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Who is Building NEAR?

The teams that make up the NEAR Collective have built successful companies and implemented some of the only real-world sharded systems at scale

Alexander Skidanov

Alex started his professional career at Microsoft in 2009, then joined memSQL in 2011 as Engineer #1, where he worked for 5 years as Architect and Director of Engineering. He is a 2x ICPC medalist (gold in 2008 and bronze in 2005).

  • ICPC Gold Medal (2008)
  • ICPC Bronze Medal (2005)

Illia Polosukhin

Illia is an ICPC finalist and has more than 10 years of industry experience, including 3 years at Google where he was a major TensorFlow contributor and a manager of the team building question answering capabilities for the core Google search.

  • ICPC Finalist (2008)

Damon Sicore

Damon led engineering and product for Wikipedia and spent 7 years building and leading the Mozilla engineering team to create Firefox 3 through 29. He's a Guinness World-Record holder for most copies of software downloaded in a single day for Firefox, founding Mozilla Research to produce Rust, WebAssembly, and enabling the Web to host native hardware accelerated 3D graphics games and applications.

Mikhail Kever

Mikhail was a senior software engineer at MemSQL for more than 4 years. He is also one of only 9 people to become a 2-time ICPC world champion.

  • ICPC World Champion (2012)
  • ICPC World Champion (2013)

Evgeny Kapun

Evgeny has been working in the blockchain industry for more than 7 years. He has achieved top awards in ICPC, Google Code Jam, and other programming competitions.

  • ICPC World Champion (2009)
  • ICPC World Champion (2012)

Evgeny Kuzyakov

Evgeny is an ICPC gold medalist (2008) who began his professional career at Google in 2011, started at Facebook in 2015 and left in 2017 to work on Machine Learning and Blockchain research.

  • ICPC Gold Medal (2008)

Dr Maksym Zavershynskyi

Maksym has more than 10 years of industry experience, most recently at Google where he worked on applied Machine Learning.

Vlad Grichina

Vlad started his career as a professional TopCoder competitor and worked on mobile apps since 2009. He founded a 15 person mobile dev company and worked 3 years at Google on the Play Store.

  • TopCoder Open Finalist (2006)

Evguenia (Jane) Degtiareva

Jane is a software industry veteran with 10+ years of industry experience including at Google, Logitech and Niantic, where she built the microtransactions backend for Pokémon GO.

Peter DePaulo

Peter is a product-focused engineer with over 7 years of experience in tech who has shipped code to millions of users with pharmaceutical oncology clients such as Pfizer, Merck, and Roche.

Bowen Wang

Bowen graduated from University of Chicago with a Masters in Programming Languages and Machine Learning.

Erik Trautman

Erik is an entrepreneur who started 5 years on Wall Street in 2007 and left to create an open source community which grew to over 100,000 members. He led Viking Education as CEO until its acquisition in 2017.

Aliaksandr [Sasha] Hudzilin

Aliaksandr studied business at UC Berkeley, worked in investment banking under Frank Quattrone, and spent 4 years selling and marketing MuleSoft and MemSQL products.

Yifang Ma

Yifang graduated from the Stevens Institute of Technology with master in Financial Engineering. She built machine-learning-based statistical models and data collection systems for financial applications.

Jake Stutzman

Jake is a designer with over 18 years of experience solving real-world design problems with brands like HP, CAT, ESPN and VMware, along with startups like InVision, Hudl, YouVersion, and Boxee. His mantra: 'Design on Purpose'

  • SP Designer of the Year (2013)

Bo Yao

Bo graduated from New York University with a master's degree in Computer Science focusing on distributed systems and compiler techniques.

Alexandra Breines

Alex is a marketer with 8 years of industry experience. She's built growth strategies that better nurture and convert millions of users. Most recently at ConsenSys, where she focused on community & growth.

Kendall Cole

Kendall is a technologist with 6+ years of experience as a product manager, software engineer, and founder of startups in the US and Europe. Most recently, he worked on improving Ethereum’s developer experience at ConsenSys.

Julie Bissinger

Julie is a builder and operator who spent nearly 6 years at Facebook, leaving to pursue a social impact startup she co-founded. She's an ops pro in building and scaling global teams, driving organizational growth strategies, and growing people.

Sherif Abushadi

Sherif is a teacher with over 20 years of experience in web development and automation with clients such as Stripe and Microsoft as well as the US Departments of Education and Homeland Security. He spent about half that time teaching thousands of adults.

Ashley Crawford

Ashley has been growing communities since 2015. She's built experiences for communities such as Bebo (acquired by Twitch/Amazon) and FetLife. She's designed and implemented strategy for a variety of event types, ranging from charity fundraising to hackathons.

Patrick Tajima

Patrick founded his first internet-based venture in 2012 and has since acquired deep knowledge in UX/UI design and front-end engineering.

Dustin Goodwin

Dustin has been working in recruitment for the last 10 years, helping deliver some of the world's largest software implementations. He's a co-founder of ETHDenver and most recently worked at a blockchain start-up focusing on the future of employment.

Mildred Idada

Mildred brings experience from KKR, where she held several roles during her three-year tenure. Mildred was a member of the Client and Partner Group, actively involved in KKR's business development and capital raising activities. Prior to that, Mildred was a member of KKR's Technology team, responsible for supporting and implementing strategic technology initiatives.

Stefano Pepe

Stefano is a serial entrepreneur with 7 years of experience building B2B blockchain products. He is active in Italy's Bitcoin community as a book author and TEDx speaker. Most recently, he bootstrapped UniquID, a decentralized and open-source identity as a service for IoT devices.

Chad Ostrowski

Chad has 10 years of engineering experience including launching his own products, creating and teaching curricula, contributing to startups, and building tools at Comcast and Apple.

Mike Purvis

Mike pursued a Computer Science degree in beautiful Hawaii where he found success in software competitions. He brings professional experience from large companies in healthcare, food distribution, and entertainment.

Anaïs Urlichs

Anaïs began her career as technical analyst for an Israeli venture fund, leading investments in blockchain projects such as Chainspace, which later became part of Facebook. She has helped a variety of European tech startups build their developer communities.

Corwin Harrell

Corwin is a product designer with 7+ years of experience working in user research, UX & UI design, front-end development, and design sprint facilitation for projects spanning greenfield startups to established products serving millions of active users. Prior to Near, Corwin aimed to help establish UX best practices for dApps on Ethereum at ConsenSys, where he led design for the Bounties Network.

Willem Wyndham

Willem earned his masters from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and enrolled in a programming language PhD program at the University of Maryland, College Park, with a focus on language security and implementation.

Prateek Gupta

Prateek is a product marketing professional with 8 years of experience in the software development industry. He's held management roles at Pusher, Pluralsight, and AirPair. He is an active member of the StartupBus community.


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