First, you’d want pioneering and practical blockchain experience. Anyone with a grad degree can write a pie-in-the-sky whitepaper, but the realities of blockchain development often stymie even the best-intentioned brain. The blockchain is in early days and many founders have floundered for underestimating the many obstacles of development: latency, lack of documentation, privacy, transaction fee costs, and security. That’s why you’d want a team that’s done it before.
WHIRL boasts undeniable blockchain expertise. Anti Danilevski, a core member of WHIRL’s leadership, is well-known in the community as the founder of KICKICO, which has helped dozens of successful blockchain startups raise a combined 250,000 ETH in new funding. As you can imagine, there are many parallels between crowdfunding startup token sales and crowdfunding consumer endeavors.
Another member of WHIRL’s leadership team also boasts impressive blockchain credentials. Co-founder Roel Wolfert is an expert in digital payments and has been a key adviser to the Bancor Network, a top-75 cryptocurrency. In addition, Wolfert is an adviser to the UAE’s biggest mobile wallet, BeamWallet, and Genexi, a biotech blockchain startup.
Put simply, WHIRL’s team has done it all before.
Second, you’d want strong business experience. At the end of the day, technology can only get you so far. The early winners of the dot com era weren’t necessarily the best technical projects, they were the projects with the strongest business leaders and business plans behind them. Too many blockchain projects boast a strategy that comes down to “let’s make a lot of money with our token sale and figure the rest out later.” That’s not the basis for a long-term venture!
The blockchain demands a certain type of business experience: global experience. Much of the growth, partnerships, audience, and opportunities in blockchain resides internationally, outside of the United States. This is doubly true of the crowdfunding world, where much of the growth now takes place in Asia.
WHIRL’s team is both business savvy and globally minded. WHIRL’s CEO and co-founder, Martijn Hekman has directly managed the execution, launch, and growth of 50 large-scale ventures across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, with a combined market value of $1 billion. Hekman has lived and worked in 15 different countries and maintained close ties with governments, Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, and startups.
Similarly, WHIRL’s co-founder Valery Zobov is no stranger to global and technical business execution. Previously and for more than a decade, he was the founder and CEO of MegaLine, a successful enterprise that distributes German engineering systems to the global market.
Third and finally, when crafting WHIRL’s perfect team, you’d look for something else above all others, and that’s integrity and a strong, unimpeachable desire to do good in the world. In these aspects, WHIRL shines brightest. Every member of WHIRL’s team either has direct nonprofit experience or they are avid volunteers and mentors. For example, Martijn Hekman worked with the United Nations on HIV and AIDS prevention in Malawi, Africa; he helped 50,000 farmers in Sri Lanka earn a sustainable livelihood; he built infrastructure projects in Afghanistan; and he recently worked on relief efforts in Syria. Giving runs through WHIRL’s team DNA, so it’s no coincidence that we’re a socially driven platform.
WHIRL is more than just the four core leadership team members we named above; we have developers and designers and business professionals that we could go on and on about. But we hope that by giving you an idea as to the calibre of the leadership team, you’ll feel confident that WHIRL is a project with a prosperous future.