Urban Tech Connect // Forward 2020 speaker Rodney Williams knows what it means to challenge the status quo. The co-founder and CCO of ultrasonic data platform Lisnr is transforming the mobile payments world.

Lisnr enables secure wireless device-to-device communication for payments, and has been backed by partners such as Visa, Synchrony Financial, Metro, Target, and Intel. Recognition for the company includes a Cannes Gold Lion for innovative technology and being named to CNBC’s Disruptor 50 companies list multiple times.

At the virtual Urban Tech Connect conference coming up September 15 – 17, Williams will join SoLo Funds co-founder and CEO Travis Holoway and TechCrunch editor Jonathan Shieber for the keynote fireside chat “Take that First Step To Disrupt Your Industry.”

Recently we asked the pro disruptor five quick questions to get to know him better:

What’s something that few people know about you?

I have four degrees. College athlete. I started my own fraternity in college.

What sparked your entrepreneurial spirit?

For me, it’s about having the vision to see an opportunity and create innovative ideas that turn into viable companies or technologies. That was sparked at a young age when it became clear that this was the most fundamental way to create wealth for myself and my community.

How many rejections did you get before your first investment?

I used to track this, but somewhere around 30 to 40.

Do you have an effective strategy for dealing with rejection?

Learn from it. It’s a data point that needs to be recorded assessed and validated. Then you innovate around the point if the issue is validated.

What does “possibility” mean to you?

Everything. I live to live well and the possibility to change everything.