Manuela Seve co-founded the world's largest art collective Alpha’a back in 2014. Alpha’a has since its beginning been a trailblazer in the art/tech world, implementing cutting-edge technology such as VR and blockchain technology with the vision to make the art world more transparent and accessible.
Alpha'a is a B2B marketplace that connects large companies with tailor-made art collections by their 7,000+ artists across the world. Their clients count Airbnb, Why Hotel, and Four Seasons. Sustainability is a main focus, keeping no inventory and working with local artists for all their projects and streamlining the supply chain by printing directly in the client's country. Diversity is another main focus working with all artists despite color, race, sexuality etc. The artists are chosen through crowdsourcing to give everyone the same fair chance. Lastly Alpha'a is very involved in bringing awareness to relevant issues like plastic pollution in our oceans, saving the rainforest, and empowering women in third world countries, which they address through big yearly projects.
Their latest add-on to the Alpha'a platform is the Alpha’a Connect Series, which will empower a union between art, design, and real estate. The Alpha’a Connect series will bring to light works and spaces built by true visionaries, like the world-renowned Invisible House. Humanizing these unique spaces by creating galleries that enable the visitor to purchase blockchain-backed artwork through a QR code, will change the way we interact with walls and art.
Q: What's your background, and what are you working on?
My background is in Finance I studied economics and then worked in a hedge fund during the first 5 years of my career, in 2014 I joined forces with my co-founders Renata and Haroldo to start developing the MVP of Alpha'a we are now getting ready to launch a second platform alphaa.io a spinoff of the blockchain technology we developed in house to certify our limited edition prints.
Q: What motivated you to get started with Alpha'a?
I grew up in the art world, with an art dealer dad and artist mom and was always quite critical about the lack of opportunity in the space so as I read Marc Rich's bio king of oil I found so many similarities between the art market and the oil market in the 60s and that pushed me to create a more transparent ecosystem.
Q: How have you attracted clients and grown your firm?
Linkedin was a really powerful tool for us at the beginning. We used it for growth hacking and generated most of our initial client and investor database from cold calls, in 2019 we went through the Metaprop program (big real estate tech investor) and they have been a really strong source of leads ever since.
Q: What are your goals for the future?
Ringing the Nasdaq bell for the Alpha'a IPO.
Q: What are the biggest challenges you've faced so far?
Needless to say that the entrepreneurial journey is an uphill battle, we've never stopped fundraising, and doing so while building the product, generating the necessary sales growth momentum and growing the team is a massive challenge on its own. But there are also a number of unseen challenges that come your way when you least expect them, such as: key staff members going on an announced vacation in the middle of a product launch, people quitting with literally no notice. Websites crashing due to a million unforeseen circumstances. Its a lot for sure.
Q: What's your advice for female founders who are just starting out?
Be resilient and make sure that this is the path you want to take forward since it's not a simple road to follow, it will take everything you have 7 days a week to make it work.