Kate Unsworth
Co-Founder and CEO of Vinaya
United Kingdom

Q: What would you do if you had more spare time?

A: Read philosophy books, play piano and have long late night existential debates with friends about the meaning of life.

Staying fully present on the startup journey

While working as an international tech consultant, I was connected to email over 16 hours a day. This ultimately led to a burnout; my need to be connected around the clock meant that I was never fully present in any situation, and never fully comprehending emotions to their fullest extent. During a two week digital detox, I contemplated what it meant to be happy in my life. My answer was ‘being surrounded by inspirational people, being creative and learning more about myself.’

After my detox, I set out to improve my digital habits (i.e. reducing the time spent interacting with technology) in order to create space in my life for more meaningful activities. However, I quickly realized that I didn’t have the necessary “tools” to make this a reality. That’s how the idea for our first product line, Altruis, was born. Three years later, we are still going strong. 2015 saw us take our mission one step further by launching our lab, where we explore the relationship between humans and technology. As a CEO, I’m most proud of my amazing team. We wouldn’t be where we are now without the right people.

Kate Unsworth, 28, is a creative technologist, mathematician and designer living in Shoreditch, London. She has a 1st Class Hons BSc Mathematics & Statistics and MSc Economics from Edinburgh University. Before setting up Vinaya in 2013, Kate was working as a technology consultant at Accenture. Vinaya is a research and design house whose mission is to find new and creative ways of using technology to make people feel better.


This article was published in ‘the Hundert Vol. 8 – Female Startup Founders Europe’, May 2016.