The Sound of Tech

Say “goodbye” to Silicon Valley and “hello” to Cincy. When Rodney Williams, Founder and CEO of LISNR, brought his technology startup to Cincinnati, Ohio, he also raised approximately $15 million in the process. LISNR is “an ultrasonic, inaudible technology; a communication protocol that sends data over audio.”

“What we created is a way for devices to connect using sound that you can’t hear as a human, but that sound carries data from one device to another,” says Williams. “We’re in the business of transferring data over sound.”

The idea to start LISNR came to Williams while working as a Brand Manager at P&G. He wondered if there was a way to use ultrasound and audio to get to consumers, a way to connect to customers wherever they may be.

While the technology scene in Cincinnati is small, it’s thriving; and LISNR is paving the way for other companies.

“In our community, we are one of the leaders,” says Williams. “We have helped bring awareness to a whole set of startups in the area. We’ve encouraged founders and inspired new companies across our ecosystem.”

According to Williams, LISNR’s cutting edge technology would function as an alternative to Bluetooth or WiFi to get systems to work better.

“With best-in-class performance metrics in reliability, data payload, security, and operating efficiency,” says Williams, “Our data technology is on pace to power over 100 million devices by 2018.”

To be a leader, Williams advises learning as much as you possibly can and if you’re going to be an entrepreneur, get a good understanding of the kind of entrepreneur you really want to be. CEOs often have a diverse range of experiences and as such, Williams has made it his mission to learn about all subject matters that would be potential assets to running LISNR.

Rodney Williams’ thirst for knowledge has led him to earn several degrees—a bachelor’s in Finance and another in Economics, and a master’s in Marketing Communications all from West Virginia University, as well as a master’s in Finance and Supply Chain Management from Howard University.  

One piece of advice that he’s stood by since day one is: “Take every meeting. Learn and grow fast.”

To learn more about Rodney Williams and LISNR, click here.