TheBridge profile: Abin Kuriakose
Name: Abin Kuriakose
Current city: Chicago, IL
Current job: ChicagoNEXT Program Manager, World Business Chicago
Past job: Deputy Chief of Staff, Cook County Illinois Board of Commissioners (Tenth District); Senior Advisor, Raja Krishnamoorthi for Congress (IL-8); Senior Advisor, Chicago City Council Asian American Caucus
Q. Favorite spot for a coffee meeting? Dollop in Chicago
Q. Describe one way how a skill you learned in a previous job helped you in your new job. In government and campaigns, you’re always coalition building by engaging with stakeholders and managing their interests to accomplish specific goals. In my current role, I engage with a variety of tech community leaders, such as venture capitalists, innovation hubs, tech executives and entrepreneurs to catalyze their collective impact to build a more vibrant and inclusive startup economy.
Q. Job advice in three words? Engage with purpose.
Q. How are you (or your company, org, nonprofit) currently bridging the gap between politics and tech? In my previous role, I led development of Cook County’s first open pension data platform, OpenPension.org. The website served as a platform to advance solutions to strengthen retirement security for thousands of public sector employees, as well as financial sustainability for the second largest county (5+ million residents) in the country. This inspired my deep interest as a young professional to explore the intersection of public policy, politics and tech. Now as program manager for ChicagoNEXT at World Business Chicago, the city of Chicago’s economic development partner, our team is responsible for researching, developing and leading technology, entrepreneurship and innovation-focused economic development strategies for Chicago’s global tech economy.
Q. Best advice you’ve received? Never underestimate the power of incremental change.
Q. Living person you admire? Jahmal Cole - Founder of My Block, My Hood, My City (featured by the Obama Foundation)
Q. Favorite under the radar company? Civis Analytics, for their work solving the world’s largest data problems and their Obama 2012 roots.
Q. Startup to watch? Ballotready, for their mission of a more informed electorate and strengthening our democracy by helping voters vote informed, all the way down the ballot.