Taran Lent


Taran has been building and operating payment technology companies his entire professional career.  He is an accomplished entrepreneurial leader with experience in start-up, growth and public organizations.  Taran’s specialty is forming and motivating high-performance teams to focus and execute on major new product ideas.

Over the years, Taran has installed thousands of payment terminals, built systems that have processed hundreds of millions of transactions and gotten stuck in mouse tape under point-of-sale counters too many times to count.  He is a frequent guest lecturer at Babson College Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship, sharing pragmatic lessons from the trenches. 

Taran co-founded his first payment and loyalty startup in 1994 which was sold to Boston-based Student Advantage in 1999 prior to its initial public offering.  Taran served as Sr. Director of Product Management and developed new commerce products that scaled to hundreds of Universities and thousands of merchants. 

In 2003, Taran co-founded and architected CardSmith, the first “cloud-based” campus card payments platform for higher education.  Under Taran’s product and operational leadership, CardSmith grew to over three hundred clients processing twenty million transactions annually before being sold in 2014 to Transact.  At Transact, Taran leads product innovation including the redesign of the tuition payments platform which processes billions of dollars annually.  Most recently Taran directed the mobile credential program which enables Apple watches and iPhones to open doors and make payments everywhere around campus.

Raised in Denver, Taran was captain of nationally ranked back-to-back State Championship football teams and named an All-Colorado player. He went on to be Captain of the football team at Dartmouth College where he graduated with high honors in engineering sciences and earned 1st Team Academic All-Ivy distinction.  Taran’s sports experiences greatly influence his business philosophy and approach to teams. 

Taran currently lives in The Woodlands, TX with his wife and two sons.  He is active with the community, local schools and serves on the Dartmouth Beta board of directors.  Taran loves to cook, ski, windsurf and read in his free time.

EDUCAUSE Presentations