Portrait of Eric Falk, winner of the Tech Talent of the Year 2021
nexten.io awarded Eric Falk, CTO at investre, the 2021 Tech Talent of the Year Award. During this edition, he stood out by presenting investre’s mobile application project, which promises to make investment funds available to individuals 24/7. His well-structured presentation of this app seduced the jury, and he was elected CTO of 2021!
On this occasion, nexten.io wanted to look back at the experience this competition offered him. In this article, he shares his feelings about the Tech Talent of the Year Award, talents he feels are essential for the CTO position — his recipe for ensuring the success of his tech projects. And that’s not all!
nexten.io: Hi, Eric, congrats on your award! Can you come back a little bit on your career, from your academic years to the side projects you’ve worked on?
Eric: Thanks! I’m honored to have won this award and delighted that investre has united around this project. I graduated in 2011 with a master’s degree in computer science and jumped in the job market quite quickly afterwards. I started out as a consultant for service companies, mostly in banking.
In 2014, I decided to go back to school and began pursuing a PhD in computer science at SnT — the Interdisciplinary Center for Security, Reliability, and Trust, a research institute of the University of Luxembourg. For three years, I participated in multiple research projects, published articles, attended, and presented research conferences, and wrote dissertations. My research topic was data architectures for robust systems. For me, this doctorate offered an opportunity to learn more about development, but above all to be at the cutting edge of technology when I dived into the market. I then joined the University of Brussels to continue my research — particularly on the impact of computer science on industry.
Ultimately, I joined investre as CTO upon its creation in 2020. My goal as head of IT is to listen and understand the needs of our clients, exchange ideas with market insiders (bankers, investors, and marketers), and translate these needs into IT solutions to meet all the various challenges we run into. Then, I make sure to dispatch the different missions to the rest of the team. Like other CTOs, I’m still very active in the operational side of things and participate in the creation of the technical aspects.
nexten.io: What offers investre?
Eric: Absolutely! Investre is an app that was created so that anyone — not just us nerds — can invest in causes and investment funds. You can do so from anywhere, easily, and without restrictions. No more appointments at the bank that hold you up you for half a day! With investre, you can invest at any time of the day and week. A friend tells you about a project she’s just launched, and you want to join in on the adventure? A few clicks later, and that’s done. Simply, quickly, intuitively. In short, investre is the promise that anyone can invest, at any time, with no restrictions.
nexten.io: So, what are the next steps for investre?
Eric: The whole regulation part to start with. Preparing the documentation as well, synthesizing the technical and commercial vision, and finally, beta-testing our solution with a test audience!
nexten.io: So, how do you feel after recently winning the CTO of the Year 2021 award? How was the experience?
Eric: It was quite an adventure! I’m delighted to have participated — and to take home the prize to boot! The whole team is ecstatic, and of course, I’m delighted as well to have succeeded in taking this challenge on. I’d like to give a shout out to my friends and family for their support during the voting phase. Without them, we’d never have won the prize. I also loved the pitch phase. What a pleasure to be on “stage” after the last two years of confinement! I’d missed the contact with the public. Moreover, we were able to meet and exchange with multiple market players. It’s a pity that this kind of initiative is still rare in Luxembourg!
nexten.io: What do you think is the most important quality for a CTO?
Eric: Apart from technical knowledge — which you of course have to master in order to understand, correct, and lead the rest of the team — the essential human quality in my opinion is listening and questioning. Listen, listen, listen — to your partners, your teams, and the market.
nexten. io: What does it take to complete a tech project?
Eric: The important thing is to understand where you want to go. Technology is there to solve problems. IT simply for the sake of IT is useless. What’s most important to me is using IT to respond to issues or problems and help customers. We must not lose sight of what we’re doing and why we’re doing it.
nexten.io: Do you listen to music when you work, and if so, would you have a little playlist to share with us?
Eric: My musical tastes depend a lot on my mood: sometimes metal, sometimes reggae, and at other times, jazz. I especially like instrumental versions of video games as they help me stay focused on the tasks at hand! Here’s a link to a playlist I particularly like: Jazz Vibes
nexten.io: Finally, do you have any closing words?
Eric: It can be summed up in two words: thank you! Thank you for by nexten.io’s great initiative. We need this kind of events in Luxembourg — both to showcase nice projects and for the ecosystem and tech community!