Read the full article on The Business Journals here.
The pandemic changed our relationships to work and our families. For government technology entrepreneur Mariel Reed, becoming a parent while starting a business during Covid-19 helped her establish a healthier relationship with her work and redefine what it means to build a legacy.
"I left my job in tech for local government service to have a greater social impact. After college, I lived as an expat, proudly representing America overseas. But after a few years in San Francisco, I felt a growing sense of shame and frustration: in our wealthy, talent-dense, tech-forward city, why aren’t our public services better
Working in local government, I started to understand the constraints and challenges that public servants face in delivering public services. Coming from the tech industry, I was used to ordering food, calling a ride, or booking a place to stay in just a few seconds online. But as a public servant making much more expensive and important purchasing decisions, I had to rely on technology that hadn’t changed much since the 90s: phone calls, emails, and one-off visits to government websites.
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I became obsessed with public procurement. I saw an opportunity to improve lives at scale by making government procurement work better, not just in San Francisco, but across the country. Eventually, I decided to start Pavilion, a venture-backed technology company to help public servants across the country streamline procurement and deliver better, faster public services.
When the pandemic hit, we were just getting started. I’d found a cofounder, raised capital, and we’d recruited a small team to build the first version of our product in a shared office in San Francisco. The week before our first two engineering hires started at the company, we decided to work from home as a temporary precaution. I remember driving around San Francisco to drop off new laptops, equipment, and a batch of homemade cookies for our new team members’ ad hoc home offices.