“I love inspiring young women and girls to dream big. I recently helped a group of high school girls enter into a worldwide computer science competition where they had to build a mobile app in a problem area as determined by the UN. We chose to tackle the gender pay gap, and built an app together that helped bring both the data that showcased how big your wage gap was in your profession, coupled with a career site that helped you switched jobs to a higher paying salary. We won the regional pitch competition for Connecticut. Seeing how these young girls went from ideation, to prototype, to pitch was one of the highlights of 2017, they thought they could do this over and over again in their career!”
I had the pleasure of interviewing Rachel Mayer, Senior Product Manager at Circle (former Co-founder & CEO of Trigger Finance). After building Trigger Finance to help consumers invest more rationally through a simple rules-driven approach, Rachel took her expertise in investments and finance to Circle, a global crypto finance company, where she helped them launch Circle Invest, a new crypto consumer-friendly investing platform.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
I completed my Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from MIT before receiving my Master of Engineering and Computer Science from Cornell University. While in school, I was able to hold three internships on Wall Street before I was 20, which exposed me to great insights from all the traders early on. I co-founded Trigger Finance in 2015 to help consumers invest more rationally through a simple rules-driven approach. My company was acquired by Circle in 2017 and I joined on to help them deliver new investment products for crypto assets.
Can you tell me about the most interesting projects you are working on now?
At Circle, I am helping lay the groundwork to bring cryptoassets to life for a mainstream audience. Recently we launched a new feature as part of our Circle Invest platform that allows everyday consumers to easily “buy the crypto market”, purchasing all 7 coins we support on Circle Invest easily in a market cap weighted fashion. The best part about bringing cryptocurrencies to a mainstream audience is finding — and sharing — ways to make an admittedly complex and sometimes confusing industry accessible and understandable for everyone. As of now the crypto industry is being used by a small portion of the population. We’re here to change that.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I’ve had many great mentors and supporters along this entrepreneurial journey, but I owe a great deal to my former manager at JPMorgan and lead angel investor at Trigger. He gave me my first job out of college when I was 21, taught me everything he knew about trading and supported my career at the bank. When I left to pursue a crazy idea to start a company, he was the first person to write me a check and was always emotionally there for those late night founder phone calls when you just need someone to believe in you. I hope to be that person for someone one day.
What are the 5 things that most excite you about blockchain and crypto? Why?
1. Seeing how crypto is used in my home country of Venezuela, knowing that the true Satoshi vision of anti-censorship and peer to peer payments/economy come to life for a real use case today, helping thousands gain access to another financial ecosystem.
2. How the world of digital collectibles and gaming will transform as new mass market consumer crypto products and services come to the limelight. Cryptokitties and art on the blockchain for example.
3. Stablecoins. The idea of leveraging the power of blockchain payment technology (decentralized, fast, cost effective) without the currency volatility can help solve some of the barriers we’ve seen to let crypto truly shine when it comes to cross border payments.
What are the 5 things worry you about blockchain and crypto? Why?
1. The crypto industry has quickly expanded into one of the biggest industries in finance, yet very few people understand the industry and all of the nuances that it contains. Everyday consumers need to be educated on at least the very basics of cryptocurrency and how it influences and interacts with the rest of the financial industry. We don’t want to lose future investors and have them avoid this asset class because they don’t understand it.
2. Timing. With 2017 bringing crypto to the mainstage, the stakes are higher than ever to deliver the promise of the technology. The internet as we know it took decades to build, I hope that the market doesn’t set expectations too high as to the speed of development of the ecosystem such that it hinders growth for the future.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? Can you share a story?
I love inspiring young women and girls to dream big. I recently helped a group of high school girls enter into a worldwide computer science competition where they had to build a mobile app in a problem area as determined by the UN. We chose to tackle the gender pay gap, and built an app together that helped bring both the data that showcased how big your wage gap was in your profession, coupled with a career site that helped you switched jobs to a higher paying salary. We won the regional pitch competition for Connecticut. Seeing how these young girls went from ideation, to prototype, to pitch was one of the highlights of 2017, they thought they could do this over and over again in their career!
What 3 things would you advise to someone who wanted to emulate your career? Can you share an example for each idea?
Throw the rulebook at the window. Growing up in a third world country like Venezuela, the entrepreneurial spirit runs deep. There’s no set path or big companies to work for, so early on you have to decide what next steps to take in life, and there are rarely any precedents or examples to go after. That made me figure out early on to try things that seemed like no one had done before. Weather it was studying math as a Latin woman, working at one of the toughest trading desks, or leaving a high paying job to start a company — nothing phased me as being out of the ordinary. No rules and no fear helped me fail fast, learn and iterate real time in my life choices,
Come prepared. Seems trivial, but before any meeting, interview, any presentation, or any coffee date always come prepared having read up on the topic, practiced your pitch or lines perfectly, or researched the person you are going to meet beforehand. This very simple rule inspires true confidence by way of preparation, and will always end up impressing others in the room either by your presence or degree to which you controlled that meeting with a purpose.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this 🙂
My personal hero is Beyonce but even I know that is a stretch 🙂 I would love to meet Emily Weiss from Glossier. I’ve admired the culture and company she has built from the ground up from afar, and am endlessly inspired by her creativity, intellect and ability to create an actual movement through doing business. I use Glossier products daily, and would love to see her energy in person!
Originally published at medium.com