Wij willen met u aan tafel zitten en in een openhartig gesprek uitvinden welke uitdagingen en vragen er bij u spelen om zo, gezamelijk, tot een beste oplossing te komen. Oftewel, hoe kan de techniek u ondersteunen in plaats van dat u de techniek moet ondersteunen.

We’ve got a packed house for the TC Hackathon that kicks off at Disrupt Berlin 2019 in just six days. We may have limited the number of participants to 500 people, but there’s no limit on the skills, creativity and dogged determination of these coders. Hold up now, there’s still time to save money and buy a pass to Disrupt Berlin. Prices increase 10 December.

We can’t wait to see what this group of worthy competitors will design and build in just 24 hours. They’ve been waiting patiently, and it’s almost time to pull back the curtain and reveal our sponsors, the specific challenges and prizes.

If you’re not familiar with how the Hackathon works, here’s the Cliff Notes version. On day one, participants form teams and choose a sponsored challenge. They have 24 hours to build a working product, and we keep them fed, hydrated and pumped up on caffeine.

Judges review all completed projects and select just 10 teams to move on to the finals on day two. Finalists have two minutes to power pitch their work to the judges — on the Extra Crunch Stage in front of a live audience. A not-to-be-missed event!

Each sponsor announces its winners and awards a variety of cash and prizes. Then TechCrunch chooses one team as the creators of the best over-all hack and awards them $ 5,000!

Cue the drum roll please — here are the additional prizes waiting for you at the Disrupt Berlin TC Hackathon. Start reviewing your options and planning your design strategy now — and get ready to impress.

TomTom

Location technology can add so much to the services we use every day. Whether it is to locate people, track assets and vehicles, visualize location information or display routes, maps are an essential component to any web or mobile application. With TomTom’s Maps API, developers can easily integrate highly detailed and customizable maps in their application with only a few lines of code.

Your challenge, should you accept it, is to use the TomTom Maps APIs (and combine it with other services) to build an innovative on-demand service. Build the next Uber for delivering food, parcels or groceries — or for getting someone to come and fix your bike.

Prize one: Up to four Nintendo Switches for the winning team.

Prize two: Diversity Heroes Award. We’re giving a prize to the team that leverages its diversity to complete the hackathon challenge, and they’ll receive up to five Lego sets of heroes that leveraged diversity to succeed at a complex challenge.

And we will have another prize or two up our sleeve so stay tuned! The TechCrunch Hackathon takes place at Disrupt Berlin 2019 on 11-12 December. Good luck to all the plucky participants. As for the rest of you, come join us for the thrilling competition and see what determined hackers can build in 24 hours!

Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at Disrupt Berlin 2019? Contact our sponsorship sales team by filling out this form.


TechCrunch

A contractor working for cell giant Sprint stored on an unprotected cloud server hundreds of thousands of cell phone bills of AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile subscribers.

The storage bucket had more than 261,300 documents, the vast majority of which were phone bills belonging to cell subscribers dating as far back as 2015. But the bucket, hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS), was not protected with a password, allowing anyone to access the data inside.

It’s not known how long the bucket was exposed.

The bills — which contained names, addresses and phone numbers, and many included call histories — were collected as part of an offer to allow cell subscribers to switch to Sprint, according to Sprint-branded documents found on the server. The documents explained how the cell giant would pay for the subscriber’s early termination fee to break their current cell service contract, a common sales tactic used by cell providers.

In some cases we found other sensitive documents, such as a bank statement, and a screenshot of a web page that had subscribers’ online usernames, passwords and account PINs — which in combination could allow access to a customer’s account.

U.K.-based penetration testing company Fidus Information Security found the exposed data, but it wasn’t immediately clear who owned the bucket. Fidus disclosed the security lapse to Amazon, which informed the customer of the exposure — without naming them. The bucket was subsequently shut down.

A Verizon and AT&T phone bill from two customers. (Image: supplied)

A T-Mobile bill found on the exposed servers. A handful of Sprint bills were also found. (Image: supplied)

After a brief review of the cache, we found one document that said, simply, “TEST.” When we ran the file through a metadata checker, it revealed the name of the person who created the document — an account executive at Deardorff Communications, the marketing agency tasked with the Sprint promotion.

When reached, Jeff Deardorff, president of Deardorff Communications, confirmed his company owned the bucket and that access was restricted earlier on Wednesday.

“I have launched an internal investigation to determine the root cause of this issue, and we are also reviewing our policies and procedures to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again,” he told TechCrunch in an email.

Given the exposed information involved customers of the big four cell giants, we contacted each company. AT&T did not comment, and T-Mobile did not respond to a request for comment. Verizon spokesperson Richard Young said the company was “currently reviewing” the matter and would have details “as soon as it’s available.” (TechCrunch is owned by Verizon.)

When reached, a spokesperson for Sprint would not disclose the nature of its relationship with Deardorff nor would they comment on the record at the time of writing.

It’s not known why the data was exposed in the first place. It’s not uncommon for AWS storage buckets to be misconfigured by being set to “public” and not “private.”

“The uptrend we’re seeing in sensitive data being publicly accessible is concerning, despite Amazon releasing tools to help combat this,” said Harriet Lester, director of research and development at Fidus. “This scenario was slightly different to usual as it was tricky to identify the owner of the bucket, but thankfully the security team at AWS were able to pass the report on to the owner within hours and public access was shut down soon after.”

We asked Deardorff if his company plans to inform those whose information was exposed by the security lapse. We did not immediately receive a response.

Read more:


TechCrunch

Synchronize your watches, dust off your passports and pack your bags, startuppers. Disrupt Berlin 2019 kicks off in just seven short days. Thousands of you — representing more than 50 countries — will arrive in Berlin ready to learn, exhibit, compete and network for two action-packed days.

Good news for professional procrastinators and last-minute decisions makers. Buy a late registration pass to Disrupt Berlin now, and you can still save up to €200 over the onsite ticket price.

There’s so much to do in just two days — how will you spend your time at Disrupt?

Hear from the leading names, minds, makers and shakers of the early-stage startup community. These are the folks who’ve dreamed, launched, pivoted, scaled and succeeded. And they’ll be on hand to share how they did it. Here are just two of the presentations we have on tap for you. You’ll find the complete schedule of events and presentations in the Disrupt Berlin ’19 agenda.

How to Fit Blockchain into Your Startup Strategy: Chances are, you keep hearing about this “blockchain” thing — and maybe you’re ignoring it but deep down, you know you should probably think about how it could help your startup. To help you with that and maybe demystify blockchain a bit, too, we’ll be joined by Justin Drake (Ethereum Foundation), Ash Egan (Accomplice VC) and Ashley Tyson (Web3 Foundation) — all of whom have deep roots in the blockchain community.

From Startup Battlefield to IPO: In 2010, Cloudflare participated in one of the very first Disrupt Battlefields and a few months ago, the company made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange. In this conversation with Co-founder and CEO Matthew Prince, we’ll talk about Cloudflare’s path to an IPO, the unique challenges it faced, and what’s next for the company.

And speaking of Startup Battlefield, don’t miss this epic throwdown as a cadre of the very best startups takes the Main Stage to launch to the world. They’ll pitch to an expert panel of judges and vie for the Disrupt Cup, $ 50,000 and potentially life-altering investor and media attention.

Enjoy watching startuppers compete? Get this — we’re holding the TC Hackathon finals on the Extra Crunch Stage. The 10 finalists chose from a range of sponsored challenges — each with its own cash prize. Then they endured a grueling, sleep-deprived 24 hours to create and code a working product that solves a real-world problem.

Be there as they power through a two-minute pitch to a panel of expert judges. And stick around to see who earns the title of best over-all hack — along with $ 5,000 — from the TechCrunch editors.

Network among hundreds of outstanding startups in Startup Alley, our exhibition hall. That’s also where you’ll find the TC Top Picks. TechCrunch editors chose these companies — fine startups one and all — to represent the best in these tech categories: AI/Machine Learning, Biotech/Healthtech, Blockchain, Fintech, Mobility, Privacy/Security, Retail/E-commerce, Robotics/IoT/Hardware, and CRM/Enterprise.

You have just seven days before all glorious heck breaks loose in the form of Disrupt Berlin 2019. Don’t miss out on the opportunity, the fun, the connection and the community. Buy your pass today and save up to €200. We’ll see you in Berlin!

Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at Disrupt Berlin 2019? Contact our sponsorship sales team by filling out this form.


TechCrunch

Private equity and venture capital investors are copying our counterparts in the hedge fund world: we’re trying to automate more of our job.

When I was single, I registered for (a lot of) dating websites. When I met my now-wife, I realized that any technology that can find me a spouse is a killer app. That’s why 40 million Americans use online dating sites. But, most of use raise capital and source deals the same way people looked for dates 20 years ago: networking at conferences (or bars).

Most of us want one spouse and we’re done, but in business, you want a lot of partners. I’d argue that the same type of technologies that have revolutionized dating can revolutionize our industry.

In liquid markets, most of the calories expended on technology and analytics are focused on trade selection, or “origination.” However, in private markets, there is more room to optimize across all 11 steps of the investing process. Below, I’ll walk through how progressive investors are using technology and analytics throughout all of their operations. To learn more about this space, I suggest joining an online community I co-founded, PEVCTech.

1) Managing the firm 

Before you can actually invest, you have to manage your fund. This is harder than it sounds. In the private equity universe, most partners have primary training as deal-makers, not as managers. When I talk with junior personnel at private equity firms, the quality of firm management is a frequent complaint.

I’ve used Asana extensively to manage activities firm-wide. I also use several living Google docs to maintain the minutes and the group agendas for my fixed weekly meetings. I use another live Google doc to maintain my database of companies I’m marketing to other VCs. That Google document provides cut and pasteable text I can share with other investors, based on their stage, focus and appetite.

Other investors use Trello, Basecamp, and Monday for making sure that everyone at the firm knows each others’ long-term OKRs and short-term projects. Point Nine Capital uses 15Five for continuous employee feedback.

One aspect of management which merits attention is your own cybersecurity, which should not be left until a crisis to address. Small investment firms often have interns and entrepreneurs in residence passing through, each of which is a security risk. (See A comprehensive guide to security for startups by Bessemer Ventures.)

2) Marketing

Kyle Dunn, CEO of Meyler Capital, says “investors should focus on building a large audience within a CRM system (having the ability to categorize your different constituents); communicate consistently to that audience; and implement an automation platform that can leverage lead score to profile interest. It sounds simple; however, very few asset managers actually do it.” I agree.

Many tools designed for B2B marketing in general are also relevant to investors. I know of funds using Constant Contact, Goodbits, Pardot and Publicate to create light newsletters for internal and external consumption. A major angel group uses Influitive, an advocate management tool, to track, activate and motivate their members. Other VCs use Contently* or Social Native* to create relevant content. Meyler Capital is taking the analytical rigor of modern internet marketing and applying it to fund marketing.

Point Nine Capital’s website is now powered by Contentful — it uses Unbounce for landing pages and Typeform for surveys and other data collection. “We’re using … TinyLetter for our “Content Newsletter” … and Buffer to schedule social media posts. Last but not least, we still use MailChimp to publish our (in)famous newsletter.”  I also use Mailchimp for the teten.com and pevctech.com mailing lists. Point Nine Capital uses Mention for media monitoring. Teten.com is built on WordPress as my content management system.

I use Hootsuite to coordinate my social media activity, which consists of Teten.com, PEVCTech.com, Linkedin, AngelList, and (passively) Twitter and Facebook. I use Google Drive to host my conference presentations, which are all embedded at teten.com. I use Diigo, a social bookmarking tool, to keep a record of useful websites.  I have also configured IFTTT to share on Twitter anything new I post on Diigo.

Qnary is one of numerous tools which can help build out your team members’ virtual presence. A tool like Quuu identifies relevant, shareable content to keep your social media channels active.

“There are two crucial aspects of marketing that investors often overlook: automation and analytics,” wrote Sabena Quan-Hin, Marketing Manager at Flow Capital. “Automation allows you to spend less time on tedious tasks and will help boost productivity, especially within a small marketing team. At Flow Capital, we use HubSpot’s sequences and workflows functions to automate a bulk of our emails and internal tasks. This provides us more time to develop meaningful relationships with prospects and customers. We use Google Analytics, HubSpot, and LinkedIn Campaign Manager for the majority of our analytics. For our content creation, we use tools such as Canva (graphic design) and GoToStage (webinars platform) to create and share content for prospects to find.”

3) Raising capital

Tim Friedman, Founder, PE Stack, said, “If I could offer one piece of advice to today’s managers, it would be to take the time to understand the demands of the modern institutional LP. Today’s investors are allocating more to alternatives in an environment where there are record numbers of new funds; and seeking deeper relationships with managers via direct and coinvestments. The past few years have therefore seen a huge rise in the proportion of LPs using specialized tools to manage and understand their portfolios, including platforms such as Chronograph, Solovis, Allocator, Cobalt LP, eFront Insights, iLevel, Burgiss.

The proportion of LPs using technology to manage their portfolios will continue to increase, and GPs unable to provide quality data to LPs will find it increasingly hard to retain and attract LPs. We are also seeing technology evaluation as an increasingly important part of LP operational due diligence. Excel and Google simply aren’t going to cut it if you expect to build a high quality institutional investor base.”

A more efficient approach to fundraising than haphazard networking is to mine the data exhaust from the limited partner universe to identify those LPs most likely to find your fund attractive and focus all your energy on them. I previously posted a detailed presentation with sales technology tools useful for B2B sales.

I always make a point of keeping firm records updated in the major data-trackers tracking the VC industry: AngelList, CB Insights, Crunchbase, Dow Jones VentureSource, Pitchbook, Preqin, and Refinitiv Eikon. LPs, coinvestors, and press use these tools, so I work for free for these data vendors to make sure that their data about our activities is correct. This is a great example of why data businesses have substantial moats.

Boardex and Relationship Science make it easier to understand and map social networks into potential limited partners. Cobalt for General Partners helps GPs to optimize their fundraising strategy. MandateWire and FinSearches provide leads on limited partners with new mandates which might fit your fund. Evestment is a platform for capital-raisers; Evestment TopQ automates private markets performance calculation.

I am a heavy user of DocSend, a secure content sharing and tracking platform that can be used to seamlessly share recurring materials with potential LPs. It provides analytics to track shared materials across target senders and improve the content for future leads. Point Nine Capital uses Qwilr to create modern, mobile-native collateral.

Most funds open data rooms to share previous reports, performance data, pitch decks, legal docs and other fundraising material with LPs. I’ve seen funds using Ansarada, Allvue, Box, CapLinked, dfsco, Dropbox, Digify, Drooms, Google Drive, iDeals, Intralinks, Ipreo, Merrill Corporation, and SecureDocs for their Virtual Data Rooms. These same tools are used by companies raising capital.

I’ve also experimented with using services which are marketplaces between LPs and GPs: CEPRES, DiligenceVault, FundVeil, Harvest Exchange, and Palico. Some funds are using technology-enabled intermediaries to help them sell to retail LPs, e.g., Artivest and iCapital Network.

Deer Isle Group has built the D.I.G. Beacon technology system, which automatically outbound-solicits a universe of over 10,000 institutional investors, without requiring LPs to register for an online network of funds.

Crystal guides you in how to influence a particular person, based on their online presence.  X.ai is a virtual assistant which can coordinate your fundraising and other meetings.


TechCrunch

Salv, an anti-money laundering (AML) startup founded by former TransferWise and Skype employees, has raised $ 2 million in seed funding.

The round is led by Fly Ventures, alongside Passion Capital and Seedcamp. Angel investors also participating include N26 founder Maximilian Tayenthal (who seems to be doing quite a bit of angel investing), Twilio CTO Ott Kaukver, and Taavi Kotka, former CIO for Estonia (the actual country!).

Founded in June 2018 and initially offering consultancy, Estonia-based Salv has built a software platform that helps banks find and stop financial crime. The idea, says co-founder and CEO Taavi Tamkivi, is to move AML beyond just compliance to something more proactive that actually does defeat crime. That’s quite the promise, although he and his co-founders have a lot experience to draw from, both within fast-growing startups and AML.

Tamkivi built the AML, fraud, and Know Your Customer (KYC) teams at TransferWise and Skype. COO Scott McClelland also worked in the anti-fraud team at Skype, followed by a stint at TransferWise, first as an analyst and then in HR. And CTO Sergei Rumjantsev was also formerly at TransferWise, leading the engineering team responsible for KYC and verification.

“This was a highly demanding role, especially given how fast TransferWise was growing, how many new markets were coming online, and how central user verification is for compliance,” Tamkivi tells me. “Under Sergei’s leadership, the team made the verification process incredibly smooth over time for genuine customers. But also robust enough to protect TransferWise from on-boarding bad actors”.

Bad actors within financial services are aplenty, of course. Yet, despite the European banking sector spending billions tackling the problem, it is estimated that only 1-2% of global money-laundering is detected.

“AML should be all about stopping money laundering but, particularly in the last decade, layer upon layer of regulations have been added for banks to comply with,” says Tamkivi. “This would be great if that meant that there was no more money laundering, but sadly, that’s a long way off. Today, between $ 1-2 trillion a year is still laundered. But the excessive regulations mean that nearly all of a bank’s compliance team’s effort goes into compliance. They have very little energy left to actually focus on improving their financial crime-fighting abilities. The software they’re using is similar, focused almost wholly on compliance, not crime-fighting”.

That is where Salv wants to step in, and Tamkivi says the main difference between the startup’s AML software and other existing solutions is a much greater emphasis on crime-fighting rather than a box-ticking compliance exercise.

“We’re aiming to create a transformation similar to what’s happened in virus scanning,” he says. “10-15 years ago virus scanners on everyone’s PCs were an enormous hassle, consumed tons of resources and stopped you from getting work done. The same is true in financial institutions today. They’re using outdated, heavy software and processes to handle AML. But today, virus scanning still happens, but nobody’s worried about it. It happens in the background, with few resources. We’ll do the same in the AML world”.

In addition, the Salv CEO claims that the company’s software is faster than competitors’ offerings, both in terms of set up time and integration, and making changes to the rules the system adheres to.

“Our system, by contrast, takes a month or less to set up and minutes to modify the rules,” he says. “As a result, our customers can take everything they learn today from new criminal patterns, encode it in automated rules tomorrow, and repeat that cycle every day to protect their bank. Moving fast is the only way to keep up with the innovative organised criminals moving millions or billions around the world”.

To that end, Salv already counts Estonian bank LHV as its first customer. “They offer a full suite of banking products across Estonia,” says Tamkivi. “They’re also active in London, in particular, supporting fintechs. We have another couple of customers in the Lithuanian fintech scene. One of those is DeVere e-Money”.

More generally, Salv’s product is said to be suitable for Tier 2 and Tier 3 banks, as well as regulated fintechs and challenger banks.

Meanwhile, the business model is straightforward enough. Salv charges a monthly subscription, while the price varies based on the number of active customers a bank or fintech has.


TechCrunch

Even to an experienced carpenter, it may not be obvious what the best way is to build a structure they’ve designed. A new digital tool, Carpentry Compiler, provides a way forward, converting the shapes of the structure to a step-by-step guide on how to produce them. It could help your next carpentry project get off the screen and into the shop.

“If you think of both design and fabrication as programs, you can use methods from programming languages to solve problems in carpentry, which is really cool,” said project lead Adriana Schulz from the University of Washington’s computer science department, in a news release.

It sounds a bit detached from the sawdust and sweat of hands-on woodworking, but they don’t say “measure twice, cut once” for nothing. Carpentry is a cerebral process more than a physical one, and smart, efficient solutions tend to replace ones that are merely well made.

What Carpentry Compiler does is codify the rules that govern design and carpentry, for example what materials are available, what tools can do, and so on, and use those to create a solution (in terms of cuts and joins) to a problem (how to turn boards into a treehouse).

Users design in a familiar 3D model interface, as many already do, creating the desired structure out of various shapes that they can modify, divide, pierce, attach, and so on. The program then takes those shapes and determines the best way to create them from your existing stock, with the tools you have — which you can select from a list.

Need to make the roof of your treehouse but only have 2x4s? It’ll provide a recipe with that restriction. Got some plywood sheets? It’ll use those, and the leftovers contribute to the base so there’s less waste. By evaluating lots and lots of variations on how this might be accomplished, the program arrives at what it believes are the best options, and presents multiple solutions.

“If you want to make a bookcase, it will give you multiple plans to make it,” said Schulz. “One might use less material. Another one might be more precise because it uses a more precise tool. And a third one is faster, but it uses more material. All these plans make the same bookcase, but they are not identical in terms of cost. These are examples of tradeoffs that a designer could explore.”

A 24-inch 2×4 gets cut at 16 inches at a 30-degree angle.

That’s really the same kind of thing that goes on inside a woodworker’s brain: I could use that fresh sheet to make this part, and it would be easy, or I could cut those shapes from either corner and it would leave room in the middle, but that’ll be kind of a pain… That sort of thing. It can also optimize for spatial elements, if for example you wanted to pack the parts in a box, or for cost if you wanted to shave a few bucks off the project.

Eventually the user is provided with a set of instructions specific to their set of tools. And the carpenters themselves act as the “processor,” executing operations, like “cut at this angle,” on real-world materials. In Carpenter Compiler, computer programs you!

The team presented their work at SIGGRAPH Asia last month. You can read more about the project (and learn how you can try it yourself) at its webpage.


TechCrunch

A young father and kitchen worker in Pittsburgh was thrilled to get a job with a big restaurant chain that paid $ 15 an hour — much more than he had been making in fast food.

Soon after starting, however, he learned that his schedule was set through an algorithm that crunches a range of data — from weather forecasts to past sales — to predict customer traffic, optimize shifts, and, ultimately, maximize profits. As a result, his hours were extremely unpredictable and sometimes his shifts were cancelled minutes before they were set to start. A job he believed would provide security now barely gave him enough hours to make rent and provide for his family. And it was all because of how his employer used technology.

The Pittsburgh worker’s story is not unique; the average American worker hasn’t gotten a meaningful raise in over 40 years, which has been made worse by meager benefits packages, volatile schedules and pay, and barriers to worker voice. While technology didn’t cause these longstanding challenges, the industry has failed to disrupt them — and at times even scaled and amplified them — as new technologies proliferate the workplace. This is one of the reasons there is a growing backlash against the tech industry, from the Uber and Lyft protests that grounded New York traffic to a halt to Google walkouts to the customer uproar that spurred DoorDash to change its tipping practices. And legal action abounds. Just last week, New Jersey fined Uber $ 649 million, while Washington D.C. sued DoorDash .

But the future doesn’t have to be this way. New and emerging technologies have the power to improve the lives of workers and make jobs more stable, fair, and dignified, while still delivering value and profit. The first step is making sure workers have a seat at the table — and a voice — to shape every aspect of technology, from design and development, investment and adoption, and policymaking and governance. Several new initiatives led by business, government, and workers are embracing this approach and, in the process, offer models for how to create a new, win-win relationship between tech and workers.

Workers and industry are beginning to partner to develop new technologies. The Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (PAI) is a coalition of major tech companies, from Apple to Google, created with the mission of sharing the benefits of artificial intelligence. PAI recently launched an effort focused on workers and labor, engaging directly with workers and their representatives to develop a set of actionable recommendations about how to integrate AI into the workplace in a way that creates greater opportunity and security for workers. MIT, which is prolific in developing innovative technologies often in partnership with industry, is exploring inviting in groups of workers to advise their labs, an idea that emerged from the labor leaders who are involved with the University’s Work of the Future Taskforce. Tech companies should consider adopting and even deepening these practices of partnering directly with workers and worker groups and inviting them in to shape the development of new tech and business practices around tech adoption.

Government is bringing together business and workers to create policy. Government at all levels has been caught off guard by how quickly new technologies have transformed entire industries and struggled to develop the policies and programs needed to ensure that communities and workers benefit from the changes. To address this, California Governor Gavin Newsom recently launched a commission on the future of work. The president of the Service Employees International Union co-chairs the commission, and members include representatives of domestic workers and restaurant workers serving alongside leaders in business, government, and tech.

Having workers at the table for future of work conversations is all too rare, and it is already making an impact: the commission is not defaulting to only the typical solutions — guaranteed basic income and retraining — and is also exploring a range of ideas, from how workers might earn value from their data to the business case for improving job quality.  A number of cities and states are considering launching similar commissions, and New Jersey already has one in place.

When all else fails, workers are becoming the tech developers and investors they need. Many worker organizations are hopeful about the promise of technology, but they take issue with how tech is is too often used to amplify and scale business practices that hurt workers. Palak Shah, Director of National Domestic Worker Alliance’s innovation lab, is one of several, innovative leaders who is not waiting on the tech industry to develop what workers need and is instead building the tech herself. “Silicon Valley is great at optimizing for convenience… but we wanted to optimize for dignity and equity,” she said.

Over the past few years, Shah and a diverse team of organizers, developers, and domestic workers have launched a new fintech product to extend paid time off to house cleaners for the first time ever, a digital tool to help more nannies access contracts rather than work under the table, and even launched an investment fund that puts domestic workers in the investor role, directing capital to where they believe it would most improve their lives. This stands alongside a handful of other impactful efforts launched in the past few years, such as the Worker’s Lab and Employment Tech Fund, that fund a number of technologies designed for and by workers, as well as startups founded by former low-wage workers and worker organizers, such as Driver’s Seat, which supports ride-hail drivers in aggregating and capturing value from their data.

From city hall to the boardroom to protests in the streets, society is asking who tech should serve. The answer is clear: technology can and must work to disrupt the structural inequities in our workplace and economy. This starts by ensuring that workers have a seat at the table to shape how new technologies are developed, applied, and governed.


TechCrunch

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