Bitae Technologies was co-founded by Shanna Crumley MIA'18 and Gemma Torres-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
Locations: USA, Jordan
Gemma Torres Vives MPA’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.
Shanna’s Entrepreneurial Journey
Shanna has a background in refugee policy, international development, education, and strategic management. Her experience of working with vulnerable populations in five countries has led to her commitment to bottom-up, “sit on the porch and drink coffee with the locals” work. She never thought she would become an entrepreneur but when she got to SIPA, she started taking classes in social enterprise, design thinking, and social impact, where she saw that entrepreneurship was a way to solve problems that government and massive aid organizations lacked the agility and liberty to do.
Running a High Impact Business
Still very much a startup, 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 advise entrepreneurs to keep in touch with your target users every step of the way — ask them what they need, what they need to make it happen and what you can do to help. Additionally, embrace your communities—your classmates, your neighbors, your fellow entrepreneurs—they are your best resource.
Favorite PLACE on Campus
"15th floor of SIPA, where there are windows with a view of the campus and the skyscrapers of Manhattan."
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