CEO and Woman’s Way Award winner Alex Porter took an unconventional path to the most innovative technology.
By Tori Klein, Photo by Ukairo Ukairo
Alex Porter is not like other CEOs. Although she had a computer at home growing up and her mother was a graphic designer, this entrepreneur is not exactly a tech native. She didn’t go to Stanford for computer science or come out of the womb speaking code. Instead, she has an interesting and unique backstory, making her a powerful, resourceful and well-rounded woman in the technology industry.
Unpredictable Career Paths
Before going to college, Porter worked as a doula and a nanny for almost 20 years in Austin and New Orleans. This special time allowed Porter to run her own business that serviced pregnancy and childcare needs, starting her entrepreneurship journey. During this work, she wrote her own contracts, generated business interest and created momentum for herself. Each of these skills plays into Porter’s long-term journey to tech CEO.
Working in childcare also taught Porter about the importance of communication. “When you’re taking care of people’s most precious things and helping them in a vulnerable time, you learn to create opportunities for education and information with less bias and confusion,” she shares. This has helped her and her husband, Tim, succeed with their company Mod Tech Labs. Much of their work over the last five years has been educating people on the benefits and opportunities in emerging technologies.
Creating Functional Tools to Digitize the Real World
Porter’s experience at Texas State University inspired her tech journey. Her study of interior design and construction technologies required her to learn some complicated software packages that tell a visual story. Sparking her “magical journey into tech land,” as she says. After this leap into the tech world, she and Tim, the CTO of Mod Tech Labs, decided it was time they went into business together.
The Porters started Underminer Studios, designed to create augmented and virtual reality tools for businesses. They did a couple of big projects with this studio. Including creating an augmented reality face swap for actors and stunt doubles, and a motion comic that tracks the user’s emotions and translates them so the comic on-screen interacts with the user. After these creations and four years of running the studio together, the couple decided it was time to forge a real company. The underlying motive for their work has always been to create functional tools that help people be more effective in their own work. This incentive gave birth to Mod Tech Labs, an AI-powered automated processing solution that takes photos and videos and turns them into 3D visual, digital content for entertainment.
Mod Tech Labs has been incredibly successful since its creation in 2020. Porter states that she and her husband were not expecting this kind of rapid growth. However, they seemed to find a magical key to success: the addition of the capture app to their platform. The app guides the user using augmented reality to take pictures all around an object. “It autofocuses and does the capture for you,” Porter says. “All you have to do is move the phone around.”
The capture app unlocked a massive amount of growth. Including over 4,000 sign-ups for the platform while they were still in beta. “We want to be the go-to solution for digitizing the real world,” she says. Revealing an ambitious future for the couple and their company.
Women in Tech: A Cycle of Giving and Receiving
Porter is honest about her experience being a woman in tech. She shares that she went on a “journey within [herself]to find a comfortable space.” Tech is a second language for her. She was not explicitly focused on it during her education or upbringing. But now she has an advanced understanding of a wide variety of the technology out there. She is confident in herself, her job as a CEO and her role in the technology industry.
The Austinite insists that a lot of her success comes from other wonderful, powerful women out there. “It’s inspiring to be around other women that have had success in the business and/or tech world,” she says. “They have blazed the trails before you and made sure you know the world is yours for the taking.”
This CEO makes sure to give back the support and encouragement extended to her. She volunteers with organizations like Girls in Tech and Black Technology Mentorship Program. She loves getting to share her story with young people. Inspiring them to follow their passions in tech, and offering mentorship to help them get there.
“Anywhere that I can plug in that allows me to create knowledge and opportunity for people looking to understand how these technologies impact everyone’s lives is a special opportunity. I love sharing what we’ve done and finding ways to help move them along.”