Getting to Know Topl: Paige Nicolaou, Community and Content Manager
Howdy! I’m Paige, a Junior Economics student at Texas A&M and a native Houstonian. I’m half Greek, on my dads side. I went to Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart for most of my educational career. I enjoy sitting outside at coffee shops and reading 800 page books.
Getting Started at Topl
I met Chris our CEO, in Houston through the Rice University OwlSpark Accelerator where I worked during the summer of 2017 as an intern. When, early this year, I began contemplating what I’m going to do with the rest of my life and how I’m going to do it (over a cup of coffee) I reached out to my old bosses, the inimitable forces to be reckoned with, Kerri Smith and Jessica Fleenor who suggested I start my quest for my future by attending the Startup Career Fair they were hosting later that month.
I had already met a few of the founders from the Startups in attendance. I knew Chris because he came to help the founders going through the OwlSpark and University of Houston REDLabs programs perfect their pitches for the Bayou Startup Showcase. I knew Topl through Chris. His booth was all but in front of door. I figured I’d start there. Ease myself into it, as it were; I was more than a little nervous and stressed about my future and my prospects, so I thought it would be nice to see a friendly face.
Before I got the chance to say hello, he stuck out his hand and said “Hi, I’m Chris. It’s nice to meet you.” With a chuckle, a sudden burst of confidence, and a well-timed hairflip, I replied “Yes, I know; we’ve met.”
Somehow, between Chris’ chagrin, and my enthusiasm for Topl’s social mission, and despite the fact that Topl was at the fair to hire software developers, I all but walked out the door with an invitation to work for Topl.
Life Long Service
I suffered the fate of many a December baby — my birthday and the Holidays got meshed together. Growing up my birthday party quickly became The Holiday Party that would mark the beginning of the Holiday season for my parents and their friends. And my poor three year old self felt even further mistreated when my mom explain that I wouldn’t be getting presents that year. She told me that we would be collecting gifts for other kids who needed them.
Every year since then, our Holiday party has benefited several different groups and organizations. Even though I didn’t have a full grasp at that age why we were donating presents, I knew it was right to give to those who didn’t have. It became something I felt (and still feel) strongly about. As I’ve gotten older I have understood more and more the needs of others, and participated more and more in organizing the event and cultivating the relationships with different organizations that have been in need of funding or supplies. We’ve collected gifts for the Children’s Assessment Center and Child Advocates and hygiene necessities for women’s shelters. We’ve raised money for a children’s education room at the 1940’s Air Terminal Museum, and a scholarship in the name of my late uncle at Annunciation Orthodox School. We’ve also collected funds to benefit Multiple Sclerosis and Diabetes research.
At Duchesne (my “second home”, where I went to grade school) they hope to endow in each of their students a commitment to the Five Goals of the Sacred Heart. The third of which is “a social awareness which impels to action”. They did this in many different ways throughout our day to day schooling and over the years, the culmination of which was spending several hours a week off campus volunteering across Houston in our junior and senior years of high school.
All of this to say, that acknowledgement of the struggles of others, and service to them in their most challenging moments has been a major motivating factor in my life. It was Topl’s own social awareness which has driven them to action that moved me to want to work for them. They saw a problem — lack of access to capital in developing markets — which has the direct result of hindering the advancement of these communities, and came up with a specially crafted solution that gets projects the capital they need, and incentivizes investors to get it to them. And it is towards this goal, of making the global community (and as a result the global economy) more beneficial for everyone, that we strive everyday.
“What’s a Community and Content Manager?”
My title is Community and Content Manager, but my role at Topl can be hard to describe. I have developed the content and messaging strategy for social media. I interact with our groups and channels to keep them updated on Topl and answer their questions. I’ve also managed our airdrop and bounty campaigns. I enjoy writing and speaking, and interacting with other people, but this position also tests and expands my analytical thinking in a new way. It’s a pleasure and a challenge to try make sure that anything and everything we put out clearly articulates our goals, vision, and product. I try to be the mouthpiece for everything that’s going on within Topl. I relay messages about our commitments to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and how our investment infrastructure will help us all to reach those goals. I explain who might use our investment protocol and how it might be used in the future. Essentially, I spend my time at Topl trying to impel others to action, to aid us in our endeavor to help others. I think Alex said it best: “I’m incredibly proud of the work I get to do at Topl.”
I spend my time at Topl trying to impel others to action, to aid us in our endeavor to help others.
I can’t do any of this, though, without the support of everyone else on the team. Anna has been making our 12 Days of Topl infographics, Alex keeps me on the straight and narrow when it comes to our technical updates (especially when it comes to his project Heimdallr), Chris makes sure everyone knows they’re valued and appreciated, Kim makes everyone send me pictures and catches all of my typos, Jim simplifies complex ideas and processes so the whole team can understand. And these are just a few examples of how they help me, and how we all work together everyday to make our vision for Topl a reality.
Our Team: Our Greatest Strength
Because of the skills and the dedication of each person that works for Topl, we cannot fail.
And this is precisely why I believe in Topl — because of our team. I am proud not only of the work that I do for Topl, but of the work that we all do for Topl. I know this feeling has been echoed in everyone else’s blog post: it’s because with the skills and the dedication of every person we have working for Topl, we cannot fail. My knowledge of blockchain, cryptocurrency, and software engineering is limited; I can grasp enough statistics to pass STAT 101. But I know that my teammates know these things. We all work tirelessly to create and promote a project that will enable investors to provide capital to ventures across the globe so that they can improve their own lives and communities. For Topl, I see no bounds because we have the best team working to bring it to life.