Harper’s Bazaar had a chance to meet Ashley Ramos, a leading woman entrepreneur and the CEO of Cur8 Web3 fund and consulting agency. She has recently been accepted into the Forbes Business Council as a leader in the Fintech and Web3 Finance industry.
Dear Ashley Ramos, what motivated you to step up and become a leader in the Tech and Finance industries?
Initially, Tech and Finance weren’t on my radar. At my core, I am creative. Most of my early career was focused on unlocking creative potential in amazing humans. I love doing that. Fintech and Blockchain in particular allowed me to merge them, and I began to see a bigger picture.
While at Gemini, I recognized the potential applications to antiquated analog industry processes that could be systematized through emerging technology. My desire is to better support creative participants to engage people in new ways while building awareness through advocacy and leadership. I saw that future, and I felt a call to meet it. It’s important that women and people from diverse communities take leadership roles in industries building our future. People with different perspectives, assets, and needs, are the keys to productive innovation for an inclusive future.
Can you talk to us about your background in art and how it led you to where you are now?
I was an art curator who focused on supporting artists with growth initiatives. I spent years doing that while recognizing the art community isn’t designed to support all artists equally. That awareness opened my eyes to what a more equitable future could look like.
Do you have any inspirations in the tech field? If so, how have they inspired you to take the steps you’ve taken to get where you are?
I have recently been learning about Mary-Catherine Lader and her entry into blockchain via Uniswap. I think it’s inspiring to see a well-educated woman leave traditional wall street, a behemoth like Black Rock, and champion technology of the future. I like the concept of being young, taking risks, and being unapologetic about it.
It further validates my desire to continue building my knowledge and fostering incredible relationships. That’s why C8W3 is the perfect complement to my career. I can leverage my experience and network to deliver value while learning and discovering talented people daily. I see an opportunity for emerging creators to provide tremendous value to known creatives and their audiences. It is applicable in multiple industries. I hope to have more to share on that in the near future.
What kind of challenges do you face in 2022 in your career?
2022 has been challenging for everyone given the macro backdrop, volatility in markets, and all the scandals that have plagued crypto companies. It was particularly pivotal for my career as I left the exchange side of the industry and focused on entrepreneurial opportunities to help institutional, corporate, and academic clients into the world of Web3. I look forward to next year furthering my transition in strategic initiatives with our clients and investments.
With the social and professional expectations put on women in your field, how do you go about managing all of it while maintaining your own sense of peace and mental clarity?
Plan the work, work the plan. I work diligently and try not to overload the “opportunity hunting”. I try to give myself consistent small enough goals while building towards the bigger picture which will come together over time. I keep it simple, allowing me time to enjoy myself outside of work.
Do you find that more and more women are breaking away from the archetype of what a woman is expected to be/look like in the modern era of Fintech and executive levels of leadership?
Yes, women like Mary-Catherine Lader and others becoming leading executives in the industry didn’t find their ideals reflected in traditional finance. So they went to where they aligned. Arts applications of Web3 technology further changed the women interested in joining the industry. I think that trend is growing as we’re in such early stages of Web3 and users don’t need to have substantial funding or corporate backing to build upon the emerging platforms. That’s a core value of Web3, access for all.
What are some of the projects you plan to get involved with in the future?
I am under NDA in the companies I am presently involved in and/or exploring. I really like what ReMaster is doing. I think they have a great view of the space and how stakeholders can have their interests aligned. The companies focused on humanizing this tech, allowing it to be easily understood and used by anyone are amongst the most compelling.
How does fashion play a role in your everyday life? What is your everyday look?
I am from New York and have always loved the self-expression that fashion has enabled. The different styles and people behind them have been almost a constant draw in social settings. My everyday look could be described as elevated business chic. I’m very big on a unique blazer, a bodysuit, or an intricate turtleneck paired with boyfriend jean and heal.
Who are your biggest fashion inspirations or designers?
I’ve recently been very drawn to Scandinavian fashion, in particular, the designers’ unique ability to be bold, delicate and tasteful. In fact, all of the designers and looks for the shoot are Scandinavian. Some of my favorite designers are Stine Goya, Ganni, and Filippa K.
And who is your biggest professional inspirations and why?
Katie Haun of Haun Ventures. She raised $1.5B as a solo female founder of a Venture Capital firm, the largest ever and entirely Web3-focused. She speaks to my soul lol.
Why are leadership roles for women important to you?
Women are often exceptional institutional investors. We can obsess over details! We’ve all heard how women are better investigators than the FBI, well that can be applied to leadership. Women complement each other, and men. At the same time as we often visualize our future, we have the bigger picture in mind to not get overly delayed by the details.
What is one misconception people might have about you, and/or your business, Cur8 Web3?
I think people misunderstand the agency aspect of our business. While we’re happy to be a consultant and add value wherever possible, it’s more about joining teams that we can help tie together for the larger corporations we know have needs to better serve people.
What are some tips you would like to leave for women who aspire to get into entrepreneurship?
Intern, seek out mentors, define your boundaries, and don’t ever feel as if you need to compromise yourself for what you want. Let it be known from the beginning what you seek. Don’t be intimidated. Become assertive without being emasculating. Always have a plan. I like to use this guide:
- M: Mission
- O: Objectives
- S: Strategies
- T: Tactics
What goals do you plan to achieve for yourself and your business in the next ten years?
My long-term goal: A robust portfolio of companies we have active business development partnerships and passive interests in that help express our view on the future of Web3. We are actively advising a few family offices on SPVs we co-manage to invest in early-stage Web3 companies.
Ultimately, our goal is to lay a foundation upon which a Socially Responsible Venture Capital Initiative can be built. We will leverage our network to help adults, children and those incarcerated receive better guidance on how to approach finding what intrigues them. The first step is education. Our portfolio companies each have a view of the emerging world. We want to help individuals more easily understand those views and why.
Through light mentorship and TedX-style engagements, we’d like to help them to imagine what else may further that vision for the betterment of society. Then give a simple forum to safely build upon that in a manner that can be leveraged into a potential business opportunity we may help fund. A number of foundations and individuals have shown interest in investing in a future fund operating in this manner.
Harper’s Bazaar Vietnam