Interviews with Women in Tech

Interview with Nat Cartwright

“Every change starts with one small step – you don’t need a full plan. Just do something.”

Nat Cartwright on being kind to ourselves, a killer team and AI powered assistants.

Tell us a bit about yourself and what it is that you do.

My background is with the European Centre for Disease Control, the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.

Born in Canada, I’ve lived in Kenya, Spain and Switzerland and most recently managed a portfolio of over $250 million for The Global Fund to finance national health strategies in countries like Djibouti, Tajikistan, South Sudan and Morocco.

When I took time away from global health to pursue my MBA, I became attracted to startups and entrepreneurship.

 

How did you get involved in the tech world?

When I took time away from global health to pursue my MBA, I became attracted to startups and entrepreneurship. My co-founder & I met during that program and made the tough decision to leave our established careers – his in management consulting – to pursue changing the banking industry.

Armed with our third partner who is a top notch CTO, next thing we knew, we were staying up late deep-diving on fintech innovation and building and testing conversational bots.

 

What new tech challenges have you faced recently? How did you overcome them?

We’re continually overcoming technology challenges – it’s what we do. The biggest one that we’re facing today is how to improve our Natural Language Processing. We’ve recruited top talent from around the world to help us build an internal engine focused on financial services to take our tech to the next level.

 

What do you hope to achieve in the next 3-5 years?

We will have a fully developed SaaS product that is licensed to hundreds of banks globally. The bot market is moving fast and our timing is perfect for the wave.  It’s a super exciting time for our business – the interest has blown us away.

 

If there is one thing you could change for women in tech, what would it be?

I would change a lot of things but if it has to be one I would give us all the ability to believe, trust and be kind to ourselves with the same ease that we do for those around us.

 

What advice would you give to women looking to break into the technology field?

Just start. Take one action. Do something right now. Apply for a job with a tech company on Techvibes or Betakit, join a lighthouse labs coding course or attend one of the plethora of events that happen where you can start conversations with people in the business. Every change starts with one small step – you don’t need a full plan. Just do something.

 

What is one piece of tech you can’t live without?

Tech improves my life but if I needed to, I could live without it. I can’t live without the people that tech has brought into my life.
I’m really proud of having attracted a killer team of employees, advisors and investors to the business to date. Everyone wants to be your bud when things are going well – fewer people are interested in you when all you have is a dream. The people involved in our business believed in us all along and continue to be an integral part of building to success. I’m grateful to the tech for having brought so many incredible people into my life.

 

What do you think will be the “next big thing” in tech?

Bots are becoming ubiquitous and you will use them daily by the end of 2017. Bots are relatively new to North Americans, but if you’re a big consumer facing business, like a bank, and you don’t have some sort of bot strategy in progress… well, you’re already well behind the eight ball.

For context, we all know mobile changed the Internet. In 2008 mobile banking basically didn’t exist and today it’s everywhere. Less than a decade into smartphone proliferation, we’ve already passed peak app usage (the average American downloads zero new apps per month).

So we’re seeing a huge paradigm shift in how the Internet is accessed, towards AI powered assistants in chat and voice interfaces. Voice is now a key interface for the Internet and studies predict by the end of 2016 two-thirds of Americans will use a virtual assistant daily. That’s up from 38% who already used one ‘regularly’ at the end of 2015.

This is why we’re so excited to be provided a white-label AI powered assistant to banks.  Short version: just as all banks now have apps, in the near future, all banks will have virtual assistants that use machine learning, delivered in chat and voice interfaces.

 

Lnkedin.com/in/nataliecartwright
Twitter.com/natcartwright
Facebook: Nat Cartwright

Interviews with Women in Tech

Interviews with Nat Cartwright

“Every change starts with one small step – you don’t need a full plan. Just do something.”

Nat Cartwright on being kind to ourselves, a killer team and AI powered assistants.

Tell us a bit about yourself and what it is that you do.

My background is with the European Centre for Disease Control, the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.

Born in Canada, I’ve lived in Kenya, Spain and Switzerland and most recently managed a portfolio of over $250 million for The Global Fund to finance national health strategies in countries like Djibouti, Tajikistan, South Sudan and Morocco.

When I took time away from global health to pursue my MBA, I became attracted to startups and entrepreneurship.

 

How did you get involved in the tech world?

When I took time away from global health to pursue my MBA, I became attracted to startups and entrepreneurship. My co-founder & I met during that program and made the tough decision to leave our established careers – his in management consulting – to pursue changing the banking industry.

Armed with our third partner who is a top notch CTO, next thing we knew, we were staying up late deep-diving on fintech innovation and building and testing conversational bots.

 

What new tech challenges have you faced recently? How did you overcome them?

We’re continually overcoming technology challenges – it’s what we do. The biggest one that we’re facing today is how to improve our Natural Language Processing. We’ve recruited top talent from around the world to help us build an internal engine focused on financial services to take our tech to the next level.

 

What do you hope to achieve in the next 3-5 years?

We will have a fully developed SaaS product that is licensed to hundreds of banks globally. The bot market is moving fast and our timing is perfect for the wave.  It’s a super exciting time for our business – the interest has blown us away.

 

If there is one thing you could change for women in tech, what would it be?

I would change a lot of things but if it has to be one I would give us all the ability to believe, trust and be kind to ourselves with the same ease that we do for those around us.

 

What advice would you give to women looking to break into the technology field?

Just start. Take one action. Do something right now. Apply for a job with a tech company on Techvibes or Betakit, join a lighthouse labs coding course or attend one of the plethora of events that happen where you can start conversations with people in the business. Every change starts with one small step – you don’t need a full plan. Just do something.

 

What is one piece of tech you can’t live without?

Tech improves my life but if I needed to, I could live without it. I can’t live without the people that tech has brought into my life.
I’m really proud of having attracted a killer team of employees, advisors and investors to the business to date. Everyone wants to be your bud when things are going well – fewer people are interested in you when all you have is a dream. The people involved in our business believed in us all along and continue to be an integral part of building to success. I’m grateful to the tech for having brought so many incredible people into my life.

 

What do you think will be the “next big thing” in tech?

Bots are becoming ubiquitous and you will use them daily by the end of 2017. Bots are relatively new to North Americans, but if you’re a big consumer facing business, like a bank, and you don’t have some sort of bot strategy in progress… well, you’re already well behind the eight ball.

For context, we all know mobile changed the Internet. In 2008 mobile banking basically didn’t exist and today it’s everywhere. Less than a decade into smartphone proliferation, we’ve already passed peak app usage (the average American downloads zero new apps per month).

So we’re seeing a huge paradigm shift in how the Internet is accessed, towards AI powered assistants in chat and voice interfaces. Voice is now a key interface for the Internet and studies predict by the end of 2016 two-thirds of Americans will use a virtual assistant daily. That’s up from 38% who already used one ‘regularly’ at the end of 2015.

This is why we’re so excited to be provided a white-label AI powered assistant to banks.  Short version: just as all banks now have apps, in the near future, all banks will have virtual assistants that use machine learning, delivered in chat and voice interfaces.

 

Lnkedin.com/in/nataliecartwright
Twitter.com/natcartwright
Facebook: Nat Cartwright

Everyone knows that we are living in an increasingly tech-enabled world. Not surprisingly, this is reflected in the number of jobs that are now available in the tech industry. The problem is, while the Computer Science workforce has grown by 60% since 1991, the percentage of young women going into the industry has declined (Stats Canada 2011). This needs to change.