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While most still associate the pandemic with crippling socio-economic closings and vacations, markets in many sectors have also seen bullish economic growth.
Overall, for example, the stock market has seen a significant upswing since the beginning of Covid-19, and the developing digital and crypto economies have particularly flourished.
The cornerstones of such economic prosperity amid the destabilizations caused by Covid have been (i) volatility stabilization, (ii) product innovation, and (ii) emerging market innovation.
In this essay, we take a look at the companies and entrepreneurs who embody these key elements of today’s turbulent new world.
Keystone # 1: Stabilize volatility
Especially during Covid, small and medium-sized businesses have suffered from cash flow volatility, which in turn has made it very difficult for them to afford the quality service providers they want or make large payments on time.
Because traditional financial lenders like banks require an inordinate amount of data to begin the lending process followed by long wait times, small businesses that need an immediate solution to their cash flow problem are left without a solution. In the past year and a half, it was precisely these problems that forced the closure of countless start-ups around the world that were no longer able to cope with the stresses and strains of the global Covid-19 pandemic.
Enter the problem solver, BizPay: an innovative platform that enables emerging businesses to quickly and conveniently spread bill payments over time without having to provide their detailed financial information to get started.
While other lending disruptors have tried to speed up the payment process, BizPay is taking things to the next level. With BizPay, companies with cash flow problems can now spread their payments for services rendered over weeks or months and pay a negligible fee of around 2 percent per transaction. Using state-of-the-art artificial intelligence, BizPay can analyze a company’s financial status and approve the transaction in minutes, so it can move on with the payment process instead of struggling through the hassle of paperwork and other timely hurdles required by traditional financial institutions and competitor lenders, a problem that is only exacerbated by Covid-19.
The inexpensive and fast alternative to loans from BizPay enables its customers to finally be able to afford the high-quality and competent service providers they want, instead of settling for a lower standard within their usual budget constraints. Providers also benefit by shortening their normal payment terms from more than a month to just 24 hours and increasing their average turnover by up to 17 percent after they have taken the payment options from BizPay directly into their bills with a click of the mouse.
With currently offices in Australia and the United States and a presence in the UK, New Zealand and across Europe, BizPay has started implementing its unrivaled payment solution on a global scale, helping companies with financial deficits across the Covid-19 pandemic and above out.
Keystone # 2: Product Innovation
Product discovery is always a practical skill.
However, challenging times require a higher level of ingenuity and often give entrepreneurs additional motivation to inspire and create.
A Detroit-based shoe start-up saw this as an opportunity and walked away with an impressive launch. And while its success could be described as unprecedented considering that four months ago no one knew the brand name, this up and coming shoe brand is essentially gaining recognition for its innovation and values. Introducing the world’s most advanced lighted shoe technology – REZA.
Founded by 22-year-old Detroit native Mustafa Syed, REZA wanted to create a shoe that was both innovative and stylish by incorporating new technology into the design process. With no product and nothing more than a vision for the company, Syed sought funding from Techstars Accelerator, known for investing in some of the best early stage startups in the world. From a pool of more than 600 applicants, REZA was selected as one of the few as part of the Techstars Sports Accelerator. After Syed raised more than $ 120,000 in funding, Syed began developing the product using Tesla-inspired technology – a solid-state lithium battery and a laser diode designed to shoot through fiberglass. In order to source new sustainable materials, the founding team spent over 6 months in Asia to dig into the hardware and manufacturing areas.
“For us it’s so much more than just a shoe. It’s about building a community of like-minded people and allowing them to express themselves in a new outlet, ”said Syed.
REZA means “laser” in Japanese and Syed boasts many sources of success from his team, former New Balance designers, consultants with backgrounds from Nike and the Paris Saint-Germain Football Club, and an incredible sourcing team based in Taiwan. His best friend and business partner Jack Krebsbach also accompanied him through the ups and downs of COVID and spent two weeks together in hotel quarantine in Taipei.
Before the brand’s first drop, celebrities like world famous DJ Steve Aoki, DJ Skee and digital creator Harrison Nevel were seen wearing and endorsing REZA, generating interest and popularity in streetwear and sneaker communities. While most sneakerheads are familiar with long lines and online drop days for the next must-have shoes, REZA’s drop day looked different than most. Since this is an invite-only drop, the company’s first drop consumers had to apply first to receive a pair. With an appeal encouraging consumers to meditate and reflect on how to “go their own way”, REZA received over 23,000 applicants from 50 different countries to pre-order their shoes.
Since the brand’s integrity is rooted in inspiring others and creating an inclusive community, it is exciting to see where REZA is going with its innovation and products in the years to come.
Keystone # 3: Innovation in Emerging Markets
Few entrepreneurs have contributed more to the emergence of today’s new cryptocurrency-dominated digital economy than Utah’s Travis Bott. At its core, Travis is an entrepreneur who has pioneered the way to expand the digital currency footprint on a global scale through initiatives and partnerships that enable people to more easily access and use digital currencies. These multi-currency wallet programs are not only being rolled out in major markets, but also in underdeveloped markets that allow people without a bank account to have access to digital banking solutions.
For Travis, entrepreneurship is about more than just creating wealth. It’s about creating new job opportunities and giving people a better quality of life. Additionally, Travis is passionate about the mentoring aspect of entrepreneurship as it gives him back to people who are hungry for the latest trends. He has advised on starting a digital wallet company, Savvy, and his team will attend an event at the Vatican in December 2021 to expand the social realm of this groundbreaking wallet. There are very few products in the cryptocurrency market that tie the dots between traditional finance and a digital wallet. Savvy is launching a wallet that enables people from anywhere in the world to use a global currency and gives them access to digital banking in a way that has never been seen before. The majority of its customers for this wallet are from India, Latin America, Africa and Southeast Asia. To paraphrase the product for laypeople, Savvy offers secure fiat and crypto wallets, a debit card, swaps, staking and peer-to-peer transfers worldwide for free. In the name of security, the wallet is KYC compliant, which is an integral part of any financial company’s processing, verifying clients’ identities and ensuring there are no indications of illegal purposes or practices. And most importantly, the wallet is peer-to-peer, which means that there is no middleman or external third party involved in the transaction process.
Approximately 1.7 billion people do not have a bank account due to a lack of proper documentation, many of those who fall into this category live in developing countries where banking systems are bureaucratic. Travis recognized this void and created a digital wallet that caters to the needs of those who are kept away from traditional financial institutions. Financially, changing money through your wallet is faster and cheaper. It has proven to be more affordable for people in developing countries, and these users share positive feedback around the wallet, which serves as the mainstay on the path to improved development.
As you can see, the future looks bright for cryptocurrencies and Travis Bott’s innovation in this area. And despite malicious smear attacks from numerous rivals and even the occasional ridiculous attempt at legal action to suspend its advance, Travis continues to innovate and expand the reach of the cryptocurrency economy at breakneck speed.