MIW Disruptive Podcast Episode 2020-015: Rakia Finley, Founding Partner at Copper & Vine Studio, Co.
Rakia Finley is the Founding Partner at Copper & Vine Studio, an American software executive, Women in Tech Initiative Leader, full-stack developer, Salesforce MVP, mother, private investor, and philanthropist. She is best known for her work with the Obama Administration on their “Girls in STEM” initiative and continues to develop innovative technology solutions and community initiatives that promote diversity in STEM for girls of color. Named FemTech’s 2016 & 2017 Powerful Woman Programmer, she is one of the highest-earning African-American females in the software industry and North America’s first black female owner of an Artificial Intelligence (AI) software and product development firm. Raised by a single mother in Portland, Oregon, Rakia would spend her evenings waiting for her mother to get off work. Her time in the office is where Rakia got her first chance to enter data into a custom database. At 15 years old, she had convinced the executive team of the Washington Hospital Center to hire her on a contract basis to provide data entry to their billing department. After one year of working in the Hospital’s billing department, Rakia produced the efforts of a five-person database team on her own and converted a 78% paper process to 10%, moving their 2002 billing system to a fully digital data gathering solution enhancing their medical input to a 98% accuracy metric. By 19, Rakia was the founder of PinStripe Consulting, a database development firm. After delivering over 500 custom database solutions to nonprofits, she launched Surge Assembly, a full-service software development firm focused on enhancing company revenues. Her determination for better software-led her to build a custom AI solution for Starwood Hotels in 2006, making them one of the first leading hotels with virtual booking and room management. In 2015, Rakia Co-Founded FIN Digital, a full-service firm, building artificial intelligence and hardware applications for founders and organizations. She has also emerged as an entrepreneur’s dream come true, designing products for founders that average over $27 million in an acquisition.
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About the MIW Disruptive Podcast
The MIW Disruptive Podcast is a platform to highlight tech entrepreneurs and innovators of color, the tech startup ecosystem, emerging technologies, and more. Join us as we have a conversation with tech startups and innovators building solutions for our future.
Meet the MIW Disruptive Podcast Cohosts
Jerome McDonald is an experienced electrical engineer with a focus in optical communication technology, skilled in optical communication systems design, optical modeling, link budget analysis, and characterizing optical systems. Jerome, aka DJ ROME, is also founder and host of The Junction, a podcast available on iHeartRadio and Apple Podcast, and co-owner of the DJ business Event Makers Entertainment (EME), which provides high-quality sound to the DMV area.
Sir Walter Richardson is an experienced Hardware Engineer with a demonstrated history of working in heavy industry and aerospace industry. He’s an active member of the Baltimore Metropolitan Area Chapter (BMAC) of the National Society of Black Engineers and will be helping execute this year’s Minority Innovation Weekend. This weekend summit will bring together minority founders, business owners and future entrepreneurs.