About Me (For Work)

Ben Milne is the Founder and Chairman of Dwolla Inc, the programmable payment platform. Dwolla has been recognized by Fast Company as one of the world’s “Most Innovative Companies” and is based in Des Moines, Iowa. The company services millions of end users enabling billions of dollars of commerce annually.

Milne has been recognized by MIT, Goldman Sachs, Forbes and Inc. He holds various patents for payment processing technologies and helped invent an era of social, contactless and real-time payments. Milne has participated in the development of technology solutions with government organizations, the world’s largest non-profit, and leading exchanges on adopting real-time programmable payment technologies.

Work

Dwolla
A software solution enabling programmable payments. Dwolla’s software supports fast growing technology companies that range from day 1 software startups to publicly traded companies. Our software enables developers to embed programmable payments into their software application. We support billions of dollars annually in commerce for millions of end users throughout the U.S.
Role – Founder
Founded 2010 – Active

Monetery
An annual conference designed to build an inclusive no-coast technology ecosystem. Monetery brings in speakers from outside of the community to share knowledge and insights about how to build a strong and thriving technology community.
Role – CoFounder
Founded 2018 – Active

Clay & Milk
A news website focused on telling stories about Iowa Technology companies that would otherwise never be covered. The company was started to fill a gap in reporting coverage covering Iowa Technology companies. Telling more stories about the innovative work being done in the midwest helps companies be discovered and their products used.
Role – CoFounder
Founded 2018 – Exited 2019 – Sold

Elemental Designs
A distributor and manufacturer of acoustic products for automotive and home. Elemental Designs supported distribution and manufacturing operations throughout Asia and the United States. During his time at the company, Milne also consulted on projects ranging from in-vehicle audio processing systems for Ford & Toyota to custom audio manufacturing projects.
Role – Founder
Founded 2002 – Exited 2009 – Sold

Other contributions

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Contributor on Mojaloop Project where Milne worked with a team of skilled engineers to develop an approach and systems to serve as the core services and forensic logging around the central services of the project. The central services is the trusted core ledgering infrastructure built to be leveraged by global telecoms and central bank providers in emerging markets.
Contributor 2016 – Active

Techstars
Participant in the mentorship and support of startups around the country through group and dedicated one-on-one sessions.
Mentor 2017 – Active

Technology Association of Iowa
Served as a board member of TAI, the largest group of technology companies in the state of Iowa. Engaging in discussion and initiatives focused on expanding the Iowa Technology ecosystem. Supported TAI’s core goals of Diversity and Inclusion in the state technology sector, development of Iowa’s workforce, driving public policy.
Board Member 2018 – 2020

Federal Reserve Bank
Through our real-time payments focus, the Dwolla team contributed and participated in various Federal Reserve payment initiatives and projects culminating in our own Faster Payment System proposal. This initiative involved discussion with the Fed, large financial institutions and regional FIs to uncover what was ultimately the right approach for a national real-time payment system.
Contributor 2015-2018

Patents

API Invoked Functions for Use in Online Social Network

Social network transaction processing system

Dynamically selecting sending and receiving accounts

Additional patents pending

Technology Experiments

Middlebit
A invitation only Y-Combinator-like news aggregation website experiment to give distributed non-coastal communities a place to share information pertinent to them.
Shipped 2019 – Active

Silawet
A distributed ledger infrastructure. The proof of concept enabled the recording and distribution of messages throughout the distributed network through any internet enabled device storing a keypair by allowing each sending message participant to sign their own messages rather than requiring network participants to validate through costly mining processes.
Shipped 2017 – Shuttered 2018

Stacks
A token project designed store fiat currency value on personal computers. The project provided a chain of ownership that could be extended from regulated financial institutions to individuals to hold actual fiat on their own devices rather than in a FI.
Tested 2013 – Shuttered 2014

VizyBob
A web software designed to take screenshots of the worlds most popular web assets on a daily basis with the intent to curate the evolution of a brand, message, and communication styles over long periods of time visually.
Shipped 2012 – Shuttered 2013

Proxi
A method for deriving locations close to your mobile device to enable peer-to-peer and retail point of sale transactions using GPS. System did not require NFC and only required the use of GPS coordinates leveraging geocoded retail locations and existing locations of cell phones to present the end user with the proximity of entities that were physically relevant to transact with.
Shipped 2011 – Shuttered 2016

Instant
A technology for enabling instant lending over virtual payment networks to any network participant. The technology enabled a third party to engage in instant lending and consumer purchases with a regulated lender directly over a third party digital payment network in real-time. Funds were granted to the recipient merchant in real-time bypassing traditional card network fees and settlement times.
Shipped 2011 – Shuttered 2012

FiSync
A technical method to enable real-time gross settlement across financial institutions directly proportional to consumer behavior on an associated network. The system could be used to instantly settle fiat currency between regulated financial institutions across the consumer internet in sub 1 second intervals. Applications included consumer, retail, B2B and large scale trading infrastructures. FiSync also enabled repeat usage through heavily leveraging tokenization to obfuscate personal information from the transaction process.
Shipped 2012 – Shuttered 2017

VineMe
A social network giving context to time visually. The application gave yourself and friends the ability to upload photos and share them on timelines with the ability to organize timelines by events and tags. The events and tags could be used to tell a historical story of any event in history through imagery be it World War II or a Birthday Party.
CoFounder 2012 – Exit 2014 – Sold

CoLinear
A method for combining ceramic and neodymium magnets. The motor topology was designed to maximize motor force within a compact diameter without sacrificing linear motor performance in low frequency transducers.
Shipped 2007 – Sold in 2009

Industry Recognition

Forbes (Disrupter of the year), MIT (35 under 35), Inc, Fast Company (50 Most Innovative Companies), Goldman Sachs (100 most intriguing entrepreneurs), SBA (Entrepreneur of the year) and others.

Partnered With World Class Investors

Union Square Ventures, Foundry Group, Ludlow Ventures, High Alpha, Andreessen Horowitz, The Chicago Mercantile Exchange and others.

Media

Various print and live recorded interviews with:

CNN, Bloomberg, CNBC, Fox News, MIT Technology Review, Forbes, Inc, Entrepreneur, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Business Insider, USA Today and others.

Public Speaking

Milne speaks at conferences and events all around the world on topics of entrepreneurship, payments, security, internet technologies, innovation and related topics. He’s been a speaker at Web Summit, Collision, MoneyConf, Money2020 US, Money2020 Europe, Finovate (Winner best in show), Federal Reserve Payment Conference(s), O’Reilly, MIT EmTech, Seamless Asia, Paris FinTech Forum, SIBOS, various private corporate events and others.