There’s no getting around it: The tech world has been (and continues to be) a male-dominated industry for a long time. According to Fortune, women in tech have a quit rate twice as high as men despite only making up 25% of the tech industry’s workforce. However, many female entrepreneurs and tech evangelists are fighting to close the gender gap and help advance women’s role in engineering. One of those leading the charge is Sarah Austin who is an advocate of young women pursuing STEM and business degrees in college.
Sarah Austin is recognized as a marketing executive in the digital finance sector, with demonstrated success as an entrepreneur and as an intrepreneur across major Silicon Valley companies. She held a leadership role as Senior Content Manager at Oracle Financial Services where she represented Oracle at the annual meetings and managed the creation of Oracle’s marketing content, as she served some of the largest banks in the world, as well as being the partner liaison to communications with the United Nations, World Economic Forum, Interpol, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund.
Prior to her leadership roles at Oracle, Austin was a Content Marketing Consultant at SAP, a German multinational software corporation which is one of the world’s leading producers of software for the management of business processes. In that position, Austin collaborated to produce strategy and content development for product and sales. She also contributed to the start of its inaugural SAP influencer department within SAP. Ms. Austin successfully led SAP partnerships with other content brands such as TechCrunch and Fitbit where she produced a data visualization for Disrupt or Ripple XRP’s partnership from 2016.
Austin’s distinguished career also included her leadership role in social media campaigns for Ford Motor Company, where she successfully handled the company’s CES content marketing campaign. Also in that capacity, she contributed content marketing surrounding a partnership with Microsoft Ford SYNC, which is now integrated as an important part of the Ford technology. She managed Ford’s press, webinar, events and marketing content. Significantly, Ms. Austin managed the entire press cycle overseeing Ogilvy, the primary advertising and branding agency. Austin also contributed to the marketing plan for the Ford Fiesta USA launch that outsold cars and resulted in substantial preorders and significant revenue for Ford. As a core contributor to this campaign, Austin was instrumental in winning the AdAge Magazine marketing campaign of the year.
After leaving the corporate world to aid her mother with a life-threatening illness, she returned to startups and joined four co-founders as the first marketing hire who single handedly built the content funnel to communicate with traders and investors at growth and scale that resulted in nearly $2 billion assets under management. Prior to Austin’s communication platform, very few traders and investors were aware of the presence of Kava. The Kava daily trading volume was only at $1.3 million. The native token of the Kava blockchain was trading at only $0.30 at that time. After Ms. Austin joined Kava as the Head of Content/Chief Marketing Officer, the platform had issued millions of dollars in USDX loans, with a concomitant growth of the Kava token of an impressive 500% to $5.50. Through Austin’s communication platform, the Kava token increased to $9.00, with a trading volume of $350 million a day. Austin’s success at the company was also reflected by her outstanding Chainlink Partnership Announcement, Integration, that integrated Chainlink in May 2020; the onboarding of Chainlink Price Reference Data technology onto the Kava blockchain has provided a valuable service to Kava’s users of its DeFi ecosystem including financial institutions; Austin’s outstanding partnership announcement, integration and content release catapulted the project to a new level of industry recognition. Kava was selected as one of Binance’s integration partners for the leading cryptocurrency exchange, with Binance being a critical investor and partner of Kava; Austin’s terrific integration campaign contributed to Kava’s successful debut on Binance.com as the first ever DeFi offering.
In an interview that Austin conducted with CZ, the CEO of Binance, and the communications platform campaign, she was granted approval by Binance PR to use the quote in a co-issued press release that successfully executed a PR campaign following the interview that went viral and resulted in adoption of the decentralized app. She went on to become a distinguished Speaker at the Binance DeFi Conference.
Austin contributed articles to Coin Market Cap and CoinTelegraph, and was interviewed and featured in a Forbes Magazine article and Vanity Fair Magazine called her “America’s Tweetheart.” She’s a contributor to Entrepreneur magazine to this day where she writes about NFTs and crypto.
After graduating with a business degree from Dominican College of Theology and Philosophy she graduated on to John Hopkins University to become a certified data scientist where she learned to code in Python and R. She has not only been the winner of multiple recognitions like Forbes “30 under 30”, AdAge “Campaign of the year”, Sundance’s “Global Impact Award”, TechCrunch Disrupt grand prize and SAP “Hacker of the Year”. Also, she’s been sort of a pop star in the medium since early in her career as a local personality to a national reality TV show.
Sarah’s path to prominence started with TechCrunch when she launched “Party Crashers”, a tech podcast documenting her gatecrashing VC parties with a comediac slant. It was the TechCrunch platform that allowed her to become a well-known face among some of Silicon Valley’s elite. She would eventually beta test Popsnap in 2007, and rebrand to Pop17 at launch in partnership with Twitch and presented by Virgin America, Perkett PR and TechCrunch later in 2008. In partnership with Forbes magazine, Pop17 syndicated video journalism interview content to Forbes on Fox. She went on to syndicate Pop17 content to MTV.com.
Photo credit: Sarah Austin
Having established herself as a force to be reckoned with in the tech and media worlds, and as the original community contributor to Twitch, Sarah’s content and marketing skills would continue moving her forward in blockchain and social media. She would add names like Intel, Ford Motor Company, Viacom, Forbes, HP, SAP, Oracle, and Kava Labs to the list of companies she helped grow and launch new products by offering her expertise in crowd funding, social media, marketing, and multimedia content.
When Sarah joined Kava Labs’ founders, she brought more than 10 years of experience in the blockchain and fintech marketing industries to help them get their startup off the ground. The startup would come to raise over $2 billion in assets under management and launch 4 cryptocurrencies: KAVA, USDX, HARD; and SWP. This would further solidify her reputation for protocol integrations in the cryptocurrency sector, which she would use to continue her mission to empower women in the tech sector by hiring women and onboarding women into crypto and NFTs.
With this purpose in mind, Sarah would establish Coding FTW. This non-profit organization seeked to close the gender gap in the technology sector by providing scholarships that help advance women’s role in the industry. Sarah’s dissatisfaction with the status of the tech industry had already been made clear since her time as a blogger when she said:
“Having spent my formative years attending startup launch events and VC parties, I witnessed firsthand the gender divide in Silicon Valley.”
Photo credit: Michael O’Donell
Over the years Sarah noted an often overlooked sector of DeFi called venture yield used to invest into metaverse and gaming startups by way of NFTs. She joined efforts with Apollo Green to launch QGlobe, an accelerator that is helping metaverse and NFT games get off the ground via Initial Game Offering pre sales, as well as by providing marketing, development, and partnership assistance.
She sees Web3 as an opportunity for female founders to access funding to their startups at a higher rate than would be available in Silicon Valley where funding rates are much lower for minorities and women. With the rise of crypto crowdfunding platforms female founders can reach a wider investor base that’s not solely concentrated in one geographic location like Silicon Valley. Sarah is Co-Founder of QGlobe, a dapp that offers strong holder offerings, (SHOs), an often overlooked utility within the Decentralized Finance (DeFi) sector.
While technology has the potential to change millions of lives for the better, Sarah believes that this will only be possible as long as there are people channeling their efforts with that objective in mind. As such, she is planning to make it possible for everyone to participate in this process, no matter the gender or background.