Defy Trends is Co-Winner of Startup Showdown Miami
In September, we hosted Startup Showdown in Miami, our first fully hybrid event, welcoming both in-person attendees from the #MiamiTech community, and viewers who tuned in from around the world.
From the hundreds of applications received, six finalists emerged and pitched a panel of investor judges under the spotlights on stage.
Judges included; Chris Assdamo of Flamingo Capital, Brian Brackeen of Lightship Capital, Ana Paula González of The Miami Initiative for SoftBank Group International, and Mark Buffington and Paul Judge of Panoramic Ventures.
In what seemed an eternity, the judges deliberated on the six pitches and much like we broke the rules to have more than five finalists, we selected two winners for Startup Showdown Miami. Both Miami-based companies have each received a $120,000 investment prize and will join the Panoramic community.
Following the fireworks and celebrations, we sat down with the winners to learn more about what they are building and the impact of Startup Showdown in their growth.
Meet Defy Trends, a tool that empowers people to make better decisions when trading cryptocurrencies and NFTs. In this interview, we talk withs three of Defy Trends’ co-founders—Imge Su Cetin, Elena Garidis, and Daniela Henao Moreno
Congratulations on Defy Trends winning our pitch competition. Can each of you tell us a little about your backgrounds?
IC: I’m the CEO/CTO for Defy Trends. I have a master’s degree in data science from the University of California San Diego with a focus on machine learning and data analytics. After graduate school I worked for the United Nations as a data scientist working on forecasting and predictive modeling for migration patterns. I have been in Crypto since 2018 making my own personal web scraping applications which then led to us starting Defy Trends!
EG: My background and degrees are in finance and philosophy from Tulane University. Prior to co-founding Defy Trends and becoming its CFO, I worked at JPMorgan Chase & Co’s international Private Bank. It was also about that time when I started becoming attracted to the dynamic nature of startups and helping upgrade our financial system by bringing the masses into crypto.
DM: I was born in Bogotá, Colombia, and immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 15. My background and degree are in international development and global studies from UCLA, and I also have a master’s degree in education and leadership. I worked in the nonprofit sector for a while before realizing that what I really wanted to do was found and run a tech startup. I’m serving as Defy Trends’ COO.
Defy Trends is an international, women-led team—Imge Su is from Turkey, Elena is from Greece and Germany, and our fourth co-founder, Masha Prusso, is from Russia.
What does the Defy Trends technology platform do?
EG: Defy Trends was built to empower people of all socio-economic backgrounds to be in control of their financial well-being and confidently participate in today’s cryptocurrency markets. It’s an all-in-one, real-time AI and data analytics web and mobile application that provides traders with actionable data insights and education to make better-informed investment decisions. We like to say that we provide “due diligence” on coins.
What we do at Defy Trends is to simplify the cryptocurrency market through forecasting, data analysis, and education. Ultimately, our end users are individuals who are trading or institutional investors.
We’re still developing our beta product, which will be available very soon, and we have beta-testing sign up on our website.
What will the Defy Trends revenue model look like?
DM: For B2C users, we have a tiered subscription model that will vary depending on whether you’re a beginner or a professional trader. The pricing for B2B users will be structured differently, since we’ll be creating API integrations, customized dashboards, and data science as a service.
Defy Trends will also include an educational component that will be another revenue source. Some of the educational content will be free, but we also plan to have other content, such as fully developed cryptocurrency investing courses, that we’ll charge for.
How did you find out about Startup Showdown Miami?
DM: We discovered it through The LAB Miami’s newsletter. I’ve been to some of The LAB’s networking events and was impressed by the incredible work they’re doing to help grow the tech ecosystem and support startups, so we subscribe to their monthly communications.
We were very happy that the first in-person Startup Showdown was in Miami. Defy Trends’ leadership team all moved here due to the boom in tech businesses in its metro area.
What was the Startup Showdown experience like for you?
IC: We were very excited to make connections within the Miami tech and investment community, and to get a chance to present in front of such a large audience. We were also lucky enough to win, which was a fantastic experience and really validated our work so far. We received incredible support from the Women in Miami Tech group, which welcomed us with open arms.
What do you plan to do with the $120,000 investment prize?
EG: The investment prize will help us really kick development of our beta product into high gear so that we can get it into the hands of beta users even sooner. We’ll also use some of the funds to develop high-quality educational content that will be part of our offering. Last but not least, we are allocating some funds to our marketing campaign around our beta release as well as our upcoming token launch for the $DEFY token. You can learn more about how to participate on our website at www.defytrends.tech.
What would you tell other startup founders who might be thinking about applying to pitch at one of our Startup Showdown events?
IC: Startup Showdown not only gives you exposure to people who can help to support, fund, and advise your business—you also get the opportunity to develop and refine your pitch. Winning is great, but there are a lot of other benefits, including mentoring at the semifinalist stage, that make it very worthwhile.
DM: Before the live pitch began, we interacted with others in attendance, going around to the different tables to talk and hand out business cards. There was excitement in the air, and it was great to see so many companies from different tech sectors vying for the top spot. If you’re a founder of an early-stage tech company, you should absolutely apply to pitch at one of the next Startup Showdown events.
Thanks, Imge Su, Elena, and Daniela—and congratulations again! We’re excited to get to work!
Startup Showdown is a monthly pitch competition open to entrepreneurs everywhere. Apply to pitch at an upcoming Startup Showdown.