Bitae Technologies was co-founded by Shanna Crumley MIA'18 and Gemma Torras-Vives MPA’18 and is a technology platform for refugees and other vulnerable populations to carry their skills and experiences with them in a secure, verified portfolio — essentially a “digital CV” for the 21st century.
Company: Bitae Technologies
Location: USA, Jordan
Shanna Crumley MIA '18
Why We Love Bitae Technologies
Bitae aims to build human capital and transferable skills for a generation of global, mobile talent—including refugees and migrants—and improve their access to education and employment. Bitae’s "Digital Backpack" provides a platform to store, share and verify learning and skills, creating a blockchain-backed record of credentials, certificates, skills and references that together can help a refugee move forward in their new life. Bitae transforms learning and skills into verified credentials — essentially a new kind of CV.
Gemma’s Entrepreneurial Journey
Gemma has a background in technology and innovation policy, international development, international human rights law and strategic management. She focused on how to leverage emerging technologies to trigger social innovation; as well as the ethical and workforce implications of data systems, machine learning and artificial intelligence. Throughout her experience of working with vulnerable populations in nine countries, she confirmed two fundamental requirements: getting to know the core problem very well and getting to know your users’ real needs. According to Gemma, you can only understand others if you are genuinely interested in understanding why they are struggling.
Running a High Impact Business
Still very much a start up, Bitae is gaining traction through venture competitions and by growing its network of potential partners, investors and friends. Impact will be measured by looking at the number of credentials badges on the platform, the number of users who report results (getting back into school, finding a job, getting a scholarship) and the number of organizations who partner with Bitae to get their students, employees, and beneficiaries on board.
Advice to Aspiring Entrepreneurs
"I would encourage entrepreneurs to get to know the problem really well. You need to go to the field, interview people, think about the problem from different angels and ask for feedback. Don’t push a solution into a problem. What makes an entrepreneur is believing in an idea that does not exist yet, that has not been validated yet. Being able to stick with it, work for it, fight for it despite the unavoidable obstacles are the hallmarks of an entrepreneur."
Favorite PLACE on Campus
"The corner next to the statue of The Thinker and working at the Avery Library by the window."
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