For the month of January 2014 and the first time in two years (wow! it’s shocking how time flies), we’re recognizing our Star Contributor of the Month. The proud honors for this month go to Steve Thomson, whose recognition is long overdue. For 2014, we’re resolved to make sure we recognize our rock-star volunteers and I’m certain we’ll have many to feature as we focus on growing volunteer participation this year.
Steve has been one of the most active and instrumental individuals in our community throughout all of 2013. He came to us at the start of the year when he expressed interested in joining our board. We brought him on as an advisor straight away and immediately he took charge in putting our community and partner program on an impressive growth trajectory. Steve’s ideas, efforts, and passionate evangelism of the project have been an invaluable part of the community’s growth this past year. Much of his work is only now coming into fruition – but you’ve seen it (or will see it) in the strategic partnerships we’re securing, the collaboration tools we’re rolling out, pur deeper commitment and engagement with volunteers, the maturity and development he’s bringing to our partner program including the high-profile partners he’s onboarding into our ecosystem, the forward-looking vision he’s injecting into the platform, his fundraising plans to grow the community, and simply the energy and joy he has for Mifos and financial inclusion.
Steve has brought such tremendous value to our community that we’re bringing him on in a formal role as part of the Mifos Initiative. As of this year, Steve will now be Director, Strategic Projects.
So not only join in congratulating Steve but also welcome him into his new role.
Steve Thomson – Vancouver, Canada
Brief Bio (in the words of Steve): A product manager at heart, Steve is Principal of his own firm, Thomson + Associates, a product and market development consultancy that specializes in helping technology-based start-ups take their innovation to market. Steve has over 17 years of experience in emerging technologies including experience in electronic banking and payments. For the past 10 years, he has worked with start-up technology companies as well as government organizations and NGO’s in the technology start-up space.
Relevant Skills: Technology product management in banking and payments; credit union market knowledge; experience working with start-up technology companies.
Discovering Mifos:I discovered Mifos while working on the business case for a banking and payments network for institutions working at the Base of the Pyramid. In reviewing Mifos, I immediately saw the global opportunity that the new API-centric Mifos X architecture could provide to organizations working at the Base of the Pyramid, particularly when provided for free as an open source solution.
Contributions Made to Date: Assisted with strategic product positioning and roadmapping as well as global partner channel development and relationships with large technology vendors. Now assisting with fundraising efforts to help leverage and scale the core that we’ve created to date.
Current Projects: Mifos for Credit Unions– a build-out of the Mifos platform to provide better support for credit cooperatives; increasing the market opportunity for partners and increasing the global impact that we can make with the system’s development.
Impact on the Poor: To ensure that all financial institutions servicing the base of the pyramid have access to an affordable platform on which to run their organization.
What’s Rewarding about Working on Mifos: The Mifos project has been a great opportunity to use all of my experience to date working in banking and payments and with start-up technology companies and to use that expertise to help improve lives at the Base of the Pyramid.
Top Piece of Advice for Others in the Mifos Community: The Mifos Community is what we make it as individuals and organizations. If we stay aligned with each other as a community, there is no end to the good that we can create with Mifos.
With the release of the Mifos X platform, the Mifos Initiative is undergoing a very fundamental transformation from supporting a vendor-driven open source MIS product to supporting a true community and partner-led platform for financial inclusion. With a growing community, Mifos is well positioned to scale and make a meaningful impact in the lives of millions of people through financial inclusion.
Fun Facts about Steve
Favorite Food: Hamburgers
Favorite Open Source Project: Mifos X, of course! Or, Open Compute Project
If Steve Could Travel to One Place in the World: The high Canadian Arctic
Interesting fact/tidbit about yourself you’d like to share: I was introduced to microfinance through Kiva [www.kiva.org] where I have participated in 123 loans to date.
You can find out more Steve at: