You want to optimize company culture? Step outside of it and look closer than ever before.

Savina Perez

Reimagining leadership training and education

STANDING OUT BY STANDING PROUD. For Savina Perez, the co-Founder and Chief Customer Officer of Hone, a live learning platform for modern leadership, management and people skills, having a nontraditional background as an entrepreneur has been nothing short of a blessing.

“When I compare myself to other entrepreneurs that are coming from Stanford or Harvard, I think the expectations associated can be crippling. Because for me, I didn’t come from a conventional entrepreneurial background, so I feel more free. The expectations I have are put there by myself.

I’m able to take risks and maybe even enjoy this crazy journey because it was never expected of me.” As a Latinx lesbian woman co-founder of a tech company, it’s not that Savina has had everything handed to her, but she knows that on the biggest advantages an entrepreneur can have is a critically positive outlook and perspective. “From a very early age in my career development, I had a real passion to democratize access to training and education in the workplace. And that means seeing things... from a variety of different perspectives too. I choose to see that as empowering.”

As Savina explains, often it’s only in the beginning of one’s career where the idea of focused, thoughtful training is provided. But once you’re past that point, the flow of information and education slows dramatically. “Hone was born out of an idea that the next generation of training platform for any organizations needed to know how to scale for everyone, to offer training to all employees no matter their role or where they were located.” She says.

THE FUTURE IS INCLUSIVE AND EDUCATIONAL. Savina, and her co-founder and CEO, Tom Griffiths, knows that the future of workplace education is not just virtual, but with a keen eye for soft-skills. Topics such as diversity, inclusion, global awareness, conflict and change management, building trust, and various levels of management training, are what the next generation of workforce leaders require to become successful today, tomorrow and for continued generations of employees and managers.

“Hone exists to not just present a platform, but to amplify the impact of these skills and what it means for a company to invest in their engagement in each subject matter.” And this matters, not just universally, but specifically and personally for Savina.

“I’ve been lucky enough to work with some incredible teams and companies, but they weren't always very diverse. And for me, it was trying to figure out why. Why was diversity and representation such a struggle? And in my research it came down to access to networks, access to education, and access to opportunity. So peeling that back, I asked what was necessary to change those dynamics? It always resulted as an inside issue, in enabling organizations to educate and train more effectively on core or adjacent topics that mattered.”

“You know, being an entrepreneur is insanely hard. When you’re on this journey, just starting out or even in the midst of it all, you have to be able to count on the people around you. For me that’s my wife and family, that’s my team and co-founder, our investors. When the highs are high, it’s amazing. But when the lows arrive you can feel like you’re on an island unless you have a network surrounding you. So it pays to love what I do. And it never hurts to always see the positive and possibility in who I am and what I’m doing.”

Order your own copy of the Gaingels 100, today! Our mission is to encourage greater representation and create a more diverse, equitable, and accessible venture capital ecosystem. Elevating the stories of the most inspiring amongst us is one of the ways in which we do this.

Presented with Pride Here is the first collection of one hundred incredible and inspiring LGBTQIA+ venture-backed entrepreneurs featured in this year's Gaingels 100.