Company Updates

Stakeholder: Former CTO New York City

June 14, 2022
Rowland Hobbs
CEO, Co-founder

Last week, we kicked off the first in our Stakeholder Series. We created the Stakeholder Series for three reasons: First, to learn from those with incredible accomplishments as entrepreneurs, activists for social justice, or technology. Second, to reignite our inspiration outside of our day-to-day. Third, Friday break!

There was no better person to kick-off our Stakeholder Series than Minerva Tantoco. Minerva Tantoco is an innovator, investor, startup founder and advisor, and speaker on AI, cybersecurity, and mobile technology.

She served as New York City’s first-ever Chief Technology Officer (CTO). So the conversation and presentation focused on "Smart Cities and Tech Equity."

Based on her and her team's efforts, New York City was named "2016 Best Smart City," and she helped launch initiatives such as LinkNYC, CSforAll, and Internet of Things Guidelines, as well as promote an inclusive, equitable tech ecosystem.

But Minerva's background in FinTech, banking, security, and tech architecture spurred conversation too. As Stake brings FinTech to real estate, we also talked about Minerva's work as co-founder of Grasshopper Bank, where she built a digital commercial bank from scratch and launched the first nationally chartered digital challenger bank in the area in over a decade.

Three quick takeaways from our virtual chat:

  1. Guidelines — like the IoT guidelines Minerva created for New York City — can help with the ethical challenges that come up with a rapidly evolving technology.
  2. Unintentional outcomes of new technology — like the phone kiosks in New York City — require constant reassessment. An agile framework helps adjust to challenges as they arise.
  3. Your lived experience can shape the technology you build. For instance, Minerva spoke about how being a mom made her a better techie.

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