DeFi Alliance Announces New Hires as Web3 Continues to Attract Talent

Web3’s growing market cap continues to serve as a magnet to bring talent into the blockchain-enabled space. 

DeFi Alliance, the startup accelerator akin to Y Combinator but for DeFi, has poached three superstars who hail from Blackrock, Facebook and Lambda School. 

“Web3 has sparked the intellectual curiosity of talented people all across the globe,” Imran Khan of DeFi Alliance told The Defiant.

The Hires

The accelerator is bringing on the former chief compliance officer at the investment management corporation Blackrock, Shah Hafizi, as general counsel and partner. Hafizi was also the special counsel at the SEC and has already counseled dozens of DeFi projects in his private practice. He will bring this skillset to the DeFi Alliance.

Roberto Riccio, a former senior product manager at Facebook, is also joining DeFi Alliance as its head of product. Riccio built WhatsApp Ads and grew it to over 1 million monthly subscribers. He also experienced Y Combinator himself as a founder of e-commerce company Glio.

Rounding out the trio of high-powered hires for DeFi Alliance is Jocelyn Robancho who will be the head of operations role at the accelerator. Robancho spent the last three and a half years working on people operations and business development at Lambda School, the coding bootcamp which went through Y Combinator. Robancho also worked at Y Combinator as an assistant batch director before Lambda School.

The Hardest Problems

“Many that have contributed to the success of FAANG and companies such as Uber and AirBnB are now eyeing Web3 as the next 30-year career move,” Khan said. “The best talent will often seek the hardest problems to solve with the largest market opportunity, and fortunately DeFi Alliance is doing exactly that.”

And it’s not just DeFi Alliance. Aave founder Stani Kulechov announced a new hire on Oct. 4. The DeFi protocol brought on David Silverman, who was previously working in the web2 world at Catchpoint, which describes itself as a digital experience monitoring platform.

Matt Huang, co-founder of crypto investment firm Paradigm, tweeted in mid-September: “The quality of talent now jumping into crypto is mind boggling.” 

These hires signal the increasing legitimacy of web3.

And, in bringing hires with regulatory and accelerator experience, DeFi Alliance will be able to spread that expertise to the DeFi projects going through its program.