Meet the Insiders: Ashlea Atigolo, co-founder of INATIGO

Like many of our Meet the Insider interviewees, Ashlea Atigolo, co-founder of INATIGO didn’t start out in technology. To celebrate International Women’s Day, Ashlea caught up with The IT Insider to tell us about her journey to founding INATIGO and what’s next for the business.

How did you get started in tech, was it what you always wanted to do?

Before moving into the world of technology I had a very different career as an Educational Director of Operations for UK Government & UK Private Educational Centres.

After going on maternity leave in 2016, I decided to really explore my side-passion, creative design and product branding. This led me to move into the world of fashion, however, my journey wasn’t straightforward.

I quickly learnt about the disastrous effects fashion was having on the planet and I knew that I couldn’t be a part of the problem.  After some research, I decided to use smart technology, eco-friendly resources, and sustainable production processes to create an innovative and sustainable alternative to help to address some of the problems.

 

Once I got to really looking at the issues with climate change I knew that something more had to be done with the bigger issue facing us all. This led me down the path of looking at how we can use technology and the millions of devices for the greater good of us and our planet.

Knowing that some technology can be negative on the environment. I wanted to see how I could turn devices and technology that was already being used into something that could help with the current climate problems and issues.

What's your biggest achievement?

It’s always great to be recognised and in 2020 I was a finalist for ‘Best Product Engineer’ and ‘Best Social Impact’ by the international Products by Women Awards. I was alongside women from Google, Amazon, Etsy, Goldman Sachs and more. I was also proud to receive honoree mentions for my work in AI innovation and technology.

However, I would also say that I’m most proud of developing the first eco-wellbeing conversational AI voice-powered assistant, EcoTaylor. Using AI to help users learn the basics of how to become more sustainable and become more eco-friendly.

What's next?

As a co-founder of INATIGO, an innovation studio, and venture builder we look forward to launching more INATIGO innovations that will disrupt and change the way technology is used. I am also personally looking forward to helping more people by using technology and changing the narrative of how women are seen in this world by highlighting their innovations and success.

I’m very aware that I’m one of only a few women co-founders and developers in conversational technology,  fintech, and AI technology. We need to encourage more diversity and I’m currently mentoring women as part of a global community. I’ve also launched the Woman Alpha initiative to encourage more women into technology, fintech, and business.

Any advice for women getting into the industry?

Never listen to what people say, think or believe that you can’t do. Follow your own path and remember that for every woman that shines, another will be able to shine more easily.

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