Regina Noriega, the Chief Marketing Officer at Houston-based KONECTU, is transforming the digital marketplace through a platform that merges the professional networking capabilities of LinkedIn with the freelancer-client matchmaking of Upwork. Noriega shares her insights on KONECTU’s journey, the digital technologies that propel it, and her perspectives on pivotal policy issues.
Noriega describes KONECTU as a platform where “freelancers and organizations can get connected and leverage the opportunities in Web 3.0.” She emphasizes the importance of Web 3.0 in the digital landscape, explaining that it’s about “ownership and control of your digital identity.” This understanding shapes KONECTU’s mission to empower users in the evolving online world.
Embracing Digital Technologies
KONECTU’s development is a testament to Noriega’s strategic use of digital tools. Starting with Figma for design, moving to Bubble, and eventually settling on WordPress, the platform exemplifies the dynamic application of technology. Notably, all development work was executed by freelancers, emphasizing KONECTU’s commitment to its core user base. KONECTU also leverage Stripe and Google Analytics and participate in the Microsoft for Startups program, indicating an integration with major tech ecosystems.
Noriega advocates for policies that don’t stifle innovation, and is vocal about the policy challenges facing small businesses:
- Cross Border Data Flows: Emphasizing the importance of seamless data transfer across borders, she advocates for policies that facilitate international business and digital inclusivity.
- Digital Taxes: Noriega expresses concern about the impact of digital taxes on small businesses and startups, stressing that these taxes can be “devastating for small businesses.” “Digital taxes are absolute walls that many small businesses cannot scale. It’s crucial for governments to understand the weight of these taxes on innovators and entrepreneurs, especially the ones that are just starting out,” explains Noriega. “Otherwise, you will tax the innovation out of us.”
- Regulatory Clarity: For small businesses, especially in emerging technologies like Web 3.0, clear and consistent guidelines are crucial. Noriega stresses the need for regulations that foster entrepreneurship rather than create undue burdens. “It’s not just about knowing the rules of the game. We need to know that these regulations are consistent and that these rules can level the playing field so small businesses can survive and thrive,” says Noriega.
- Technology Choice: She voices concerns about policies that could restrict businesses’ ability to choose cloud providers, emphasizing the need for flexibility and cost-effectiveness. “These policies will affect our ability to choose the provider that can deliver the best value. The lack of technology choice will negatively impact our performance and user experience,” adds Noriega.
- Mandatory Disclosure of Source Code: On mandatory disclosure of source code and algorithms, Noriega underlines the need to protect intellectual property and user privacy and raises concerns about governments’ ability to safeguard source code and algorithms from cyberattacks.
Vision for KONECTU
KONECTU is a global and inclusive platform that will not only connect freelancers and organizations but also empower micro-entrepreneurs and democratize business opportunities worldwide. Noriega is particularly focused on transparency and trust, which she feels are lacking in existing platforms like Upwork and Fiverr. KONECTU aims to fill this gap by ensuring that freelancers are verified and by implementing blockchain technology for transparency and scalability.
The integration of blockchain and cryptocurrency in KONECTU’s roadmap is a testament to this vision, aiming to provide borderless, efficient, and inclusive business transactions and a movement towards a more inclusive and transparent digital economy.