CTO | VP Engineering | Architect

Amar Kota Technology Executive - CTO | VP
Polyglot Technology Executive with proven track record directing teams of 40+ to dozens of product launches in multiple industries using Agile, ITIL and CMMI methodologies. Managed operational & capital budgets over $5M per annum and established IT strategy and roadmaps for a $1B company. Experience operating at high scale—trillions of data points per day—with high availability, providing always-on alerting, visualization and tracing for infrastructure and applications globally. Graduated above 90th percentile of students from top-tier computer science school and teacher of software analysis & design.


  • Commercial Strategic Planning & Implementation
  • M&A Negotiation & Partnership / Vendor Relations
  • Scaling for High Transactions / Large Volumes
  • Multi-Million CAPEX & OPEX Control
  • Web, Mobile, API and Cloud with MEAN, LAMP, .NET
  • Product Management and Enterprise Architecture
  • New Concept & Emerging Market Development
  • Recruiting / Training / Team Building


Open source / FOSS mobile app and API with Stripe integration for forecasting SaaS revenue.
Co-founded fintech SaaS with 150K+ visits/mo and 1TB+ of data; referenced by US Council of Economic Advisors.
Oversaw development, infrastructure and security for launch of new 100+ course catalog website.
Promoted after launching B2C eCommerce website that processes $3.5M in transactions a month.
Architected new Risk Data platform that processes 10,000 securities and 2 million positions monthly.
Co-managed development teams and launched YouTube-competing video sharing website MySpaceTV.
Promoted after launching B2C eCommerce website that supports over 70 million customers.



Product strategy, market entry and new technology ventures in distributed environments.

Fractional CTO2024 - Present

Managing technology for a fraction of the time, on a fraction of the projects and for a fraction of the cost.
  • Formed distributed ledger for fintech startup using Blockchain-as-a-service with consortium network, smart contract event / message triggers and pre-built blockchain commands that reduced development time by 25% and costs by 40%.
  • Advised established fintech company on entering an adjacent market. Conducted contextual design interviews to assess internal capabilities, utilized a CRM for managing potential acquisition targets and performed pre-diligence research into their financials and strategic fit. Client is now engaging with two of the three high-priority targets recommended.
  • Constructed 4-hour presentation for CEO and board of an EdTech company on long-term trends and information economics. Presentation resulted in first-time client requesting and buying multiple follow-on projects.

Finfare, Inc.

Early-stage (Series A) fintech startup with a focus on AI-powered payment systems.

Chief Architect (downsized)2022 - 2023

Responsible for entire ReactJS single-page application, Python microservices and AWS cloud architecture for 13 onsite engineers.
  • Managed both commercial and contractual side of procuring PCI QSA for attestation that produced a single service contract for compliance and penetration services with a negotiated discount the company executed on.
  • Collaborated directly with vCISO and Chief Compliance Officer to adopt 12 IT and security policies including Patch & Asset Management, Password, Remote Access, Clean Desk, Anti-Malware, Wireless Networks and more that passed Cross River Bank’s cyber risk management due diligence requirements.
  • Developed entire Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) by creating Cloud Development Kit (CDK / Python) that defined and deployed version-controlled serverless cloud infrastructure consistently for entire frontend and backend stacks across multiple accounts and regions within minutes.
  • Recruited backend and data engineers from HackerNews at zero cost.

The Pacific Financial Group

Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) and developer of automated risk profiling and portfolio construction SaaS for financial advisors and brokers.

Enterprise Architect (downsized)2019 - 2022

Reporting to Chief Product Officer, managed $2M P&L for onshore DevOps team, offshore web & API engineering teams and cloud (AWS) cost management.
  • Defined product line architectural strategy, API sequencing with Postman and ETL pipelines that led to integrating company’s surveillance technology into Envestnet platform scalable to their 103,000 advisors across 4,900 companies.
  • Architected enterprise KPI reporting with Python / Apache Airflow workflow management running on serverless AWS Fargate that creates fund performance metric reports across 23 product sponsors & strategists, multiple product lines, firms, data vendors and clients by curating 100 million positions monthly.
  • Hired DevOps Security Engineer and Cybersecurity Analyst to implement NIST cybersecurity framework for small businesses.
  • Led re-architect effort of core SaaS product to multi-tenant model that reduced the platform deployment time for clients by one month.

Training Consultants

Financial qualification exams preparation provider for broker dealer firms regulated by FINRA.

VP, Technology (downsized)2017 - 2018

Reporting to CEO, responsible for all technology changes that will serve new exam restructure set forth by regulating authority.
  • Served as executive team member that defined short & long term business goals, objectives and KPIs with co-founders.
  • Architected predictive analytics model by learning from over 87K exams in 18 years to identify at-risk students early-on.
  • Achieved accreditation pre-qualification with US Department of Education authority by writing inquiry and pre-application submissions that established congruence with eligibility requirements.
  • Completed SIG assessments in data security required by current clients to ensure vendor compliance set forth by regulator.

California Southern University

Regionally accredited, online university offering degrees at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels.

Chief Technology Officer (CTO, downsized) 2016

Reporting to University President, managed $5M P&L for software engineering, devops, QA, business intelligence, product management and technical support of student learning and back office systems including ERP.
  • Wrote 3-year technology strategy plan for University Steering Committee with objectives, measures of progress and course of actions that achieves University KPIs and supports emerging business model and cash flows.
  • Performed audit of technology invoices and reduced YoY technology costs by $357K by replacing infrastructure team with DevOps role, renegotiating contracts with vendors and replacing on-premise implementations with open source alternatives and cloud service equivalents including writing serverless functions in Node.js.
  • Formed and held committee chairman role that lead to defining next‐generation distance learning environment following learning consortium interoperability standards to deliver interconnected learning, administrative, CRM and ERP systems.

Ria Financial

Subsidiary of Euronet Worldwide (EEFT), provider of financial services and 3rd largest money transmitter worldwide.

Senior Manager, Product Development and Technology (2013 - 2015, relocation) 2010 - 2015

Development Manager (2010 - 2012)

Reporting to GM, managed $5M P&L by hiring 11 engineers by creating ‘Payment-as-a-Service’ global money transfer platform.
  • Led integration of 7 identification & payment providers that facilitated consumer website to be launched in 12 countries and achieved 6th place sales ranking in a 200,000+ agent network.
  • Drove first Ria Digital white label integration with Boost Mobile’s mobile wallet app for Android and iOS. With a successful integration resulting in YoY growth of 985%, expanded Ria’s service by integrating into Sprint’s Money Express mobile wallet.
  • Researched and evaluated potential technology and product opportunities within the digital payments landscape including Bitcoin / Blockchain and scanning for potential acquisitions / strategic partnerships. Includes defining e-commerce policies that qualified Ria to become a financial service provider for Walmart.

University of California, Irvine

Top 50 public co-educational research university.

Teacher 2005 - 2015

Information Technology teacher for the University of California, Irvine Extension
  • Created 10-week curriculum for Object-Oriented Analysis and Design course that teaches students how to design complex software by eliciting technical requirements, creating UML diagrams, applying design patterns, calculating metrics and overall software best practices.

Pacific Alternative Asset Management Company

Leading independent fund of hedge funds investment firm managing over 11 billion in assets.

Systems Architect 2007 - 2009

Hired and led a team of developers in the creation of proprietary Risk Management applications.
  • Collaborated with senior management on the redesign direction and led the implementation of the new Risk platform with Security Master in order to achieve same-day processing of position data allowing managers to view portfolio holdings when data is received from a fund manager.
  • Implemented test-driven development, SQL object version control and nightly builds of SQL Server databases to allow proper and thorough testing, change management and deployment of database changes to production environment.
  • Introduced the Agile SCRUM process for the Risk Data team and managed the team's software development lifecycle including deriving product backlog items, assigning sprint work items to developers and conducting sprint plannings.


2nd largest social networking website with over 200 million users internationally.

.NET Engineer 2006 - 2007

Lead developer for Localization and Video teams
  • Recruited from localization team to new video team to co-manage development teams in creating MySpaceTV. Met aggressive two-month deadline, reduced database load nearly 70% even as site traffic doubled and enhanced usability via AJAX using Prototype JavaScript framework and messaging in JSON.
  • Acted as ScrumMaster for several sprints within an Agile Software Development environment. Duties included leading projects, assisting developers and resolving impediments.

UnitedHealth Group

Largest managed healthcare services company in the US with over 70 million individuals nationwide.

Senior Systems Analyst (2002 - 2006) 2000 - 2006

Systems Analyst (2000 - 2004)

Lead web developer for pharmacy benefits website, RxSolutions.com
  • Hired mid-level web developers and led the development of key eCommerce features of consumer website including formulary, pharmacy locator and more that allowed customers to pay, refill and place new prescriptions for mail order.
  • Created Over-the-Counter (OTC) product web pages for consumer website including sale price configuration mechanism, CMS integration, out-of-stock notifications and shipping discount algorithms that lead to fewer deployments, improved product administration and higher usability resulting in record number of OTC sales.
  • Performed project management duties during the entire SDLC of projects including requirements analysis and architectural design to generate system requirement specifications. Documents created defined HIPAA requirements and adhered to Sarbanes-Oxley compliances.

Prior Experience

1996 - 2000 Deloitte and Touche, Shell Oil Company, University of California, VA Hospital


Master of Science
Information Technology / eBusiness
Carnegie Mellon University
School of Computer Science
Bachelor of Science
University of California, Riverside
School of Natural & Agricultural Sciences
Huntington Beach High School
Dwyer Middle School
Huntington Christian School


  • Programming

    Python, C#, R, Java, Node.js, ReactJS, TypeScript
  • Databases

    SQL Server, MySQL, MongoDB, PostgreSQL, Redis, GraphDB
  • Data Modeling

    C4 / UML Class, Sequence, Activity, Entity-Relationship (ER), Use Cases
  • Product Management

    GitHub, Jira, Trello, Slack
  • UI / UX

    Sketch, Invision, Tableau, Figma
  • Automation

    IFTTT, Zapier, Buffer
  • AWS / Azure / GCP

    ECR, ECS, IAM, Lambda, RDS, S3, Queues, API Gateway
  • Stackoverflow

    Famous Question, Commentator, Tag Editor, Organizer, Scholar, Teacher