Insights for Avoiding Business Failure in Startups by Zachari Saltmer.

Meet Zachari Saltmer, the influential co-founder of One Big Fund, who is also known as Zatoshi within his circles. With his extensive experience as a trader and venture capitalist, he has made significant contributions to the crypto market, including innovations such as BRC-20 and ERC-6551. As we move into the next phase of growth, let’s gain some valuable business insights from Zatoshi, ranging from launching an investment fund to identifying the root causes of startup failures.

Welcome, Zachari. We’re excited to have you with us today. Could you start by sharing some details about your personal background, business acumen, and your journey within the crypto realm?

Hello, and thank you for having me. I have had a diverse range of business experiences, including eCommerce and music, with my initial venture being a rave clothing enterprise, as well as some business ventures that did not take off. These experiences have taught me to view failures as stepping stones to success, as long as one is open to learning from them.

My journey into the crypto world started in 2013 with my first Bitcoin purchase. Since then, I have been fortunate enough to collaborate with numerous successful individuals and develop a sophisticated trading algorithm for an upcoming product. My proudest achievements are the companies I have built without external funding, even though the road to success has been paved with a series of failures and successes.

Currently, I am focusing on self-growth and encouraging my team to do the same by completing various blockchain-related certifications to bolster our credentials and demonstrate our expertise in the on-chain space.

Great. One Big Fund is your first significant venture in the crypto industry, correct? Can you tell us about your experience in creating the fund and the challenges you faced? I’m sure our readers who are considering launching a venture capital fund would find your insights valuable.

Definitely. We founded One Big Fund in mid-2022, driven by the challenge of structuring a modern fund. The rapid evolution of blockchain technology and the variety of products and services it has enabled over the last decade inspired us. We leveraged our collective experiences and lessons learned from past business ventures to build a startup designed to empower emerging entrepreneurs and startup founders.

One Big Fund is a self-incubated venture, serving as a tangible proof of concept. We faced minimal challenges during its launch and are now focusing on nurturing our first client venture. However, potential fund starters should be prepared for challenges such as liquidity crunches and regulatory pressures. These can be mitigated by implementing comprehensive due diligence and compliance frameworks from the beginning and by proactively seeking high-liquidity market opportunities backed by solid data analytics.

From your perspective, what advice would you give to entrepreneurs interested in Web3? Should they rely on traditional funding, opt for DeFi, or consider a mixed approach?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this. My advice would be for entrepreneurs to identify trends through rigorous data analysis, including search data, venture capital data, and blockchain data. This approach lays the groundwork for flexible and robust investment strategies.

Web3 entrepreneurs need a clear understanding of the kind of companies or projects they aim to serve. This understanding will guide their market research and data analytics, helping them make informed decisions about their funding approach. For instance, if their target market consists of crypto-native entities, DeFi-based solutions might be ideal. Conversely, for services that require crypto-fiat conversions, a hybrid approach could be more fitting. I personally believe that the future of digital funds lies in DeFi-TradFi hybrids.

Speaking of Web3 businesses, how do you suggest they navigate the ever-changing and somewhat uncertain global regulatory landscape, especially in light of recent developments such as the MiCa bill in the EU and U.S. authorities’ actions against several crypto-based firms?

Compliance frameworks that adapt dynamically to the evolving landscape are key. At One Big Fund, we have implemented strong AML and KYC/KYB practices from the beginning and have maintained transparency in our business activities. We have introduced a unique concept called Proof of Business, where we create NFTs on OpenSea and issue them to our partners, using on-chain credentials for effective due diligence and business verification.

Impressive! In addition to One Big Fund, you have also recently founded a crypto bank named MEQA. What is your vision for this project, and how does it contribute to the overall growth of the crypto industry?

I believe that digital banking is the future and is here to stay. Over the years, I have recognized the need for alternatives to traditional banking infrastructure, a need that MEQA aims to fulfill. The recent banking crisis in the U.S. has only underscored the importance of MEQA. We are striving to launch this crypto-bank as soon as possible, despite the challenges involved.

MEQA will play a significant role in promoting blockchain, crypto, and overall Web3 adoption on a larger scale. It can be seen as a secure, crypto-native wallet with enhanced banking functionalities, thereby bringing together the best of both worlds.

In light of the banking crisis, many experts attribute the liquidity crunch to fractional reserve banking and regulatory crackdowns. How does MEQA plan to address these issues?

While MEQA is yet to launch, our primary aim is to foster transparency by building a community-first platform. We are offering an advanced, non-custodial solution where consumers always have control over their funds. We’re essentially providing an encrypted wallet with banking features and a strong security layer, integrated with AML and KYC/KYB compliance mechanisms.

Startup founders will be able to self-custody their funds through reliable partners using MEQA, which I believe is our most compelling selling point.

Thank you for sharing your invaluable insights. Before we conclude, could you leave us with some final thoughts or advice for our readers?

Absolutely. After my years of experience in business, my advice to budding startup founders, particularly those in the Web3 space, is to adopt a long-term perspective. Success is hard-earned and requires time, effort, and dedication, whereas failure is relatively easy. However, an innovator’s vision for the future serves as the best guide. Don’t be afraid to take risks, experiment, and, most importantly, learn from your mistakes.

For those operating in the blockchain space, it’s crucial to focus on growth and adoption, both at the retail and institutional levels. With the impending digital transformation of traditional assets, the opportunity to make a significant impact on the course of financial history is within reach.

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