Kanthi Yalamanchili is the founder and CEO of Rizlet, a tech startup that aims to empower women and create chic, smart wearables that helps keep them safe. Yalamanchili founded the company in March 2016 after the college-aged daughter of one of her co-workers went missing and was found days later in a swamp. In the wake of this tragedy, she decided to leave her engineering job and dedicate her life to protecting and empowering women through technology.
Yalamanchili is on a mission to transform the personal protection device (PPD) industry. The unique safety feature and styling of Rizlet smartwatches were designed by women for women. The features are backed by FBI research coupled with feedback from women on how to make portable safety devices more effective, practical and accessible. For every Rizlet sale, a portion of proceeds goes to organizations that help prevent violence against women and children.
Yalamanchili, who grew up in India, had a passion for STEM since childhood. Prior to founding Rizlet, she researched hydrogen jet propulsion at the National Center for Hydrogen Research for NASA and also worked as an engineer with data storage leader SeaGate Technologies.
As a new mother to a daughter, Yalamanchili has added inspiration to her mission of female empowerment. She lives with her daughter and her husband, who she calls her biggest supporter, in Minnesota.
Sravani Gadde is the co-founder of Rizlet. On the path to becoming a software engineer, Gadde soon realized that her love for computer science translated into a passion for design and technology.
As head designer of Rizlet, Gadde aimed to create a female-friendly and effective personal safety device that comes in sports and the luxury models with interchangeable strap options to match any outfit. Rizlet makes safety stylish.
After watching the BBC documentary India’s Daughter, based on the 2012 Delhi gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old physiotherapy student, Gadde recognized the urgent need to understand and demand change for women’s rights and safety in her country India and around the world. She decided to join Yalamanchili as co-founder and chief designer for Rizlet, with the mission to empower women globally.
“Fashion accessories hold a special magic for teen girls and women, and we bring technology into that equation to create a personal safety device that can help women feel and stay safe,” says Gadde.