idea generator. But my parents definitely encouraged me to think for myself and not to settle. My extended family is also very entrepreneurial. So I was observing this life, mentality from an early age. As mentioned above, I had always felt like a black sheep. I still do actually. Growing up I tried to conform on several different occasions, but it didn’t feel right because I wasn’t being genuine or acting in my truth. Perhaps I was just born to be a rebel-thanks parents, I blame you-. I believe that being an entrepreneur is about being a rebel and thinking for yourself and not conforming and doing you to make a difference.
E: I agree with that last statement. Now let’s talk fears. What fears did you have before Netqr took off? SD: Neqtr is still in it’s early stages, so the fears continue, but it’s not worth being a stress case. I wouldn’t choose any other path, Neqtr is worth every minute of it. My fears have included the typical “what if it fails?”, “will we get funding?” But having a tech startup is both about having a solid plan and throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks. It’s trial and error. If errors occur you have to be able to super resilient and pivot to another angle. It’s an amazing experience and I’ve learned more about myself, tech, startups, networking, business, marketing, pr, and being a leader in the last year than I would’ve ever learned at a desk job.
E: What would you tell young women that what to start their own business?
SD: Do it! We need more women founders & entrepreneurs. But, and there is a but, you have to determine if you’ve got what it takes. Starting a business is grueling and literally will change your life. When people say 80 hour weeks, they aren’t kidding. Even if you aren’t physically working on your business, you are still thinking and strategizing about it. But you will form a love affair for it if it’s something that you are passionate about. And isn’t that worth making into a reality? I’d also say that networking is key, and try and work from co-working spaces, b/c working from home can make you feel like a vampire. Also, being the only girl in a room of all men isn’t a bad thing. It just means you will stand out and shake things up a bit. 😊
E: Now when you have downtime, what do you like to do in your free time?
SD: I love yoga, writing, exploring the city, cooking healthy food, hanging out with cute animals, sitting in parks, tea dates, hiking, and of course listening to an endless stream of music.
E: I see your hustle on social media. What are your next steps?
SD: The hustle continues. My next steps are to help to empower women and build a positive community in this way, go global with Neqtr, and eventually start a school/library for the brick kiln children in Nepal. So that they can receive an education and break the cycle of child slave labor. In the meantime, you can check out our current campaign: breakupwithtinder.com and take a stand with us!