Lucas and his twin brother Lee started their first businesses before entering high school in their hometown of Elma, WA. They quickly found this world suited them, and launched their first successful venture when they were sophomores attending Babson College in Boston, MA. Developing unique solutions for their own ad network, Lucas had the foresight to white-label their technologies to empower other businesses, and with that – TUNE was founded. As Chief Product Officer, Lucas leads agile product teams that strive to quickly meet the needs of an ever growing client base. As a founder, Lucas supported the company in the beginning, growing to profitability by 2010. Lucas’ expertise in complex business models, integrations, implementations, and his constant drive for innovation make him a cornerstone of this Seattle based startup.
WHY YOU ARE INVOLVED WITH IGNITE?
My twin brother and I have a younger sister. While we were both supported and thrived with technology from an early age, our younger sister wasn’t inspired to be involved with tech. While she has a brilliant mind and an amazing personality, before we knew it, she dropped out of college. Meanwhile her older brothers were successful entrepreneurs in tech and she was still searching.
Reflecting on the past, our sister did not have any female friends in tech. She was not inspired to be involved. Any human can be involved in technology and use technology to create change, but that person has to first be inspired. They have to want and believe they can be involved. Then they have to have a safe community to learn.
We believe a strong commitment to inspire students to pursue a career in technology will be the largest driver of positive change. IGNITE provides females wanting to become involved with STEM careers both inspiration and a safe community to learn. We are excited our missions are aligned to inspire females to get involved in tech.
HOW HAS IGNITE INSPIRED YOU?
Women should not be a minority in the tech industry. Based on my twin brother’s and my college experience, we had a vision to create a safe space for women who are passionate about technology and innovation to connect, collaborate, and flourish. With an entrepreneurial mentality, we believed this unique approach would make the biggest impact bridging the gender gap in tech. With the generous support and energy of our fellow TUNE team members, together we created TUNE House.
TUNE House is a scholarship program for female undergraduate students pursuing computer science and information technology degrees at the University of Washington. TUNE house is designed as a community to promote a collaborative environment for women aligned in their effort to be innovative and outstanding leaders in the tech industry. We believe that in order to have an impact on the larger community in and around Seattle, it starts by these female scholars supporting and believing in each other, inspiring each other, and ultimately inspiring those around them.
Similar to the IGNITE Worldwide program, the female students in TUNE House and female TUNE engineers came together to launch the TUNE House Roadshow. The Roadshow shares their personal stories of what led them to pursue a technical degree, educational choices that helped them get where they are, mentors and influencers along the way, overall benefits of being in a technical career, as well as the challenges of being a female entering the tech industry.
Prior to middle school and high school students selecting their classes, the Roadshow visits the school and invites female students to hear their stories. The goal is to encourage and inspire these female students to choose to classes related to computer science. After two years of the TUNE House Roadshow, we continued to be thankful to have the opportunity to partner with INGITE and inspire females to become involved in tech.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE ABOUT IGNITE WITH THE WIDER COMMUNITY?
The coolest part about technology is that one actually does not need to study it in college to make a career out of it. If you want to be a doctor or a lawyer, it requires a college degree. Women do not need to apply to the UW, get accepted, get a degree in Computer Science and then they can eventually start their career in technology.
IGNITE encourages women to get involved with tech for STEM careers. They provide a safe community to inspire STEM education. As you think about your ability to inspire women to pursue a career in technology, remember that INGITE is the best partner to help.
The team at INGITE including Cathi Rodgveller is open to unique approaches to inspire women to get involved with STEM. Their willingness to support new ideas like our TUNE House Roadshow is remarkable and appreciated. They are truly committed to positive change.
My brother and I along with our TUNE family, challenge you to support IGNITE and inspire women to pursue careers in STEM.