Welcome to SustainaDAO Non-fungible Talk, a show about all things DAO and Web3 from the team of SustainaDAO. I’m your host Lin Ning. We have two guests today, Ian Kar and Stevie Cline, the co-GPs of Vol 1. Ventures, an emerging fund that aims to write the first check to back exceptional operators and promising preseed-stage companies from the fintech, crypto, and biotech sectors.
Ian has spent most of his career in fintech and crypto. He started as a journalist learning about fintech and the crypto ecosystem, then as a product manager at companies like Acorns, where he helped build financial literacy products, debit cards, and IRAs. He spent the last few years building Fintech Today - a community and media company for fintech and crypto entrepreneurs, operators, and investors - which he solder earlier this year.
Stevie has spent the bulk of her career in law: getting a Ph.D. in economics and spending 5 years at Skadden tax law and headed up tech transfer in China for John Hopkins University. She also spent the past year getting a genetic testing startup for women’s health off the ground as Co-founder and CEO. She also is a prolific angel investor in the female founder community.
In this episode, we will hear from Ian and Stevie on the following topics:
- How Ian and Stevie brought their unique background and strength together in building Vol1 Ventures? What are their thesis?
- Stevie talked about what led to the collapse of FTX and its impact to the whole crypto field from the regulation perspective. Why it is so critical to set up the company’s legal strategies correctly from Day One?
- What are the exciting future trends at the intersection of crypto/fintech and crypto/ biotech?
- How did Ian transform his experience in community building and content creation at Fintech Today to help grow Vol1 Ventures and the portfolio companies? Where does Ian find value in community building?
- Stevie and Ian shared their stories about the gender parites in the modern crypto world and what they find essential to bridge the gender gap in this field.
- How to create a financially inclusive society using web3 tools?
Some highlights from the show:
“We focus on sectors where regulations are really important. So for us, I think that is where the go-to-market strategy paired with the regulatory focus. We work with companies with whom we try to be the first check in. What that means is we wanna be there from the start to make sure you are making good legal strat. …We really wanna make sure we're saving people time, money, and effort. Getting tripped up on these things can set you back years.”
“Unfortunately, some crypto companies were set up in a way to make them as untransparent and opaque as possible. Anytime you see something set up in a way that opens that door. I think that is Pandora's box that we need to keep shut. Instead, we really wanna set them up in a way to make sure that this money coming in is protected, not just for our investors but also for consumers. If people building these companies aren't thinking about that, then they're really not building for anyone's best interest”.
“There's a lot of untapped areas in that infrastructure layer of crypto that can really help the ecosystem get off the ground. I also think there are a lot of untapped areas in the consumer experience too. I. As someone who ran a media company, I think that Web3 and crypto solve a ton of different problems around content creation, content management, content organization, and working with your community.”
“We always talk about the next billion crypto users, but the next billion crypto users are probably not gonna look like this existing crypto user base. I think being really mindful of that is really important. Providing financial access and opening up the financial ecosystem for people all over the world is something that is still such a big problem, and I think is a big issue around wealth generation and helping people reach different levels of financial empowerment. So I think once you get that base level really established, there's so much you can unlock.”
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Vol1 Venures: @Vol1Ventures
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