🚀 Gen Z Doesn’t Need Investor Networks. They Make Their Own The RippleX Fellowship program has held 10 cohorts of university students across North America immersed in various startup ecosystems building and investing. With over 200 students that have engaged with the program, everyone continues to be well equipped to start companies or become solid investors. Our very own, Matt Cohen, Founder and Managing Partner at Ripple Ventures shares his insights into the development of Gen Z founders and investors in a piece shared on Crunchbase . Data now shows that Gen Z is the first generation that feels more themselves online than offline, and the ramifications are enormous. As true digital natives, their networks are broad and deep, spanning a far more diverse set of people than they’d meet in person. In fact, our fellows hardly have any need for the established networks that VCs have touted as value-adds for so long. They’re already plugged into online communities on places like Twitter , Reddit , Discord , and Telegram where some of the most exciting innovation is occurring. The biggest thing they need is the capital that older generations have accumulated, but even that’s not stopping them from developing workarounds to bring ideas to life. 💰 Budget Forecasting No matter the objective, size, or stage of the startup - there is one common goal that they all share among each other and that is to not run out of money. Though these words may be as clear as the sky is blue - there are layers to financial modeling and business budgeting that require much more attention than one may think. But not to worry, we’ve got you covered with a series of fundamental steps consisting of tips and questions that walk through how you should approach budget forecasting for your startup: It is extremely important and the same as a plan for the business It is meant to be iterative as you learn more about the business It should help you sell to investors why you need $X capital, and how long it’ll last you It should be made to track what the business looks like month by month (12-18 months) What revenue/user targets are you expecting? How are you getting there? What’s it going to cost you to get there? Core Components — A breakdown of how you can plan out how much time you have left for the amount of capital to support you. Costs - salaries for the most part in the early days, and office space Cash - how much do you have, how much do you need to fundraise to meet your goals Revenue- if any, but on a monthly projection level Start with a goal — Understanding your main objective from a bird’s eye view. Is it to finish your product? Is it to get your first 10,000 users by the end of month 12? Is it to generate $500K in total sales by month 12? Then work backward — Creating a plan of execution for each step of the process with the big picture in mind. Is it to finish your product? How many engineers do you need to hire? What does this cost? Is it to get your first 10,000 users by the end of month 12? What features do you need to attract over 10,000 users? What marketing/growth people do you need to get this in people’s hands? If so, when and how do you monetize? Is it to generate $500K in total sales by month 12? How many salespeople do you need to hire? What do they cost? How much of the target can one salesperson achieve? And connect the dots — Based on the goals you’ve established and how much it’s going to cost to get there... How much cash do you need to hit your goal? How much cash do you have in the bank today? Where are you going to find the difference? (Angel, VC, Grant, etc.) Are you even ready to fundraise, or do you have enough to show? What’s your timeline to fundraise (when do you run out of money)? The lesson doesn’t stop here, there’s much more to cover! Take a peek into our course accessible to anyone: RippleX Fellowship 🎵 Spotify vs. Audius The value of certain elements in Web 3 is difficult to grasp fully right away. We believe that by comparing new Web 3 technology and features to ones in Web 2, we can draw better comparisons, and in turn understand the value proposition of the features people are building in the Web 3 space. We’ll explore music streaming platforms across Web 2 and Web 3, more specifically Spotify vs Audius. Our new “Web 2 vs Web 3” series is where the team at Ripple breaks down the similarities, differences, and impact of similar technologies across Web 2 and Web 3. What’s Spotify? Spotify has undoubtedly become a household name serving 79 countries , 180 million subscribers , 406 million monthly active users , and is available across 184 markets . Its traction came from the ease and unlimited access, variety of music, SaaS subscription model, and support by multiple platforms (i.e. Windows, Apple, etc.). For listeners, Spotify has become one of the best platforms for its variety of offerings. However, there are always two sides to any story. From the perspective of the artists behind the music, there are significant issues that the company fails to acknowledge. In the past, artists would be paid a fixed amount for the album or song based on the price. However, Spotify’s approach is to pay the artist based on their market share and distribution contract, indicating the number of streams associated with the song. What’s Audius? Introducing a decentralized music protocol designed to be artist-controlled and community-owned. This alternative music platform gives everyone involved a piece of the pie including the listeners, artists, and node operators. With notable investors such as Katy Perry, Nas, Steve Aoki, and many more, it's logical to question how this platform differentiates from what we have today. By acknowledging the issues in the music industry, Audius takes a unique approach to entirely remove the middlemen and let artists drive their own profits. By connecting directly to the fans, Audius empowers artists to earn 90% of the sales revenue and decide how they seek to monetize their music. Whether they prefer to offer their content at a one-time fee for unlimited access or sell songs as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). By leveraging a peer-to-peer network and being supported by decentralized node operators, artists can continue to have full ownership of their content. Comparing the two Though both these music platforms enable users to access a wide collection of music and artists to publish music and curate an audience, there are root differences between the two. Starting with Spotify being a leading centralized music streaming platform and Audis a decentralized music streaming protocol. Spotify favors the listeners with unlimited access to a large catalog of music tailored to the user and limits artists to be paid based on the number of streams. With Audius, the artists are favored allowing them to choose how they want to monetize their content. However, Audius fails to provide copyright support due to its missing central authority. Interested to learn more about Web 2 vs. Web 3 companies? Take a look through our articles . 💡 Fellow Spotlight Trustin Yoon - Co-founder of Elysian House Interested to learn about a co-living and community-driven house that has elevated to become one of the most exciting places for builders and enthusiasts in Web3? Or perhaps learn about someone driving the growth at Coda ? Introducing Trustin Yoon, Co-founder of the Elysian House from cohort #7. Trustin’s passion for entrepreneurship, product, and growth has led to various experiences, all of which have continued to provide immense impact in numerous spaces. By recognizing the difficulty of housing and community in a high-tech-driven city, the Elysian House was founded to solve these exact issues. A house that consists of the dopest Gen Z builders in Web3 hosting and collaborating exciting events for individuals of all backgrounds. You’ll also find Trustin heavily active in building, investing, and learning. He’s previously the Founding Partner and current Advisor at the Crescent Fund . Southern California’s 1st student-run Venture Capital fund on a mission to support the most thoughtful, creative, interdisciplinary, diverse, and compassionate student-entrepreneurs. He has also founded web3startupjobs.com , a Web3 hiring platform that was recently acquired. See what Trustin had to say about his experience with the fellowship program 👇 “The RippleX fellowship is the most in-depth education you will get from any founder/VC fellowship!” Interested in being featured? Looking to share exciting news? Please reach out to Turja at firstname.lastname@example.org. Authored by Turja Chowdhury (Cohort #9).