Get inspired by the talent and passion that drives Validation Cloud forward. Meet Chris, our exceptional VP Business Development from Hoboken, New Jersey.
Q: What’s your role at Validation Cloud? Tell me about your background and experience prior to joining the team.
A: My role at Validation Cloud is VP of Business Development, so I work very closely with our executive team on driving our go-to-market strategy. Since we’re a small team I wear a lot of different hats spanning from B2B partnerships, research/diligence, operations, and pretty much anything in-between that’s non-engineering related for our company.
I recently hit my two year anniversary with the Validation team having started as an intern in 2021 while I was getting my MBA at Georgetown University. Prior to business school, I was working at CME Group and helped with the launch of their digital asset contracts back in 2017 which really ignited my interest in this space. While in business school, I served as the first MBA Fintech Fellow which was a scholarship supported by the Ripple University Blockchain Initiative (UBRI) and gave me the opportunity to conduct research and publish a white paper on the digital asset space.
Q: What motivated you to join the Validation Cloud team, and in what ways do you envision your role supporting the company’s mission?
A: I got introduced to Alex Altman, our COO, back in 2021 by a classmate of mine at business school and had the opportunity to meet him and Michael Horowitz, our CEO, and was immediately impressed. I love the culture of being embraced by the management team to hunt down opportunities wherever I find them and take on new initiatives. It never feels like I or anyone on the team is just another cog in the wheel and everyone is constantly pulling their weight to grow our company.
Q: How did your interest in Web3 technology develop, and how do you believe Web3’s potential impact can be leveraged by Validation Cloud to empower organizations to tap into its potential?
A: As my friend and colleague Dan Kazenoff once said, “Imagine being a 2022 Google user, but seeing the mainstream still using 1994 Netscape and complaining about the usability of the internet back then. This is the state of crypto today.”
In other words, the infrastructure supporting blockchain technology today is really lacking. However, at Validation Cloud we’re changing this and enabling blockchain to be as usable today as the internet is. I really believe that blockchain technology can change the world for the better and I love how Validation Cloud is at the intersection of making this happen.
Q: What unique features or advantages does Validation Cloud offer compared to other Web3 infrastructure companies?
A: Validation Cloud has a big advantage over others in the Web3 infrastructure space because we actually designed our company and products out of personal experience and necessity. Having operated in the Web3 space for 5+ years previously, we were huge consumers of nodes and staking infrastructure. We felt the pain points of everyone else out there and knew how to design customer-driven products to solve for this.
Q: Which team values resonate with you the most, and why?
A: I love how everyone is solutions oriented at Validation Cloud. One of the best pieces of advice I was ever given was that you can never complain about a problem without also offering a solution. Everyone at our company abides by this same mindset and knows the importance of working toward a concise goal for each meeting or project.
Also since we’re still a very small team — everyone does a great job of challenging each other, in a good way, to make sure we are all on track and prioritizing our most important objectives with the highest ROI.
Q: What strategies do you implement to encourage effective collaboration with your team members in order to deliver high-performance and customizable products in staking, node, and data-as-a-service? What specific achievement, particularly something accomplished by your team, are you proud of during your time here?
A: I think our company does a great job of fostering communication, in spite of the challenges of being a virtual first company. One of my favorite parts of the week is what we call “The Brief”’ which is an all-hands meeting I have the privilege of leading for our team. I get the opportunity to collate the week’s relevant crypto and macro news that would be of interest to our company and tee it up for a discussion. Michael Horowitz, our CEO, estimates as much as 50% of our new BD ideas/strategy emerge from the brief so it’s a great chance to interact with everyone and generate some amazing cross-functional conversations. Also, there’s nothing better than seeing more and more people join the brief each week because our team is growing so fast.
Q: What do you like to do outside of work? Any hobbies or interests outside of Web3?
A: I love working out, playing tennis and other sports. I played tennis in college and still play competitively despite some injury setbacks over the past few years. I think it’s really important to have competitive outlets outside of work to strive to get better each day. I also play some video games and recently got back into playing Chess online, if you’re interested in playing — let me know!
About Validation Cloud
Validation Cloud is a Web3 data streaming and infrastructure company that connects organizations into Web3 through a fast, scalable, and intelligent platform. Headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, Validation Cloud offers highly performant and customizable products in staking, node, and data-as-a-service. Learn more at validationcloud.io| LinkedIn | X | Medium