“I was a freelance journalist during the Arab Spring, living in Lebanon and traveling around the Middle East to report on injustice, business, culture and the environment, from places like Syria and Iraq. I believe in justice and equal opportunity. In Blockchain, when I see an all male team, I become the first female team player or adviser. I produce content (video and editorial) that inspire every day conversation around crypto and blockchain and highlight the good work of leaders in this space.”
I had the pleasure of interviewing Alice Hlidkova / Founder + CEO
of Through the Changing Glass LLC
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
I used to paint as a child, travelling with my paintbrush to places my father had been around the world. As an adult I found myself writing people’s conversations on cocktail napkins in NYC where I grew up.
My dream of becoming a writer came to fruition during the War in Iraq, and the thought of traveling to the Middle East as a journalist. This at the time was quite silly to most.
With no formal education, and against my parents wishes I arrived to to Beirut, Lebanon at the tail end of The Iraq War and at the beginning of another catastrophic event: Arab Spring (Demonstrations). My career as a professional news writer unfolded at a local daily newspaper where I captured the stories of political and social unrest. Little did I know that matters would only get worse. Going undercover in Syria and Iraq opened a new world to me, one in which complexities of culture, region, and economies shaped new discussions of human rights.
In the midst of it all, my brother called to invite me to his college graduation. It was time to come home and apply for positions with CNN. With no luck nor clear direction, my mother had steered me in the direction of pursuing a master’s degree.
While it had been 10 years since I had taken a math class, I told myself that pursuing a degree at a technical school would be the best way to focus on public policy. I would attempt another full ride after receiving my first in undergrad and hope for the best. After three exams and two rejections, I received a partial tuition coverage from Carnegie Mellon University, home to Robotics and Artificial Intelligence. It was at this school that I began my passion for tech and entrepreneurship. I helped launch a startup called Metrolab Network, that deployed robotics and IoT solutions from research labs to cities for beta testing. We grew to over 30 public and private partnerships in less than 10 months; receiving recognition from President Obama and funding from the White House. Next, I started my consulting agency, Through the Changing Glass, to position startups for capital raise in Silicon Valley; pitching to 50+ VC’s and Angels from Accel Partners and Sequoia Capital to DFJ and Sand Hill Angels.
I love being a woman in tech, specifically a thought leader in the blockchain industry that is driven by some of the world’s top creatives, disruptors and collaborators. As a founding team member of Pitch Investors Live, we launched a successful sale of our Cryptocurrency ‘PITCH,’ listed on one of the top ten exchanges. I desire for more women to capitalize on the many opportunities in this space. One way I am setting an example is with the launch of my new blockchain program called New Economies filmed at NASDAQ studios in Times Square, New York, to showcase new projects and companies through interviews with thought leaders and influencers.
Each morning I think to myself, “Why not? Here is my shot.”
Can you tell me about the most interesting projects you are working on now?
Here are the projects we are working on. Most notably, I am focused on empowering women in the blockchain industry by various means: being an example of a woman in blockchain through LinkedIn Influencer marketing; media and pr exposure for blockchain and crypto companies by launching New Economies LTD, a media company that owns the show neweconomies.com taped at NASDAQ. The goal is to highlight amazing and relevant people and projects in the industry (website coming soon); and create strategic partnerships for Pitchios, a DAPP that pairs investors and startups in blockchain and beyond (more exposure + capital for female founders is my goal).
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I’m grateful to Ray and Maria Speth (IP attorney) from Arizona (entrepreneurs, women empowerment advocates, and supporters of women in business) who taught me the principles of community building and business support. They helped me get incorporated and introduced their network to help me get started as a self-employed business owner.
I’m also grateful to my friends in NYC and Lucas Cervigni, business partner and cohost of New Economies for putting me on challenging projects in crypto and making me his equal (expertise, leadership in blockchain).
What are the 5 things that most excite you about blockchain and crypto? Why?
- Democracy of finance,
- women’s empowerment through technological means,
- an alternative value system,
- decentralization of information and institutional power,
- and the collaborative and creative community of leaders who pave way for the industry.
What are the 5 things worry you about blockchain and crypto? Why?
- Too much transparency,
- privacy aspects of blockchain,
- intellectual inequality,
- government restriction on blockchain,
- and unequal access for women and other minority/ethnic groups.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? Can you share a story?
I was a freelance journalist during the Arab Spring, living in Lebanon and traveling around the Middle East to report on injustice, business, culture and the environment, from places like Syria and Iraq. I believe in justice and equal opportunity. When I escaped a rape that was not reported, I presented the case to the Prime Minister of Kurdistan Iraq, who ensured new procedures for women’s safety. In Blockchain, when I see an all male team, I become the first female team player or adviser. I produce content (video and editorial) that inspire every day conversations around crypto and blockchain and highlight the good work of leaders in this space. My journalist body of work can be seen here http://aliceinwords.org/
What 3 things would you advise someone who wanted to emulate your career? Can you share an example for each idea?
Be bold, take no for an answer, and seek counsel. Women can’t do it alone in tech or in any industry. They need quality mentors and the tenacity and open mind to persevere during the toughest of times.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this 🙂
VICTORIA BECKHAM — she represents girl power, women’s empowerment, motherhood, a good wife and a great businesswoman who continues to push the envelope.