Generation Z, also dubbed Zillenials, refuses to generate their income from conventional investment measures such as bonds, properties, or balanced portfolios of shares. This new generation of young investors has a get-rich-quick mentality. They are willing to take greater risks along the way, putting their money into newly emerging forms of investments, particularly digital assets.
Young financial technology (fintech) startups are seeking business opportunities in these areas, targeting new young investors in the market. Cheeze, a mint studio turning customers’ high-resolution photographs into non-fungible tokens (NFTs), is one such startup that is riding the wave of newly appearing assets in the markets and redefining fintechs.
As its name suggests, NFTs are one-of-a-kind digital assets that cannot be replaced by anything else. These tokens represent ownership of unique digital items like art, music, and videos. They can only have one official owner at a time and are secured by the Ethereum blockchain, an open- source blockchain technology in which records of ownership cannot be modified or replicated.
Simon Hudson, the CEO and founder of Cheeze, spoke to Ewha Voice about his experience of running his newly founded NFT startup, which took the art world by storm.
Cheeze is an NFT minting studio in which photographers mint their photo works into NFTs and sell them on blockchain. They strive to tell the story behind the photo and bring it to life using original content. The company was established in 2018 by Simon Hudson who, along with his business partners Guy Kawasaki and Netflix founder Marc Randolph, aims to create the top NFT platform for the photo industry.
Hudson created Cheeze based on his experience of successfully founding and leading Dubai-based creative tech firm Brndstr. From the experience, he took note of the need for photographers who are entering the space of NFTs to have an easy- to-use and world-class product to showcase their images.
Cheeze seeks golden opportunities in digital assets
When asked why he chose to start a business based on NFTs, Hudson explained the tendency of NFT markets only focusing on digital art, rather than other digital items that also have great potential in NFT.
“The world of NFTs is moving at such a fast pace, the current offerings are mainly focused on digital art,” Hudson said. “We felt that there was a huge opportunity to build a product that was focused around photographers after conducting research.”
Hudson went on to share which aspect of the planning stage that he and his team put most of their efforts into, along with the major difficulties they faced along the way.
“Building a company always comes with its challenges,” Hudson said. “The hardest thing I believe for any startup is finding world-class talent that believes and follows your vision. In a space such as NFTs, the pace is fierce, and being on top of the changing technologies can be difficult. However, if you surround yourself with good people, you are already winning.”
Hudson stated that every day of his journey with Cheeze is rewarding.
“When starting a company, you are constantly hit with challenges, but being able to solve the problems and achieve gratification is a great feeling. I feel very lucky to be surrounded by great individuals who are all rock stars in their own right.”
Hudson concluded the interview by sharing his near-future plans for Cheeze.
“We are currently working on the initial launch of Cheeze’s app that will be in June, July of this year,” Hudson said. “After that, it will be about scale and brand awareness for the app. Our ultimate goal is to become the number one NFT minting product for photographers.”