Nathan McMinn has always been fascinated by history, and especially by the artifacts that mark milestones in our past. He grew up in Michigan, close to Detroit, the eldest child in a family that was closely connected to the auto industry.
He spent much of his childhood watching (and helping) his father restore brass-era automobiles. These experiences gave him an early look at the intersection of engineering and preservation.
Later on, Nathan moved to Birmingham, AL with his mother and stepfather, both of whom are museum conservators that worked at the Henry Ford Museum, Sloss Furnaces, the Birmingham Museum of Art, and spent extensive time in private practice.
Growing up in the world of historic and cultural preservation left a mark and a deep appreciation for the care and diligence that museum professionals bring to their work.
After a stint in the US Navy and completing his degree, Nathan went on to a successful career as a software engineer, working for early startups in internet video security, logistics automation, digital advertising, and medical device manufacturing.
His last role before joining the founding team at Conserv was a global executive position at Alfresco Software, as their Senior Director of Strategic Services. Following Alfresco’s acquisition, Nathan decided it was time for a new challenge.
Today, Nathan serves as Conserv’s CTO. He spends most of his time figuring out what conservators and collection care professionals need to be successful, and how to deliver world-class solutions that meet those needs. This means building two things: Products and team capabilities.
Being the CTO of an IoT startup is a consistent challenge, requiring expertise ranging from embedded development through to infrastructure, end-to-end security, API design, data modeling and user experience across web, mobile and other devices. This suits a technology generalist like Nathan well.
When he’s not hard at work building the next generation of tools for preservation pros, Nathan can usually be found reading or spending time with his daughter Fiona and spouse Brooke. Fiona is a budding engineer in her own right (and a regular at the local Makerspace). Nathan finds her curiosity about the world helps him stay curious too.
Several times per year Nathan and Brooke co-teach classes on the botany and processes behind whiskey production, and both enjoy getting outdoors as often as they can.
Nathan has big plans for Conserv’s engineering effort over the next year. Conserv, as a truly digital-native company, shows up curious, moves fast, and delivers. From rapid prototyping of electronics to 3D printing enclosures and using the power of cloud services to create new solutions quickly, the processes that Nathan has helped put into place in the first months of the company are laying a strong foundation for continued innovation.
Nathan is most excited about the ways Conserv can improve interaction at the surface where the digital and physical worlds meet, using the unique technology that the team has built to create experiences that delight their customers.
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