We had the good fortune of connecting with Elliot Briant and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Elliot, can you share a quote or affirmation with us?
I am enough, I forgive myself, I have everything I need within me. I will be my biggest cheer and I will not become my worse enemy.
We ofter get so caught up with life, and at times we tend to forget ourselves, we become our worse critic, our worse enemy, we start doubting ourselves, so this affirmation is a reminder that whatever is happening to me, I got this!
Being more kind to yourself is such a powerful thing, and this affirmation has definitely transformed my perception and has strengthened my relationship with myself.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I was born in the United States but I was raised in a small Island of Brazil called Vitória. Since I was a kid I was always fascinated by space, technology, medicine, and the impact in which these industries have brought on our society. At the age of 16 years old, I decided to get emancipated and move to the United States alone to pursue my dreams. Leaving my family and the life I had behind was one of the hardest things I have done, but totally worth it.
When I moved to the United States, the transition was not as easy, but I stayed focus on my goals. I lived in Miami – Florida for 6 years, where I was working two jobs, and going to school all at the same time. I was working as a Surgical Assistant during the day, and I was a bartender during the night, and at the same time going to school to learn computer programming. Later on in my life, I realized that I always have been passionate about making meaningful contributions to our society, which later on in my life drove me to move to Silicon Valley to pursue higher education and a career in Computer Science and Data Science.
I was always been very curious, and I love pushing myself out of my comfort zone, and software engineering always empowered me to explore new things. I was fortunate to have some incredible opportunities and experiences. As a software engineer, I’ve had the opportunity to help develop Gap Inc. and Banana Republic eCommerce platforms, I’ve collaborated alongside industry partners such as Snoop Dogg, to develop a cannabinoid recommendation system, and also worked for Mobile Gaming Technologies Inc. the world’s first blockchain mobile gaming platform.
Throughout college, I also competed and won in some of the largest hackathons in the US, including EthDenver ’18 for Best Decentralized Governance System, NASA’s Space App Challenge ’19 regional & national, Top 10 on Lyft Level 5 Autonomous Vehicle Challenge.
Some of the achievements I am most proud of have been working for NASA’s Johnson Space Center leveraging machine learning to support the International Space Station and working with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory & Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) on a mission to co-develop a satellite called NISAR.
The NISAR satellite is designed to observe and take measurements of some of the planet’s most complex processes. These include ecosystem disturbances, ice-sheet collapse, and natural hazards such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, and landslides. Data collected from NISAR will reveal information about the evolution and state of Earth’s crust, helping scientists better understand our planet’s processes and changing climate.
Currently, I’m the Chief Technology Officer of a fintech startup in the creator economy space called PaySplit.
PaySplit is a social payment platform designed for Creators, to seamlessly transact between brands, agencies, and their audience. We work closely with creators to help them manage their business, monetize their content, joint ventures, and engage with their audience.
One of the most important lessons that I’ve learned along the way has been (1) The sky isn’t the limit, if you can dream it make it happen. (2) Never limit yourself because of other’s limited imaginations; never limit others because of your limited imagination. (3) Never look at failure as something negative, always look at it as an opportunity of learning – the secret is to fail forward 😉
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
This is a good question. Well, I believe that the first things I would cross would be the more touristy things, such as the Hollywood sign, Hollywood Walk of Fame, Beverly Hills, the Santa Monica Pier, and the Venice Board Walk. Then after going to the more touristy destinations, I would then take them to a more immersive adventure of the LA scene, such as the Griffith Observatory, Bright Moments Art Gallery, Frieze Los Angeles, and Art Los Angeles Contemporary, then to some of my favorite speakeasies such as Old Lightning, The Varnish and No Vacancy. Other things that are a must on my list are hike trails such as Griffith Park Trails, Runyon Canyon, Franklin Canyon Park.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to dedicate this shoutout to my team, my business partners, and my friends & family for always supporting me throughout my journey.
Image 7 – Credit to Photographer Sean Farkas