Jill Willcox, Iterators LLC, Boston, MA
“Making a Difference”
Jill Willcox is in her words a “very reluctant entrepreneur.”
Her dream was not about starting a business, it was about helping solve a challenge that her son was experiencing.
Oliver Willcox was born 12 weeks premature. He was an excellent student and received a master’s degree in statistics but could not get a job offer. Prospective employers told him that he was not a cultural fit. Oliver has ADHD, and a speech and language disorder.
It was then Jill decided to take matters into her own hands and worked for over a year with organizations to prepare to open her business.
Game Winning Potential
In June of 2017, Jill launched Iterators, a software testing company that employs individuals often overlooked by companies because they are on the autism spectrum, have ADD, communications disorders or some mental condition that makes them effective software testers but not fantastic interviewers. “We try to be like “Moneyball”, we do not evaluate our employees based on the interview, but on how well they can find and report software bugs.
Jill’s philosophy has paid off. Today the company does website and mobile application testing for two pharma companies that make mobile apps pertaining to side effects from certain medications. They are testing a rowing machine called Hydrow, created by True Rowing, which just had a successful Kickstarter campaign of over $1M.
Iterators currently employs three full-time and three part-time staff. They run accessible testing, having been certified through the Department of Homeland Security and will be working with an organization focusing on the visually impaired to complete this work for companies-at-large.
Recently, Iterators was WBENC (Women Business Enterprise National Council)-certified through the Center for Women & Enterprise. This gives women-owned businesses like Jill’s an advantage in the corporate bidding arena and provides them with numerous services and programs both regionally and nationally.
Advice to Other Entrepreneurs
“Keep your ear to the ground, keep learning, listen more than speaking, adapt your business as necessary and have fun.”
 “Moneyball” movie based on the book by Michael Lewis. Story of the general manager of the Oakland A’s who faced with a tight budget reinvents his team by recruiting players labeled as flawed but who have game-winning potential.