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Name: Alan Vey
What are you building, and who benefits most from it?
We are building an enterprise-grade blockchain that makes it easy for businesses to realize the benefits of Web3. So far, hurdles like siloed value (similar to the intranet phase in the evolution of the internet), poor user experience, and negative sentiment around the blockchain industry (due to slow regulation leaving room for exploitation) have all meant that enterprises have not yet embraced Web3.
At Aventus, we are building a one-stop shop for an enterprise’s full set of Web3 needs. We get under its skin to understand exactly how it can benefit from Web3, create an optimized solution, and maintain and operate it, meaning the enterprise doesn’t need to have any understanding of Web3 in order to benefit from it.
What is one of your startup’s most impressive accomplishments?
When Aventus started out, it was an open-source, decentralized Ethereum-based ticketing protocol designed to alleviate fraud and touting in the event ticketing industry. We had some great initial successes, including a deal with LiveNation. Then COVID hit, and live events were put on hold indefinitely.
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Rather than allowing the business to die, we realized that the applications of our technology went far beyond ticketing. So, we extended and adapted it to solve problems ingrained within other aspects of commerce (including loyalty, vouchers, financial assets, and virtual goods), essentially any industry or supply chain focused on digital assets.
It’s this adaptability that has allowed us to thrive through the pandemic as well as three crypto winters and grow 4x our revenue in 2022, through the latest crypto winter.
What has been the biggest challenge so far, and how did you overcome it?
There have been so many that I cannot single any one out. They all feel like the biggest when they occur until you have a game plan, but here is an example.
We needed to raise funding for a business we had ready to go. A group restructuring that was dependent on the tax authority’s sign-off was required before the investment could be completed. We started the process months in advance. The tax authority had 30 days to come back with a response, which it did three times, asking questions that had already been answered to buy time and pushing our business to the brink of insolvency. We got creative and managed to bring capital into the business short term, which did not count as a material transaction and, in the end, we got approval just in time.
Planning and having a plan B and C for mission-critical aspects is always helpful. Give yourself more time than you think you need!
What tool or app could you not live without and why?
It might be boring, but I would say Excel. If you really know how to use it, it’s the most powerful and customizable tool out there. It cuts down massively the time needed to make even the most complicated calculations and is great for allowing you to visually present complex information in an easy-to-digest way, which is crucial for our clients and investors.
What marketing strategies have worked for you?
In the blockchain space, which is so new and rapidly evolving, people rely on word of mouth and their peers to determine which project is trustworthy and worthwhile. As a result, your community is one of the most powerful marketing tools you have. Engaging our community, whether that’s answering their questions on Telegram or hosting AMAs on Twitter, has been highly effective.
What’s the best specific piece of advice you have for other entrepreneurs?
Prioritize maintaining direction and (perhaps more importantly) continuously reigniting your passion for what you do. When you’re a startup CEO, you don’t always have the luxury of taking a step back. You handle tech, marketing, product, and HR, sometimes all at the same time. It’s easy to get sucked into the day-to-day monotony of ensuring the business runs smoothly. However, it’s also your job to make sure that the business is moving in the right direction toward the high-level vision you’ve set and that everyone who has chosen to become part of your team has bought into it.
What does your company’s trajectory look like over the next five years?
Our ultimate goal is to ensure widespread blockchain adoption, and the most effective way to do that is through the public markets. Therefore, the goal for the next five years is to IPO so we can bring our vision to as many people as possible.
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