Have you heard of the folks behind Parlay? Founded by LEGO extraordinaire Dan Apone and activist inspiration Rebecca Deutsch, anyone who has met the pair can confirm they make a great team. While their academic and professional backgrounds are similar, their personalities collide in dynamic ways, complimenting the other to create a successful pair. Rebecca is design-focused, detail-oriented, and passionate while Dan is always thinking of the bigger picture, group dynamics, and forward-thinking. Together, they hatched the brilliant idea of Parlay.
Rebecca was drawn into the world of technology after seeing Toy Story for the first time in 1995. The inspiration to create 3D animated movies with compelling storylines drove her to pursue a computer science degree at Carnegie Mellon. During college, Deutsch found a passion for the intersection of design and technology, leading her to work at Microsoft for ten years, taking part in projects such as Windows and XBOX Video. In Rebecca’s free time she loves to initiate social change through political activism and eat as much chocolate as she can.
Dan has been an engineer at heart for his whole life. LEGO kits led to electronics, which led to larger scale projects such as modifying bicycles. As he grew older he spent his free time modifying cars which led to building a few race cars too. Academically, Dan has pursued a robotics path—finding inspiration where software and hardware collide. In his professional life Apone has been able to utilize his talents in a variety of settings: in the consulting world at Synapse, in the startup world of Impinj, and in large corporate innovation work for Starbucks. When he’s not working on Parlay, he can be found on the golf course or cooking dinner over an applewood-stoked fire.
Prior to the breakthrough of parlay, Dan and Rebecca formed a non-profit in 2006 by the name of Technically Learning, which provided underrepresented students opportunities in the tech world. Technically Learning focused on teaching public school teachers how to conduct exciting STEM activities in their classrooms. The non-profit emphasized in-class activities to reach the full population of a community, as after school activities tend to limit the exposure to groups that have the ability to self-select them—most notably affecting women, people of color, and those of lower-income.
And amidst all their work and projects, they still have time to provide a loving home to their two dogs and three cats. Two of their cats are pictured below: