“Over the past 4 years we’ve been able to provide mentorship, knowledge and resource capital, and selfless support to underserved impact founders and startups. We pride ourselves on fostering a trusted global financial ecosystem that has enabled life-changing personal transformations for over 1,000 impact founders, keeping them in operational in their home country so they contribute to local economy.”
I had the pleasure of interviewing McKenzie Slaughter, Co-Founder of BeyondX by Beyond Capital Markets. McKenzie recently hosted the 1st Decentralized Innovation & Music Festival June 25–30 in St. Kitts & Nevis, best known for world renown music festivals, financial innovation, and sustainable living. DIF 2018 gathered the most innovative blockchain, cryptocurrency and impact leaders from all over the world including hedge funds, family offices, impact investors, financial institutions and governments for a week long series of events promoting the future of blockchain, crypto impact investing and tokeneconomics to improve livelihoods and sustainable economies. Global participants got an unique opportunity to interact with local entrepreneurs innovators during the Founder Talks Series and WINC women entrepreneurship program graduation at Innovation Hub at the National ICT Center. The festival ended with the St. Kitts Music Festival featuring over 20 soca, reggae, R&B soul, and hip hop artists with headliners: Lauryn Hill, Patti Labelle, Fetty Wap, and Spice.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
From two different continents, from two different worlds who one would have never imagined that powerful synergies for Economic Transformation could be found in two women of color. So how did it all start? Call it coincidence or Divine Intervention, we met while working independently on assisting a mutual client. After a one off 5 hour Skype introductory call, it became crystal clear that we each had strong backgrounds and IP in Finance, Technology, and Innovation. Coupled with our passion for global impact as part of our own value chain, we could together, be more productive and influential in navigating solutions to address fundamental problems for emerging economies and talent.
And that is just what happened, for the past 4 years we have continued together to grow our collective experiences with leading innovation initiatives throughout the Caribbean, Latin America, and Africa.
We have witnessed major constraints limiting economic growth and the dire lack of proper financial and knowledge management systems, the very foundation to any striving community.
Can you tell me about the most interesting projects you are working on now?
The BeyondX is our latest venture and our project is creating a new financial infrastructure supporting sustainability and impact with cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.
What are the 5 things that most excite you about blockchain and crypto? Why?
– Real opportunity for financial equality not accessible in fintech.
– Cross border Opportunity and reducing friction in moving capital especially for emerging markets
– The ability to organise a highly fragmented and decentralized community
– Increased Transparency and reduction of Corruption
-Provides an opportunity for creating high growth, high impact companies that reduces waste, increases efficiency by removing the need for intermediaries while lowering costs significantly for consumers.
What are the 5 things worry you about blockchain and crypto? Why?
– Increasing hacks of centralized exchanges
and the lack of decentralized adoption
– Lack of regulatory innovation in the U.S. that’s staggering financial inclusion among everyday Americans that want access to new investment opportunities
– The increasing number of failed ICOs and tokens, perhaps embracing standards like the Anguilla utility token Act to reduce investor and operational risk
– Slow or lack of adoption among business professionals and small business owners
– The fear of widening the digital economy gap especially in developing countries due to lack of access and education.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? Can you share a story?
Over the past 4 years we’ve been able to provide mentorship, knowledge and resource capital, and selfless support to underserved impact founders and startups. We pride ourselves on fostering a trusted global financial ecosystem that has enabled life-changing personal transformations for over 1,000 impact founders, keeping them in operational in their home country so they contribute to local economy.
The most notable transformation we’re proud of include Agroplexi, a business and personal financial platform for over small farmers across Africa offering accounting, loans, and portfolio investing. In less than one year, Mayowa was able to scale from idea to serving 300k small farmers and speak on a global platform across North America and Africa including being featured in Forbes Magazine.
What 3 things would you advise to someone who wanted to emulate your career? Can you share an example for each idea?
– Fail fast, learn from your mistakes and changes when necessary.
– Secure strategic investments from partners in the beginning of your journey, as a way to finance development.
– Finding a mentor can be a challenge in financial innovation sector so try to find seasoned professionals that are advocates for innovation and that are open to sharing resources and connections; and truly want to see you succeed.
– Be patient, persistent, resilient and most importantly know your worth.
Being an innovator and starting some new that most don’t understand requires grit, self determination and navigating the journey in the face of adversity and naysayers requires you to take you to be steadfast and know the differentiating value you bring to the table.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this 🙂
We would be honored to have breakfast with Sheila Johnson. She’s a black woman entrepreneur that we really admire the most for her versatility in business and achievements across the multiple industries; especially when it comes to investing. Sheila is also the first African-American entrepreneur to be worth $1 billion even before Oprah Winfrey.
Originally published at medium.com