Nearly every ICO with a realistic roadmap has a section for “advisors” in its whitepaper. But who exactly is an ICO advisor?
Initial Coin Offering (ICO) advisor is a specialist who actively contributes skills and experience in all aspects of an ICO such as:
- Process logistics
- Core business challenges to address
- Technical blockchain platform
- Support for collaterals (whitepaper and website)
- On-boarding of token investors
- Screening of token investors
- Overall marketing plan for the ICO
- Engaging with crypto and blockchain investor communities
- On-going business model beyond the ICO
- Funds and token management after the ICO
Range of Experience
A reliable ICO advisor is a person with a previous exposure, especially to crypto and blockchain technology. A strong candidate should have a background with successful ICOs, blockchain, finance, team management, content, and general marketing.
The candidate should also be knowledgeable in budgeting, business planning, investor relations, and scenario modeling. Above all, the person should have deep experience in knowledge application. This should include, but not limited to human resource management, FinTech, gaming, risk management, and governance.
Having the right ICO advisor on board is a breakthrough for startups that would like to raise funds through this new model. An ICO advisor works closely with ICO core team. However, the specialist should come from established relationships and networks.
By operating from a recognized background, the advisor proves to be a known quantity, based on the ability to collaborate and execute together with the ICO team. Overall, a potential ICO advisor should possess specific skill set that adds value not only to the ICO, but also to the continuing process of the business.
How to Choose a Reliable ICO Advisor
With the growing popularity of cryptocurrency and the blockchain technology, there is urgent need for ICO advisors. Surprisingly, everyone seems to be an expert.
Unfortunately, many people who pretend to be ICO advisors are simply amateurs who just acquired a few cryptos, read some blockchain books, and branded themselves ‘advisors’ and ‘experts.’
Choosing an ICO advisor is a delicate affair, as most startups do not fully understand the processes and requirements that follow the launch of an ICO. However, there are talented advisors in the crypto space, with in-depth understanding of blockchain and cryptocurrency.
Even so, owners of blockchain projects need to be careful in who they choose as their ICO advisors. This is because the subject of cryptocurrency and blockchain is relatively new and several things seem to be changing fast. Besides, new technologies equally become available.
Two types of ICO Advisors
There are mainly two types of ICO advisors. The first category of ICO advisors consists of blockchain enthusiasts who only give their photo and bio to be used on the website of an ICO project. This group of advisors is quite common, mostly found online on several platforms. Advisors in this category offer their services in exchange for tokens.
Since it’s easy to find and hire writers in this category, many projects seek them out, thinking that they are professional. However, in many instances, the reputation and experience of such advisors don’t measure up to the required standard. In addition, no serious scrutiny can back their operations and in most cases, they don’t add value to an ICO project.
The second group of ICO advisors is one that each ICO project should strive to attract. These advisors are real business leaders and industry experts who believe in your project and bring value to your business.
This group of advisors comprises serious professionals who they offer their services to, because they have real reputation to protect and uphold. Such advisors are hard to find and to hire, but their services are worthwhile in the long term.
Evaluating ICO Advisors
The cryptocurrency and blockchain space is undergoing drastic changes, as the public comes to terms with the new technology. The following facts stand out when it comes to hiring ICO advisors and blockchain experts.
Today’s digital world makes it easier to find a candidate’s experience in a click. Google search, LinkedIn profile, portfolio, or list of references, are all ways of uncovering a person’s professional details. While it’s easier to find the experiences of many people, it’s advisable not to take it at face value. It is advisable to delve into the candidate’s profiles and conduct in-depth online research.
When recruiting ICO advisors, you should look for a candidate with experience and expertise in your industry, which could be finance, gaming, or healthcare among others.
The world has become a global village and international exposure us an invaluable asset, especially in the market you intend to reach with your ICO project. ICO advisors with international exposure in addition to the local experience often have a combination of skill set that could propel the growth of a project if they decide to go international.
In addition, an advisor with international exposure could help a project solve the complexities of international regulations as well as issues that it should conquer when dealing with international issues or venturing into new markets.
When considering an ICO advisor for your project, your concern should not only be on financial investment. You also need to look at the intellectual and social prevalence that the expert brings to your project. An advisor with an extensive network is a valuable asset to your project, as this could help you achieve several business objectives.
For example, you could leverage the network to accomplish marketing, publicity, or technology-related objectives. Similarly, you can leverage network to access the best talent in your targeted area. Therefore, instead of targeting the financial benefits that an advisor could bring to your project, you should also consider less tangible features including industry relationships.
Previous projects speak better for an advisor you would like to involve in your project. You can know more about an advisor’s previous projects through referrals and word of mouth.
Other than direct references, you should scour crypto community forums for more information on the prospect. Good advisors have strong reputation, which carries over from one project to another.
Having a published content in a field of specialization is an important aspect of an ICO advisor. Check whether your prospect has any portfolio to bring on board, in terms of a published content. The candidate may have a LinkedIn profile or Medium blog for sharing particular insights. Similarly, a blockchain expert might have contributions in various whitepapers related to his or her area of coverage. Find out their ideas from such forums and the community reaction on the same.
Finally yet importantly, choosing a reliable advisor is an important consideration for your ICO project, as it determines, largely, the outcome of the project. A good advisor is one who has taken the time to accomplish most or all of the above-mentioned activities.