At 11 years old, Sofia Gonzalez is the youngest member of NYC FinTech Women. She is an active attendee at our events and each time we see her, we are left inspired by her curiosity and confidence. With an interest in cyrptocurrencies, venture capital, and writing, Sofia is the future of FinTech.
I currently attend The Anderson School in New York City. I am fascinated by venture capitalists and hope to become one in the future. I am passionate about soccer (my favorite team is Liverpool FC, and my favorite player is Sadio Mané). I also enjoy writing and recently presented my essay 'What is Sexism?' in Writopia's Winter 2019 Youth Essay Conference. I also really enjoy going to events that empower women like NYC FinTech Women that allow me to meet women from several different backgrounds and hear them share new ideas.
Why did you get involved with NYC FinTech Women?
It started when I first visited a business library with my dad, and I started with a Bloomberg terminal. He showed me a page with currencies and then began reading articles about cryptocurrencies. That's when I first learned about Crypto Kitties and ended up buying one. Later my dad took me to an event to meet the crypto kitties founder.
After the event I asked my dad to go to another Fintech event. Then he took me to a NYC FinTech Women event where the organizers introduced me to everyone at the event that night. By the end, I felt very comfortable talking with other people and sharing my view of the world. I enjoyed the event a lot and came back for more.
You would like to be a venture capitalist when you grow up. What will be your focus of interest in venture capital? What companies do you currently follow or would like to model?
As a venture capitalist, I would focus on investing in products that are simple, cheap, and good for the environment. I believe that the environmental market will continue growing as we make more attempts to save our planet.
Currently I follow cryptocurrencies. I have been following them for a while, trying to understand what external factors contribute to their price. I invested into bitcoin right at the start of its fall ( it was at $14,000) and ethereum, also at the beginning of its fall. When investing in bitcoin, I researched its history, which indicated that its price was going to go up again; however, it was excruciating when my $100 turned into $50. However, before my ethereum could decrease, I bought a crypto kittie, which I am soon to breed.
Who is someone in FinTech that you admire?
I admire Bill Gates. Gates may not be known for FinTech, but he is one of my role models. Recently I saw a Netflix documentary about him and learned that Bill was also interested in helping the world. The Gates Foundation (which Bill founded with his wife Melinda Gates) is helping end Polio, to find a source of fresh water for rural desert areas, and help get bathrooms to towns that cannot afford them.
What do you think adults are missing when they are trying to create a tech product that focuses on kids your age?
When companies create products for kids our age, they have to make them look organized and easily accessible. They also have to oversimplify everything, making all of the features accessible with simple buttons. Companies must also be aware that their product has to be able to convert nicely onto a phone, tablet, or computer. They can also get more children by having a way to reward the user (money, points, notifications,etc.).
What do you do on a daily basis or motivates you to learn more about FinTech? What can other kids do to get more involved in FinTech?
I am motivated to learn about FinTech because it comes up a lot in my everyday life. For example, I keep a ledger with my father with all the money that I would like him to save for me. I worry that if one day it "disappears," there is no proof of him ever owing me money. However, using FinTech software, I could make sure that the ledger never disappears and always stays updated. Kids have to want to learn or at least listen when their parents make an effort to expose them to different topics.
What are two ideas you would like our audience to take away from your interview?
I would like people to realize that when they talk to children, they should avoid using a tone that makes us feel inferior and makes us defensive, therefore ignoring what is being taught to us. Furthermore, I would like kids my age to be more open to learning new things and adults to be more willing to take the time, and patience to share their knowledge with kids.