(Updated on April 30, 2023; Originally published on February 28, 2021)
The sex tech industry is ripe for disruption. Over the past century, there has been very little innovation––and even less diversity––from sex toy companies. But one Black queer visionary is here to change that.
Glenise Kinard-Moore (she/her) is the CEO and Founder of SkiiMoo Tech, a research, science, technology and engineering firm based in Atlanta. The company’s premier product is The VDOM™, the first app-connected genital device that can go from flaccid to erect at the push of a button on your smartphone or smart watch. With the latest version available for pre-order and shipping this May, The VDOM™ is revolutionizing the sex tech industry by offering a cutting-edge alternative to the traditional strap-on.
We spoke to Kinard-Moore, about how The VDOM™ came to be, her long-term vision for the company, and her advice for other Black/queer/women tech founders.
Please tell us who you are.
My name is Glenise Kinard-Moore (she/her) and I am a self-proclaimed nerd and creator of dope Sh*T. My superpower is breaking apart many things to create new things. By profession I am an information security professional, specializing in PCI which is the payment card industry.
What is the origin story of The VDOM™ and SkiiMoo Tech?
The VDOM™ was the first thought before SkiiMoo Tech came along. As a lesbian woman, I wanted an option to be able to have sex any time and anywhere with my wife. I knew the solution needed to be comfortable, convenient, and discreet, and The VDOM™ was born. Once I started working on the build of The VDOM™, I realized how underserved certain communities are when it comes to finding real-life solutions for real-life problems. In this case, I am speaking of the LGBTQ+ community, and realized SkiiMoo Tech could be the company committed to providing solutions for communities that are not usually on the forefront.
Where does The VDOM™ sit within the current market of sex-tech products?
It’s a direct challenge to the world of traditional strap-on. But once we started to really carve out the market fit, we realized that The VDOM™ was equally needed across many other spaces, so we coined it as a prosthetic genital device. For instance, we found that The VDOM™ was equally needed for individuals with certain physical disabilities like paralysis or for individuals who suffer from erectile dysfunction. The technology implemented in The VDOM™ separates it from traditional strap-ons in the sense of being able to be comfortably worn for long periods of time; and through the mobile app integration, it can go from flaccid to erect at the push of a button. There is no other product on the market that offers those options.
What are your short- and long-term goals for The VDOM™?
The short-term goal is to create the best product that we possibly can with the best materials. We know that we are providing the baseline for a product like this, so we want to make sure it is done absolutely right. The long-term goal is for The VDOM™ to be a catalyst for in-depth exploration into the creation of more prosthetic genitals as options for people who suffer from certain anatomical restrictions. I always say, “There are prosthetic legs and arms, why not genitals?” We are working on some very advanced technological options to add to future versions of The VDOM™, and we hope experts around the world jump in as well.
Atlanta has a reputation for being the Silicon Valley of the South. Has being based in the Atlanta Metro Area benefited you and your business?
Yes, the benefit is that we are getting so much recognition right now as a city. Black techpreneurs are paving the way in our city, and I am just happy to be a part of the transformation of the startup culture. Atlanta is setting the new normal for startup life, and I love it!
How has your journey as a Black queer woman entrepreneur been so far?
I have come along as a Black lesbian entrepreneur at an interesting time. We are in a movement where people are voicing that Black Lives Matter at the top of mountains and with that voicing, other disparities are being recognized as well. For instance, the recognition of the ridiculous truth that Black female entrepreneurs receive less than 1% of VC and angel funding. When you add in being a lesbian, it is even worse. All the while, studies have shown that Black female entrepreneurs generally have very successful companies, and if they fail it’s strictly due to funding. I say that to say, coming in at a time like this has been more positive than expected because of the embrace from the tech and sex tech industry, but we have a very long way to go.
How does your Blackness and queerness inform your business?
I hope my Blackness and queerness sets the stage for other Black and LGBTQ+ individuals to not be shy and shine their light. I hope that it says we have needs just like anyone else, and those needs must be met with real solutions made just for us. If the big brands are not going to take care of those needs, then we will create our own solutions––because we can.
What advice would you give other Black, queer, and women founders in tech?
Just do it and get shit done. Don’t worry about the hurdles, they are going to exist no matter what. Just be brave and go head first. Don’t think working hard and being busy is the basis for success––working smart is the real plug. Also, be relentless and intentional in meeting your goals. You cannot make it in this race by doing things half-assed.