#5 – INFLUENTIAL WOMAN IN CRYPTO: JOYCE KIM
BY ELENA DEMOU
Joyce Kim is a second generation Korean-American who grew up in New York City. With dreams of becoming a lawyer, she graduated from Cornell University at the young age of only 19 years old. She continued her education by attending graduate school at both Harvard and Columbia Law School. After graduating, she worked as a Corporate Attorney for both Sherman & Sterling and WilmerHale in 2004 and 2005 respectively but it was her pro bono work that is most fascinating. She dedicated a lot of her time working at Sanctuaries for Families which is “New York’s leading service provider and advocate for survivors of domestic violence, sex trafficking and related forms of gender violence.” She also spent her time helping out with the Innocence Project, which is a non-profit that dedicates its resources to freeing innocent people who have been incarcerated by using DNA testing and improving the criminal justice system. Truly commendable.
In 2006, her career changed paths. She became the Chief Executive Officer of Soompi.com, which is an English media website that coverages anything and everything in Korean pop culture that is viewed from 150+ countries worldwide. In 2011, Joyce Co-Created SimpleHoney, a website that matched hotels to user’s based on their personality. The company later shifted their focus to be more of a wish list app that advises the best time and place to buy the item wanted. The focus shifted when it was realized people weren’t traveling as often and they were using the wish list feature more than anything else, it was later acquired by OpenCoin. In between all this, she Co-Hosted the GigaOm Show in which she talked with various tech CEO’s and start-up entrepreneurs.
In 2014, Joyce made her biggest move yet. She became the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Stellar Development Foundation. Stellar (XLM) is a decentralized, open-sourced global cryptocurrency payment system that was created to transfer money all over the world at a low rate that it is practically feeless, making micropayments more feasible. The Stellar Foundation itself was developed to support the Stellar Network and create the opportunity for people to hold their finances in many forms without having to worry about their local economies failing. In 2016, she passed the torch of the Executive Director position to Co-Founder Jed McCaleb but still sits as the chairperson of the board.
To add to the long list of companies created by this fabulous woman, in 2017 she Co-Founded and became the Managing Partner of SparkChain Capital. This new company is “an early-stage venture capital fund focused on investing in the leading blockchain innovations across the world.” Believing that blockchain will revolutionize many industries, they aim to help the best and the brightest startups to eventually become independently successful, improving the blockchain industry as a whole.
In her spare time, surprising that she even has any, she works as a Director’s Fellow at the MIT Media Lab where she meets and collaborates with lab students to help with innovation and tackling real-world problems through learning and creativity. She can also can be seen as a speaker at conferences such as East Meets West, DLD Conference, World Affairs Council, Creative Summit, and Women in Tech Conference as well as many others. This self-proclaimed “recovering attorney” has made some big waves in this industry. It seems to me there will be no stopping her in the future. We may even see another company or two of hers, never know!
This article was written by Elena Demou from Uptrennd.com