Between Two Servers #6: Women in Tech with Founder and CEO of Wengage, Sandra Pellegrini

BTS Episode #6
Women in Tech is a topic we proudly talk about here at Konverge, and it’s something close to our Director, Sonia Couto’s heart. It’s why we’re beyond ecstatic to have on this episode, Sandra Pellegrini, Wengage Founder and CEO.
Wengage is a social networking app that offers women the freedom to seize the day, at any moment they choose, and with the information they need to access the safety and joy of shared company. Wengage is part of Myconxn LTD. and is proud to be a forward-thinking Canadian tech company designing new and innovative social network solutions.
Sonia and Sandra will dive into discussing what it takes to create and manage a successful app, what makes Wengage unique, and how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted the product.
Sonia: So Sandra, can you give us a sort of a little description about you so everyone who’s joining knows who you are?
Sandra: Well, I was born in Ontario and raised in Toronto, so I’m a Canadian girl. I worked in the group insurance benefit consulting business for the last 20-plus years and found myself in a situation. I had an idea and I was looking for a solution, which prompted me to think about an app – about Wengage – and here I am many years later after receiving validation from many women and organizations with an app that we’re about to launch in the next month.
So, it’s a very exciting time for us and it’s surreal, you know, where you started off – one moment in time when you think of this potential problem and solution and the next thing, you know, you’ve got a product in your hands literally ready to go. So, that’s a little bit about me!
Sonia: So what is Wengage and how did you come up with the idea?
Sandra: Wengage is a social connection – and I say connection as opposed to network – a social connection app, exclusively for women, that facilitates a real-time connection at the moment that she is looking for company. It enables a woman to find out, first of all, who’s in the area. In other words, I’m able to connect with that person when she’s looking for company to do something. In this time of the pandemic, it is the emphasis for making real-time, real-life connections.
I was in this moment in time when I was in the Whitehorse in the Yukon where we spend our summers – Yukon is very popular to European tourists – and I had spent the year in Milan years earlier and I’m downtown thinking, “oh how cool would it be to meet an Italian woman or a European person over dinner?”. Then it was, “well how do I find a person and what do I do?” Do I loiter around in a hotel and try to keep an ear out for an Italian or French or German? How do you find this person? I ended up having dinner on my own in a sports bar watching the Blue Jays and there I was, it was fine, I mean we do it all the time, we’re independent, confident and we go into places for a meal. I was left frustrated in terms of not doing what I really wanted to do. I started to look at the research. I started to look at what was happening in terms of solutions and there was literally no way you could find a person at the very moment you wanted to find that person to do what you want to do. And that started the journey, I started talking to women and it was amazing how often, almost every time I couldn’t finish a sentence because someone had an example of being there. I started thinking about my business trips, wherever I was and I’m thinking, “I have the city at my doorstep and I’m on my own. It would be great to have these places that people have recommended to me.”
I started to think about the number of people there, the exciting women who would’ve been there from all over the place, from Europe especially, the people I could’ve met, I thought, oh there’s something here. And so, I started the journey.
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