Jared Polites and I have known each other from his days at Ardent Capital in Bangkok. He is now a venture partner at BlockTeam Ventures. I had the pleasure of catching up with him in October before he got back on a plane and went to Europe.
Jared’s initial experience at Ardent Capital was quite e-commerce focused. After learning about Southeast Asia and the startup ecosystem there, Jared moved to New York and went right back to the tech startup scene. His introduction to the world of blockchain and cryptocurrency came through his friends. One he describes as a backpacker and the other he describes as a ‘clean-cut corporate type’.
Getting hit from both sides of the spectrum was a signal to Jared that this cryptocurrency thing was real and he jumped in…opening an account on Kraken. During the time it took to open his account, the value of Ethereum doubled…he was hooked. He continued to work at the startup, but began looking for a way to get into the world of blockchain as a career.
He literally went on to UpWork to try to find some side gigs and started helping companies do their ICOs. Jared contends he was “in the right place at the right time” and was fortunate enough to see a few sizable ICOs from beginning to end. With another stop or two along the way, he met the team that now comprises BlockTeam Ventures.
BlockTeam Ventures is a blockchain tech advisory and investment fund. They have worked with over 40 blockchain companies that have raised $400 million to-date. The team comes from complimentary backgrounds. One of the partners went through the initial class of Techstars and co-founded a game company that generated millions of dollars selling digital currency. Another partner worked on Wall Street. Another has served as a hands-on advisor to over 35 ICOs.
Jared is a true enthusiast and is realistic about what is necessary to drive the ecosystem to the next level. He maintains a unique perspective and his insights are worthwhile and well considered.