The Next Wave of Blockchain and Fintech Innovation with Martin Kuvanjiev | Curiosity Code 009
11 Apr, 2024
In this episode of the Curiosity Code podcast, Alex sits down with Martin Kuvanjiev, the CEO of Uncorp IO, a fintech, blockchain, and healthcare solutions provider known for its rapid growth and innovative approach since its inception. Martin shares his journey from co-founding Bitcoin Gold to winning NASA space app challenges, highlighting his deep-rooted passion for bridging technology with business. The conversation delves into the origins of Uncorp IO, its evolution from supporting startups to working with multibillion-dollar companies, and its significant focus on fintech and blockchain technology. Martin discusses the potential of blockchain in transforming the healthcare industry, particularly through the application of zero-knowledge protocols for privacy-preserving data sharing. He addresses common misconceptions about blockchain and its broader applications beyond cryptocurrencies, including its role in intellectual property and real estate transactions. Reflecting on his experience with Bitcoin Gold, Martin emphasizes the importance of community-driven projects and the challenges of managing a rapidly growing technology venture. He shares valuable insights on sustaining growth, the critical role of assembling a top-tier team, and the power of word-of-mouth in business development. Martin's advice to entrepreneurs and tech enthusiasts is to persevere through challenges and leverage networking and social interactions for learning and growth opportunities.

Alex: Hey, everybody, and welcome to another episode of the Curiosity Code podcast, where we unlock the secrets behind some of the most innovative minds in fintech and beyond. Today, we're thrilled to have Martin Kuvanjiev with us. He's the CEO of Uncorp IO, a leading fintech blockchain and healthcare solutions provider that's been doubling its growth yearly since 2019. Martin's journey in tech is nothing short of remarkable. From being a co founder of Bitcoin Gold, one of the top cryptocurrencies, to winning multiple NASA space apps challenges. With a deep background to software development, programming, and passionate drive to bridge technologies with businesses, Martin has transformed visions into impactful realities. Join us as we dive into the mind of visionary who is shaping the future of fintech and blockchain technology. Welcome to the show, Martin.

Guest: Hello. Thank you for having me.

Alex: All right, let's start with Encorp. Could you share the story behind founding Uncorp and what inspired you to Bridge Fintech, blockchain and healthcare solutions?

Guest: Yeah. Well, funny enough, when I have been starting the company, I got only one idea. I have been working in different places, in different positions related to software development, but in different companies, there were different things that I didn't like. So at some point I have decided, okay, what I can do about it. The only thing that I can do is create my own company, which has my ideas and my way of making business. And that is how we have started. It was back in 2019 that we went into our first office and the company was established in 2018.

Alex: Okay, so it's a software development company, right?

Guest: Yes. In the beginning, we've been helping a lot of startups, specifically in fintech business and healthcare, just to start their own products, to create their MVP's and then to create scalable solutions. As time went by, we went a lot more into blockchain because it has been like 2021 when there were so many projects which has been starting and etcetera, and then we have started signing up bigger clients. Right now we are working with multibillion companies, but still we continue to help startups which are in our fields.

Alex: So it's mainly fintech, blockchain, and healthcare, right?

Guest: Yes. Your specialty recently, actually, we went also in AI, we have created few products which are using different models like almost everyone else. But yeah, I can even say that right now, about 90% of our portfolio is fintech and blockchain.

Alex: What about healthcare? Like, how did you end up in healthcare business? I mean, building healthcare related products, what are the clients?

Guest: Yeah, when we started the company, we got our first client, which was a healthcare company from the United States called active body. And because of that, we got to get a lot of know how to do all different processes, all the different certifications, which are needed to work on FDA approval with the company. We got also the HIPAA compliance, which is for the United States. And that is how we have started. Then in 2020, because my background in fintech and blockchain, we have all started signing clients which are on fintech and blockchain. So it was first healthcare. We have worked with so many physiotherapists which were around the globe, because our product was like this. But right now, we don't have an active project which is in healthcare. We still help some of our friends, which are doing such products, and we're consulting them, but we don't have active development there.

Alex: What do you see about blockchain technology transforming healthcare industry? Do you see any opportunities there?

Guest: I believe yes, and plenty of them are related to zero knowledge. So the zero knowledge protocol is enabling a party to get the only important for them information, not having the full information. That means that if you're in a country that your health insurance is calculated based on your diseases, it is important to know, like, what is, let's say, the percentage of healthy that you are right now. Let's say like 95% or 70% based on the diseases that you have right now. And with the zero knowledge protocol, you may have, like one company asking another, okay, we have that person with that Social Security number or that id number, and we want to know how healthy they are right now. And this information can be returned without even knowing which are diseases that they have, what are the accidents they have in the recent years, et cetera. So, in my opinion, blockchain, and specifically digital medical records is going to be something very important and a good field of development that could be developed in the next years when we also add the information that is stored historically on the blockchain, and that nobody can alter that information afterwards, that is making it even better, because that means that if something happens, nobody could change the course of actions. Specifically, if we have an occasion of error by a doctor or a surgeon right now, with all these paper materials, it is easy to alter that information and to just change it, to mask the error and make it that it was not an error or whatever. With the blockchain, this is impossible to happen. Once the data has been written to the blockchain, it stays there forever.

Alex: Makes sense. Well, blockchain technology has been around for a while now, right? I mean, most of the people, they think cryptocurrencies, crypto and blockchain is the same, but blockchain is a different technology. There is a correlation with crypto, but it's only secondary.

Guest: So.

Alex: I think that since blockchain is such an obvious application to healthcare, it should have been adopted already, since the technology is old enough. Why do you think there is such a reluctance in adopting this technology in healthcare worldwide?

Guest: Yeah, I'm going to give you an answer right now. So you know how hard it is for some of the banks to start accepting payments with bitcoin and to integrate some of the bitcoin, or let's say like cryptocurrency payment protocols. If you are like a starting developer, it's going to take you no more than, let's say, two or three months to start understanding how the whole structure works. But imagine that you are a medical professional, let's say a physiotherapist. It has been like when we have been integrating new technologies that physiotherapists to be working with and to simplify their daily routines and work. It has been hard for us to make them use their phones, to measure some of the information and to write it on their phones. They are just too used to be using all of these, like the Excel table, which is on their laptop, or even writing the numbers on a sheet of paper that they may lose any moment, but that is just the way that they are working. And blockchain, it is extremely good as a technology, but it is not easy to start using it. There is a huge walk when people start to be using, even with the hardware wallets or even with the mobile wallets, which are for cryptocurrencies. I see that. How many? Like I have more than, let's say, 50 friends that has lose their private keys and their seed phrase and they have lost money. Like even right now I have one laptop which at some point had 50 bitcoins on it. And the guy asked me, okay, I did a clean install on Windows one year and a half ago, can you help me just to find my case on that laptop? And I'm like, okay, I'm going to try, but the chance is pretty small to find your case there.

Alex: Yeah. Talking about blockchain, what, in your opinion, the most common misconceptions people have about this technology and maybe you can share, how do you address them in your projects, in your work?

Guest: Interesting question. I believe that the biggest misconception about blockchain, I'm going to go a bit into cryptocurrencies again, because that's the most common use case of blockchain nowadays. The biggest misconception is that all the projects are scams and Ponzi's. To be honest, back in 2015, I was one of these people which has been saying, this is a financial pyramid, this is a Ponzi scheme and etcetera, when I've been checking the bitcoin, because that was the thing that I had me hearing. And then in 2016, a friend of mine just showed me how the whole process work and explain it to me. And then I was like, okay, I was totally wrong. In my opinion, that is the biggest misconception. There are cases and projects which are made to be working like a Ponzi scheme. So people should be checking all the information around the projects opinions and even better if they are developers, just to check their smart contracts and to see the whole tokenomics of that project and decide if it is a Ponzi or not. But I could say that right now, if you check in the biggest five projects, they are not Ponzi schemes and they are things that are actually working. If we even check how Ethereum and Polygon and other EVM based chains, they have changed the whole, even the whole way that we are handling intellectual property with the NFTs. Yes, NFT started as like a huge trend and the buzzword and etcetera. But this is giving us a very easy way to transfer intellectual property between the people. Right now, if I create a song myself and I want to fund my next album, let's say I play guitar, so it's more like a hobby. But if I decide, okay, I want to make a record, but I don't have the money to fund the whole album. I can just sell one of my records to somebody who likes my music, and using this money, I can fund my album. And then when we're doing the whole profit sharing or revenue sharing, in that case, the person or the company that has bought that record, they're going to be receiving their own share and I'm going to be receiving the rest. That is fair enough. And with all images, pictures and et cetera, it is making it extremely easy for the people that just like something, that associate with something, just to be able to buy it easily. Because the whole payment, it is cross border. It doesn't matter if somebody is in, let's say, Columbia or Singapore, that has created something. I'm right now in Bulgaria, I can easily just go click one button and buy it. There are no questions asked. There are no documents sent. I'm the owner. If there's any revenue, I'm receiving that revenue from that item.

Alex: So main misconception is that it's all scam and it's not the technology, it's just a scam covered by fancy words, which is not the case.

Guest: Yeah, well, sometimes it may be the case, but let's say in 90% of the cases of the projects, it's not.

Alex: Well, let's chat about bitcoin gold. As a co founder of Bitcoin Gold, what challenges did you face in early days and how do you see the cryptocurrency evolving in the current financial ecosystem?

Guest: So early days of bitcoin gold were very crazy, like it was in the early days of crypto, I can say because we have started the project in 2017, around summer, and it has been like a wild journey back then, because at that point of time, I got like four or five years of software development experience. I was not as experienced as I'm right now. And the whole way that I got into the project was also interesting because we have been in a slack channel with some people discussing how cool it's going to be for bitcoin to be able to be mineable again by GPU's, only because it's making it more decentralized. And at some .1 of the guys said, well, we can do it, it's not going to be that hard to just introduce a change to the bitcoin protocol and maybe they can even merge it. So we have started making some tests and we saw that it's possible and actually it's not that hard to be achieved. And that is why we have contacted some of the guys which are working around bitcoin. They have said that this is never going to pass the approval because so many people got their specialized mining machines. And that is actually how bitcoin gold started. First it was bitcoin cash, when they have made the first fork of bitcoin, and a bit after that, we created bitcoin gold in terms of challenges. To be honest, looking back in the time, I was not ready for such a big project. I was not even able to believe how many people are visiting our website because we got days with more than 100,000 people which were visiting our website. And at that point, it was on a shared hosting machine with some other websites. And I got issues that the machine was just dropping because I didn't expect such a thing. And maybe that is like some of the fun things, but also I got moments that I was extremely upset, and I was about to give up. One of these moments was that we have been receiving constant attacks from different parties, from hackers, even from newsletters. We just wanted to speculate with the price. And they have been publishing news which were right now they could be called even fake news, just to make some bad impression of the projects of the co founders and etcetera. But I started speaking with people. I saw that this is completely normal when you are doing an impact and when you are doing a new project which is competing with others, which are bigger. A friend of mine just told me, like Martin, get used to it. That's life. Like, nobody is going to be happy with all the work that you're doing. Nobody is going to be just supporting you and saying, thumbs up, you're great. There are going to be so many people which are going to be putting you down, and the only direction that you can go is up. And I have been listening to this and just said, okay, when this is the thing that I need to do, I'm going to do it.

Alex: What's the current state of the project? Still alive, still striving currently?

Guest: It's an interesting question. I'm not that active in the board anymore of the project, because right now I can say that it's 99% community driven. I have been observing that there are people that are using it. The whole board of bitcoin gold is still supporting all the infrastructure and resolving problems when somebody, like, when they have questions, problems, buxing, etcetera. But the development itself is community driven. So we have been more like an emergency problem solver, if I can say. That way, if something escalates, just to have somebody that can handle it. And that is what we have been doing in the past two years.

Alex: Okay. Okay, makes sense. Now, let's come back to uncorp a bit. I'm going to ask a bit selfish question, because I'm running same type of business development business, and I'm curious about any strategies that you have employed to sustain the two x growth from year to year. Can you share any of this?

Guest: Well, strategy number one is do a freaking good job.

Alex: That's so true.

Guest: Like, that is the best thing. It has not been easy, to be honest. I have started with the idea just to have a small company with three or five people which are just getting their job done, and we are happy smoking shisha in the office and etcetera. But at some point I started hiring more people, and at some point I became not like the guy that writes the content a few times of the month, he's just making all the salaries and etcetera. But I had to step in my position as CEO of the company. So some of the things is that especially for people who have started like me and maybe like you as developers and then went to another position, is that at some point there for going to have to give up the software development or find a new guy that is going to have to manage the company, because you are just physically enabled as a person to do everything. If you are doing both management and software development, at some point your employees are going to be unhappy because they are not well managed. And also your clients are going to be unhappy because they dont have enough of your time. And that is the point that you must decide and step in and take the shoes and the position of CEO of the company. That is the thing that I did back in 2020 first. And the other thing is that when things go to hell, because sometimes it happens in some projects, I am the first responder in the company. So recently we got a project that not only because of our team, but also from some of the project team members, because like we are working as an out staffing company, we're providing the technical resources, but sometimes the brokers are not from our side, they are from the client. But again, when you have said that on a specific date you're going to deploy the service, you must make everything possible to achieve it. And I still have to do sometimes the software development and stay late at night. So being the one that gets maybe the highest cut in the company, when you are the CEO and you are receiving the profit and etcetera, you are also the one that bears all the responsibility. And that is the thing that I am doing. If things are good, perfect, I have made my job well. If things are going to hell, then I must find a way to fix it in terms also scalability, especially when you're a service company, actually not only a service company, but also when you are like a tech company, the employees are almost everything of a company. So even if you have like the best business model, if you are very scalable technology, if you have good clients in the beginning and et cetera, if you don't have the a players in your tech team, at some point the project dies. Like that's the thing that is happening. I have seen it on so many occasions. That's why when we are hiring people, we are very strict in our requirements. So we want these people to have similar culture and core values like our company and our team members. We want these people to be not only looking for the high salary, but they need a place that they can develop themselves as professionals and as people. And we are able to have these people staying in the company for a long time because we are promoting them, we are giving them more opportunities to solve the people. I gave some of the shares of the company because they have been doing so outstanding work and helping the company grow. And by following these things, actually these were the main reasons that we were able to scale in terms of sales, because so many people are asking me how you're doing your sales. I don't do that much effort in the sales. I do a lot of effort into the way that we get our, we get the job done. And when we do it well, the people are talking to each other and recommending our company. And that has been one of the main ways that we have been scaling in our main clients. Actually right now they came as word of mouth from people that has already worked with us.

Alex: I can totally relate to that. I think you just described what I've been doing myself for the past six years. And we have the same case in product era. Word of mouth is number one source of new projects. Let's talk a bit about, I mean more about fintech and blockchain projects, maybe those that you are working on that gives you exposure to the overall direction where the technology and the industry is heading. Like where do you see fintech blockchain heading in the next, let's say five years?

Guest: I think that blockchain is actually a technology that is into the fintech because these two, they are together from the beginning. It's interesting that most of the companies which are service companies and also tech companies overall, they have been entirely into the fintech banking and et cetera, or completely into blockchain. There so little companies that are into both. And actually that is a thing that we have been doing from the beginning. And European Union, they got their micro regulation out. Micro regulation is regulating specifically the crypto projects and the blockchain assets. And in my opinion, this regulation is going to be leading the merging of both sectors as one. And I see it because I'm not going to share names. But some of the big banks in European Union, they already have started development of their own blockchain services which are in the banks. And there are some educations which are already pending in these banks, which is at least for me, meaning that they are going to be integrating blockchain assets. When this happens, everything goes into place. Because right now, if I want to invest let's say in gold, I can just go to my bank and say, guys, I just want to invest in gold. What are your options? And they're going to give me a list of options with different kind of risks, different work period, etcetera. In my opinion, this is going to happen with bitcoin, and not only with Mika, but actually, even if you check DTFs right now, the price is like $72,000 on 12 March, and the price four months ago are less than 30,000, I believe. So we have seen only with just the ETF's and when the different funds in the United States have started buying bitcoin, it is just skyrocketing, the whole price and everything. It is digital gold. So that's my opinion. I expect in the next five years to be able, from my mobile banking application, to be able to send a payment in USDT to a person in the United States, which is going to go through the network in less than 15 seconds, not going to have to wait one or two days. Swift settlement and etcetera. Interesting. Like a few months ago, I have been receiving a payment which was delayed with four days just for processing, which has been crazy. And I'm just like, okay, if that was in crypto, it would have arrived in like 3 seconds, right?

Alex: Especially if it's international wire.

Guest: Yes.

Alex: So you think the blockchain technology will mainly strive in fintech as a cryptocurrency domain. No other application beyond that in the next, like, I think that there are.

Guest: Going to be more applications, the NFTs, like the way to transfer intellectual property. This is going to be a thing that is going to develop in very useful applications because the first ones were more like speculative applications. I see it going into more useful applications. And one of the main cases which is right now being exported it is real estate. Because right now, I don't know what is the law in Lisbon, in actually in Portugal for transferring real estate. But here we have to go to the notary office to sign like, let's say 30 sheets of paper in few different copies that you must place your signature on every single page. That means that you have to provide like, let's say 300 signatures in 1 hour just to transfer one property. It could be even like a garage, which is worth, let's say 25,000 euro, or it could be like 2 million euro penthouse. It is mostly the same documentation and you need to go there and lose all of your day to make the transfer. Which is okay, it is secure, it has some documentations, fine, but still, all of this process could be done maliciously. And actually you may lose your property because some of the notaries have been bribed just to go and make the documents and etcetera. And it is happening rarely, but still it is happening. So in my opinion, the blockchain technology is going to help a lot with transferring property, having a list of all the properties, and even when you are using a property as a collateral, for example, if you need a mortgage and you can provide a property, all of these can be kept in ledger lists and everything could be on the blockchain. I can tell you also what are the biggest problems and limitations right now when blockchain is coming into the world of, I can say, normal people, like the ones that are not in the tech. One of the biggest problems is with the wallets right now, and with all the seed phrases, private keys, losing your twelve words is going to lose all the money that you have and etcetera. That is at least for me, the biggest problem, because if I just want to buy bitcoin, contain it in my own wallet, not on an exchange, it is just too much of a hard process. And when the banks and the fintech institutions start providing blockchain services for just containing your crypto, having it somewhere in your account, and this is going to give the people the options to be using it at all times after that, in my opinion, it's going to come the whole thing with the real estate applications, that you can just buy a real estate even from a smart contract, without signing a single document. And then I would expect the nfts and intellectual property to start working on the blockchain. These are going to be the three steps that I think are going to be coming pretty soon. Actually, I would say that in the next three or four years, I expect this to start happening.

Alex: Yeah, I think it's subject to how local governments are dealing with legislation and regulations related to some of the other.

Guest: Use cases that may even come earlier in some countries and regulations. It is like doing STO secure token offering when you are starting a company, because we see it in the bulgarian stock exchange, that in order to buy shares from a company on the bulgarian stock exchange, you need to come physically to Bulgaria to sign documents to do the KYC ML process and etcetera. And I've been discussing recently that if Bulgaria accepts a law for security token offering, then this could open bulgarian companies to the whole world. You can establish a process which people could be your investors and etcetera, do a KYC and all the different things which are a must when you're doing such a thing. But again, you're not going to be depending on a place that people have to come to just buy your shares. You can list them on all of different exchanges, you can even make it on the decks. And these people who are owning shares of your company, they're going to received dividend at the end of the quarter or the end of the year. And this, in my opinion, is scalable, it is applicable and it is an easy win to have.

Alex: What do you think about bulgarian government in terms of innovation in general? Are they supporting local IT community and all the technology innovation that's evolving at this point or are they still staying behind the trend?

Guest: Interesting question. Bulgaria has been in political crisis for a while. Right now the two biggest political parties has made something that they call the hinge because they have things in common, but they hate each other. So they are just starting trying to make a progress on the things that make sense for the country, which is something that they have to do and to just find a way to speak to each other. My honest opinion is that they have made very good things to make our country more social. And they have been making social politics, but they didn't make any business politics recently. So for example, they have increased the tax, actually not the tax, but the health insurance cost for all the people, especially in the it, because we have a limit, like above this limit you are paying only the tax. Below this limit you are paying also for retirement funds, for health insurance and some other things. So by raising the limit, they actually have decreased my profit per year with about 17% because I have people which are over the maximum salary here in Bulgaria. So this has not been cool for the business and this is not stimulating the business in any way. On the other hand, they have done pretty good things, especially for people, because right now we are in a recession. Most of the it world is in a recession. So they have increased and spent plenty of efforts in improving the services that the government provides. So that's a good thing. But again, my feelings are mixed because as a person that has voted for them, I have been expecting, because right now the people that are ruling, they are from mostly one political party, which is relatively new. And many of the people in this party were from the business side from Bulgaria. And I've been expecting these people to think more like business people and because like countries with strong business are strong countries, they're making money, they're paying taxes, and then the whole country is blooming. But they did it on the other side, like they have said, okay, so the rich people are going to have a bit of less money. We're going to give them to the poor people. And I understand, like, why they're doing it, but in my opinion, it's wrong because if they have kept their politics for the businesses and specifically for the startups, it would have been easier to go through the whole recession.

Alex: How big is the startup community in Bulgaria?

Guest: It is huge. We have an organization which is called Besco, which has started as like a startup organization. It has more than 500 members and we have other very cool organizations. For example, I can tell you a name which is called mentor the Young. So this is a huge community of over like maybe 10,000 people already. And you have a mentee and a mentor. So the mentor is helping the mentee obtain some new skills. For example, I've been participating in that program as a mentor, and my mentee wanted to start her own business but didn't know how. So I have helped to her and gave her plenty of my knowledge. And we have developed all the business model, the different steps, the different documents that she needs to start her own business. And there are so many people which are interested into making an impact around the world. And that is something that is growing a lot in Bulgaria. And according to the latest research for the European Union, Bulgaria was the country with highest percentage of people that want to start their own business, which is great.

Alex: And I think the fact that Bulgaria recently became European Union member and Schengen zone member helps a lot. The business in European Union globally as well.

Guest: Yeah, well, which again, it has been recent with European Union. It was back in 2007, I believe. But for me, as like a child of the transition, because I'm born into 1994, I see the way that people born before 89 are thinking and how people which are born later are thinking. It is like pre and post communist era people from Bulgaria. And the new generation, they are quite different than the old generation. So new generation, they have the western mentality. They speak fluently English, they speak perfect English even on the age of 14, let's say. And that's the way that they just think, which is amazing. And they want to be able to have a good lifestyle. In order to have a good lifestyle, there is only for me at least only one way to achieve it. Work hard. Like for me, nothing was just given. I have worked very hard to earn my position, my state and etcetera. And people like new generation, they know that and they are trying their best to get the knowledge and get the skills, and they are ready to work all night to just to go and achieve the target that they have set for themselves. And for me, that is great. And even if you check the number of fintech startups in Bulgaria, it is crazy.

Alex: People are motivated to change the world.

Guest: Yeah.

Alex: I see here on my notes that you've won NASA space apps challenge three times. Can you tell us about one of these projects and how it reflects your ability to innovate and solve complex problems?

Guest: Yeah. Well, I can tell you, first of all about NASA space apps challenge. It's an international hackathon which is happening in two rounds. One of the rounds is happening locally in different locations around the world, and then the global round is virtually. So typically, you have a challenge which is provided by NASA. Then you must find a way to solve that challenge. You must present it locally on your location and win the local NASA space apps challenge. And then you have a short video pitch that you're pitching to NASA, why you are solving this challenge and how is the way that you're doing it? Okay, I can tell you the project that I believe was our best project, it was back in 2015. So I was 21 at that time and studying at the Technical University of Sofia. So the challenge was to make a space graph, which is enabling the astronauts to be doing certain operations when they're in space. So I was like, okay, that sounds interesting, what we can do. And me, and, like, some of the friends and people which are, like, in my. Like my schoolmates, I can say that way. I just gathered some of the best minds which were around me, and we said, okay, what we can do. And I like, on a drawing board, I have just given an idea about a graph. I don't have it around else I will show it. But it was having only the three fingers here, so it was from here to here. And we have placed sensors which were measuring what is the current angle of all the fingers. We also get an accelerometer, gyroscope, and a compass, which were for getting the current location and what are the gestures that the outro now is making. And for something like a week and a half, we were able to develop a solution that was handling many different gestures and operations, which are from the movement of the hand. And just to make it even more interesting, on the demo, we have made a robotic arm. And I said, okay, when we actually get all this information, we should be able to control that robotic arm. And actually, it worked out. So I was quite amazed because I didn't expect it at all. But when I make, for example, this movement, the robotic arm was doing it exactly the same. It was up to a scale. But we have so many different demos in the Internet that people can check. The project is called Valkyrie, and we were able to do it with robotic arm. Then we have provided a smart home application because at that point of time, there were no Alexa, Google Home and Siri that were working well. So we have made a voice recognition engine, which is on the graph, and we also added some gestures to be used. For example, when I go to my home, I want the lights to light up. I'm just making like this, and the lights are lighting up. I go to the tv and I want to change the channel. It's not like finding the stupid remote control which I have left somewhere. I'm just making that gesture and it is changing to the next channel. And people from NASA actually were extremely impressed of the innovation that we brought, because it is not just like solving a challenge that they have. It is like providing a whole new concept that could be used by people around the world. And we have made it as a business case. Maybe a piece of advice for people which are listening to us and which are competing in hackathons. Why I did win that many hackathons, because everything was not just to make that, not just to prove that I can write some code and make a cool implementation of something. I've been always looking for the business case. I've been always asking myself, okay, how are users going to be using my solutions? What are going to be their problems? And that was the way that we have been winning on all different hackathons. I believe that right now there are more than like 15 maybe hackathons that I want. I listed just some of them which are more recognized and important for me in my LinkedIn.

Alex: That's impressive, Martin. That's really cool. Let's wrap it up. And for our listeners and viewers.

Guest: What.

Alex: One piece of advice you would give them as entrepreneurs and tech enthusiasts, as they pursue their passions in the rapidly evolving industry, which is fintech.

Guest: Well, my advice that I would give is just don't give up. Like, I've been so beaten up at times in my life. I've been like in a dark place that I've been looking like, what is going to be my next step, just to make things be better. And I was not able to see what I can do to just change things. So I have not been giving up. Like all different times when there is a new challenge which is coming, sometimes they are stacking one after each other. You are solving one problem, then another comes, then another and another. Right now, I have been two times just at the verge of giving up and saying, what if I'm just going to find another business to start or I'm just going to work as an employee? I just go there, sleep it one day and one night. And then when I have more power, it's going to be either a person that I'm going to call for advice or even sometimes, like, the opportunity comes itself. Like, you may have, like, a friend that you didn't speak with for years, and then when you have your biggest problems, that friend could just go and say, hey, you know everything about you. I have that issue to solve. Can you help me? And this could actually bring all the. This could bring up the solution for your problems. Like, it could be something completely random. And maybe if I can give one more advice, which has been extremely, extremely important for me, is for the people just to go out and socialize. Like, talk to people, show yourselves, be cool, be friendly, listen to each other. That has been the way that I've been learning. I'm learning from my mistakes, but also from the mistakes of the people which are around me. And that is how I know what I should do and what I shouldn't do.

Alex: Thank you very much. Thank you, Martin, for words of wisdom, for the advices, and for sharing your story with us. Thank you for being the guest.

Guest: Thank you, Alex, also for having me here. It has been extremely pleasant conversation with you.

Alex: Thank you. Thank you. And for the listeners, as usual, don't forget to subscribe, hit the like button. We appreciate that, and see you next time. Thank you.

Guest: Bye bye bye.