Statistics show that between 4% and 7% of crypto enthusiasts are women. This includes developers, investors, founders and interested individuals. Compared to tech giants like Amazon, Facebook or Google, and the tech sector at large, women make up just 30% to 35% of all employees and founders.
Yet the launch of Crypto PR Lab goes against this notion. Crypto PR Lab is a boutique public relations and advisory firm for blockchain and crypto projects. Launched this month, Crypto PR Lab was founded by an attorney and Olympic snowboarder, Maria (Masha) Prusakova, and a business development specialist, Alexandra Karpova.
The leading lady team has the noteworthy expertise of Alexandra, who works in business development and networking, along with Masha’s legal skills and experience in PR for blockchain startups as part of M&A PR Studio. Both founders have great connections with the World Economic Forum community and in the ultra high net worth milieu from the experience working for UBS and HSBC Private Banks in Switzerland and Monaco. The company has already signed contracts with important clients including, TrustLogics, Kuende, Aigo.ai and, Andra Capital.
I sat down with Alexandra and Masha for an interview to learn more about their new company and path in the cryptocurrency space.
Rachel Wolfson: How did the idea for Crypto PR Lab come about?
Alexandra Karpova: I have been following the cryptocurrency revolution for a few years now. In the beginning, I thought, ‘Bitcoin, ethereum, cryptocurrencies? Why do we need this and how can it this change the world?’ I started an extensive research project, which involved reading, listening to crypto podcasts, meeting people in the community and attending blockchain conferences. Then it hit me one day – I recall thinking, ‘This industry is the future and I want to be a part of the revolution!’ Inside, I felt like that I should pursue my career in this space. I decided to follow my gut and I asked myself, ‘What is my most valuable skill set that can bring to help this industry to help it grow?’ My background is in business, real estate and marketing. I’m a great connector, networker and business developer. So, I realized that I could help companies with PR, marketing, advisor/investor connections, as there is a major necessity in this space. And that’s how Crypto PR Lab was born!.
Masha Prusakova: Law, finance and connecting with people from all over the world has been my passion for over 10 years, while working in big companies and studying at top universities like UC Berkeley and Sorbonne. I eventually started working with blockchain startups on PR and the legal side. I was constantly learning about this fascinating technology. Reading about crypto, talking to blockchain experts such as Don Tapscott or Bobby Lee, and working closely with startup founders got me more excited about being one myself. This spring, I felt ready to collect my expertise and contacts and become a founder. Most importantly, I found Alexandra who felt the same way as I did. I am very grateful for my mentors and friends who were the ones who inspired me. Especially after being with large corporations like Clifford Chance and Gowling WLG before.
Wolfson: What are the challenges both of you had to overcome as female founders in a male dominated industry?
Prusakova: There’s always this feeling of fear that comes to mind, the thought, ‘what if I can’t…?’ But, we need to just think for a moment, ‘what if I can?’ Female founders may be perceived by men as not as technical or knowledgeable in this space. Yet, women should ignore this assumption and go out there and impress men with their technical knowledge.
Wolfson: What should we do to encourage more women to work in the crypto space?
Prusakova: There are already plenty of women in the crypto space. However, the problem is that they are not given the same level of public exposure and recognition.
First, to foster diversity, we need to get more women interested and involved in doing work in blockchain. This means organizing regular crypto discussions for women, weekly “women in crypto” meetups and workshops to teach each other about the latest trends in blockchain.
Secondly, education on blockchain and cryptocurrency should be more available. Just as Code.org aims to teach Computer Science to every high school student, “Cryptocurrency” subjects need to be a part of a school’s curriculum. Universities should integrate courses on crypto in their Masters and MBAs programs and create degrees specialized solely in studies of cryptography and blockchain.
Finally, the success of the leading women in crypto should be publicly recognized. We should raise awareness about their achievements, interview them and write about them. We should also invite these women to be speakers and mentors for startups. Such exposure to female role models will motivate more women to explore blockchain technology and work in this industry.
Wolfson: What are the opportunities in crypto where women can excel?
Karpova: There are so many! Finance, computer science, law, marketing – really any background can be useful in the crypto space. Just figure out your “super powers” and apply them in business. As the industry is still growing, we need top talent to join the movement. If you don’t know where to start, just begin by reading the latest news from Forbes, Cointelegraph, Bitcoin.com or CoinDesk. It’s also helpful to join communities on Telegram and attend local meetups.