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Kim Raath

CEO, Topl

Kim Raath is Advocating for Access

Growing up in South Africa during the 1990s, Kim Raath witnessed inequality and poverty first hand. She backpacked through 18 developing countries and worked for various NGOs by rebuilding and strengthening communities around the world. Kim was frequently made aware of the financial burdens, lack of adequate resources and need for access to low-cost capital throughout the developing world.

Currently, as part of the Center for Computational Finance and Economic Systems (CoFES), an interdisciplinary center housed in the George R. Brown School of Engineering, and as a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow (NSF GRFP), she is finishing up an MA in Economics while also pursuing a Ph.D. in Statistics. In this context, she conducts interdisciplinary research allowing her to contribute to large-scale economic issues that impact the availability of and accessibility to basic needs.

Recently, she co-founded Topl. With a mission to empower growth and enable investment, Topl has built a dedicated blockchain that is flexible and open enough to be the infrastructural backbone for developing economies. Instead of trying to dictate and control everything themselves, the Topl team acknowledges that the complexity and variety across developing markets require flexibility and openness.

This is why they’ve built a permissionless blockchain that allows users to become partners, integrating with and leveraging the Topl network however they see fit to drive local economic growth. From investment and donation to certification and supply chain tracking, they rely on experienced local partners to determine exactly the best way to utilize the Topl blockchain for their needs and users.

Even though Topl has only been around since 2017 their high-touch approach already includes participation in working groups with the United Nations and the World Bank.

This article is originally from the Rice university school of engineering’s series of Spotlights on Diversity in Engineering.