This month as part of our Google’s 40#forward May female entrepreneurs campaign, we are thrilled to have an incredible lady, Minerva Tantoco, sharing with the Shenzhen startup community. Minerva is the Chief Technology Officer at UBS in Asia Pacific based in Hong Kong as well as a mother, the holder of four patents, an expert for software and mobile, and helped founding a startup in California back in the 1980s, which was successfully sold. Already a veteran in the IT industry, Minerva has worked in some of the most important places and companies of our time.
Growing up in New York City, Minerva got into coding and computer science in the early 80s, she recalled. “It was an unusual activity back then, and eventually I became a systems administrator, working on the VAX mainframe at Vassar and switched my major to philosophy and cognitive science."
While she was a Junior at Vassar College, Minerva met three people from the Harvard Business School and Boston Consulting Group, who were putting together a start-up in Silicon Valley that would automate management consulting strategy.
The company called ManageWare was sold five years later: “It was a successful start up and my first work experience – and this was long before the thing to do was develop a dot-com business. It really impacted my view of the world from there on. I’ve been in start up mode in all of my positions since then. That is, if you come across a problem, you can develop a solution for it.”
After ManageWare, Minerva continued her journey with a company called Think New Ideas in the dot-com wave. Later she became CTO at Grey Direct Advertising and then a senior product manager at Palm. Palm was a major PDA (personal digital assistant) company back then, and the PDA was somewhat the predecessor of smartphones today. She then moved into the financial field, working as the IT director of Fannie Mae and then Merril Lynch to take charge of its blackberry app development for investment bankers.
Minerva currently holds four patents in the field of workflow She’s also a competitive rider and dragon boat rower.
Minerva is now a CTO at UBS, the world's biggest wealth manager, focusing on client-facing mobile applications.
Palm, Startup, CTO, Mother, Fannie Mae, UBS, Dot Com, NYC, Silicon Valley, Hong Kong. It’s really a unusual when you can pin all these tags to one person. Another thing adding value to this event is even today it’s still hard to see a lot of female programmer, not to mention CTOs, in an era in which IT is becoming the most influential industry, it’s especially valuable to listen to Minerva's story. At 3W Coffee on May 18th, we would like to invite all of you to meet her and other ever curious people.