GDG: Building for the Next Billion

GDG Culver City
Wed, Nov 6, 2019, 6:00 PM (PST)

About this event

What: GDG Silicon Beach (Google Development Group) presents: Building for the Next Billion
Where: Tala HQ[masked]th St, Santa Monica, CA 90404
When: November 6th 6-9pm
Food and Drink: Pizza, Beer, Wine, and Water

6-6:30 Check-in/Networking
6:30-6:35 GDG welcome by Nicole/James
6:35-6:45 Tala/Speaker Intro Shivani Siroya
6:45-7:05 Chris Schmitz Mobile Engineering Manager-Tala
7:05-7:25 Emerson Serra, Global DevOps Manager-Tala
7:25-7:35 Break
7:40- 7:50 Panel Moderated Portion
7:50-8:00 Panel Pre-submitted questions
8:00-8:15 Panel free-form questions
8:15-8:45 Networking/Wrap-up
9:00-close Optional Post Event Happy Hour at Sonny McLean's (4 blocks away)

If you would like to presubmit questions for our expert panel please do so here:

Tala's talk will be Lessons Learned from Building for the Next Billion Users

Tala recently celebrated its 5th year in Kenya and has continued to expand to other countries like the Philippines, Mexico, and now India. Its app regularly tops the charts of the countries it supports, disbursing over $1 billion to more than 4 million users worldwide. In this talk we’ll cover what it takes to build successful global apps and how to overcome some of the unique challenges presented by supporting different countries.

Speaker Bios

Shivani Siroya (CEO/Founder)

Shivani has had many microfinance jobs and investment banking at firms such as Citi, UBS and Credit Suisse in her name. The launch of Tala was as a result of Shivani’s qualitative research that inspired her throughout her entrepreneurial journey. She worked with UN population Fund interviewing over 3,500 people across nine different countries in sub-Saharan Africa and West Africa. During her time at UN Population Fund, she met hardworking people across the globe that could not get loans due to lack of financial identity. Shivani is a 2016 Aspen Institute Finance Leader Fellow, 2016 WEF Young Global Leader, 2015 Senior TED Fellow and 2013 Ashoka Fellow. She is also on the board of She holds a M.P.H from Columbia University and a B.A. from Wesleyan University.

Chris Schmitz (Mobile Engineering Manager)

Chris has been a mobile developer/manager since 2006, focused primarily on Android, developing apps with millions of cumulative installs. Now, he oversees Android development at Tala as they continue their mission to bring financial access, choice, and control to billions of underserved people globally.

Emerson Serra (Manager, Global DevOps)

Emerson is the DevOps Manager at Tala, passionate about helping to provide financial access to the underserved across the globe using Kubernetes and DevOps practices. Prior to Tala, he worked at Ticketmaster helping ticket on-sales for high profile artists a smooth experience, also worked at, Videomize and Crowdgather building highly available and reliable services on various web, mobile and cloud platforms. Originally from Guatemala, he currently lives in California.

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