Just under a week ago, I said goodbye to my friends and family and embarked on the biggest journey of my life. Throughout the 15 hour journey and 2 separate flights, I felt a melting pot of emotions; I was excited, scared, nervous, and curious. Now I sit here typing feeling nothing but happiness. Over the course of the first few days, the entire group got a taste of Madrid together for the first time. We went out for a delicious five course meal which consisted of many signature dishes including las patatas, las croquetas (my absolute favorite), el jamón and a few others. Besides eating as much food as I possibly I could, we also explored the city, went to the Spanish Royal Palace, la Plaza Mayor and many other interesting places in the city.
Although the first week of exploring the city was extremely fun, I am beyond excited to begin my internship tomorrow. I will be interning at a company called ICO funding. At this company, I will be able to learn a new form of financing which is called block chain. Icofunding deals with startups that are looking to accelerate into the market at a much faster, safer and efficient pace. The company does business with clients from all around Europe instead of just Europe which means that it is imperative to spread awareness to other countries and be able to market in several languages. In order to do this, Icofunding creates a platform for startups to create and manage their initial coin offerings. This initial coin offering is similar to an initial public offering in the stock market—instead of raising capital through shares, startups raise capital through cryptocurrency and security tokens. This allows for a quicker and easier avenue for new firms to generate capital. At the same time, Icofunding helps pair these startups with potential investors on their platform. Buyers can search for the types of businesses they would like to invest in, oversee the management of the raised capital for the startups as well as maintain a token portfolio all on one platform. While a startup is preparing for the ICO launch, the team at Icofunding prepares the contracts and takes care of the ICO execution which allows for the startup businesses to focus on excelling and improving in their respective fields. Throughout my time at Icofunding, I will be able to gain experience in all aspects of the industry including finance, market research and the legal work that goes into every sale. Additionally, I will be able to attend business meetings with clients and assist when it comes to closing deals with potential clients.
In order to succeed in this industry, the company needs to have strong brand awareness and have experienced leaders due to the fact that the industry itself is very young. From an outside perspective it appears that Icofunding has both. The company has two very experienced leaders that can give the customer a sense of security when either investing or launching an ICO. The two founders both have an impressive background in the finance and investment industries. One of them has a tremendous amount of experience with hedge funds and venture capital firms while the other is the digital business director for BBVA (one of Spain’s top banks). Another strength that the firm has is a strong brand name. Most companies in this industry have complicated names that are not clear to the customer which can lead to many problems since the industry itself is so new. However, Icofunding is simple and self-explanatory. The ICO stands for Initial Coin Offering, similar to IPO in the stock market, and the funding part of the name relates to the firm’s mission—to fundraise capital for startups. As the industry continues to grow, the brand name will grow with it.
Overall, I am extremely excited to begin working and continue to explore this beautiful country. Next weekend, I will share more about my internship experience as well as my experience in the city during the Champions League Final.