Although many transactions in financial markets are now being done electronically, a lot of important work — like negotiations and the placing of large or complicated orders — is still done by phone. With its trader-centric encrypted voice communications software, Green Key Technologies is looking to make those voice calls cheaper and more secure.
Green Key founder and Chief Product Officer Anthony Tassone started off his career at 21 as a trader on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade. Since then, Tassone has worked at the intersection of technology and trading, building and managing developer teams working on everything from algorithms to trading tools.
What technologies power your business?
An HTML5 and WebRTC client running on top of FreeSwitch with a Kaldi C++ transcription engine.
What are the most important tech developments you’re keeping an eye on this year?
We are watching WebRTC take over the world. For anyone who doesn’t already know, WebRTC is, very simply put, a free, open project that provides browsers and mobile applications with Real-Time Communications (RTC) capabilities via simple APIs. Voice and video in the browser is changing the way we communicate.
What are the biggest tech projects your team is working on this year?
We will be building a mobile app in 2016 that will allow our concurrent push-to-talk (VoIP) platform to be run on Android iOS.
What are the biggest technological hurdles you’ve faced, and how did you overcome them?
We originally built a Java Swing app. It needed to be installed on desktops and was difficult to debug and improve the stability of. We moved to an HTML5 front end while partnering with OpenFin and have never looked back. This partnership has put our front-end on the best possible foundation now and for the foreseeable future.
What are some lessons you’ve learned about working in Chicago that other local entrepreneurs can learn from?
Chicago has become the premier fintech startup hub. Because of this, it is extremely difficult to recruit and attract talent. You need to be very proactive about holding events and networking. There is a massive shortage of star developers, and you must build a culture of creativity and accountability and have a phenomenal product to attract and retain them.
What do you look for when hiring engineers?
We are looking to grow our development and engineering team. As with any position within GreenKey, we expect the best from our employees. In return, we pay top rates and offer competitive benefit packages — including equity. We have fun, and we work hard. Don’t bother applying if you are not the best at what you do.
What else do you want the Chicago startup community to know about your team?
We are a powerhouse! We are a group of passionate and ambitious people working with a product we all truly believe in. Our technology is disruptive. I am proud of that and the team that has helped us get to where we are today. I am excited about where Green Key Technologies will go from here.
Image via Green Key Technologies.