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By Francisco Rendon
With experience at Amazon and Microsoft and seats on the boards of directors at Intel and Unity Software, Alyssa Henry’s tech bona fides are as good as they come. She believes Square, where she has worked since 2014, is in a position to have a dramatic impact on the venue business in 2021.
Square’s hardware and software products have it positioned to be an all-in-one partner for venues of all shapes and sizes, with an ability to process all kinds of payment, including contactless; capabilities to take orders online and over the phone, with pickup and delivery baked into the system; hardware already built for simple processing; and a suite of developer tools to meet the customized needs of venues and companies of all sizes.
The NBA Golden State Warriors’ Chase Center last year became Square’s first full-scale activation at an arena, and Legends Hospitality is using Square at SoFi Stadium, home of the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams and Chargers, which opened in September. Other partners include Indianapolis Motor Speedway, MLB’s Nationals Park, Coachella music festival and minor league baseball’s Ogden (Utah) Raptors.
When asked about lessons learned from the pandemic, Henry’s response was all about adaptability.
“The coronavirus pandemic has taught us all a lot about the value of moving quickly and the need to adapt. When COVID-19 hit, we understood that businesses were facing impossible decisions and were looking for resources and solutions to help them stay afloat. Within a matter of days, Square launched products and services that had an immediate impact on sellers across the country,” Henry said.
“I’ve also been proud and inspired by the resilience and ingenuity of our sellers when faced with these hard times,” she said. “Many of them have built online operations overnight, prioritized contactless payments for the safety of their customers, and invested in new business tools so they can prepare for the future.”
When asked about important successes thus far in her career, she cited her experience with Amazon Web Services. Before AWS, she said, “If you weren’t a well-connected white male in Silicon Valley, it was nearly impossible to be a tech entrepreneur. AWS made it possible to get started without significant capital and with software services that made building a product easier, while also making tech entrepreneurship vastly more accessible.”
She expects her work at Square will help small businesses throughout the U.S. grow and succeed and will be her greatest accomplishment yet.