When Kira McCoy graduated from Hampshire College with a degree in neuroscience, she never imagined herself working in the field of technology. As the co-founder of Trext, McCoy has helped change the way large institutions effectively communicate by encouraging them to use text messages.
A Colorado native, McCoy founded Trext so that institutions like hospitals and universities could use text messaging in order to conveniently communicate to thousands of people at once.
“Text messaging is used socially for communication between friends, but institutions aren’t harnessing the potential,” McCoy said.
Trext’s clients “log into the web app and design a flow of questions and answers (a decision tree), and send that out to large groups of people,” McCoy explained. Through a designed tree of questions and answers, the client can continue to automatically respond differently to a variety of users.
The company was started in 2013, after the founders earned a prize for the idea during a technology competition that focused on finding healthcare solutions in low resource settings. After winning the prize for the idea of Trext, the founders were motivated to incorporate it.
“It’s been such a learning experience for me because my background isn’t in technology. Studying public health and neuroscience, I never imagined being a co-CEO of a company,” McCoy said.
Although she is new to the world of technology, McCoy has embraced her position as a female leader in the industry. “It’s been phenomenal for me to learn that leadership is about inspiring those around you and being open enough to let them inspire you. Let your clients inspire you!” she said. “The tech field is male-dominated, but I’ve learned to advocate for my opinion, and I’ve been lucky to have such supportive teammates.”
Since its start, Trext has gained over a dozen clients, including Boston Children’s Hospital, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Salem State University, and Hampshire College. Hospitals and schools utilize the Trext technology in order to contact their patients and students. These large institutions often must find ways to receive and give information to thousands of people at once, which can quickly lead to communication bottlenecks. Text messaging, unlike other forms of communication, allows for all of the students and patients to receive the information that they need simultaneously.
The company is currently based in Boston, where McCoy hopes that it will grow. She wants the Trext software to help change the communication strategies of large institutions, enabling them to operate more efficiently overall. One of McCoy’s major goals is to be able to use Trext to help reduce wait times in hospitals and walk-in clinics.
Although Trext is trying to encourage large institutions to utilize text messaging, McCoy stressed that Trext is not meant to completely replace other standard forms of communication.
“We don’t see Trext as replacing email, phone calls or in-person communication. We see our software as a way to supplement existing forms of communication, and drive people to the right avenues (encouraging someone to come into a clinic or pick up the phone),” she explained.
Although she became involved in the field of technology rather unexpectedly, McCoy hopes that her contributions to the industry will make a lasting impact on the way that institutions are able to communicate with their clients.
Christina Raus is a creative writing student who plugs her ears with her fingers whenever anybody tries to tell her that a degree in writing is good for nothing more than to guarantee her a lifelong, fulltime job as a barista. She works as a tutor at the Western New England University Writing Center, where she empowers students of all academic disciplines to express themselves through written language. After graduating with her Bachelor of Arts degree, Christina intends to earn a Master of Fine Arts degree in fiction writing.