John Licciardello has built a career focused on financial innovation. Following his undergraduate degree, John moved to Mexico City where he played a key role in an early stage financial technology startup. The venture developed and brought to market an innovative and patented product to empower unbanked remittance beneficiaries to access any ATM. From 2011 to 2015, John had an active role in all aspects of the business from IT to finance. He spearheaded the integration of the technology with over 2,000 points of sale across Mexico, and played a leading role in closing a $10 million Series-A financing round. This experience — developing a market-based solution to help those most disadvantaged by the current financial system — ignited a passion in John to build a career working on financial innovations enabling the economically disenfranchised to build a better life.
Building on this career focus, John has recently spent time with the Innovative Finance and Program Related Investments divisions of The Rockefeller Foundation. In this role, John learned how to view an original finance solution from the investor’s point of view. These teams at The Rockefeller Foundation deploy ‘high-risk’ capital to state-of-the-art finance solutions with the potential to mobilize significant private sector capital towards positive social and environmental impact. John completed the necessary due diligence of new proposals and assisted in the management of the active portfolio which included financial technologies using blockchain, financial engineering solutions, and pioneering fund structures.
John was born in Princeton, NJ and holds degrees in Engineering and Economics from the University of Delaware and Rutgers University, respectively. He will complete his Masters in International Finance from Columbia University in May of 2018.
On Joining IOTA:
After first learning about IOTA earlier this year, I have become completely enamored with its ground-breaking potential. A secure, scalable and zero-cost protocol enabling the transfer of data or value instantly, to anyone, anywhere, would have the power to profoundly change the world for the better in yet unimaginable ways. Leading the Ecosystem Development Fund will give me a front row seat to see firsthand many of the potential solutions the IOTA technology engenders. I feel so incredibly fortunate for this opportunity and I commit to doing my absolute best to make sure these funds so generously donated by the IOTA community are spent wisely.
John has shown his devotion to the technology and vision of IOTA since he joined our community. His expertise in international finance and experience with organizing tasks makes him an ideal Ecosystem Fund manager, which will greatly expedite the process behind the Ecosysem Fund grant award program and thus foster growth of the IOTA ecosystem. Beyond this role he will also work as a researcher on the financial implications of IOTA’s unique zero fee scalable transactions on economic theory together with other researchers and mathematicians. Give him a warm welcome!