The Web3 Founder Journey: The Power of Communities

An interview with Austin Chaird, Chief product and technology officer at Alpha Impact

antler-singapore

Author

Antler Singapore

Welcome to the first feature of the Web3 founder journey, a series to shed light on the founding stories accelerating the creation of the next generation of the web.

Austin Chaird is the chief product and technology officer at Alpha Impact, a rapidly growing Singapore startup reinventing the way people trade by leveraging the power of communities. Alpha Impact was founded during the Antler cohort in Singapore in 2020 and has raised $3.1M from the likes of Genesis Block Ventures, LuneX Ventures, SMO Capital, and Solidity Ventures.

Antler is on a constant quest to learn more about what it is that drives our founders to be successful and how they make positive change happen. Antler was able to speak with Austin to talk about all things Alpha Impact, its team, and Austin’s journey as a Web3 founder.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

I was born and raised in Australia, where I studied computer science. After graduating, I spent 15 years in corporate investment banking at Macquarie Group at JP Morgan. I wore tens of hats during my time in the corporate world and worked across various technology positions.

After 15 years in the corporate world, I started to feel a bit itchy to do something different. I decided to quit my job and start my first startup. It didn’t work out, but I learned a ton about how startups work. I was soon again into entrepreneurship and joined Antler Singapore in 2020 with a pre-existing idea that later became Alpha Impact.

I have always been fascinated by how things work. My dad was a computer programmer (he is retired now), meaning that we had access to computers. We had one of the first Apple computers and later bought the IBM 286, 486 and Pentium. I loved playing games and taught myself to do some basic programming. This interest developed into a passion and drove me to study computer science in college.

I started out trying to hack games by giving myself infinite lives or unique weapons. However, during college, I got together with five of my friends, and we started a consulting startup helping companies build websites. Nobody had a website back then, and it was a fantastic learning experience.

I have been interested in crypto since 2017, and my colleagues used to talk about Bitcoin when the price was around $1000. I started to dip my feet in the water by buying Bitcoin and Ethereum and getting familiar with the terminology. This endeavor fueled my interest in crypto, and I started to dive deep into the rabbit hole. I began spending time on Youtube and Twitter learning everything about the underlying technologies.

My lens is more of a developer. For example, I believe the trend is accelerated by the tons of new tools that allow us to interact with the Blockchain, known as Layer 2 solutions, which are pivotal for developing this new industry. In short, everything that touches and allows us to interact with the Blockchain falls into the Web3 category for me.

I believe Web3 will enable the full potential of the public Blockchain. The Blockchain is permissionless, trustless and decentralized, all properties that Web3 will support further. A concrete use case is decentralized finance. More concretely, exchange assets without any permission, like Uniswap. I believe that the future will bring more of these permissionless transactions taking place, giving the control back into the hands of the people.

During my time learning about crypto, I got interested in trading. I noticed that it was challenging for new people to get into crypto. It was hard to find a trusted source of information through all noise. Moreover, people lacked the incentives to share their research beyond their core social circles. I didnt see the point of sharing everything that I spent hundreds of hours learning about. I wanted to solve these two problems, leading to the creation of Alpha Impact.

Obtaining legitimate information about crypto investing is challenging. Alpha Impact tries to solve this problem by introducing transparency into the process. We focus on online communities, and everyone on our platform has the option to attach their live exchange account and be completely transparent about their past performance, what they are holding, what trades they do, and the return on investment.

Be cautious about where you obtain information. Try to absorb everything, but at the same time, take everything with a grain of salt. I would start understanding the Layer 1 solutions and the famous trilemma. Then, I would move to the Layer 2 solutions and understand what problems they are solving and how they are solving them. After that, you can decide if you want to go more into the developer path and build blockchain applications or more a business path trying to understand how everything is tied together.

It depends on how tech-savvy the founders are. If you don’t know where to start, I would personally look more into NFTs as they don’t require much technical knowledge to start. I would try to start as simple as possible and discover new use cases as you progress further into the rabbit hole. In any case, there are so many roads still to be discovered in this exciting industry.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get the latest news and views from Antler’s global community

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Must-read articles from Antler

Browse our collection of founder stories, industry insights and latest startup successes from Antler Australia

See articles
Insights
5 min read
The 2022 Benelux Unicorn Founder Roadmap: How to build unicorns in Benelux

As everyone anticipates the next wave of ultra-successful companies in Benelux, what does it take to get there? What do the successful founders of Benelux unicorns look like? This report is an in-depth look at the Benelux startup ecosystem and its brightest stars. And above all, it is for anyone who is helping build the next 50 unicorns in Benelux.

Insights
5 min read
The Angle: Why the long-term view is the hard but right one

The Angle is a new content series from Antler, featuring perspectives from our team members on the biggest events and trends impacting founders and early-stage investors today. Every article is that person's unique angle on a hot topic—what they see from their vantage point in one of our 25 offices around the globe—not Antler's stance. In our first edition, Jeff Becker draws lessons from the demise of FTX and turbulent tech moments in recent years. This article first appeared in Jeff's Monday Morning Meeting on Substack.

Founder Stories
5 min read
Jamie Bubb: The tech marketing venture developer connecting brands and content creators

Our new content series—"It All Starts with People"—delves into the passions, motivations, and vision of the exceptional founders we have the privilege of partnering wtih around the world. In our second spotlight, we sat down with Jamie Bubb, co-founder of Twirl, a remote content studio powered by top-quality creators that helps brands scale their content engines rapidly and cost-effectively.

Insights
5 min read
Venture investing in the downturn

We are living two simultaneous realities: the uncertainty of the current downturn and the unstoppable wave of innovation disrupting every industry. Against this backdrop, Antler's Kevin Brennan shares perspectives on assessing your position in venture capital for the rest of 2022 and into 2023. Might 2023 be the best vintage for the coming decade?

Founder Stories
5 min read
Emilia Theye: The psychologist using AI to democratize access to mental health solutions

Antler was founded on the belief that people innovating is the key to building a better future. To honor them, we are launching a new content series—”It All Starts with People”—spotlighting the exceptional founders we have the privilege of partnering with around the world. Each story is a window into their passions, motivations, and vision—the reasons they are building and the positive dent they are aiming to make on the world.

In our first spotlight, we sat down with Emilia Theye, the co-founder of clare&me—a mental health app that uses language-based AI to develop an innovative approach to virtual self-help.

News
5 min read
Backing founders from day zero to greatness

Today we are sharing our new brand that reflects that commitment and the reason Antler exists: to stand behind our founders from day zero and to keep backing them on their paths to greatness.

Founder Stories
5 min read
Seven ways founders can prioritize mental well-being as they build

Founders are the life force of the startup ecosystem. They give their all, betting on their seemingly “crazy” convictions and executing on abstract ideas that can potentially make our lives and work easier, faster, healthier, and better optimized.

But sometimes they do this to the detriment of their health. Being a founder means being beholden to customers, employees, and investors while balancing personal life. Often founders trade their stable, well-paying jobs to prioritize the restless inquisitivity of their mind. In the quest to answer the question “what if?”, they sometimes sacrifice their mental and physical health, only realizing the effects on their state of mind once they have impacted their ability to function as a leader. We have also seen how the mental pressure on founders can cause distress to those who depend on them for their livelihood and direction.

Insights
5 min read
A fresh take on early-stage VC: Harvard Business School publishes a case study on Antler

Harvard Business School (HBS) recently published a case study about Antler’s fresh approach to early-stage venture capital. Antler Co-Founder Fridtjof Berge shares thoughts on how the case sparks discussion about the best ways to identify and support great people anywhere on earth.