Episode 34: How App Guru Sheena Allen Earned 3 Million Downloads With No Coding Experience

Sheena Allen _Side Hustle Pro
Courtesy of Sheena Allen

Today in the guest chair we have a woman I consider the queen of apps. Her name is Sheena Allen and she is a tech entrepreneur. She started her first company in 2011 as a senior at the University of Southern Mississippi. At the time, she had no tech background and was a psychology and film major. On a whim, she decided to launch a mobile application company.


Giving herself a year to see if she would see any success with her company, Sheena Allen Applications, she eventually found that success with her third app, Dubblen. In fact, three months after launching the app for Android, Dubblen received over 500,000 downloads. That year, 2013, Sheena made the decision to leave Mississippi and move to a tech-hub to find a mentor and increase her knowledge in the tech space.

Sheena Allen_Side Hustle Pro
Courtesy of Sheena Allen


Since then, she has gone on to experience frustration with raising money in Silicon Valley and decided to return to her hometown of Mississippi. There, she grew concerned with the predatory lending practices in her community and decided to fight back through the launch of a second startup, CapWayCapWay is a financial company that focuses on the unbanked and underbanked. The service offers financial literacy content and onboards unbanked users to get a bank account.

She has been featured in various publications, including Forbes.com, BlackEnterprise.com, and EBONY Magazine. In late 2016, Sheena made her premiere in She Started It, a documentary film that follows five women around on their startup journey.

On this episode, Sheena shares:

  • The steps she took to create an app as a non-technical creator
  • Pro tips for working with freelance developers
  • How and why her third app was a major success
  • The challenges of raising money in Silicon Valley as a black women entrepreneur and some tips to overcome it
  • Her secret to building a strong and loyal team
  • How she is setting her business and brand up for success

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