Twin Cities Startup Week 2021 Twin Cities Startup Week 2021
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Taking the First Step with Tech

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Liz Tupper
Software for Good, Director of Product Strategy

Liz Tupper is Director of Product Strategy at Software for Good, leading the strategy team’s efforts to uncover insights about users, envision the technology that best meets their needs, and create product roadmaps to help clients achieve their goals over time. A self-proclaimed geek with two decades of technology experience, Liz is known for her leadership in the Minneapolis tech community—particularly when it comes to increasing opportunities for women in tech. Since beginning her career as a front-end developer, she has worked in the Internet of things (IoT), mobile app, web, and video game industries. Liz is passionate about working towards a zero waste lifestyle, serving on the board of directors at Eureka Recycling, and about putting empathy first when designing and developing new products.

Eri O'Diah
SIID Technologies LLC, Founder

Eri O'Diah is the founder of SIID™ Technologies, which applies big data and emerging technologies to evaluate, uncover, and correct the influence of unconscious human biases on decision-making and communication. Eri has a rare combination of technical expertise paired with a decade of experience using artificial intelligence (AI) technology in media and marketing. Her professional and entrepreneurial experience is built upon a strong technical foundation in software development gained through a Microsoft Certified Solution Developer (MCSD) training — She seeks to understand how AI and other emerging technologies can be leveraged to reduce the impact of unconscious bias on marginalized groups and communities. 

Eri is a Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA) and TechnovationMN Board Member, she was named 2020 Emerging Business Owner by NAWBO - Minnesota Chapter and recently accepted into the 2021 MIT Solve Incubator.

Cory Powell
iPondr, Chief Content Officer

Cory Powell has built his career developing exceptional teams at the intersection of storytelling, audience and technology. At the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, he spent more than a decade spearheading the newsroom's digital media expansion and product development.  

As iPondr’s chief of content, Cory drives the editorial direction of iPondr, overseeing a team of passionate journalists and storytellers.

Cory lives in Minnesota with his wife, their two children, and a not-that-well-behaved dog, Bode. In addition to reading and time with family, Cory takes every chance he can to enjoy Minnesota's outdoors.

Judd Grutman
Vonzella, Inc., Founder

Social entrepreneur and attorney pioneering insurance products for historically excluded consumers.

Silvia Ontaneda
Trade Center of the Americas, CEO

Silvia Ontaneda is the founder and CEO of the Trade Center of the Americas (TCA), an organization that fosters economic growth based on sustainable and corporate responsibility practices. The TCA is focused on providing traceable supply chain alternatives. It combines blockchain technology with a personable-cross-cultural approach to foster trade and investment opportunities and to assist startups and women/minority owned businesses interested in exporting/importing across North, Central and South America. Silvia is a retired diplomat, an international trade law attorney and a foreign policy consultant. She utilizes her experience to bridge the cultural and geographical gaps between regions to promote sustainable and inclusive economies in the Americas. During her tenure as a diplomat, Silvia founded the South American Trade Forum, where she proposed and help establish the Ecuadorian and the Brazilian Chambers of Commerce. She also promoted other initiatives focused on increasing the participation of all Latin American countries in the Midwest. She is the founder of two unique services that provide free health and legal assistance to vulnerable immigrants in Minnesota (Pro-bono Legal Clinic and the Clinica Vida y Salud).   She is an alumna of the University of Minnesota Law School and passionate advocate for immigrants’ human rights. She serves on the board of several organizations, including the ACLU-MN, the US-Hispanic Scholarship Fund, the Center for Women in Leadership and Diplomacy, and she is also the founder and chair of the FBI Citizens Academy Opioid Prevention Crisis Task Force.

Planning to launch a new app or platform? Here's what you need to know before you hire a developer or start to code.

In this session, Software for Good's Director of Product Strategy, Liz Tupper, will share stories and lessons from our work developing products for mission-driven startups. We'll also feature founders' insights and what they wish they'd known sooner about building software to support a new initiative. Non-techies whose ventures need tech can learn how to get off the ground — from understanding a target audience to testing early versions to launching a minimum viable product.