Rik Willard, born 1959, currently living in New York City
Governor's Academy, Howard University
Professional experience and achievement
Rik is a pioneer in branded digital engagement concepts, including DOOH and large-public screen projects, branded content, CMS, mobile and social media with clients and productions, including MGM Resorts, Calvin Klein Cosmetics, Lucent Technologies, Dictaphone, The World-Famous Apollo Theater, Couture designers (including Chado Ralph Rucci, Oscar de LaRenta and Kevan Hall), The French Ready-to-Wear Association (Pret-a-Porter) and others.
He founded America's first digital out of home company in early the 90s and one of Silicon Alley's first digital boutiques in 1994. Rik consulted with Winston & Co to design many of the LED screens in Times Square then with MGM Resorts in Las Vegas for DOOH, mobile and social media convergence platforms.
From 2010 through 2013, he assisted tech startups in raising tens of millions of dollars. In 2013, he founded MintCombine to support and develop the branded coin ecosystem.
Rik is a fellow at the Foreign Policy Association, a tech mentor at Siedenberg Computer Science Lab at Pace University, on the Advisory Board at the Field Center for Entrepreneurship at Baruch College, a mentor at Plug and Play's Bitcoin Accelerator, an advisor to Toronto's Decentral Bitcoin Incubator and a Corporate Round Table member at the World Conference of Mayors.
He is also a featured speaker at many institutions and media outlets, including Harvard Business School Club, Kaufmann Institute, Dow Jones Speakers Series, CNN and CNBC.
Role in the Bitcoin community
Rik is presently the CEO of MintCombine, a global virtual incubator and product lab headquartered in New York City that is focused on cryptocurrency companies.