A Better Mousetrap
By A Better Mouse Trap
A Better Mousetrap podcast finds the founders and leaders in New York City's startup and tech community. The host, Marcos Dinnerstein, brings out their insights, industry knowledge and their stories. The highs, lows, and in-betweens that shape us and make us who we are.
Learning to Live With Ourselves and Our Partners - Therapist Mary J. Giuffra, Ph.D.
In today’s episode I speak with Mary J. Giuffra, a therapist with over 30 years of practice, working with individuals and couples. She has taught in universities in the U.S. and abroad, including tenured positions at New York University and the College of Mount Saint Vincent. Her unique approach distills the insights and wisdom she has acquired over years of study and working with people to help them live more fulfilled lives with themselves and with their partners. She recently published, 2 X 2 on the Ark: Five Secrets of a Great Relationship. You can find her book here.
March 29, 2021
David Ryan Polgar: A Champion For Responsible Tech
This interview was done in the Fall of last year. For various reasons including a global pandemic and pure laziness, this has been gathering digital dust on my digital shelf. But David Ryan Polgar and the team at All Tech Is Human are doing important work so late or not, this is a good introduction to their world. Since this interview, David Ryan Polar and All Tech Is Human have been doing significant work to advance the movement of Responsible Tech. They’ve created a job board for Responsible Tech, issued an extensive report, Improving Social Media: The People, Organizations and Ideas for a Better Tech Future, launched a Slack channel, and are building a University Responsible Tech Pathways Program. If I were to sit down again with David, which I hope to do again in the future, I’d want to get his thoughts on Google’s firing of two leaders of their AI ethics team The January 6 insurgency and the role that social media played its planning and implementation Law enforcement’s use of cell phone location tracking and so much more that has happened since this interview. That will have to wait until the next time we can talk. To learn more about David Ryan Polgar go to https://www.davidpolgar.com/ And for All Tech Is Human, go to https://alltechishuman.org/ Enjoy!
March 11, 2021
Privacy-By-Design in a Contact Tracing App: A Conversation with Micha Benoliel, Co-Founder of Coalition App
Nothing like a good pandemic to rapidly teach us new phrases. “flatten the curve”, “shelter in place”, “social distancing”, “asymptomatic”, “herd immunity” are just of few of the many terms we’re all getting to know and use. Dictionary.com has compiled a hefty list of coronavirus terms. Now you too can you can learn more of them or confirm you know them all. (don’t feel smug about that!) Contact tracing is a term that will be increasingly important as we search for ways to safely resume social activities. I recently had a chance to speak with Micha Benoliel who co-founded the non-profit Coalition Network. Benoliel and his team have been working on decentralized, bluetooth-based networks for 10 years and in 2014 produced a mesh network phone messaging app, FireChat. This messaging app lets users communicate without an internet connection by connecting phone to phone. (that’s the decentralized part of it). Originally launched for Burning Man, it was quickly adopted by the protest movements in Taiwan and Hong Kong. This same team, now working under the non-profit company, Coalition Network, quickly developed a ‘privacy-first’ contact tracing app, Coaltion. Listen to how Micha Benoliel explains how a privacy-by-design or privacy-first app works. We all need to understand contact tracing and how the inherent risks to privacy can be mitigated.
May 08, 2020
DigDec InfraTech Teaser
InfraTech encompasses the fields of both ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ infrastructure. Traditionally, we thought of infrastructure as roads, bridges, airports, power stations - i.e. physical things that are the underpinnings of a modern society. By contrast, ‘soft’ infrastructure includes education, healthcare and transportation. How is the adoption of new technology in developing countries being used to leapfrog over prior ways of delivery services? This is at the heart of DigDec, a shortening of Digital Decolonization. Colonized by whom? By large multinational companies that dominate an industry or range of industries. One example is seen in countries that go directly to cell phones and never adopt a network of telephone lines. Multinational companies and local companies are vying for market share as new technologies are developed and adopted. Listen to this brief intro to learn more about the factors that determine what companies will thrive over time. To learn more about the concept and implementation of DigDec, i.e. Digital Decolonization visit Prince Street Capital Partners.
April 30, 2020
DigDec FinTech Teaser
How is FinTech being used in developing markets? Are the trends pointing towards incumbent players adopting digital strategies or are startups entering the consumer and business markets with services that will supplant the existing players? And as these newer technologies are adopted, what mix of regulatory forces and market forces will determine the companies that end up on top? These and other questions are posed in this brief intro on FinTech in emerging markets.
April 30, 2020
DigDec Conversations: InfraTech
InfraTech is a shortening or mashup of Infrastructure Technology. It covers physical infrastructure such as bridges, tunnels, energy tech, and airports. It also encompasses education, healthcare, and transportation. In this episode, David Halpert, founder of Prince Street Capital Management discusses what’s going on in emerging markets with respect to infrastructure in all its forms. Join us for insights on a world of business that many of us need to know more about.
March 22, 2020
DigDec Conversations: Financial Inclusion
Financial inclusion. What do people mean when they use that term? Is it a social movement or is it a business opportunity to address the needs of a vast market of people who have no bank accounts, credit, or access to eCommerce? The simple answer would be yes to being both a social movement and a business opportunity. Financial inclusion has been a hot topic in recent years, and social and technological forces are converging to make it a significant part of economies in emerging markets. Once again, I had a chance to speak with David Halpert, founder of Prince Street Capital Management, to get his perspective on the meaning of financial inclusion. What it means to these economies, to people who are either, ‘unbanked’ or ‘under-banked’, and how these trends present an investment opportunity. And he contextualizes these trends as part of the larger DigDec, i.e. Digital Decolonization, trend being espoused by Prince Street Capital Management. This is another don’t-miss episode.
March 22, 2020
DigDec Conversations: HealthTech in Emerging Markets
We continue our conversation with Prince Street Capital Management's founder, David Halpert. In this episode, we talk about trends in HealthTech in emerging markets where there are both significant opportunities as well as challenges. Where there is no firmly established system in place both new technologies and entire healthcare systems can take root and provide services at lower cost and with better outcomes. How do various developing countries meet their own countries' healthcare needs? Plug in and listen to this engrossing conversation to find out.
March 17, 2020
DigDec HealthTech Teaser
Prince Street Capital Management has a focus on new technologies in the Healthcare industry, among others, in developing nations. What is being done differently in these countries as compared to the so-called developed nations? Are some countries bypassing or 'leapfrogging' existing ways of providing healthcare? And what role do governments play in all of this? You'll find answers in this podcast and in our interview with Prince Street Capital Management's founder David Halpert.
March 16, 2020
Transcript More and more of the world economy is going digital. Whether it's buying plane tickets or applying for credit card loans or looking up healthcare prescriptions, the world is shifting toward a more data-driven and more digital economy. Today, US & Chinese companies account for 90% of tech market cap. But there remains a huge question – will the rollout of digital services across the developing world be a “colonial” economy run by global multinationals from the US and China, or will it be more local? We think it is likely to be increasingly less centralized and more distributed. Though we still believe that US and Chinese technology companies will benefit from the digitization of emerging and frontier markets, we think local companies will benefit too. In daily headlines, we see momentum building for “digital economic nationalism” where local entrepreneurs and governments want greater control over their digital assets. We define this concept as Digital Decolonization, or DigDec – a process by which entrepreneurs, companies, governments and consumers in developing markets reclaim their digital economies and ecosystems from global multinationals, and develop indigenous solutions for local problems. We believe this is a global movement with ramifications for technology, for e-commerce, for financial services, for healthcare, for electric power, for infrastructure and for so many other sectors. Homegrown champions, with help from regulators and political leaders, are helping to build value and wealth in their societies. Homegrown champions are improving local customer experience by creating products and services that appeal to local tastes and customs. And homegrown champions are leapfrogging multinationals by adapting and improving on business models pioneered in the developed world. We believe DigDec is one of the most important developments in globalization at this point in history. Find out more by listening to David Halpert, the founder of Prince Street Capital Management and a champion of the DigDec thesis, on A Better Mousetrap podcast on Spotify.
March 14, 2020
Prince Street Capital Management: A talk with David Halpert on Digital Decolonization
Digital Decolonization is a term that will reshape how we think of businesses in, and investing in, emerging markets such as in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. And this is not a matter of semantics - of po-tay-to / po-tah-to. How an idea is framed is important when it comes to gaining wider acceptance. ‘Pro-choice vs. Pro-life’ or ‘freedom fighters vs. revolutionaries’. These are linguistic framings. And they represent conscious efforts to define a worldview. Join me in my talk with David Halpert, for an in-depth look at his investment company, Prince Street Capital Management. This is very much about Digital Decolonization and how it will affect people in a world that is now dominated by FAANG-BAT, i.e. Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google, Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent. David knows this world intimately and offers insights gleaned from years of investing in emerging markets. This is a good one. Have a listen.
February 22, 2020
Wonchang Terry Choi: The Start of a Career in Alternative Assets
A Russian, a Columbian, and a Korean walked into a bar. No, this isn't the latest joke that seeks to elevate one group at the expense of others. This is a story of three immigrants elevating the U.S. They do this by joining forces to apply skills, ambition, and grit to create an investment company that will, in turn, elevate the companies they invest in. This investment company is the newly formed 13Ventures, the brainchild of Katya Dorozhkina, and Diego Berrio. I leave it to you, the astute reader, to guess who is Russian and who is Columbian. Today's podcast shines a spotlight on Wonchang Terry Choi, who, as a teen, came from Korea to the U.S. to study. With limited English skills and a strong desire to be special, he excelled in High School and is a recent graduate of Fordham's Gabelli School of Business. And now he works as a Junior Partner, Investment Principal at 13Ventures. This is the beginning of his professional journey so his story has just begun. But his intelligence, curiosity, drive, and love of finance will make anyone want to spend time listening to his story so far. Pull up a chair. Click play. For the best in founder opportunities, tech events, and news, subscribe to A Better Mousetrap newsletter.
January 19, 2020
Linhaus: Lisa Linhardt Creates Unique Jewelry
Can you make artisanal, one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry and also scale the production of those works? Does that sound like a contradiction? That's the question confronting Lisa Linhardt and her team at Linhaus, a tech-enabled operation for jewelry, design, and craft. The melding of old and new technology will forge an alloy perhaps never before seen in the world of high-end jewelry. Speaking with Lisa, I'm reminded of the work of Nathan Myhrvold in the world of cooking. CAD, RHINO, laser cutting, 3D printing are all part of the toolset used at Linhaus. Listen to how this will all work to create unique pieces that employ and honor traditional craft with expanding what's possible with new technology. Listen now. Then visit the new store at 156 First Avenue in New York City.
December 15, 2019
FD Global Connections Brings FinTech Co's to NYC - Fall 2019
Last year I interviewed the companies that were visiting the US as part of FD Global Connections fdglobal.com.au program and this year I was lucky enough to connect with the latest batch of companies. They don’t disappoint. Based in either the UK or Australia, each is exploring entering the US market to expand its customer base, forge new partnerships and grow their company. See below for more. Starts: 0:40 Trena Blair, Founder & CEO of FD Global Connections, a Sydney, Australia based consultancy that prepares and launches Australian and UK companies into the US market and US companies into the Australian market. Starts: 5:13 Pascale Helyar-Moray and Emily Hollingum, Super-Rewards: Australia Super Rewards offers a unique customer experience whereby customers shop online, earn cash rewards, which are paid into their pension account. This Fintech targets women and solving the problem of insufficient funds for retirement. They've recently launched in Australia and with organizations such as Apple, ETSY, Emirates already signed as partners, they are now entering the USA market. Their focus will be on Retailers, Retirement Fund Managers and affiliate organizations and introductions to investors for a 2020 fundraise. Starts: 14:35 Roger Manu, Cloudcase: Australia Cloudcase Software Solutions (CSS) is a software and services company using contemporary design to automate simple and highly complex business processes for virtually any product and industry sector. Cloudcase does this across any channel and can be configured, launched and maintained by customers or third parties. They started to scale into the USA in early 2019 and are initially targeting banks, insurance companies, card processing companies. Starts: 23:37 Derek Stewart, PAYSME: UK, Paysme delivers increased mobile engagement by championing small business owners in their local communities. Their suite of financial services will help shape the future of mobile payments, commerce & enterprise. Starts: 33:05 Oliver Calma, BCRemit: UK BCRemit is a disruptive online money transfer platform that provides the lowest transfer fees in the market. Their first market has been migrant workers in Europe. New to the US market and BCRemit will focus on the Asian migration population in the USA, at first in New York, California, Florida, and Illinois.
November 24, 2019
Kevin Siskar, Co-Founder of EquityToken, A Blockchain-based Cap Table
When a startup is created, a record is created that shows who has a stake in that company - i.e. equity. This is called a Capitalization or Cap Table. Over time,investments are made in that company, employees are offered stock options and other events change the Cap Table. Managing equity and stock options and keeping a Cap Table current has been a laborious and costly task to manage. To address this, startups have been forming to make this task easier, more transparent and cheaper. Enter EquityToken. This startup not only digitizes the entire process but also converts that equity into a crypto-token so that transferring the value of that equity can be done easily by a smart contract on a blockchain. Listen to Kevin Siskar explain what lead up to the formation of EquityToken and then take a deep dive into the value of their solution. You should check out Kevin's Podcast, Ambition Today, for another perspective on the startup scene. To keep up on tech events and founder opportunities in New York City the best place to start is with my newsletter. So subscribe to A Better Mousetrap right now and start getting it this week!
September 15, 2019
Ismael El-Qudsi, of SocialPubli, Talks Micro-Influencers and Maximum Returns
Do you know what a micro-influencer is? Regardless of what you think you know, you'll learn much more when you listen to Ismael El-Qudsi talk about the immense return of investment (ROI) that using micro-influencers can bring and how SocialPubli lets advertisers scale this potent tool in one market or across multiple markets in different countries. Listen now.
August 25, 2019
Daniel Meth, SitParker
Join me in this thoroughly enjoyable conversation with Dan Meth, Founder of SitParker, a platform for restaurants, bars, and other venues to manage events more easily and realize more profit per event. About halfway into the interview Dan tells a great story about pitching his first investor. This one made me laugh out loud a couple of times. Don’t miss that. One more thing. I left in a post show moment of panic that you might enjoy.
August 07, 2019
Elusio Zafar Alcalde, Founder of TaxMap
Benjamin Franklin said something like, "There are only two things certain in life, death and taxes" While perhaps a bit fatalistic, it has a ring of truth to it. My recent conversation with TaxMap founder, F. Elusio Zafar Alcalde, tells me that cryptocurrencies are growing up and accepting at least one of life's certainties, taxes. What might seem like a dry topic is anything but when handled by Elusio. Join me in digging into this topic that all real businesses, and people not living off the grid, must contend with. An unexpected gem: Elusio's enthusiasm for creating a business in the U.S. and specifically in New York City. Sometimes it takes a fresh set of eyes to appreciate what's all around you. Here's a bit of what our import from the U.K., Elusio, had to say, "NYC - the energy of the city - the serendipity of the city as well is amazing. There’s nothing like it anywhere else around the world. You can meet anybody and share an idea, and build something… " And from the looks and sound of things, Elusio Zafar Alcalde is doing just that.
July 27, 2019
Josh Goldenberg of Clarifai Talks Computer Vision
Before his senior year at high school started, Josh Goldenberg had taken all the math courses offered at his high school. That year was spent finding and taking other courses to occupy his curiosity and continuing to run cross-country. Staying with his core interests, in college Josh studied both computer science and economics. Now, after stints at the NYC Department of Education, Thomson Reuters, EisnerAmper and other companies Josh holds the position of product manager at Clarifai. When you hear his enthusiasm for computer vision, machine learning and software, you'll find they are infectious. Drop in to this podcast to hear the range of fascinating applications that are being worked on at Clarifai and in this field. Don't miss more of these as well as the latest news, events, and opportunities in the NYC tech scene. Subscribe to A Better Mousetrap newsletter today!
June 29, 2019
RoninAI, A Place to Trade Cryptocurrencies
In this episode, Peter Borovykh, founder of RoninAI takes us through how his company lets cryptocurrency owners trade for profit. Hear how the platform evolved to where it is today and where his customers trade. So far, the company hasn't taken any investment money and wants to hold true to their vision for the company. Part of that vision stems from a desire to let traders retain control their own assets. It will be good to see how this develops. Learn more about blockchain Blockchain Applications in Finance, by Peter Borovykh: https://www.amazon.com/Blockchain-Applications-Finance-Peter-Borovykh-ebook/dp/B07CJLYJWW Bitcoin White Paper: https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies: https://www.lopp.net/pdf/princeton_bitcoin_book.pdf Don't miss out on tech events, founder opportunities, and more great interviews. Subscribe to A Better Mousetrap
June 09, 2019
Livekick Delivers Certified Trainers for Personalized Sessions
Shayna Schmidt, Co-Founder (left) and Michele Ross, (right) Head of Business Development talk about Livekick, their online fitness and wellness company, Livekick enables one-on-one, interactive fitness training and yoga sessions. They make the case that what they are doing delivers a better experience than the current online fitness businesses that are non-interactive broadcasts. Hear the full story. Stay on top of tech events and founder opportunities. Subscribe to A Better Mousetrap newsletter.
May 26, 2019
Bob Bennett, A Smart City Leader Helping Cities Better Serve
When people hear the title Chief Innovation Officer (CIO) they typically think of someone employing the latest cutting edge tech to solve a big problem. Bob Bennett, is more creative than that. This former CIO of Kansas City, MO, founder of B Squared Civic Solutions and Chair of the Cities Today Institute solves problems with whatever tools fit the job. To borrow a metaphor he used, 'not every problem is a nail.' The specifics: Bob oversaw a wildly creative solution to the problem of deer going onto airport runways - cattle. Yep. Moo-cows. How does that work? Apparently deer hate cows and won’t go anywhere near them so by leasing the land, surrounding the runways, to cattle farmers the city was both able to earn income while solving a serious safety issue at their airport. Hear the many remarkable things achieved during Bob Bennett's tenure as Chief Innovation Officer and hear about the one that got away. This is going to be one of my favorite interviews for a long time. I know you'll enjoy it.
May 15, 2019
Noel Hidalgo: BetaNYC Helps NYC Better Serve the Public
Noel Hidalgo, Executive Director of BetaNYC has been a driving force in good government in New York City for over 10 years. The work that BetaNYC does includes education, empowering NYC's public to use technology and specifically open data, and advocating for safe, fair, technology that benefits the greatest number of people. He's got a great life story that he offers in this interview. Come enter this world. If you'd like to keep up on what's going on in the startup and tech world in NYC then subscribe to the weekly newsletter, A Better Mousetrap.
May 04, 2019
Chris Gillespie, Subspace: Swarm Building Software
It’s tempting and facile to say that Subspace is trying to “…boldly go where no one has gone before” but in this case it’s true. They are building a platform on which developers can ‘swarm build’ software. The developers review each other’s code in real-time, vote it up or down, and make suggestions, all toward the goal of advancing a software build. All of these forms of contributing to a project are compensated. Not only writing code is valued on this platform. We’ve found them early so listen to my talk with Chris Gillespie at the birth of this new celestial object.
April 27, 2019
John Mullin, Founder of Chrgr, Ads You Want to Hold On To
"So Chrgr is fundamentally an advertising company. And what we're doing is we're defining a new sort of level of advertising, which we're calling advertising as a utility We produce these credit card sized batteries. We get clients and brands to sponsor them. But what we really do is put them wear and when people needing folks and we do that across 10,000 plus sort of nightlife and hospitality venues across the country. We put it into places like ski resorts in the back of Ubers and Lyft. We put them into gym, we put them into partner's like Blade Helicopter. We put them exactly where and when people need the most." John Mullin, Founder of Chrgr Marcos Dinnerstein: Catch this great interview with John Mullin to learn how his company Chrgr spans the physical and digital worlds. Chrgr is making both advertisers and users very happy. Quite a trick. And you hear all about it on A Better Mousetrap podcast. Don't miss all the great founder opportunities and the select list of tech events in NYC. Subscribe to my newsletter
April 21, 2019
John Liu, Fusion - A Blockchain-based Finance Platform
This informative conversation with John Liu, Chief Product Officer of Fusion was great. The crypto-anarchist future where nation states are a thing of the past and we anonymously control every facet of our digital lives is probably at least a few more weeks away. In the meantime Fusion, a financial blockchain platform, is tackling issues relating to making all manner of transactions, cheaper, more transparent and faster. The scope and ambition of Fusion’s work is impressive. I invite you to partake and learn, as I did.
April 13, 2019
Evren Ay, Co-Founder of MotaWord, A New Translation Platform
ICYMI: Evren Ay, Founder of the translation platform, MotaWord, is good company. Recently, I've been crashing at his office recently and churning out content for him. He usually has a good story to tell and I’ve heard some eye-openers lately This is catnip to this collector of stories - me - so this past week I was able to snag a few from Evren. Enjoy! Stay current on NYC's tech and startup scene. Subscribe to A Better Mousetrap newsletter. docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQL…wform?usp=sf_link
April 09, 2019
In Conversation: Brightsky Ventures - Diego Berrio
Diego Berrio, Partner at Brightsky Ventures and Starta Ventures are partnering to offer their LATAM EXPANSION TRACK to support high growth, early stage companies expanding into Latin America. In addition to a structured three month program they’ll also be providing ongoing support to their cohort members. Diego has a deep understanding of the Latin American market so it was a treat to learn from him. Stay current on NYC's tech and startup scene. Subscribe to A Better Mousetrap newsletter. docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQL…wform?usp=sf_link
April 09, 2019
Disruptivo Looks to Empower Aspiring Social Entrepreneurs
Everything about Juan Del Cerro is big. His size, his voice, his warm, enthusiastic manner and most of all his goal of inspiring people, especially young people to start social enterprises. Listen to him talk about the beginnings in Mexico five years ago, how he has grown the business and now will attempt to be successful in the US market. Juan is good company so listen in as we enjoy exploring what Disruptivo does. Disruptivo’s social entrepreneurship activities span three areas: teaching, their pre-accelerator program, and the media. They conduct bootcamps, workshops and courses and have been in over 100 colleges and universities. Their pre-accelerator program that has invested in 41 social businesses and their media, including video, podcasting and website has reached over 1 million viewers. This week's noteworthy event is: Thurs., Apr. 4 at 8:00am (Free) Exploring the Successful Growth of FinTech Companies Through Global Expansion Please join Taylor Wessing, international law firm, and the official promotional agencies of London, Paris Region, Munich, Hong Kong & Tel Aviv along with JETRO the promotional agency for Japan as they share their strengths and the opportunities they provide for doing business, in support of your decision-making for international expansion.
March 30, 2019
Bonmo founders Stephanie Huong and Gideon Klein
Marketing is a competition for people's attention and humor is a consistently winning way to capture and keep attention. Bonmo has created a platform to connect comedians with marketers so together they can make more effective content. Bonmo's founders believe that humor must be an integral part of a message but not overshadow that message. In this talk we cover the craft of comedy, solving a client's problems, and I learn about "benign violation". If you like this episode check out the others and if you want to stay up on NYC's tech and startup scene Subscribe to A Better Mousetrap newsletter.
March 23, 2019
Qri - with Brendan O'Brien & Rico Gardaphe
(L to R) Rico Gardaphe, Operations & Business Development and Brendan O’Brien, Founder & CEO of Qri. Qri's website reads: Qri ("query") is a versioned scriptable exportable, collaborative datasets. That means when using Qri, each new version of your database is time stamped and signed by you. In today's podcast we swim a bit in the deep end of the data pool. Come on in the water's more than fine when you spend time with these two. They are committed (sorry/not sorry) to both open data sets and to the open source movement. It's a fascinating world and when they explain it, both fun and digestible.
March 11, 2019
Raz Choudhury, Founder of SAM AI
Finding myself at WeWork on W. 57 Street I bumped into Raz Choudhury, founder of SAM AI who I've known for a few years. Of course that meant catching up had to be memorialized. SAM AI is a CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) platform. Their aim is to simplify CRM so more people can benefit from the advances in big data and artificial intelligence. How? One way is to make an interface that you can query with conversational speech. NLP (Natural Language Processing) makes this possible. The story of how this came to be and where they go from here can be heard in today’s podcast. Good stuff here!
March 03, 2019
Charlie Oliver, Founder of Served Fresh Media and Tech 2025
Feb. 23, 2019: This past week I caught up with Charlie Oliver, founder of Served Fresh Media and, recently, Tech 2025. The latter is a platform for learning about emerging technologies. As we dug into the topic we realized how aligned we are on the importance of education. We cannot be passive consumers of tech that can profoundly shape our lives but must understand enough to help determine the appropriate uses of various kinds of tech. We had a great time talking and being in violent agreement with one another. Give a listen. Keep current on NYC's tech and startup scene. Subscribe to A Better Mousetrap newsletter.
February 23, 2019
A Conversation with Philip Delvecchio
In this talk with Marcos Dinnerstein in June 2018, Philip reveals his interest in making the NYC tech community more equitable and inclusive, his continued support of international entrepreneurs who come to the U.S. and in strengthening the channels between the Chinese and U.S. tech communities. Not surprisingly, Philip is smart and quick on his feet. You’ll enjoy this tennis match. For more like this and to keep up on the NYC startup scene subscribe to A Better Mousetrap newsletter goo.gl/forms/oIdhmdKJvE4GO1a32
February 21, 2019
Ash Kaluarachchi, StartEd
Ash Kaluarachchi has seen the power that education has to shape and alter the trajectory of a person's life. While growing up in Sri Lanka Ash's mother ran a school out of her house. The three hundred children, ages six to sixteen years old, studied elocution, drama and speech. What Ash most remembers is that they learned tenacity, resilience and the ability to learn. Now, years later, Ash Kaluarachchi's credits include: creating 7 startup accelerators and producing New York City's EdTech Week, all under the banner of StartEd. Listen to Ash speak - yes eloquently - and intelligently about the work he does to nurture the next generation of education companies that will change the world for the better, one person at a time. (best phrase of the interview, "Life skills packaged in content") Stay connected on all things tech and startup in NYC. Subscribe to A Better Mousetrap newsletter.
February 18, 2019
David Ryan Polgar, Tech Ethicist - Part II
In the second part of my conversation with David Ryan Polar, we spoke about how tech creates challenges in the areas of free speech, privacy, and concentration of power. We agreed it’s a ‘big, hairy, thorny, nasty problem.’. Nevertheless, Polgar is optimistic about tech’s promise to solve big societal problems facing us today. Listen to his thoughts. *Update* The next ethical tech summit has been announced: All Tech Is Human NYC on Saturday, Nov. 9th. For more info: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6500733018007760896/ Want more good stuff like this? Subscribe to my weekly newsletter on the New York City tech and startup scene.
February 09, 2019
David Ryan Polgar, Tech Ethicist - Part I
Ethics in tech is on the minds of so many people and organizations from governments to watchdog groups to media outlets and, of course, on the minds of all of us individually. David Ryan Polgar has been thinking, writing and talking about this topic in all its permutations since 2012. He believes, “Technology is so important to society, to the human condition, and it’s essential to a thriving democracy… we cannot leave this topic solely up to technologists.” *Update* The next ethical tech summit has been announced: All Tech Is Human NYC on Saturday, Nov. 9th. For more info: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6500733018007760896/ Listen to this fascinating talk and learn more about him at All Tech is Human and DavidPolgar.com.
February 04, 2019
Youssef Kalad, NYCx, in the Mayor's Office of the Chief Technology Officer
If you looked only at the national level, it would be easy to be jaded about government and it’s ability to be responsive to the needs of the majority of people. But look at New York City government. It’s a very different story. Did you know there are 300,000 lamp posts in NYC? There's a good chance they'll be retrofitted to serve additional functions if things work as expected. After attending this past Thursday’s NYCx Moonshots & the Future of Cybersecurity at Company’s Urban Tech Hub I was able to speak with Youssef Kalad the next day to learn about both the Cybersecurity Challenge and the wider mission of the Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer. We covered the challenges being addressed by the Co-Labs and the focus of the Moonshot Challenges. Who knew? (well, I did) in New York City our public servants work intelligently to identify the needs of all people living in New York City. This consultive method of working allows to craft solutions to big-picture issues. Give a listen. I expect you’ll be as encouraged as I am. To learn about the NYCx Cybersecurity Moonshot Challenge, go here. Deadline is 2/8/19 and all it takes is 10 minutes to apply. Check out the results of our NYCx Governors Island Connectivity Challenge and NYCx EV Climate Action Challenge. To learn about the Mayor’s Office of the CTO and other NYCx programming, go here and follow on Twitter at NYC_CTO.
January 28, 2019
A Conversation with Rhonda Binda, Co-Founder of Venture Smarter
In this episode of A Better Mousetrap podcast Rhonda Binda, co-founder of Venture Smarter is our guest. Venture Smarter is technology company focused on smart governance and creating connected, smart infrastructure across the U.S. and soon, globally. Venture Smarter has created a match making platform, Intelliscope, that drives initiatives focused on standards in the Smart Cities and IoT (Internet of Things ( fields. They facilitate matches between governments and businesses, both large and small. We get into what all this means in this idea packed conversation. Plug in. Listen. Get informed. And if you'd like to keep up with what's going on in the NYC tech and startup community you can subscribe to my weekly newsletter, A Better Mousetrap Subscribe URL https://goo.gl/forms/giIEOOfu3PDktdQK2
January 19, 2019
Yale Fox, Rentlogic: How to fairly assign grades to residential buildings
Rentlogic assigns letter grades to residential rental buildings. Just as New York City's health department does for restaurants. What makes Rentlogic's offering so strong is they constantly work to be scrupulously fair to all parties. There's no 'gotcha' here with a bias towards renters or towards landlords. They use multiple relevant data feeds from NYC government and have an algorithm that weighs all this info and, in some cases, physical inspections to arrive at a grade. Listen to what intelligent data science and community building can create. Its a good story. To learn just how serious Rentlogic was to set fair and transparent practices they hired noted data scientist and author, Cathy O'Neil, to audit their algorithm to verify it performs as intended and has no hidden biases. Read this Wired.com account. Read this Wired.com account. And if you'd like to keep up with what's going on in the NYC tech and startup community you can subscribe to my weekly newsletter, A Better Mousetrap
January 11, 2019
Victoria Yampolsky, Founder of The Startup Station
If you are building a business you had better understand finance and how to best position your company to raise money. Victoria Yampolsky has created a school, advisory practice and a growing repository of learning resources to put you on the track to financial competency. Listen as she describes what you'll need to know and what pitfalls to avoid.
January 07, 2019
Rebecca Lima: The Lieu, Supporting Women's Beauty & Self-Care Needs in the Workplace
Rebecca Lima is a serial founder and someone who I can honestly say has the entrepreneur’s itch. She has that indefinable character trait in the people I recognize as common to many company founders. (I’m not one of them, at least not by birth) I first met Rebecca when she was working on her earlier company, Ment, Meant is described as, “… a community based and data backed app that enhances the airport experience for travelers.” Now Rebecca Lima is building Lieu, a company dedicated to supporting women in the workplace. They partner with corporations and events to provides inclusive beauty and self-care experiences. Listen to how she plans to serve working women in the workplace.
January 04, 2019
In Conversation with Caitlin Pearce, Exec. Dir. of the Freelancers Union
Eight years ago Caitlin Pearce left the world of academia to join The Freelancers Union. She worked her way through the ranks and now heads this non-profit organization dedicated to supporting contract workers in the United States. The services they offer including educational, health insurance and policy advocacy. This year their efforts helped in the passage of the country’s first law protecting the rights of freelancers, the Freelance Isn’t Free Act. www1.nyc.gov/site/dca/about/fre…isnt-free-act.page As the so-called gig economy continues to grow it’s ever more urgent that this class of worker understands their rights and how to navigate being a freelancer. Listen to Caitlin Pearce describe their work towards these goals. Stay current on NYC's tech and startup scene. Subscribe to A Better Mousetrap newsletter. docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQL…wform?usp=sf_link
December 14, 2018
Lisa Diaz talks Smart Cities, Resiliency and Dreams of Better Airports
Lisa Diaz is Managing Partner and Founder of Turf Advisory. Her firm specializes in smart infrastructure, resiliency, and human centered design. As someone actively involved in NYC's urban tech scene she has a unique perspective on how innovation makes more livable cities come into being.
December 08, 2018
Zack Woods: Reflections on Innovation
Marcos Dinnerstein sat down with Zack Woods for an extended conversation on large, fuzzy topic of Innovation. Among other roles, Zack has worked in Digital Strategy, Corporate Development, and as a valued mentor to startups. Marcos Dinnerstein: "That’s just the sort of person I’m comfortable going ‘off script’ with since he has informed opinions that he expresses well. " Come along on this journey. You'll enjoy the ride. To keep up on the NYC tech scene subscribe to the weekly newsletter, A Better Mousetrap. goo.gl/forms/8TquLXKSN3wEzdGM2
December 01, 2018
A Conversation with Sissel Hansen, Founder of Startup Guide
Startup Guide New York, a book on NYC’s startup ecosystem, was published in October of 2018. It's been received as an excellent overview of New York City’s startup scene and a great way for founders and tech workers outside of NYC to begin to make their way here. We caught up with Sissel Hansen, the dynamic founder and CEO of Startup Guide to hear how she started the company, the bumps along the way that taught her valuable lessons and what to expect in the coming months. To keep up on the NYC tech scene subscribe to the weekly newsletter, A Better Mousetrap. goo.gl/forms/8TquLXKSN3wEzdGM2
November 26, 2018
Magis Industries: Build It Fast. Spend Less
In October (2018) at the Ascent Conference 2018 I had a chance to interview Victoria Gregory of Magis Industries. Along with her co-founder, Gabriel Alba-Rivera, their company creates products and brings them to market both faster and at lower cost. Check out this bite-sized podcast!
November 26, 2018
Josh Weinstein, CannaGather: Building Community Around a Controlled Substance
This week we caught up with Josh Weinstein, founder of CannaGather, New York City's largest monthly cannabis event. The United States in in the midst of a sea change with regards to regulating both the sale and use of Cannabis. Each month CannaGather features the major players in the Cannabis industry who are part of this major societal shift. This episode is jam-packed with info on the rapidly expanding Cannabis industry. Give a listen! Stay current on NYC's tech and startup scene. Subscribe to A Better Mousetrap newsletter. docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQL…wform?usp=sf_link
September 03, 2018
Prasant Sudhakaran, Aingel July 8, 2018
A Conversation with Prasant Sudhakaran, of Aingel. How do early stage venture capital funds and angel groups choose companies they believe will succeed and make their investors money? It can look more like art than science in many cases. Prasant Sudhakaran and Amr Shady, Co-founders of Angel, believe that artificial intelligence and machine learning can significantly improve on the art. They’ve crafted a solution that the private investment world is starting to notice. For more great content like this and to keep up on the NYC startup scene subscribe to A Better Mousetrap newsletter https://goo.gl/forms/oIdhmdKJvE4GO1a32
July 08, 2018
Max Stein - Balanc3
Max Stein, a cryptoeconomist and Blockchain business architect talks with Marcos about the Balanc3 blockchain-based accounting platform. For more great content like this and to keep up on the NYC startup scene subscribe to A Better Mousetrap newsletter https://goo.gl/forms/oIdhmdKJvE4GO1a32
April 30, 2018
Interview with Alex Manea - CSO at Blackberry
You are listening to ‘A Better mouse Trap’ Podcast. A joint production by Marcos Dinnerstien and Far From TV. Our goal is to bring you the listener closer to the Technology community here in New York City. We recently had a chance to sit down for lunch with Alex Manea, Chief Security Officer at Blackberry. (We all had Salmon!)
March 24, 2018