March 4, 2024

Image credit: YARD Hub

“…people need to be gently introduced to Web3 and guided around its capabilities and power. In that sense, phygital and Web 2.5 are logical steps towards full adoption,” he said

The Web3 industry continues to make significant progress. More brands are flooding into this wonderful future and many projects are being created, launched or established. One such Web3 project that has been established is the YARD Hub.

YARD Hub is a Web3 venture capital studio that facilitates the simultaneous creation of various Web3 startups. It goes a step further by turning ideas from other entrepreneurs or companies into venture capital by funding these projects. As a venture studio, YARD Hub can quickly develop and test a product to see if it meets market needs. It then scales the product if it passes the test, and discards it if it doesn’t.

Although YARD Hub has only been launched for two years, it has already had a significant impact on the Web3 industry. It has contributed greatly to the creation, development, and establishment of successful Web3 businesses such as DeepMine, Petobots, and CryptoAlma.

Well, the success of YARD Hub is tied to the brains and genius behind such a unique project, and he is Yarosla Shakula. Yaroslav is a Web3 evangelist and serial entrepreneur who started his entrepreneurial journey at a very young age. His passion for Web3 led to the creation of YARD Hub, where he hopes to contribute to the development and revolution of the Web3 industry.

He has worked on award-winning projects, initiated multi-million dollar venture capital investments, and continues to demonstrate an interest in collaborating or partnering with individuals or companies with ideas to advance the industry.

Yaroslav’s intelligence and great contribution cannot be overemphasized. To further learn from him, we sat down with him and had some exciting conversations about the future of Web3, AI in Web3, the new Web2.5, and more.

Hi Yaroslav, great to have you here. Please tell us more about yourself and what your journey as a serial entrepreneur has been like.

I was born and raised in Ukraine, where I completed my translation studies and worked as a copywriter for global brands. My entrepreneurial journey included venture capital investments in affiliate marketing, artificial intelligence, and e-commerce, but Web3 ended up being my main interest. Driven by my passion for discovering new concepts and building products around them, I founded YARD Hub – a venture capital studio focused on Web3.

You have always believed in a Web3 driven future and your passion for the industry led to the creation and establishment of YARD Hub. Please elaborate on what YARD Hub is all about, the work being done there, and how it contributes to the growth of the Web3 industry.

As a Web3 venture studio, we incubate multiple Web3 startups simultaneously with the assistance of a dedicated team of in-house entrepreneurs. The advantage of being a venture capital studio is our ability to quickly develop, test, and scale or abandon projects based on product-market fit. Currently, we have investments in various Web3 fields, including two blockchain game projects – deep mine and pet robot; Learning to make money education platform Crypto Alma; one NFT-based car rental service; and white label crypto wallet solutions.

As a venture capital studio, YARD Hub focuses on helping startups launch their Web3 projects and providing users with access to the best products in the industry. Can you talk a bit more about the role of venture capital studios in building the Web3 space, and how it differs from accelerators and incubators, despite both having similar models?

I define a venture studio as an organization entirely dedicated to systematically creating new ventures from the ground up. Unlike accelerators or incubators, venture studios do not accept startups or outside projects. Venture studios draw business ideas from their own network of sources and assign in-house teams to develop them.

Let’s face it: most startups are likely to fail, and VC studios launch startups that are 30% more effective. Venture studio helps simplify the startup creation process and mitigate key startup failure reasons.

In the Web3 space, VC studios and their portfolio projects are safer bets for VCs to join Web3.

The Web3 industry has boomed over the past few years and has been heavily adopted by brands such as Starbucks, Nike, and Porsche. However, these brands have yet to determine the best way to adopt the technology to meet customer needs and ensure a positive experience. What do you think is the best approach for them? Do you also think they should embrace DAOs? Why?

Big consumer brands have indeed started to get more actively involved with Web3, but that’s not to say there’s any foolproof “best way” to implement Web3.

Nike and Adidas chose to keep building out their VR and Metaverse experiences over several years while growing their Web3 communities, while Porsche decided against a full-blown Web3 marketing campaign. That’s not to say their line of NFTs is a failure, I personally own several of their NFTs, but what I mean is that different brands insist on different approaches to Web3.

Creating a customer DAO seems like a really viable option for consumer brands to build community in a Web3 way.I believe Web3 will focus on customers who directly shape the future of the brand. Brands will incentivize customers with token and NFT rewards, effectively classifying customers based on loyalty and engagement. Customers will play an active role in determining the look and nature of upcoming products. This collaborative approach meets the desires of brands and consumers.

There has been a recent jump from NFTs to Web2.5 or what most would call Phygital, and brands like Nike and Porsche are already exploring this route to increase customer engagement and meet their needs. What do you think about this, do you think it will overshadow NFT?

I see phygital and Web 2.5 as some kind of middle ground towards Web3. Web3 involves some new concepts, and people need to embrace it seamlessly.

The emergence of Web3 is somewhat similar to our internet around 1997: everyone has heard of it, and quite a few people have tried to use it, but it will be many years before it becomes fully pervasive. Same with Web3: mass adoption won’t happen overnight, but big brands embracing all of this is a good start.

Small steps like this help Web3 adoption when people first start using NFTs without knowing that these are blockchain transactions (i.e. the Starbucks loyalty program).

People need to be gently introduced to Web3 and guided around its capabilities and power. In that sense, as I said, phygital and Web 2.5 are logical steps towards full adoption.

Increased AI hype has led to a shift in attention away from Web3. Do you think AI will last a long time? In what ways do you think Web3 will incorporate AI to further improve industry capabilities?

What has recently been called AI is actually related to machine learning and large language models (LLM).In turn, Web3 is often confused with encryption,This is not correct.

Web3 is an interface that allows users to interact with data and other parties through blockchains and decentralized applications, therefore, it may include AI, but it does not necessarily imply it. Web3 has a strong focus on community input, support and participation to help foster a sense of ownership and investment in the project’s success. The community transforms from a group of customers into a “customer council” that can directly shape the future of the brand.

In YARD Hub, we focus on creating projects with a very specific Web3 angle, because we believe that the mass adoption of Web3 will drive the future. We will definitely use ChatGPT for our daily tasks, just like other builders. But Web3 and AI are two different technical fields, and their mutual integration is not necessary. Both of these technologies are powerful enough to affect our daily lives.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It does not provide or be intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial or other advice.