Startup advisors are vital for entrepreneurs. They become our mentors, they use their experience to help you navigate the industry of focus, avoid mistakes made and connect you to the right people.
At Zeus Exchange we intend to use the power of blockchain to create a hybrid investment environment to trade financial assets and digital assets at a single place and at a low cost, while staying fully compliant with applicable legal and regulatory requirements in the countries of market entry. This requires a lot of knowledge and experience. And while our team has years and years in the industry, the learning process never stops.
We sat down with our advisors and decided to ask them a few questions about the space and its future. Here is what we’ve learned.
Vakhtang Maskhulia, Media Advisor
Vakhtang Maskhulia is a former Presidential spokesman in Georgia, and a prosperous TV- journalist and sociologist. He is an accomplished public speaker and one of the key opinion influencers in the field of international relations. Visionary, caviste and connoisseur.
Q: What is your intake on the crypto and blockchain industry? Is it a bubble or an evolving high risk industry?
A: New crypto anarchist elite throws down a challenge towards the traditional elites, which were in the formation process during last few centuries. Just as the invention of horse stirrup made a huge shift in the life of European nations and citizens, the same way crypto industry will facilitate the development of the mankind.
Q: Given that some countries ban crypto and some embrace it, will that divide the world in a new way? Or will the banning countries eventually join the trend?
A: The existing political, military, finance and intellectual authorities of nations have already gone down the drain after they faced new trends and ideas. They showed themselves as monsters that are to become extinct just as the dinosaurs did. What is happening now within blockchain industry is a momentous event and there is not much sense left in resisting the new. The future global crypto community will soon suggest more effective rules and provide guidance for day to day actions on the whole planet.
Q: Is there such thing as crypto/blockchain ethics or is it the Wild West?
A: A new crypto life is just dawning now. The same way as it happens in all other spheres of life: Stultitiae Laus, Narrenschiff along with 95 theses and 10 Commandments exist here side by side. New crypto moral will suggest self-regulating principles, harmony of Homo Kryptos and Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft. This way the future problem of digital violence will be cleared up.
Sergey Yushin, Corporate Finance Advisor
Sergey Yushin is a serial entrepreneur, problem solver, and thought leader. He is a finance and corporate expert with previous experience in investment, economics and finance, working for JSC RusHydro, JSC ALROSA Investment Group, JSC SobinBank, JSC VneshTorgBank and BCEN-EUROBANK Group. He is a serial entrepreneur who started multiple successful businesses in different industries and countries, including bar and restaurant as well as airplane engineering.
Q: What is your experience in trading?
A: I worked as a trader for about five years in the bond and stock market and then as a head of the department that sells shares during the formation of the Russian securities market.
Q: Do you believe that cryptocurrencies are here to stay and integrate with the traditional market?
A: I think this is an inevitable and natural process. Cryptocurrency is already a significant part of the financial market and its full integration into the traditional market is only a matter of time.
Q: What prompted you to join Zeus Exchange as advisor?
A: First of all, Zeus Exchange is building not just another trading platform for cryptocurrencies but solves a very complex but urgent problem of integrating cryptocurrency market and the traditional market.
Secondly, an ambitious, talented and experienced team.
Being excited about the solution and knowing they can execute, I am happy to bring value given my experience to help them make their vision reality.
George Paliani, International Development Adviser
George Paliani is our key representative in the international scene. He has excellent negotiation skills and extensive experience in government structures and consulting agencies. George speaks six European languages and is doing his Ph.D. in history. Author of academic papers and Scandinavian politologist.
Q: I know you work with Smart Valley in helping companies with ICOs, connecting them with experts and making sure everything is set up legally and transparently. Do you think that ICO will replace traditional equity funding for startups in near future?
A: With the rise of industry built upon blockchain technology there is no doubt that fundraising is becoming less complicated. ICO is a new instrument that emerged few years ago and has already proved its effectiveness both in traditional industry and in the field of digital finance. From my perspective I can say with a high degree of certainty that in the near future more and more countries will be regulating the attraction of financial resources through this channel thus making investing easier and more accessible. This will take much less time and resources compared to the established instruments like IPO that are becoming outdated.
Q: What are the biggest mistakes that founders make when getting ready for an ICO?
A: Young entrepreneurs, millennials from the Me Me Me Generation who saw the shift towards digital technologies are now driving the growth of crypto industry, but on frequent occasions they lack competence in fundraising, PR and promoting startups. With the great knowledge of technological side of the project they go off the track with the marketing strategy because of the shortfall in terms of packing their product, conveying the message and sparking the investors. A successful roadshow and promotion of the project before the ICO includes catching the interest of big institutional investors who are experts. This is why we pay so much attention to presentation, building the brand and networking. Assistance on this path and guidance for startup teams from point A to point B is my first and foremost goal while working with projects.
Q: What are some tips that you can give to backers that can help them avoid scam when they look at ICOs to put money in?
A: Ultimately, any investment in startups is to say the least medium-term commitment with a certain risk level which should be evaluated appropriately and compared with the returns. One of the most important but relatively simple ways to rate the project is to get familiar with the team and advisors, with their experience, competence and what is important reputation — this is the heart of the project. Besides getting to know the product and competitors it is worth paying attention to the presence of a distinct and transparent roadmap with set KPIs and milestones on the way to the ultimate goal.
lllustration by Marina Demchenko (Mamihlapinatana Studio)
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