Kyra Peralte, Former Tech Founder of Roofheads; Creator of Paragoo Games and The Traveling Diary Tour

Visible Hands
Apr 1 · 6 min read

To have someone say, “I’m gonna write your first check,” to you is one of the greatest feelings no matter the size, but it will never replace the check you write for yourself when giving yourself a chance. We need support, no doubt but even if that idea didn’t work out, even if things failed, it really doesn’t matter if you have mustered the courage to create and that’s meaningful in itself.
Kyra Peralte, Co-Founder of Roofheads; Creator of Paragoo Games and The Traveling Diary Tour

Kyra Peralte, Co-Founder of Roofheads; Creator of Paragoo Games and The Traveling Diary Tour

Founder Visibility is an interview series that highlights founders that inspire us and shares how they found their firsts: co-founder, customer, capital, and confidence.

Meet Kyra, Co-Founder of Roofheads and Creator of Paragoo Games and The Traveling Diary Tour. Kyra is a hustler and a problem-solver who aims to amplify the voices of underrepresented groups through her projects. We sat down with her for a chat to learn more about her journey thus far.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you’re building.

My name is Kyra Peralte, and I am a tech founder and creative. I have created apps for real estate, gaming and am currently the creator of The Traveling Diary Tour. I created an app called Roofheads, a real estate app that I had been working on for a few years with a wonderful co-founder, but we had to split during the pandemic due to the rising pressure demands I had to manage as a working mom and founder. Essentially, I had to offload everything that couldn’t adapt to my current lifestyle shifts due to the pandemic and reprioritized my focus to projects with three important factors: flexibility, traction, and investment.

Last summer, I started Paragoo Games, through which I made mobile games for kids that have BIPOC lead characters for all children to play because I believe the next generation deserves a better imagination. This came from watching my sons being at home and the different circumstances we’re all living through.

My son loves video games, but he had an experience where he was trying to play one of his favorite games and just couldn’t find an avatar that looked like him. So that was the impetus that got me started with the first game as a trial run, Mermaid Quest. It was a lot of fun to make Mermaid Quest because I got to use my imagination in a different world. I did break some rules as a designer by putting out something that I wish I had as a kid. I launched it quietly to gauge feedback, and it gained attention in some groups on Facebook where strangers started calling me with videos of their children playing the game.

My other important focus is creating The Traveling Diary, which stemmed from feeling deep isolation during early last spring (March/April 2020), transitioning to working from home with my family, and wondering deeply about what other women in the world were really experiencing. I wanted to connect offline in an authentic way with strangers, and that led to me sending a journal around the world to collect stories, passing from woman to woman until all the journals return to me. It’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen in a long time when creating belonging and community. The Traveling Diary attracted an initial investment, and the community is continuing to grow. I will also be launching a crowdfunding campaign soon to invite others to be part of its impact and growth.

How did you find your co-founder, and what was that journey like?

When I first started building in the tech space, it was a steep learning curve, and I would always get asked if I had a technical co-founder. People would warn that I wouldn’t get a check because they don’t typically write a check for solo founders. So, I created a board of advisors to help me out with advice. Coming from corporate America, I understood the importance of having mentors and sponsors and how having those things could help accelerate your career trajectory and ability to take on new opportunities.

I immediately reached out to people that I wanted to make a part of my board of advisors. And these are people that I would go to and tell them what I was working on and get their honest feedback. I would emphasize to them, “Ask me the hard questions. Show me the blind spots right now as I’m walking you through you my progress.” That was so helpful for me because people were truly committed to giving me their honest thoughts. Out of that group, there was one person who was technical and had a lot of experience in building companies. He and I had already built a relationship, and he was sort of an advisor that would just come along further and help me along the way. He followed my progress and eventually became my co-founder, and I felt very lucky to have him because of his level of experience. So when it came to finding a co-founder, I really felt like I lucked out because I already had someone extremely fit for that role in my network.

It’s exciting to work closely with someone who shares your enthusiasm about the product or company and protects the relationship and company; it’s important to have open conversations about what the expectations will be from everyone and not just broad suggestions. Get down to the minutiae because storms will come with every process. Nothing is done in a linear fashion when it comes to building. Mistakes happen, and deadlines will get missed. So that makes it essential to communicate expectations and spell things out openly. If this isn’t your strong suit, being in a co-founder partnership will allow you the opportunity to strengthen this area.

How did you secure both of those checks, and how did you instill confidence in your investors and supporters to get the investments?

I’ve heard students say things like, “I got this idea, and I have someone who is willing to write a check!” It doesn’t work that way for everyone, but I think it’s important just to keep going, finish a prototype and get it out as fast as you can so that your target market can validate it and give you feedback.

When I created Mermaid Quest, I set a goal to get it out in less than two months. Anything that would have taken longer than that wasn’t worth my time because I had so many other responsibilities to juggle at home. I managed to create and launch a test version in 45 days. The feedback I got was incredible. I’ve received so much support from people — not just words, but people actually sending me videos of their children playing the game. And that was attractive to an investor who’s also a mom and knowledgeable about the stats in the gaming space.

In the US, 24% of American game developers are women, 2% are black.

This investor knew these statistics, and witnessing her own daughter playing the game made her want to become a part of this. So traction could definitely help you, but also building those relationships and bringing people along with you so that they could see what steps you are actually taking and your thought process could significantly help if you don’t have the traction yet. I am bringing people along and fostering relationships along the way.

To have someone say, “I’m gonna write your first check,” to you is one of the greatest feelings no matter the size, but it will never replace the check you write for yourself when giving yourself a chance. We need support, no doubt but even if that idea didn’t work out, even if things failed, it really doesn’t matter if you have mustered the courage to create and that’s meaningful in itself.

What is one piece of advice that you might have offered to your past self when starting your first venture?

I would say to her, “You did good. Even if you could have improved, you did alright.” But to my future self, I would say, “I’m doing everything I can to make you good, girl.”

Thank you so much for sharing your inspiring story with us, Kyra.

Visible Hands invests in underrepresented talent who strive to build their tech startups. Applications for our 14-week, virtual-first, $200k fellowship program are now open. Apply now!

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Visible Hands VC

Visible Hands is a VC fund with a 14-week, virtual-first fellowship program that supports overlooked talent in building technology startups by providing company-building services and investments of up to $200k.

Visible Hands

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Visible Hands is a VC fund with a 14-week, virtual-first fellowship program that supports overlooked talent in building technology startups by providing company

Visible Hands VC

Visible Hands is a VC fund with a 14-week, virtual-first fellowship program that supports overlooked talent in building technology startups by providing company-building services and investments of up to $200k.

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