A representative from the startup team Coinpass speaks about the origins of the idea for their startup, and why he feels their product will give power back to the people in a 21st Century world where cryptocurrency is gaining relevance.
Tell us about yourself. What’s your name, where are you from and which field are you working in?
My name is Aaron and I’m from New York. I grew up in Long Island and most recently I lived in Brooklyn. I studied psychology and earned a masters in clinical social work. In addition I have a background in finance and set up two private equity funds for an accounting firm on Wall Street, before that I worked in the cryptocurrency field with a startup aiming to make a platform for socially incentivized algorithmic trading. That’s my gist of my background.
Why did you join the 50:50 Startups program?
When I moved to Israel in September my main goal was to understand the people, the country and to learn the language. So, that’s what I started doing. I joined an online ulpan to learn hebrew and I moved to Yaffo to live with a holocaust survivor who was looking for company in the heart of Ajami. Ely Sandler, my mentor at 50:50 posted a link in the Yaffo whats app group I was in about the program and I was immediately interested. I thought it was perfect because I had recently come up with a project idea that I wanted to pursue, and more importantly it provided me with this unique opportunity to meet and speak with a sect of people I haven't had much interaction with and that I would be now sharing a home with. To be honest I had really come to Israel to work as a therapist, but I knew this program was what I needed to do next for my own growth.
How did the idea of your startup come to be? What was the motivation behind it and what do you hope to achieve with it?
The idea came to me when I was on the way to the airport, in New York to move here. I got to thinking, because I was about to fly overseas, about how my investments would be passed on to my family if something were to happen to me. I happen to be a big believer in cryptocurrency, and when I say investments that's what I'm referring to, and I realized that there simply isn’t an established solution for inheritance in this nascent asset class. There are people who are looking at the issue, but there hasn’t been a solution. So, I wanted to do something that would address and solve cryptocurrency inheritance.
Since we’ve been here with 50:50 and we’ve spoken to a number of mentors and advisors for our team, we’ve kind of pivoted into building something that will help with estate planning. We took a step back and we realized that inheritance is a piece of the puzzle that needs to be solved, but we want to provide a solution that simplifies cryptocurrencies for estate planning, and that means making it accessible to financial advisors and investment advisors, a group of professionals people that have been toying with entering the market of cryptocurrency but don't have a software or legal solution. We want to provide them with an API layer to wrap and integrate with their current software that they use to manage their client portfolios so they can integrate cryptocurrency and make sure they keep up with every compliance detail required. We also want to provide all the solutions to make their lives as easy as possible. We’ll have education, we’ll have support, we’ll teach them how to buy it, where to get it, how to do it as easy as possible as new things develop and as there are newer options. We’ll just make it accessible to financial advisors, and that will lead to greater acceptance or greater growth in the adoption of cryptocurrency. We think cryptocurrency holds the keys for moving away from centralized systems and moving towards giving power back to the people and everything. We can spread this out and help that movement. It really aligns with our values of bringing power back to everyone and not having to rely on systems we don’t believe in. That’s where we’re heading.
Startup accelerators, specifically the 50:50 program, offer a lot of tools: workshops with experts, networking opportunities, mentoring with the teams. How has the program been so far and how do you think it will help you with achieving your goals in the future?
So far it has been really interesting. The beginning was an opportunity to meet everyone. Once we formed the team, got our ideas thawed out, and launched the project, we found that the resources that 50:50 provides and the people they bring in to speak to us are extremely well-versed and seasoned in the field of startups and by listening carefully we can cut out years of mistakes. The best part is they are all so happy to help and be a part of the 50:50 mission. We feel extremely lucky to have the resources that 50:50 is providing us. We see it as a huge opportunity because in the world of Startups, there’s a lot of key steps that need to be made and 50:50 is enabling us to make those steps as smoothly as possible with their invaluable guidance each step of the way.
Interview by: Adi Nassar
Transcription by: Salina Kuo