In June of 2018, Startup Grind Tel-Aviv hosted an unusual and controversial figure to discuss success, failure and the new age of crypto-economy.
We were privileged to host Eli Reifman
Entrepreneur, Leader, Strategist, Designer, Consultant and Ex-Convict who specialized in: Strategic Marketing, Financing, Advising, Mediation, Technology, Futurism, Design and Judaism (as he defines himself on LinkedIn).
Eli Co-founded and Managed Emblaze systems that were evaluated for more than 8 billion USD at its peak. He was later convicted and sent to jail for more than three years. He is a very colorful guy, has three kids, love cooking, plays as a DJ and is known as a Kabala trainer who rides a heavy motorcycle.
Today he is serving as an expert and consultant in the area of crypto economy and the blockchain technology for global companies.
4 Very Unusual Tips for Entrepreneurs:
Always stand out – Rise above the noise.
Stop using the same 12 slides investors’ deck format. Do something that your potential investors have never seen before. Surprise them and make your story remembered.
Presentation is everything.
In our fast-paced world, the average attention span has been shortened to the length of a .GIF. Grabbing your audience’s attention is much harder and much more important than it used to be. If you and your partners aren’t the most entertaining speakers, you must either learn how to improve yourself or hire someone who is what is needed.
Just like impressing someone on a first date, you must impress your audience when you present. You must put your best foot forward (Use the best looking, the most articulate guy / girl in the team).
Tell investors what they want to hear and later use the money to build your product.
The hot topics of the startup ecosystem (e.g. AI, blockchain, and machine learning) are all investors hear about. When you present your startup, you must showcase why your business is different and better than any other startup that falls into these same popular categories.
It is essential that you rise above the noise. This doesn’t mean avoid the hot topics, because they are popular for a reason. Use their popularity to build something that will be appealing to investors. Once you have people and funds behind you, new opportunities open up. Then you can build something truly unique.
What is “smart money?” – There is not such a thing, raise money from anyone you can.
A relationship between the founder and the investors are like a roller-coaster. The most important factor of choosing the right investor is his human relations and this is very hard to anticipate.
What is Cryptocurrency? Where is it Going?
Cryptocurrency means different things to different people. To an idealist, cryptocurrency is a decentralized form of currency. It isn’t attached to any government; it is a financial medium for the people, by the people. This quality of cryptocurrency is appealing to anarchists and other non-institutional groups.
However, cryptocurrency is more than a political opportunity — it holds economic value. This ensures popularity beyond niche political groups. Today, cryptocurrencies are commonly used to raise money for startups, and can be used to pay for goods and services.
The characteristic encryption of cryptocurrency enables it to function as both a currency and a social movement. Because of this complexity, opinions of cryptocurrency are in ways both correct and incorrect.
The important thing about cryptocurrency is that it has a life and it evolves. The only thing that makes it real is consensus.
The fact that we accept that cryptocurrency has value is what makes it a usable currency. Reifman sees the crypto-economy as the future despite the high level of volatility and taxation issues. The beauty of a cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin is that its value is determined by the people, making it a truly democratic form of money.
Reifman argued that it is this pure democratic nature that ensures that governments and banks will ultimately accept cryptocurrencies. The decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies does not just make it difficult to regulate their use; it also makes it difficult to regulate their growth.
If cryptocurrencies continue to grow in usership as they have in recent years, governments and banks will be forced to accept them and adapt to regulate their use in a manageable way. Due to increasing popularity and the pace of technological development, Reifman anticipates that the main issues facing widespread cryptocurrency will be solved in only a matter of a few years.
A Brief History of Eli Reifman
Eli was born in Russia and raised in Israel by his dentist father and a Jewish mother. His parents established excellence as expected early in his childhood. When he was eight years old, Eli began programming. Working with code and computers provided Eli an avenue to experiment with entrepreneurship.
It was a path that would continue through his military service and, in 1994, grow to include the development of video streaming technology. These innovative developments eventually became Emblaze, the first company to employ this technology.
Emblaze grew quickly and encountered a surge of success in its early days, Eli was suddenly making more money than he knew what to do with. The economic crash and recession of 2008 put them in a very precarious position. Facing the threat of takeover by a US hedge fund, Eli’s entrepreneurial skills were pushed to the breaking point.
Eli did not want to lose his company and fought for it using illegal strategies. Convicted and sentenced to three years in jail, Eli turned to his previous studies of Kabala and teaching skills to pass the time. He has now returned to the high-tech industry with a deep insight into the meanings of success and failure.