Female Focus: DADA is Building a New Type of Online Communication

What do entrepreneurism and artistry have in common? A lot, says Beatriz Ramos, an artist, who had a successful career in art before becoming an entrepreneur. Both, she says are about creating something out of nothing and bringing original visions to other people. And both require determination and tireless work.

Ramos' determination and innovativeness have fueled a long and successful career. For more than twenty years, Ramos worked on all sorts of projects. She started out with a BFA in illustration and then she found outlet after outlet for her creative expression and innovation. She says of her long career:

I have created illustrations for the New York Times, worked on animated series for MTV, Disney and Cartoon Network, exhibited my paintings in New York City, made comics, illustrated children’s books. I have worked as a photographer, set designer, sculptor, live action and animation director and even made puppets from scratch in Prague.”

She added to this list of accomplishments in 2002 by creating her own studio for live action and animation production called Dancing Diablo. At the studio, Ramos directed more than 100 animated spots for a multitude of important clients from companies such as Coca Cola, Macy's and Kraft. When she finally arrived at the New York chapter of the Founder Institute in January of 2014 to start her latest company, DADA, it was actually her third time starting a company.

With DADA, Ramos is bringing a creative vision of hers to the world, but she is also helping other artists do the same. DADA is an online platform where people can talk to each other through their illustrations. Artists, and anyone who's interested, can share their sketches on their own sketchpad as well as respond to other sketches. The resulting exchanges taking interesting twists and turns, telling a unique story and generating exciting artistic themes. It fulfills the function of artistic play, but also is a space for people to grow their talents and explore this special type of visual storytelling. People can make collaborative drawings and they can also just talk. Anyone can participate and reach other users from all over the globe.

DADA encourages its users by giving them points when they contribute. Users can invite people to join and follow popular conversations. If a user needs inspiration, they can take on one of DADA's daily drawing challenges. Another innovative feature of DADA is that it connects artists to potential clients. Artists effectively create share their visual resumes. Co-founder and CMO, Yehudit Mam, shares why this is a great feature. 

For artists, [Ramos] wanted to make self-promotion, which is something most artists loathe, fun and painless. And for creative clients, she aimed to streamline the process of quickly finding reliable talent by not only showcasing work, as most existing platforms for artists do, but by revealing the artists behind the work. Through DADA’s online drawing platform, artists can create and collaborate with their peers, while those looking to hire talent can get a better sense of who the artists really are.”

While DADA's features are simple and straightforward, providing clear functionality, it also has a deeper purpose of empowering artists. It's also completely unique. Ramos developed the company mindful of the fact that the internet was becoming more and more visual and that there were things like drawing apps and places where people could share their work, but she also knew that there were no other platforms where people could collaborate and where conversations were fostered. And all of this innovation came to life, according to Ramos, in just one short year. The company is currently focused on growth and launching a mobile app for iPads. They're aiming to engage with a million users by the end of the year. Ramos additionally shares with the entrepreneurial community by working at the Founder Institute as a director.

Founder Institute