Women in Security: Jana Rankin, VuTeur

Start-up CEO blazes her own path in the security industry
 - 
Monday, November 27, 2017

AUSTIN, Texas—Jana Rankin is CEO of VuTeur, a company that uses real-time location services, or RTLS, technology to provide emergency management and asset protection to a variety of markets, including educational facilities, enterprise organizations, transportation, healthcare, government and entertainment venues.

She founded the company in 2014, bringing more than 30 years of technology leadership and manufacturing expertise to VuTeur, where she manages corporate direction and strategy, facilitating company activity in sales, marketing, alliances and channels and support. She is also responsible for VuTeur’s product development and manufacturing, and has built a nationwide network for sales and support including partnerships with some of the top wireless companies in the world.

Previously, Rankin co-founded an incubator in Austin, Texas, focused on pre-money startups. She also spent 20 years as president and CEO of EL Inc., a nationwide marketing company focused on production and data management of direct mail campaigns.

“VuTeur was founded by a bunch of technologists who had developed a lot of code in the automotive industry,” she explained. “As parents we felt like we had some technology that we could combine with RTLS and in doing so would give us the ability to add an additional layer of security for a school, as we wanted to help protect our kids during an emergency situation.”

She continued, “And the gift that was given back to us is that the technology works for people wherever people are located. So, if you could imagine, it is a disruptive technology layer that can be applied to any building or any vertical—a hospital, a school, or even a corporate campus. With RTLS, we can identify who is on the campus and then be able to communicate with them. So now we can send emergency procedures right to the person’s phone or be able to identify where people are in the building should they need help. As a mustering tool, this is just an extra layer of security over any campus.”

Rankin got the entrepreneurial bug from her parents. “Both of my parents are entrepreneurs, so from the time I could walk I was in the family business,” she said. “So I grew into that role and started running different companies for my parents.”

As someone who is relatively new to the industry, Rankin provides an interesting perspective on women in the industry today.

“Although security today is still a heavily male-dominated industry, I feel like the introduction of our company has been very positive for us, and we have been included and accepted by the industry from the beginning,” she noted. “Anybody coming into a new industry, there is a lot to learn and the people that we have been introduced to, the men that we have worked with, are very knowledgeable—most of them have more than 20 years in the industry—and willing to share that knowledge. Once we were able to show them that we were solid in our technology, we gained their respect.”

In terms of ways to get more women interested in the industry, Rankin said, “I think as women like myself start to branch out and start to work in the industry, and publications like yours put a spotlight on us, I think it will encourage more women to join the industry,” she said. “But I also believe as women we are supposed to give back and mentor those who are coming up behind us and encourage them to continue down the path.”

In regard to giving back, Rankin is a founding member of Force for Compassion, a non-profit focused on helping victims of human trafficking. Through this foundation, she has helped raise awareness and bring some of the largest charitable organizations in the country in to help support the victims. “Human trafficking today is a hidden crime that has many victims, so this is about having the heart for these kids and being a voice for people who are not being heard. I am passionate about helping women and children and giving back to society.”