01 Jun Maria Watkins: Tackling Social Problems through Determination and Unity
Maria Watkins founded the RightThere Corporation in 2017 after talking to parents in her community that were concerned about their children’s safety with regards to policing. After deciding she could do something to solve this pressing social issue and bring peace of mind to worried parents, Maria created an app–the RTC Protech–that can record audio and video from police interactions, alert your emergency contacts that an incident is occurring, and use collected audio and video evidence to file a complaint with the correct government agencies.
Maria recently sat down with EnrichHER to discuss her business, what she’s learned as an entrepreneur, and her philosophy on community involvement.
EnrichHER: What motivated you to start your business?
RightThere Corp: I was motivated to start this company because of the need . Continually seeing the different videos of police misconduct, brutality, and even murder. That motivated me to want the problem solved and come up with an idea to help in this situation. This app was developed and designed to empower parents. Children of minority groups face scrutiny every day because people don’t really see their humanity. Our heart goes really out to people that have to suffer like this. Right There Corporation stands with people. We stand with the people that been victimized. And we’re not only outraged about what’s going on on a daily basis, but we are also solution-focused. Our whole goal is to to provide a solution–one solution that could help a lot of people.
EnrichHER: Tell us about a trial you’ve had to overcome as an entrepreneur. What did it teach you?
RightThere Corp: I really don’t want to call it a trial, because everything is a learning opportunity, but the most challenging things are internal things. Things like knowing your own shortcomings, your strengths and weaknesses, and finding out more about you as a person. It’s been a learning journey and a process that I’m still going through.
EnrichHER: What’s one thing that you’ve learned while on your journey as an entrepreneur that you didn’t expect?
RightThere Corp: Well, something that just recently happened. I’ve been working with an app developer for a while and was told that they had to pivot, because COVID-19 changed the way they do business. So working with us was no longer in the scope of what they wanted to do, and they were not able to provide us the service that we needed. One good thing is that we hadn’t spent that much money. And so the other thing is it’s almost like having to start all over again. But, it’s still a learning experience.
EnrichHER: We like to give our entrepreneurs the last word in these interviews. Any final thoughts to share with the community?
RightThere Corp: One thing I really want to share is that we can’t solve the hard problems in isolation–unity is so much better than division. When we work together and try to solve the hard problems, we can get it done; that’s the main thing I learned just from having to pivot and adjust.
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