Vice president, Covail, and co-founder, Techlife Columbus
About: Ben Blanquera is a hub and connector for the technology community in Columbus. He has been gathering companies, startups and government agencies together for the last 15 years every quarter to discuss critical technology topics and best practices. He now coordinates the CIO Forum in Ohio, sharing best practices across organizations. Blanquera champions Columbus’ identity as one of the foremost collaborative environments, connecting people across the city to spark and facilitate innovative ideas and initiatives. He is also the co-founder of TechLife Columbus, an organization for technologists with more than 4,000 participants in its online Slack community. TechLife Columbus promotes industry news, job and educational opportunities through its weekly newsletter.
We need to build on the spirit of collaboration that has made Columbus so great and focus efforts and investments on reducing the economic and education gaps in our city.
Outside of work: In addition to being co-founder of Techlife Columbus and the convener of the Columbus CIO Forum, Blanquera serves as a curator for the Columbus Startup Digest, organizer for Can’t Stop Columbus and Comspark Columbus, speaker for TedXColumbus, board advisor for Women in Analytics and OhioX, technical working group leader for Smart Columbus, and as a rider for the Pan Ohio Hope Ride.
What does Columbus need to thrive? I think we need to build on the spirit of collaboration that has made Columbus so great and focus efforts and investments on reducing the economic and education gaps in our city. We need to improve our public transportation network, continue to fund the arts, and improve diversity and inclusion in all private and public entities.
Blanquera’s idea: I think we should form a “data corps”—(think Teach for America)—that would work with public and nonprofit entities to develop and implement data strategies that allow those organizations to leverage their data for better outcomes.