CSS Week 8-9 Recap: Regulatory + Marketing

Adam Levy
May 15, 2023

Hey there, Bello community! We're excited to share a recap of our incredible journey through a16z's Crypto Startup School (CSS) accelerator. As we approach Demo Day, the anticipation and energy are soaring.

In this blog post, we'll take you through the highlights of Weeks 8 and 9, where we dived deep into regulatory insights and discovered the power of social media strategies. So, let's dive in and give you a glimpse into our CSS experience!

Week 8: Regulatory

Navigating the Regulatory Landscape with Michele Korver: Regulation 101

Michele Korver, a renowned expert, took the stage and unraveled the complexities of regulatory frameworks. We learned the fundamentals of regulation and policy legislation, gaining a comprehensive understanding of the playing field.

The CSS team provided us with a jurisdictional overview, shedding light on various branches such as Banks, Markets and Investing, National Security/Financial Intelligence and Tax, and Criminal/State legal overviews. This broad perspective equipped us with the knowledge to navigate the regulatory landscape confidently.

One of the key takeaways was understanding how regulators approach financial activities like money transmission and tax considerations. Armed with this knowledge, we can ensure compliance and make informed decisions for our Web3 startup.

But it didn't stop there. We explored securities and commodities laws, delving into their implications for our industry. Understanding how to interact with regulators was another vital aspect covered during this week. We learned about the differences between reactive and proactive approaches, and the importance of building open channels of communication with regualtors. Our interactions with regulators can shape the future of our business, and CSS empowered us with the skills to navigate these interactions effectively.

In an exciting turn of events, Chairman Patrick McHenry joined us for a captivating Q&A session. We had the opportunity to ask him questions, and the discussions revolved around Gary Gensler's contradictory views on digital assets. It was a rare chance to gain insights from a key figure in the regulatory landscape, and the cohort made the most of it.

Week 9: Social Media Strategies

Building a Strong Social Presence with Ish Verduzco

As asdasdasdasdwe moved into Week 9, our focus shifted to establishing a strong social presence in the Web3 world. Ish Verduzco, a seasoned expert in social media strategies, became our guide for this enlightening journey.

We discovered that building a social presence extends beyond mere marketing, and Ish helped us understand the difference between social media marketing and establishing a brand using social platforms. It became clear that we needed a comprehensive content strategy to make an impact.

We explored three powerful ways to grow our social presence. These insights challenged us to think beyond follower counts and focus on delivering valuable content consistently. Themes, cadence, and leveraging analytics became the pillars of our content strategy. By measuring performance, we could adapt and refine our approach to ensure maximum engagement and impact.

Understanding the distinction between brand accounts and personal accounts was eye-opening. We learned how each has its unique benefits, and we now have a clearer roadmap for leveraging both to our advantage. Ish also introduced us to the growth flywheel concept, highlighting the power of cross-platform posting in amplifying our social presence.

And of course, we couldn't ignore the algorithms. Ish shared seven valuable tips to game the algorithms and maximize our reach. From harnessing the power of hashtags to engaging with our audience and creating compelling content that sparks conversations, we now have a toolkit to navigate the ever-changing algorithms.

Web3 Marketing with Amanda Cassatt, Founder and CEO of Serotonin

In our pursuit of Web3 success, we had the privilege of learning from Amanda Cassatt, the brilliant Founder and CEO of Serotonin. Amanda delved into the world of Web3 marketing and provided us with invaluable insights.

We explored marketing funnels in the Web3 space, understanding their significance for startups like ours. Amanda shared her experiences and emphasized the importance of starting marketing efforts with a clear understanding of the unique characteristics of Web3.

As we absorbed Amanda's wisdom, we discovered what works well in the Web3 marketing landscape. She revealed effective strategies that have yielded results and shaped successful campaigns. We now have a better understanding of how to position ourselves and our brand to thrive in this exciting realm.

Building community and designing incentives were two essential components discussed during this week. We realized that a strong community is the backbone of a thriving Web3 startup. Amanda emphasized the value of fostering connections, creating engaging experiences, and offering incentives to build long-lasting relationships with our audience.

To further strengthen our marketing efforts, we engaged in exercises that analyzed our marketing funnels. These exercises helped us identify inconsistencies and areas for optimization within our growth stack. Armed with these insights, we are confident in our ability to optimize our strategies and drive sustainable growth.

Fireside with Greg Solano, Co-Founder of Yuga Labs

In addition to diving into social media and marketing strategies, Week 9 also brought an exciting fireside session with Greg Solano, Co-Founder of Yuga Labs, one of the masterminds behind the renowned Bored Ape Yacht Club and Web3's largest IP franchise. Joined by the experienced entrepreneur and moderator, Jason Rosenthal, who has an impressive track record of 25 years in entrepreneurship and strategic work with Yuga Labs, the fireside session offered valuable insights into the journey of building a Web3 powerhouse.

Greg Solano, with his vast experience and success in the Web3 space, shared invaluable lessons and inspirations. He took us through the remarkable story of the Bored Ape Yacht Club, highlighting the challenges and triumphs encountered along the way. We gained deep insights into how a simple idea can evolve into a cultural phenomenon and a thriving community.

Moderated by Jason Rosenthal, the fireside session was a treasure trove of wisdom. With his expertise and experience, Jason offered strategic perspectives and engaged in thought-provoking discussions. Having worked closely with Yuga Labs on various strategies, his insights provided us with a unique perspective on building successful Web3 ventures.

What's next

Our journey through CSS has been nothing short of transformative. Weeks 8 and 9 provided us with a deep understanding of the regulatory landscape and empowered us to navigate it with confidence. We also discovered the power of social media strategies and the importance of building a strong online presence in the Web3 world.

As we approach Demo Day, the knowledge gained from CSS will be instrumental in shaping our future success.

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