JustTech: A New Crop of Companies for Social Good? CEOs of Promise, CoderPad, Reel +More
Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins of Promise, Vanessa Pappas of TikTok, Amanda Richardson of CoderPad
Sometimes stubborn problems require creative solutions. What if tech tools could help the poor pay their most important bills, or help people save for purchases instead of racking up debt? What if software could cut through resumé puffery and determine who’s got the skills to do a job?
I spoke with leaders this week who are working on fresh approaches to expensive challenges:
Fintech for Economic Justice? Promise CEO Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins: CNBC Working Lunch
Fintech doesn’t have to cater only to people who have plenty of money. Promise, led by CEO Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, is using tech to level the economic playing field. Meet her and the company in the latest Working Lunch, on CNBC's Power Lunch:
Phaedra also shared a great story about getting to know the musician Prince. She helped him get control of his masters before working as his manager for a while:
In my conversation with Ellis-Lamkins, I thought about my 1:1 last summer with Upsolve CEO Rohan Pavuluri, whose technology makes it easier for people who qualify to navigate the legal paperwork to declare bankruptcy. Pavuluri is suing New York over restrictions on who can provide legal advice. You can watch our Fortt Knox 1:1 here. Do we have a new category in tech forming, focused on social justice? JustTech?
For the full 1:1 with Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, follow this link.
Skills Assessment: CoderPad CEO Amanda Richardson on Uncovering Talent in New Ways
Amanda Richardson is CEO of CoderPad, a service that lets employers measure the practical coding skills of software engineers. Richardson came to Silicon Valley from the hedge fund world, so she’s used to having to figure out how to do things differently:
Save Now, Buy Later: Reel CEO Daniela Corrente on an Alternate Take in Fintech
Daniela Corrente came to the U.S. from Venezuela for college, and worked in marketing — enticing people to buy things — before cofounding Reel, which encourages people to save for things. We talked about Reel’s unique take on fintech, and her unique perspective on entrepreneurship and immigration:
TikTok COO Vanessa Pappas on Giving Credit to Black Creators
I spoke with TikTok COO Vanessa Pappas at an Internet Advertising Bureau event this week about innovation on the platform, & what's changed since some Black TikTok creators pushed for a boycott:
Is Peloton Salvageable? On the Other Hand
Peloton stock has lost more than 3/4 of its value since the highs, and new CEO Barry McCarthy has announced layoffs as he gears up for a turnaround. But is Peloton salvageable? I argued both sides in the latest On the Other Hand, on CNBC's Squawk Box:
Check out The Black Experience in America: The Course, an online educational resource I researched, designed and built. A free PDF download is available to bring the material to kids, and the online interactive experience is made for young people and adults. You can also take interactive courses at your own pace. And new in time for Black History Month: Update the banner of your social media profile on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter to show your appreciation for figures in history, with these free images. Just sign in for access: