Michelle Darby Brings Happiness To The Workplace With One Genius Solution
Meet Michelle Darby. The twenty-something founder and CEO (yes, we said twenty-something CEO) of Roomzilla, a cloud-based dynamic solution for managing conference room reservations.
“I don’t fit into the typical – oh you should be an engineer because you like to play with Legos.”
Michelle tested and learned her way through what she wanted to major in while studying at the University of Washington. She found a love for the practical and computer side of engineering, and went after that passion.
Michelle has never let the fact that she is a woman get in the way of her perusing her passion for tech and software. She graduated with an electrical engineering degree at the University of Washington and was a member of the Varsity men’s rowing team. Total rockstar!
Upon graduation, Michelle joined Boston’s startup community working as a software engineer for a company based at the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC), a building that houses more startups than anywhere else in the world. After which, she then went on to work as a Hackstar at Boston’s TechStars.
It is through the CIC that the idea for Roomzilla came to surface.
For the community members of CIC, it was a challenge to coordinate conference room schedules since everyone was working off of different email systems. We’ve all been through the conference room booking drama, and know that it isn’t pretty!
Roomzilla was developed as a way for the community to schedule and communicate conference room bookings. Organization and sanity came to the halls of the CIC and the company went on to help Roomzilla launch as it’s own company in March of 2013.
Today, Roomzilla “is a cloud-based dynamic solution for managing conference room reservations…it provides quick and real-time access to availability information [and] simplifies the process of booking a resource, whether planning weeks ahead or hosting an impromptu meeting” that is now adopted by many companies including MIT, Techstars, and others.
Michelle’s Advice for Women in Innovation
Having a background in engineering and product development, Michelle took on many roles to help shape Roomzilla. While she was originally brought on to improve the software, she now finds herself taking on more of a marketing and business role. Michelle enjoyed the opportunity to help create the product and then talk to her customers so as to get a more holistic look at the business.
For others trying to get their product off the ground Darby said, “It’s important to listen to your customers and your users. Get feedback.”
While Michelle has been in startups long enough now to give suggestions, she started with the aid of other women, “The women that are already in the tech community in Boston are great about reaching out to each other and supporting each other. It’s strong network.” Said Darby, “They take time to support the younger women entrepreneurs that are around, which meant a lot to me.”