In a recent episode of “Bright Founders Talk” by Temy, an international software development company, we had the unique opportunity to sit down with Edwin Mata, the dynamic CEO and Co-Founder of Brickken. What many might not know about Edwin is his passion for drumming, a hobby he’s cherished since the age of 13.
But aside from the fun personal anecdotes, Edwin delved deep into his journey, transitioning from a mergers and acquisition lawyer to spearheading Brickken, a pioneer in the tokenization of assets. His candid discussion offers insights into the challenges of scaling up, the lessons learned from initial MVPs, and the evolution of Brickken.
Readers can look forward to an enlightening discussion on the intricacies of blockchain, web three, and the undeniable importance of resilience and adaptability in the tech industry.
From Mergers Lawyer to Blockchain Pioneer: Edwin’s Drumming Rhythms to Web Three
Behind the astute CEO demeanor, Edwin’s got a secret beat playing – he’s a drummer at heart. It’s almost poetic how his rhythms from the drums transitioned into the rhythms of the tech world.
Navigating from the structured world of mergers and acquisitions to the dynamic realm of blockchain, Edwin’s journey with Brickken wasn’t without its challenges. It’s fascinating to hear about the early MVP of Brickken – an ambitious foray into asset tokenization that took a daring pivot after a year and a half. Edwin recounts the intense but thrilling process, “It was quite entertaining, and obviously very stressful.”
Despite the challenges, Edwin’s pride is palpable. Not just for what Brickken has become, but for the initial steps they took, even if it meant completely reimagining their approach. “When you say am I proud? Yes, because we got clients on that MVP,” he asserts. It’s a testament to the age-old wisdom: It’s not about how you start but how you adapt, innovate, and continue.
Digital Visionary Edwin: From Legal Labyrinths to Revolutionizing Asset Management
Edwin’s journey into the digital realm started with a simple frustration. As he navigated the complicated world of mergers and acquisitions, he couldn’t ignore the disconnection between the offline and online worlds. He recalled, “We live in a digital world, why do we have to deal with these complications?” This disconnect led Edwin to blockchain in 2017, a tool he realized could bridge this gap. With blockchain’s potential to document everything online, even seemingly simple tasks like distributing dividends to a large number of investors could be transformed, streamlining processes that were once cumbersome and time-consuming.
While Edwin’s innovative solutions to old problems are inspiring, being a CEO has come with its own set of challenges. Edwin candidly shared, “As a founder and CEO, you never stop looking for money.” The constant search for funding, paired with the need to engage VCs and communicate value, was an unexpected role for a former lawyer. Yet, Edwin’s resilience shone through as he noted, “It’s about training.” He’s learned that being genuine and creating real value for clients is the true pathway to securing investment.
Amid the challenges and tech hurdles, Edwin’s proudest moments are rooted in the company culture he’s cultivated at Brickken. He expressed, “When I go to the office, everybody wears the Brickken shirt. That’s company culture.” It’s more than just a shirt; it’s a testament to the genuine investment of his team in the brand and their shared mission. This level of commitment wasn’t achieved overnight. Drawing from past experiences, Edwin champions transparency. He believes that being upfront about the company’s state, both in its highs and lows, fosters trust. As he puts it, “I’ve been in that situation working for somebody… I’m just gonna be honest, and blunt, good things, bad things.” Through this candidness, Edwin has built a team that doesn’t just work for Brickken but believes in it.
Edwin’s Insightful Journey: From Lawyer to CEO, and the Dance with Blockchain
“Processes and procedures. That’s kind of like something that I’ve seen in the startup world,” Edwin began, leaning forward with an earnest glint in his eye. He drew a parallel between drafting contracts as a lawyer and setting up operational blueprints in a startup. “For me right now, I brought all of that,” he emphasized. The understanding that establishing clear processes isn’t about limiting freedom, but guiding it, underpinned Edwin’s approach. He added, “It’s about telling them, hey, you know, this path works. Now build your know-how on top of that.”
When asked about the many roles he played as a founder, Edwin chuckled, recalling his early days. “For me, at the beginning, being very lawyer, so it was very contract light.” He opened up about the challenge of shedding the strictures of the legal world to embrace the gray areas that drive innovation in startups. “I had to break my mindset,” he shared, pointing out that true entrepreneurship often lies in navigating those gray zones where laws aren’t clear-cut, and opportunities emerge.
But Edwin’s eyes lit up the most when blockchain came into the conversation. “It’s all about a point of entrance,” he began, emphasizing the transformative nature of blockchain technology in reshaping the concepts of ownership and autonomy. Edwin looked back at the Bull Run of 2021, calling it “absolutely ridiculous” in its accelerated development. He voiced concerns about the rapidity, comparing it to getting the keys to a Ferrari immediately after acquiring a driver’s license. The key, he suggested, is always about building on foundational layers, and in his words, “It’s always about procedures.”
Edwin’s Unexpected Rock Star Moment and the Vision for Tokenized Assets
Edwin chuckled, reminiscing about that surprising invitation to Las Vegas. As someone who’s etched a niche for himself in the tokenization space, an email for an all-expenses-paid speaking gig in Vegas seemed too good to be true. “I thought it was a scam,” he said with a light-hearted shake of his head. “But, lo and behold, I found myself in a top-notch hotel, feeling a bit like a rock star.” It was one of those surreal moments when the recognition of your hard work comes from the most unexpected corners.
But Edwin’s journey isn’t just about those “rock star” moments. It’s filled with the ups and downs of the volatile blockchain and web three space. “The motivation, especially after the crash, became hard,” he admitted. But it’s the small victories and the unwavering support of his team that keeps him going. “Every win is a huge win for us,” he emphasized, highlighting the importance of celebrating every achievement, no matter its scale.
When asked about significant milestones, Edwin’s eyes lit up. Being part of the Spanish regulatory sandbox was monumental for them. “It validated our project and asserted that what we were doing was legal,” he explained. Moreover, raising a significant amount from investors further cemented their position in the market. Edwin’s clarity of vision is commendable, and it’s evident that he’s driven by a mission to simplify and advance the world of tokenized assets.