Body Language is a Business Skill with Rachel Cossar of Virtual Sapiens


Summary of Episode

#16: Rachel Cossar joins Annaka and Ethan to share her story founding Virtual Sapiens, an AI-based platform that serves as a communication coach working to help us better engage with others digitally using body posture and nonverbal cues. Rachel discusses scaling, funding, and how she used her skills as a professional dancer to create Virtual Sapiens.

Rachel Cossar is the CEO and founder of Virtual Sapiens, a SaaS platform that serves as a communication coach helping customers better use nonverbal communication techniques. Rachel previously worked as a professional rhythmic gymnast before becoming a professional dancer. While working as a ballerina, Rachel sustained an injury that forced her to give up dancing and find a new path. She later used the skills she learned as an athlete and dancer to create Virtual Sapiens.

Full Episode Transcript

Podcast Episode Notes

From athlete to business owner, how Rachel found her current path [2:10]

Wielding the power of physicality to promote communication [3:48]

Implementing AI technology to scale and maintain quality over a virtual format [8:00]

Changing the model of coaching “we’ll come to you!” [10:32]

From a virtual perspective, having good lighting, good posture, and a neat room is important for showing body language and posture [18:00]

Visual cues are important but all types of communication rely on context specific to the conversation [22:11]

How a bad virtual setup can lead to misunderstandings [26:03]

How Rachel moved on from a life-changing injury [30:33]

Rachel’s advice for reinvention — you have to go through the grief and assess what you learned during transitional phases [33:41]

Turbulent times can help guide your future [39:12]

Virtual Sapien’s pre-seed funding round using a SAFE (simple agreement for future equity) [41:28]

Finding a cofounder and creating a business as a nontechnical cofounder [45:38]

Feeling the weight of being a solo entrepreneur — the particular moment Rachel knew she needed to get a cofounder [49:01]

Urgency can be a motivator [51:21]

Scaling the company by using B2B pilots to introduce companies to Virtual Sapiens [52:45]

Tryout Virtual Sapien’s Google Chrome extension Sidekick [54:40]

Entrepreneurship can feel like a lonely road, so be sure to surround yourself with others [57:01]

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