On this episode of Establishing Your Empire we host Hrish Lotlikar. Hrish has a background in tech, entertainment, venture capital & investment banking. He currently is co-founder of SuperWorld which is a virtual augmented reality world on the blockchain where users can buy, sell, collect & curate real estate. He is also Co-Founder of the Hollywood, TV, VR, & gaming production studio called The Rogue Initiative. We start off the conversation with how Hrish left New York and moved to Ukraine to start a seed stage venture capital fund called Eastlabs. This episode covers everything from entrepreneurship to gaming to VR to even fun places to travel to in Eastern Europe.
If you can do something that you’re passionate about, but also have a secure nut so you’re not worried about living and your survival’s being taken care of. Then you have some gestation period between success or failure and success, you know, so I’ve truly believed you’ve got to keep hitting the ball.
All of that experience is something that I love because I learned how to communicate and connect. And it was just a beautiful experience, you know? So. Yeah, I mean, I failed, but it was, it was beautiful.
All right. I got Neil here on the establishing your empire podcast. Thanks so much for coming by the house and doing this.
Thank you for having me. I’m. I want to just say, I apologize for all the scheduling issues, trying to get this going. It’s been it’s been a time when I’ve been making some transitions and, and I appreciate your.
course, you know, the thing about a podcast, it’s always a want to have not a need to have. So I totally understand. And it actually happens. Yeah. It’s not the first time know it will be less. So luckily I get to do these at my home office, so I don’t have to like go someplace or schedule something. So it’s not, not too difficult to set up, but why don’t we start off with the seemingly easy question, but not always.
It’s just tell us a little bit about yourself.
Who are you, Neil? Yeah. So grew up in Minnesota. And my parents you know, came from India. So I have an Indian background and basically lived a pretty nice childhood. My grandparents raised me, my parents were both entrepreneurs and were very much into work.
So I had a childhood. And I got really amazing wisdom for my grandparents. My grandparents were into aryuveda and all these amazing things. And my dad was kind of more of an entertainer salesperson type vibe got into janitorial or janitorial products and stuff. But mostly he was a fun person to be around and he taught me how to dance.
And I used to dance like Michael Jackson as a business, as a child. So I had a very interesting childhood. I was like one of the only Indian kids in my, in my town. So I felt somewhat special and different, but also had a pretty normal childhood for the most part. I had some traumas for sure. Broke my hips and my legs and all sorts of things, probably due to some dancing and also just, you know, parenting in the way that they were parented, you know, which is a common theme in most people’s stories.
Which leads me to some of the work I do. But yeah, grew up in Minnesota loved tennis and table tennis and racquet sports
that actually, yeah. Yeah, for
sure. But yeah, overall just had a pretty cool life there. Certain things definitely like, you know, are my roots in Minnesota still, but overall, now, Texas man.
And how long have you been here in Austin? I’ve been here
eight years. Oh yeah. Nice. Since 2008. So I’ve been here for a little bit as well and seeing the growth and the change. Austin has been both positive and negative. I’ve enjoyed seeing the city grow and I’d rather be in a growing city than a dying city, but there’s also some.
You know, the life changes out of the city. Right. So why don’t you tell us a little bit more real quick and we can go through kind of how you got there, but tell us, like, when, when you talk about your businesses, you are now, what’s kind of the main thing that you’re doing. Cause it seems like there’s a lot
Yeah. So the main thing would be cacao that’s that’s the thing that I’m most passionate. And it was also a big part of my healing journey is using various plant medicine and then noticing how cacao this chocolate bean can, can make someone so much happier and also take them out of their, their head with.
You know, I used to drink coffee and teas and all these things that would put me very stimulated and this was really amazing. And so I asked myself, you know, this is my passion, what can I do about it? And I wanted to focus on creating more ceremonial cacao on this planet. 95% of the cacao in this world is hybridized.
And, and it’s kind of like a sacred thing that I believe can have a lot of change and help a lot of people. Needs to be preserved. So what’s the difference between
cacao and chocolate?
So chocolate is like an after thought of what the original thing is, which is cacao. And a lot of times as a Dutch process of alkalizing and making cacao into chocolate.
So it’s it’s kind of like taking sugar cane and making it into some form of sugar. But it’s not the original thing as such and most of the chocolate you find is not the original the actual genetics of chocolate. So,
and like, so people that are sitting at the cows probably extremely small compared to like what, where it should be like on those journey with cacao, like what stage or level do you think you’re at or want to get to at, or wherever you want to
Right. So, I mean, I feel like I’m at a stage where I can taste and feel and know a lot about what I’m consuming. It’s kinda like a Somia in wine. When you consume something enough and various types, you get a knowledge about it. And I feel like I have a pretty solid knowledge about it. I’d love to still learn more.
And then also I’ve been meeting connections through the cacao world. And there’s people who specialize in keeping the sacred bean and my dream and my goal. And my next investment is only focused on standardizing that process and making sure that people start labeling that, making sure the ceremonial beans are rectified, notified, and know people know that they’re consuming.
It’s a lot of times, you know, you get this fair trade and it’s, it’s nothing like that. It’s just. Something
and because it was just my lack of knowledge. Like some, when you say seminar, ceremonial, excuse me. Like what’s it actually mean? Like is that is actually actually what we do in a ceremony or is it something
It’s all of the it’s a ceremony is the actual genetics. So there’s three types of genetics beans that are well-known Trinitarios, Creole, and Fronterra. So these types of things. Are the ceremonial beans, the original beans that were found in 7,500 years ago, potentially in the rainforest potentially either Ecuador, Peru, it’s still, no one really knows, you know proof says it’s found first their equity versus his boundaries there.
But I used to work for the rainforest partnership and I learned a lot about some of the details on the history and a lot of the actual science behind it. So ceremony is conducted definitely with intention. So. It’s not like you’re making your morning cup of Joe. But you can do that with ceremony, like a cow and you you’re basically setting your intention.
You’re doing some form of energy release, so it could be breath work. It could be movement, it could be dance. It could be even journaling for that matter, but various traditions have different ways of activating the medic. And you literally are almost, you know, praying and into the cup and drinking it.
And then going through some form of catharsis, like a cathartic release, where you’re able to feel incense and emotion that hasn’t been seen and are held and you’re able to express it and fully move through it. And how
is that based upon the actual, what you’re drinking and then and how much is your for less
It’s, it’s there. I mean, you can’t drink a cow and go to sleep. You know, it’s going to do something to you and just that. And it has all these amazing bliss molecules. There’s actual chemicals in. A medicine that activates releases oxytocin. So the first time you fall in love that energy is in the body.
And if you’re aware of it, you’re going to feel it. Yeah. And you know, so for
me, that’s super interesting. Cause I think we always have emotions tied to a lot for things. Foods want them drinks, coffee, all this. And I think a lot of people have some positive and negative emotions to coffee. I wasn’t a big coffee drinker.
I was, I’m more of a, I like a lot. So like. Which is still, you know, a higher stimulant caffeine, but we did our honeymoon in Africa, on a safari and, you know, they serve your coffee and it’s like this fantastic coffee outside your door, right. When you wake up. And so I don’t, I’ve been drinking coffee more now.
Cause I think I just, you know, have this positive emotions towards it, but I still only like the cold brew because I just don’t. I think it’s too acidic. I think in my mind so I think a lot of us are looking for that stimulate and what I, what I’ve found that if I, you know, coffee, a lot of times isn’t enough.
I have to actually be out and move around because I sit in front of a computer all day. So how can somebody that just a normal, like, you know, office worker or whatever. This is something in the morning type of thing.
What do you recommend? Yeah, so coffee and cacao are kind of like, then they’re like the opposites of each other.
They both have similar ingredients. Both of them have theobromine, but the amount of theobromine in cacao is like the amount of caffeine in coffee. You, so it’s like complete opposite in that sense. There’s still coffee, caffeine. And. But it’s kind of the amount where it, instead of energetically bringing you a lot here, it brings you a lot here.
It’s, it’s literally theobromine is a hard opener. That’s what it’s made to do. So it’s definitely something anyone can consume. And I think it’s better for work for me. I feel like being in a happier place when I’m working feels better. And if you look at my organization, everyone seems to be more joyful.
But just like anything, moderation is very important. So I. Even cacao fasts, and one cup of coffee requires 32 glasses of water to balance your internal pH. So just like anything, like if you’re on a honeymoon and you’re drinking really good wine from France, you know, that’s going to be amazing. And our body has certain limitations, right.
So if we’re not actually healthy, it has some form of. Anything can be not so good for us. Right. I feel that way about it. Mostly. Yeah. I mean, I think
balance is not just in food and drinks. It’s just about everything. Why don’t you? Well, let’s back up, but I love that because it’s just something, I have very little knowledge of it, but I’m always interested in, in you know, new things and trying to.
You know, work in front of the computer. Like I said, it’s not, it’s not everyday I can get out and about, and I am a very energetic type of a person to always looking for new ways to do that. But let’s talk about kind of your journey a little bit. So, so you were, you did a lot of dancing as a kid. Like what, what, what, tell me go any way anywhere you want to go in the path?
Yeah, sure. So you know, in Minnesota I was dancing. I had a lot of fun. Expressing myself, but then there was the trauma part. So that’s kind of like the work even cacao helps with is is that, so, you know, I went to college in Wisconsin and in Florida, as well as England, I went to three different colleges and I studied hospitality and the reason I got into hospitality is my father was in pharmaceuticals.
And he used to travel a lot and I used to go visit with him and these awesome hotels. And I just loved the feeling of people being taken care of and just this amazing people, love food. And I love food. I’m a foodie myself. And it was like learning that, that hospitality feeling of, of creating a space where people feel welcome and at home.
So that’s the path I went on. And, and then I was working at a hotel. I was 21 years old. I was a director of catering for 300. And I had gained so much weight from just the Western lifestyle. And that’s when I went back into what my grandparents taught me, the, you know, the way my grandma would procure and garden, and my grandpa would go to like four or five different stores and markets to get the right foods and the right vegetables.
It was that I learned that sensitivity. And, and in that sensitivity, I. Implementing aryuveda and implementing the doses and balance and went down that path. So a cacao and all those things came later on in life, but it was first healing, the body and healing the mind and healing the soul and getting out of the toxic lifestyle that I was living.
So, and then how
I actually, like, you know, I’m sure 24 years old, 20, 25, how did you actually move to that next step? Right. You’re working in a job, you know, that’s unhealthy, but like some of those. It’s sometimes it’s really hard for people
to move out of that. Totally. It was, it was addicting. I was getting paid very well.
I was in a partnership with a very beautiful human and we were connected from college and we were on the marriage path and everything. And my parents came up to me one morning and told me we have an amazing opportunity. My parents have a janitorial and sanitation supply company and a company in India.
One of the largest companies in. Approached us to do a joint venture. So my parents were like, we need you to leave your job and we’re moving to India. And so my, my partner and I both moved to India and we started working and doing this joint venture. The joint venture took a long time and a lot of money.
And in that process, I took my American express card and I started. Importing care team. My mom was flying into New York city before she to drive in India and getting care team treatments done. So it basically takes your, your fuzzy frizzy hair and it makes it flat and beautiful for a period of four to six months.
So I, I contacted my mom’s salon and I started, I became the first, the only importer of care team in India. So that’s, that was one of the things I did for three years. And my mom is still doing that. So that was, that was like going to India and immersing myself in the culture. It became really easy to just start living healthily and having support.
For someone who’s
never been to India. Just a quick side question, like where what’s your favorite places where to go?
What do you love about India? India is like, I feel like I’m such a culturally fruitful place where people just are comfortable being with each other. I love India. And I love the food and just the very, the, the, just the variants that are there.
You know, you go to north India, south India, it’s so different everywhere in even the way they consume, even the way they believe in terms of spirituality. So different. My favorite place is called gold. And go is like a peninsula. And it’s one of the most beautiful places. If you asked me it’s been owned by the Portuguese a lot and no one really owns Goa.
It goes between India and various governments. And it’s just one of those very sovereign places where people go to vacation and people go from all over the world. Kind of like Bali. I don’t know if you’ve been to Bali or I haven’t.
Yeah, but obviously
know about Bali, but you know, the BGS and the John Lennon and all those guys used to go in and create palaces there.
And there’s beautiful places all over and it’s amazing. It’s like scooter life, you, you drive a scooter around. Eat fresh food and it’s really good.
That sounds amazing. So you’re importing and doing all this, what happens next? W why, why did you stop doing it? I
guess, stopped. So, you know, it was part of my own growth, you know, like as an Indian son, only one Indian son, Belief that I had to take care of my family and I had to create something for them in order for their lives to move forward.
And it was all these things that I had to work through in order to start fulfilling my own dreams and my own passions and carotene. Wasn’t my passion. So I decided to go back to the U S and rebuild my life again. And, and I had different thoughts on what I wanted to do with that business. I also became very aware of health and just the way.
The world worked in certain ways of, of just toxins and things. And I truly believe that keratin wasn’t good for humans, you know, personally. So I didn’t want to put my energy into it anymore, you know? And so I came back and I hustled and, and rebuilt myself. And yeah, it was cool. So what was the next thing that you
did that was successful or
anything that, yeah, so I started another business.
It was called outstanding dining. It was kind of like a group on for restaurants, family owned restaurant. And local charities. So charities that I believed in and, and so I would tie them together and it was basically like an app and I got, I think 75 local, Minnesota restaurants signed up and we were doing that for a bit.
And then, yeah, it wasn’t, it wasn’t something that really took off, but
w w well, one of the questions I like to ask about, like, starting something like that is there’s always so many want to be entrepreneurs. And they always want to start something. And you know, I think one of the traits of entrepreneurship is maybe just allowing, not hearing all the no’s before you start or whatever it is, but like any tips or tricks, I’ve just actually getting started with that
Yeah. I mean, If you can do something that you’re passionate about, but also have a secure, not say you’re not worried about living, you know, your survival’s being taken care of. Then you have some gestation period between success or failure and success, you know, so I truly believe you got to keep hitting that.
You know, like the only way you’re going to be able to hit that ball with confidence and authority is, is by not doing that first. You know? So I, I just, all of that experience is something that I love because I learned how to communicate and connect and it was just a beautiful experience, you know? So yeah, I mean, I failed, but it was, it was beautiful.
and did you have like a side hustle that you were watching perhaps,
or. It’s still in the hospitality industry. I was a general manager for a hotel and arrested. Even in between those years, I was a chef at a restaurant. I also was a bartender. I ran a, a local that’s actually not local it’s based in Denver, but it was a pop-up bartending service.
So I was a manager of that. I did all these things, you know, just to keep the doors open and keep moving. You know,
it’s so funny. It’s very civil me. I’m always doing multiple things, but chef real quick. What’s your favorite? Like seasoning, like if you have a go-to one that you just kind of always have to have.
Yeah. So it’s not a have to have, but I’d really love truffle. Okay. Yeah. I can go for, you know, making anything truffle, like, you know, it has its own grounding feel to it and it’s nice. Yeah. Yeah. And
that, that took off where now a lot of things aren’t actual truffle,
but truffle it’s true.
Yeah. Ma I think mine would have to be lemon pepper is, seems so basic.
It can take some very boring dishes and at least give some life to it at least a little bit. And if you don’t have lemon pepper, then you know, obviously lemons and pepper work actually even better, but just a little bit more effort to put in there. So what was one of the things that maybe worked or didn’t work that’s of note with the with, I forget what the business was that we were doing.
Yeah. That the hot, that, where you had the multiple
areas, what did, what worked and didn’t work? Yeah. Yeah, just getting into the heart of like, getting to know people and getting to know what they needed and being able to communicate from the heart space, that was like the best experience. And also recognizing like my dream of wanting to own a restaurant needed it.
It’s still there, but I knew that there was time between when I was going to start it and you know, all of that, just like learning. Absorb wisdom, you know, and, and see the hard work people put into their business and then try to be there for them in the most integral way possible. So, yeah, I mean, that was, that was, it was a loss in the sense, like, I couldn’t fulfill all their dreams, but I got to at least experience, you know, a lot of what it takes to be a restaurant owner.
So what kind of restaurant would you want? Yeah, I’ve got an, I’ve got a really good idea. It’s a farm to table. Are you Vedic restaurant? So like, I love Casa and I’m a huge fan of Casa. But I would love to make something like Casa, but more plant like flavor. And I’m more of the curries and the, and the, in the long take, like things that take a long time to make like the long taken curries and the boss monkeys, rice, and the and things, making something like that, where it happens serves only once a day.
But food is being created all day, you know, and that you can taste that flavor in that work it’s been created. So I think some of
that was great because one just like tactically, like something can show up and get their food pretty quickly. Right. Because it’s, it’s ready to go and you can make it in mass.
Right. As opposed to. Having everything being very specific. And then you could also tell really great stories around your ingredients because it’s in season or you got at the certain farm or whatever. I could see that doing really well. Also with that. Is this something that you could do pop-ups with, you can start that way, right.
And to test some stuff out,
you know, Casa allows me to cook in their restaurant and I’ve done it a few times where I’ve had a Curry nights and things. And I
give a little quick background on Casa. Cause there’s a lot of people I actually have there’s all over the world. So sometimes they
won’t. So let me tell you a little bit about Casa, Casa de.
Is a macrobiotic restaurant, but it’s also like a spiritual center. It’s a space, a community space where they have facilities all over my business. Third eye meditation lounge is inside, along with another other businesses. And it’s a beautiful nonprofit been around for 30 years. Serving similar food for 30 years and it’s all a hundred percent organic.
They try to do as local as possible. And it literally feels like integrity. Just walking into the space. It’s like this beautiful, very tropical feeling that you are.
I feel like you’re in a different country, but you walk in and it’s like downtown Austin, which I’m sure 30 years ago was not even downtown at all.
Right on the way from downtown to Zilker park or something. But. Let’s see, actually, that’s take a side note because there’s so many different areas. I do want to talk about meditation because I think. Something that’s very helpful, helpful for a lot of people, but a lot of people don’t know who or where to start.
And we can talk about it in any direction you want to go. I do think that people would get some value on like how to start meditating and where to,
yeah. I’ll just talk about a few things about meditation that I know that’s based on my experience. You know, I believe we all, I believe that the. The body keeps the score and the issues are in the tissues and our nervous system and how we feel in our body is really important on how much you can meditate.
So if you don’t feel good in your body, it’s going to be more difficult for you to manage. It’s gonna be more difficult to calm the nervous system down and to process certain things within the body. So, I mean, for me, I started out and I went to Vipassana and I did the 10 day silent meditation retreat, which helped me face a lot of.
Has helped me face a lot of my trauma and, and allow the feelings that I wouldn’t allow myself to feel that come up. And that was very helpful from there. I learned all sorts of techniques and ways to meditate and, and also heal my body. Cause I think it’s a simultaneous thing. You, you, you can meditate, you know, forever.
But then you can also integrate some of that stuff. So it’s kind of like taking. I re a backpack when you need a suitcase. And if you, if you don’t heal the body, it’s going to feel like you’re always on a shorter journey than you could be on. Essentially. Does that make sense? It does.
And I’ll take it another side note.
Cause as though it was fun. So you’re like the third pipe, probably fourth or fifth, actually they have done these, you know, these long-term silent retreats, right? Maybe walk us through a little bit of that a little bit more. Cause I think it’s so interesting. Something that I haven’t done, but it’s
something that I’m very interest.
Yeah. So I went to the DAMA, Siri, Kaufman, Texas, it’s this organization is beautiful. They have these centers around the world and it’s, donation-based they take care of you, housing, food, you know, everything you need. And it’s just this little room that you get and it’s so beautiful. This. So my experience was I walked into this room.
I have my suitcase, and there’s nothing really that you can bring into this other than like clothes and that’s it. No supplements, just you. And it was really cool. So I walk in this room. I’m in here, got a schedule. And it’s basically 10 hours or so of meditation or learning your there’s some, some classwork.
There’s a, there’s a, a man who started his foundation who’s passed and he’s got videos that you listen to every night. The cool thing about it is if you’re, if you’re with what, what has happened. Every question you have gets answered in those videos each night, which is interesting. This guy obviously put this program together with a lot of intention and you do have questions.
I feel like I had questions and you can’t really speak to anybody about it. So this, this video at night, it was really helpful, but it’s basically breakfast at six in the morning. You get a lunch, a small lunch, and then a small dinner, and then you’re basically. One hour meditations is happening every, every hour.
And then you, you’re kind of like just in a spot where you don’t move for an hour. Each time the meditation happens. And the first three days you’re concentrating only on the air that’s coming out of your nose. And then it goes deeper. So there’s different practices that you’re learning, but really you’re learning body awareness.
You’re learning sensations, and you’re also learning to come up and feel the blocks because there will be blocks that come up when you’re not dealing with anything in the world, other than yourself. You will start to feel some of the things that are potentially within you. And do you
go in there with like a goal and, you
know, I, you know, I, I did
like a business idea or this or that, or relationship
health, or I think after the first one, you could probably do more of that.
Maybe if you do come in with the goal, that goal might not be apparent. If you face something else within your soul’s journey. You know, so I don’t want to say, you know, I know,
right? Yeah. Because you’ve been through it and back to just the normal meditation, I think a lot of people have troubles quieting their brain.
And obviously it’s very easy to reach for your phone or TV or, or whatever it is or a drink, or you can go on a large list there. What’s some just basic tips. I think for someone who. You know, they, they hear that 10 day retreat and that that’s way too much, but maybe they’re starting to feel like they need to start doing something.
What’s a great way to just,
yeah, totally. There’s some really cool techniques that you can do prior to meditation. So I say getting all the energy that stagnant or anything that’s within the body, getting that up, moving, shaking a tap. That’s really good. And then there’s also these little devices you can get there’s meditation devices, you can actually use they can do light therapy.
There’s something called a NuCalm, which puts Gabba on your PCIX. Right. Right here, it’s an acupuncture pressure point and it literally helps you shut down the brain. And then there’s followed by that there’s actual sounds that connect with the GABA and helped you get into a meditative state. So I actually love that.
I use that on a lot of my clients. And that’s just great for anybody you do that for an hour or half an hour, even it’s like four or five, six hours of additional sleep that your body receives from that transmission. So it’s
interesting that you say the tabbing cause I, what I do use in this, I guess you could be in the meditative area, but when I get nervous, I count my breasts and tap my fingers.
And I’ll do a three and three out just to kind of reset myself. And what’s great is you could do it without anybody knowing it’s, especially before you know, you’re giving a big speech or something. It’s a great way to just quit thinking about all the, what ifs and all these nervousness that are popping up and just focus on breathing.
And I think the tapping helps with that. It was Tony Robbins that I heard that did that. I don’t remember where it was from, but that’s what was very helpful. That’s very basic because he could just do it on the side. And you’ve kind of talked about, and I know we were going to jump around the journey, but you’ve talked about clients.
So when, when you say that
what’s that mean project, me and my partner, and a few other healers, it’s called a rooted integration project, a rooted integration project.com. It’s basically a four week program where we help reset the nervous system, get the gut health, the brain health, the heart health, and creating basically more, more coherence.
So we use heart math. We use a Tre, which is tremor release exercises. A lot of times trauma is stuck in the psoas and we help release just basic trauma in the body. And then we teach various meditative techniques, clearing technique. And we also have a shaman who helps with some ceremony work. So plant medicine potentially can be used, but we meet people where they’re at.
And most importantly is for people to help develop a secure attachment to them. So they understand, you know, what they’re bringing to the world and understand the separateness and the connectedness in between.
What’s kind of a, either a normal client or an ideal
client for you guys. Yeah. So someone who potentially, you know, has trauma or has found awareness with the trauma, doesn’t know how to actually heal or integrate someone who’s taken plant medicine who needs some support.
Someone who’s lost a family member, anybody who’s needing emotional connectedness, also inner child healing. So we, we do regression work. We do a lot of emotional work, so people are having hard time accessing their emotions. We help them do that. Yeah.
So it’s kind of, you know, I guess a different way of kind of a psychologist with a little bit of you know, but also with the body, it sounds like too, kind of the
merging of all the bodies, mind, body spirit.
So all of it.
Yeah. I’ll I’ll yeah, that’s a great way to put it. And how’d you even get into that stuff, obviously, you’ve you kind of have this interesting path and you were getting more connected to yourself. And then a follow up question with that is how did you make that into a business? Cause that’s something that’s super interesting.
I think a lot of people start getting involved in these unique areas that might not be so mainstream, but then they just kind of keep it to themselves or just
do with their friends. I studied tantra, I learned seven levels of a lineage and I just started teaching. I had a clients about 10 years ago.
I started. Just implementing all the things I learned after two years of celibacy, after going through my own progress of the program, I learned from this couple who’ve been teaching for 40 plus years. They were 70 plus years old and they had all this energy and vitality and I was. Sign me up, you know, so that was my first teaching.
I become certified in somatics and Reiki and all sorts of things. But Tanisha was for me, one of the most important things that I wanted to bring to the Western world in an appropriate integral way. So I started teaching the COVID. And I did this a hundred day celibacy course about seven or eight years ago here in Austin.
And it was a huge success. I think we, we made like 50 grand, you know, and it was awesome. It was like, wow, this, this actually is great. And, and to this day, a lot of these students are people very much involved in my life and I’ve seen so much progress from it. I believe you have to root down to right.
And tantra is one of the greatest tools to root down, to rise up, to get strong in your core and your mulabandha and in the lower parts. And so it was tantra that taught me a lot of these foundational work. And from there, I just studied everything I could possibly study. And I put together a program based on what I thought worked best.
And it’s always improving. I’m always taking more courses and learning more that I can implement with this project.
So what about the haters that sit there and say that. You making money off of this stuff. Do you have any, any flack in that
area? Of course, money and I think is very powerful. And you know, if you’ve read rich dad, poor dad, you know, you’ll understand just the basic concepts and power around money and.
If you value something and, and you want to do something about it, money has to be exchanged. And I think that’s important. So I
see money as fuel, right? And because you have to have it, and let’s say in your field, if you want to reach five people and stuff like that, that’s fine. You don’t have to, you don’t have to charge for it.
But if you want to reach 5,000 or 5 million, you’re going to have to have some fuel
a hundred percent, a hundred percent. If I don’t feel comfortable with the work I’m doing, if I don’t feel. In that exchange. I don’t want to be there. And it’s it’s energy for me to be able to share that space. So I value it.
It’s not cheap. Our program is $4,000 per month and I don’t think that’s a small investment. It’s a mortgage for some people. So, you know, nice mortgage.
Yeah. But you know, it’s also investment in yourself is what in a lot of people that want it want to get to the next level. To me selling on value is different than selling.
Like, you know, I’m going to give you these four attributes to whatever you’re saying. Hey, what if I can. Really some blockage of you. So you could invest in some place or starting a company, or
not only that is preventative medicine, right? So it’s genetic work that we do that help prevent things that are in your genetic line.
So we do actual gene work. It’s crazy. Like you can prevent a lot of things that your parents went through. If you get awareness, And that’s, that’s all it is. And that you can’t pay. If you can’t go to the Western, you can’t go to a doctor and you can’t even go to a psychologist to find that information it’s deep work.
I say, you know, parents of alcoholic or something is that, and that’s kinda what you’re saying is,
and fix something like that. Not even fix it first, we figured out the root of how it started. That’s how trauma works. It’s it’s, it’s something that happened too fast, too quick, too soon. You didn’t have any way of, of processing or.
Finding the ground from there. So you’re still holding something that’s nervous in the body. That’s, that’s how trauma works, really. So it could be that they’re traumatized from something within their family line that caused the alcoholic gene to turn on. So we then find that and access it and process and heal.
was it. Are there any traumatic trauma there that you would like to share that, that you went through that got you on this
I mean, I went through a lot of things with my own father and my mother that, you know, definitely taught me a lot about how to even recognize trauma. I didn’t even know I was traumatized for so long and that’s a lot of people’s story.
Sometimes people think that this happy go lucky lifestyle in life. And trauma, what happens is it when it comes up you get to see some of the parts and the areas in which these patterns are stored and you get to heal, not just that aspect, but your, your family’s reason for carrying it too. So it’s really beautiful.
The circle that happens. Wait, sorry, what was the question again? There was
some traumatic stuff that you .
So when I was a child, I walked into a party with my parents and very nice lush. Beautiful home. And, and I don’t know exactly what it was, but there was an energy there and this, this person was unbuttoning my coat and fondling me right in front of my father.
And for a long time, that was an unprocessed trauma that caused me to not first of all, trust men, my father, and we had a huge gremlin between us for a long time, which got cause a lot of abandoned us and all sorts of things. But I’m at a point where I recognize. His story and all the things that created that incident, you know, and no longer causing blame and shame and all the things around that.
Well thank you for sharing that’s I mean, that’s that stuff can, you know and I’m very happy also on the flip side of it, that you’ve been able to recognize it, which is a big step and then, and deal with it to move through it because you don’t want that weight
to carry around forever. Trauma you carry people’s pain.
That’s not yours. You know, so it’s like I was carrying not just my feelings and emotions, but my father’s and his emotion and reaction was also traumatic. So you get to learn these things. And
because he probably felt very, very belittled as well or worthless or whatever it would be. It’s probably more than Muslim.
It was his inner child that was present at that moment to which you get to learn some of these. Through something called completion process, it’s a form of hypnosis that I also have trained in. So yeah. W w
why don’t you give us a little bit more on that? I suppose also there’s so many different areas
and completion process is a tool designed by teal Swan.
And what it is is it’s allowing, let’s say a traumatic incident that happened in your childhood. You there’s a whole set and setting that you create in order to have your adults. Comfort your inner child during that space. So if you have had something in a feeling or emotion, or even an incident that you feel still unsafe around, there’s a, there’s a way to bring your adult self to comfort your inner child.
And that’s what the process really is. It takes about two hours. Oh, wow. Yeah.
And you know, one thing I wanted to get to as well with a lot of these sayings is let’s say that somebody who doesn’t have a lot of money doesn’t live in Austin, Texas, But has some of these, you know, this trauma or traumatic experiences that they do want to begin to work through.
You know what, what’s a good place to start.
we recommend first thing is read the book. It didn’t start with you. That book actually comes with a bunch of worksheets that I utilize for my clients as well. It’s great. It helps you start to uncover and then process. Just learning how to sense your feelings is a great way to start moving emotions that are stuck in the body.
So there’s tools start doing that, and that will bring you to the next thing, which could be yoga or whatever it is that helps start moving the energy or tapping or emotional, you know Tre you know, things like that. So you can find a Tre practitioner in every state in the world, basically. And then what’s,
what’s, you know, what’s five years out for you.
Like, what are you, what
are you looking forward to doing? Totally I hope to have. Created really amazing connections with cacao and potentially owning a farm myself or creating more sustainability for farmers traveling and, and really sharing the medicine that is cacao. I think that’s probably the focus for the next few years.
I’m also potentially working with a franchise advisor. To make third eyes something that we can bring to other cities and to bring to other communities. And that’s also goal. And our do you guys have
plans for just selling like the rock a cow? We do it. I feel like it’s do that now, right? Yeah. Yeah.
And is that more in like a powdered state in a hard, slow?
Well, what we do is we take a cow paste, which is everything that comes from the actual being other than the, than the fruit like the. So the relish or whatever you want to call it. And we, and they grind it up into a paste, so that has all the fat in it.
And when you transport that it’ll melt. Right? So we do focus on making that and we ship it cold a lot of times. But we take that paste and we, we cold crumble it into a powder so people can consume it easier. And that’s one of our flagship products is the third act of cowlick, elixir. And people just add that to their hot water and use one of those little latte mixers.
And you’ve got your morning drink. That’s a
lot of fun. And then. Take a kind of a look back like, all right. So you’ve done a lot of interesting things a bit all over the world. It sounds like. What kind of advice would you give all the way back to like, you know, 16 year old self?
Yeah. Yeah, it would be probably to read certain books, you know, and get more info, get more knowledge around certain things that I feel like I’m playing catch up on now, you know?
So yeah, I mean, it would be to also have, don’t forget to have fun. Yeah. And remember your roots, remember how important it is that that culture brought to you? You know, there was a time and a place where I felt like my culture, wasn’t something I could be proud of and that’s completely shifted as I’ve dived deeper into it.
what about any, so you talked about, you know, we just talked about what you would recommend yourself, but in any regrets or along this path?
Yeah, definitely. Not like regrets, but just. Be slower, you know, just take more time, find, find meditation quicker, you know? I think those are the things, you know I feel like I had a beautiful life, but it happened too quickly and I wish I could have just slowed down a little bit.
I feel like that’s something. And so it would say when they’re older, so it’s great that, you know, maybe we didn’t recognize that when we were 16, but you know, the younger than better to recognize slow down. And I feel like that as well. One thing that I, it was a quote I heard or something. I do firmly believe it, in order to slow down time, you have to create your new experiences because otherwise, if you’re doing the same thing every day, your brain kind of gets on autopilot.
And it’s very
forgettable. Right? I believe that in some aspect, I feel like consistency is good. But then if you can just make 1% shift within consistency. So you’re still consistent, still in the masculine, but then you’re finding creative ways to integrate that consistent thing that you’re doing. So you’re getting better at it or you’re getting optimizing it or whatever it is, you know, so, yeah.
like, and so we do like, I, you know, to have our food at certain times and having shelter had a lot of different things that need to be consistent. Yeah. What about like, I’m sure you get with a ton of these like common myths that you hear in cringe. It could be meditation. It could be in the other areas that you do, but anything that you just want to talk about that like, just kind of, you hear and you kind of
want to talk about, yeah.
So, you know, in Austin it’s really popular now, the hot bats or the hot the sauna and then the cold baths, you know, and, you know, I really feel like putting yourself in a position to be hot and cold. Can be really good for the nerve reset the nervous system sometimes, but doing that constantly doesn’t allow for gestation to happen.
So I really believe integration is being able to go from dissonance to resonance and finding consistency and being resonant. And I feel like right now in our spiritual community, in various plant medicine communities, it’s too much of the medicine. It’s too much of the. The, the party without the, the rest and the meditation and the, and the parts that require integration.
So I know it’s cool to take mushrooms and all these other things, but you know what we’re doing at third eyes, creating classes and spaces where people can integrate, you know, what they’ve learned from their journey and to really slow down, to speed up so that, you know, they have more focus and clarity.
They feel more fulfilled in their life. And I think that’s really important.
So let’s talk more about plant medicine. And I have very little knowledge in this area as in personal out knowledge, but I’m very interested in the area, right. So I’m actually just take it wherever you like it. You know what, what’s a very common questions that people have asked you, or what do you guys start with?
Like w w w
wherever we want to take it. So so in terms of health, just basically, I believe that when we’re healing, we have a lot of symptoms and when we heal too quickly, So when our body is, is doing something internally, that’s moving something too quickly. Energetically our physical body may not be able to handle it.
So you know, Plant medicine can, can be really good if let’s say you have a block that your consciousness can not overcome. Plant medicine can be helpful to help you change your state in order to move through something, you know, that can be potentially painful or traumatic or whatever it may be.
It could be even genetic that you have no idea about that you’re carrying, you know, so. Depending on what it is. There’s various different plant medicines. There’s things that open you up. There’s things that bring you in this things that is various things. So like ketamine is a disassociative. Iowasca is one of those things that can be very spirit.
It’s like a spirit molecule where it connects your soul to, you know, to the earth in a very, in a way that can be very disruptive. Can take a long time to integrate from. So that’s why I believe set and setting are super important. Let’s say you lose a partner of 20 years, you know, and you have a hard time processing it and your children are tired and you don’t have a lot of, you have a lot of time on your hands.
I asked them might be good for you, you know, but let’s say you’re an entrepreneur and you’ve got shit going on and you can’t take two months off for three months off to rest and do that. I will ask us not recommend it. I would potentially recommend maybe mushrooms, which has a quicker gestation time from recovery.
Because these are poisons in our body is going to react in a way that will heal in certain ways. If you’re, if you’re in the right space and you have the right time and you have the right dealers and support around you. So it’s really sentencing. And all these different medicines do different things.
Our Western world is becoming very open to that in our current timeframe, which is cool. However, there’s an extreme to everything, right? So. I really believe, you know, the person who’s procuring the medicine, the person who’s receiving the medicine have really good intentions is coming from a really grounded place.
And, and really decides, you know, this is what I want to do. What do you ask the right person? What they need, you know, and where do you see you kind
of the future of this? I mean, it seems like you said it, you know, the U S itself seemed like they’re becoming more and more open to some of these MDMs and stuff like that.
Where do you see
this? Yeah, like MDME are our sassafras. That’s like more of like, let’s say someone who’s been bitter for a long time, you know, it needs to find more love. It’s a good one for that. What I see it going is, do you know what spiral dynamics is? I do not know. Okay. So spiral dynamics is this, is this a.
Thought belief system in which there’s various types of consciousness that live in our planet right now that if you believe in spiral dynamics, this is the first time in our life where we have so much variety of consciousness. So there’s different groups and people and humans who live in a certain vibration live in a certain lifestyle that carry a certain vibration and consciousness.
That’s why there’s so much difference right now, this very much difference between our parents. Or grandparents and grandchildren, whatever it may be technology and various human or earth changes have created these separations. Not that it’s good or bad, but because of this new consciousness that’s coming, you know, we’re going to have a lot more evolution.
So I believe we’re going to evolve. And, and that’s what I see at our future being is being more evolved society. But with variance, you know, there’s still people in our world living primitively there’s people who are living very much in a technological AI world. So you see how there’s so much variance
and when you say kind of evolve or primitively.
I have, I think I got a pretty good idea what you’re saying, but are you saying basically at some people just won’t make it to the next kind of state that they should be in or they’re just going to live poorly or like, what do you mean?
See, I don’t believe in shooting, you know, are like shooting on me or anyone because everyone has their own life and purpose.
Right. So dogs going to be a dog and maybe next life there’ll be a human, I guess what you’re saying now. Yeah. So that’s the reincarnation aspect of how I believe. So if someone eats Doritos, smoke cigarettes, drinks, alcohol, they’re going to live out their life purpose to whatever it is. Or if you look at like a guy from SunLife organics who completely shifted his life and how now has these juicing places and yo you know, healthy things, people can make a shift, you know, and it’s not any.
Like forced to do. That’s an internal thing, you know? So I, I truly believe everyone’s, life’s purpose is their life’s purpose. And if they decide to upgrade their consciousness, that’s going to be a sovereign personal choice and then they’re going to do it. And then and it could be even a downgrade of consciousness.
very much so. Right. Yeah. And, and kind of that’s, it’s interesting. Cause that’s what. More where I, how I grew up as is believing a lot of those different things. And the religion that I grew up in was very much in the reincarnation of kind of moving your soul to the next journey next step, and try to move up.
C and then there is no hierarchy though. That’s where the sovereignty and the unity comes from because the dog and the, and the, and the, the very evolved person hold the same amount of power that creates the. The same godly energy that circulates in that dog is in that human too. That’s the only way we will be able to see them.
On this dimension. So what does success look like for you? So success for me, I’ve been around, you know, outwardly successful people and I’ve been around people who I never thought would be successful or is successful, but successful to me is feeling really good. And the being so nervous system is happy.
Physical body is happy. Sex life is intact and fruitful. Finances are, are good. Friendships are really strong. Community is strong. So I don’t want to be rich and lonely. I’m not going to be that guy. I don’t care about that. That’s not my end goal. My end goal is to be surrounded by loving, amazing trustful people who are creating in this world.
And, and, and it’s, there’s no like unseen unsaid competition. Creating beautiful creations together and sovereignty, you know, so success to me is being able to give to the world, you know, and, and create with the world. So, yeah.
So what do you think what are you proudest of that you’ve have you’ve accomplished.
So it’s, it’s an internal thing. That’s proud. I don’t, I can’t be proud of it to other people because it doesn’t make sense. But for me to overcome all the physical challenges and to be, you know, an athlete to be a a competitive pickleball player, it feels. Or even tennis player, whatever it is.
I felt like that could have never happened in my life, just from all the difficulties I had from just walking. So that to me is such a thing I’m very proud of. You know, I feel like that’s an accomplishment. Absolutely. Yeah.
Anything that we didn’t cover that
you would like to. So I did start a rejuvenation center in Costa Rica.
I started this thing called blue zones, rejuvenation. I had a tragic incident after I was working for my family’s business and I wasn’t in integrity and I wasn’t living my passion and I lost part of my finger. Oh, wow. I’d never noticed that. Yeah. So I lost part of my finger in a boating accident. I was wakesurfing and a rope got cutter on my arm and I pulled my hand back and it caught my finger and it completely changed my life.
Spirituality wasn’t on the back burner. It was like on the front burner and I was ready to follow my dreams and start third eye and do all the things before I started third, I started blue zones, which blue zones. I dunno if you know who Dan Bittner is. He’s probably a 10 time bestselling author of the blue zones book.
He was a national geographic photographer who made his name and did some amazing things. And. Places around the world that people lived over a hundred years consistently. And that’s what called blue zones. So I studied the blue zones. I got into it and I created a rejuvenation center in Costa Rica called Costa Rica called blue zones rejuvenation center.
So I left everything. I took all the money I had and I invested into this hotel and we converted into a center and we started doing these things and I just fell in love with Costa Rica and retreat. We got a season, this, this letter from a guy named Dan Bittner who wrote those books. And my partners were lawyers who did not want to change the name.
And I was like, I just want to do retreats. You know? So they were like adamant about it. I was like, you know what, I’m going back to Austin. And, and in that time, a gentleman gave me some investment to, to start making elixirs. So I started this whole business, just making it like. And in my retreats, I used to make these really awesome elixirs, cacao, elixirs, and golden milks and all these things to help people feel good in their body.
And that’s kinda how I started out. Third eye is really
interesting. And so is, is that retreats still there?
And no, they went. I was kind of the, the brain around the whole business. They went back to the hotel, but I did build a yoga teak, so they did get to
keep it, keep it. And do you still travel back to Costa
Or I haven’t. You know, I desire to go back, but other places that I desire to put some energy into, it’s so
hard. There’s so many amazing places in the world. I actually haven’t been to Costa Rica because my wife has been multiple times. We’ve been to Nicaragua. I had an amazing experience there and I loved it.
They’ve got good,
good cow there too. I’m sure they do. I’m
there, right? I mean, they’re right next to Costa Rica. One way that she described Nicaragua is it’s like Costa Rica, but like 20 years ago before it got so popular, The days it’s not near as popular because we, you know, we have a pretty negative commentation and of the area as Americans, but also it has had some political instability over the years.
There’s been a, there’s a million people from Canada. They’re like, they’re like, yeah, it took me 14 hours to get here. I’m like, yeah, I got here in six hours, you know, like, or, or five and, you know, from Austin, cause it’s straight south and pretty easy. And they just don’t have that negative connotation of the area.
And then there all the time, and there’s fantastic surfing. And you can say on Alma temp is this like volcano that you can stay on and right up on a horseback and just, and it’s cost nothing like literally nothing.
My friend has a property up. She owns a property that she, she doesn’t know if she’s gonna go back to but it’s crazy because you can own property there, very inexpensively.
And but there is a little bit of fear around the local war that’s happening there and you can lose it all. Yeah, yeah, for sure.
When we were there you know, we weren’t stupid. Didn’t do anything crazy, but we felt totally safe at the time and that obviously could be fluid, but we were, there was, and also it’s a touristy.
And the fact of the Nicaragua Nicaragua’s touristy, which is nothing like touristy places that are known to house travelers, just fine. Airbnb, places like that. So, yeah. And this is my last question. I end every podcast with this. How would you like to be remembered? Yeah.
Yeah, so in India they have this thing called
So someone who is heart giving, you know, someone who. Is able to give, you know, with less thought involved, you know, so obviously having good boundaries of what I need to do to take care of myself, but being able to give with a good heart and that’s something I feel like is really important. I love it.
Yeah. Well, Neil,
thank you so much for being on the podcast. Thank you for having me. Pleasure. Yeah,
that’s great. Cheers. Yeah. Cheers.
Wouldn’t it be cool if we can’t build the next Pokemon Go. To build a world. Let’s build an immersive world where the next thousand AR companies gets built onto. So let’s build a world. And that was kind of the big vision of super world.
And so what is super world? So, you know, Daran, if I come to Austin and you’re not in town, you could say, Hey, Hrish, you know, I’m not around, but why don’t you check out my world, right? And I could walk around Austin as an example, and you’ve left me things there. You’ve left a hologram of yourself somewhere. You’ve left photos and videos and different places. You’ve left messages at your favorite restaurants about what I should eat and drinking basically personalize the real world in augmented reality.
All right. I got Hrish Lotlicar here on the establishing your empire podcast, real excited by this chat today. Chris has got some, uh, background of technology, entertainment, venture capital, investment baking, and a whole lot more. I I’m sure I couldn’t even get to it all. Uh he’s co-founder of super world.
Which we’ll talk about a lot. It’s this virtual AR reality world where you can buy land and it’s on the blockchain. There’s a whole lot more to it. I actually own the volleyball courts here at Zilker park, the same volleyball court. So, uh, got that locked up. Uh, he’s also a co-founder. Of the rogue initiative, which is TV, VR, gaming, uh, production studio, and a whole lot more, but let’s just start, let’s stop there and get into the conversation.
How did you actually kind of get started with your career? Right? Is this something, you know, college on up, or was there kind of a, a situation to where it got you going and on your career to start with. Yeah, that’s a interesting, uh, question and I think a really good one that I ponder myself a lot of times, just as I think about kind of, you know, where I want to go even from now.
Um, and you know, I think w first of all, I think I’ve always been really curious about things, uh, in terms of learning and. I have a very strong interest and passion and science and technology, just kind of growing up. Um, and, and, you know, my career, uh, in terms of college, I went to rice, rice university, undergrad in Texas.
So originally grew up in Houston, but, um, you know, uh, I was like, Uh, premed poly psy, you know, that was kind of my kind of mix of like liberal arts and, you know, a lot of hardcore like science, like biochem and physics and all that stuff. Um, and then I kinda, you know, uh, went to grad school. Um, you’re doing kind of, you know, the goal was to do a mix of all of those things.
So it was, I kind of was doing an MD MPH MBA. That was the kind of the goal. Uh, in terms of my degrees, um, uh, out of, out of undergrad and, um, you know, ended up doing the MPH MBA first and, um, loved business. Like, you know, I never thought I’d do an MBA, had gotten a grant, um, to do an MBA. And so I was like, Oh, okay, I’ll do an MBA.
That’s cool. And, and then I was just very, you know, intrigued about that started working consulting for a summer. So a lot of people don’t know about my college, my job in college, as I used to. Uh, excise corneal transplants. They used to take out eyes, uh, out of people for transplant surgery. Um, so I was really hardcore into in the medicine, but when I was in grad school and I got into, you know, I was like, wow, this is really cool.
You’re different, you know, and I started working in consulting and then that kind of took me this path to doing investment banking in New York, on wall street. And then really kind of understanding there’s this whole world out there where you could really explore ideas and, and, you know, potentially build companies around them.
And that was kind of what got me into venture capital. And so that was kind of the progression and do. Kind of going from, you know, kind of the science kind of background to looking at, how do you kind of, uh, you know, can, can, how do you ideate and build companies and how does that work? So, and, uh, I think that parlays is my next question is you kind of had this nomadic lifestyle for a long period of time from what I’ve read.
And is that kind of, how got you, like, how did you actually get into venture capital? Was that part of. Your travels that kind of got you to that? Or was there, you know, certain job or, or anything like that? Yeah. So, you know, that happened because first of all, I, you know, I started off my career in management consulting.
I really enjoyed that. Learned it a lot. I was in a business development capacity, uh, there, and then, uh, really saw, you know, what I need to, uh, learn, uh, finance and really get hardcore into understanding the mechanics of how a company operates and be able to do that at the highest level. And, you know, that kind of took me.
This from some mentors was, Hey, you got to go and work on wall street. And, uh, and so I kind of took this one 80 from, you know, looking at just healthcare and to go into consulting and then, wow, I need to get on wall street. And I ended up, you know, uh, successfully getting, uh, some interviews and opportunities that, uh, some wall street firms joined UBS investment bank in New York.
Uh, and then went over to HSBC. Securities help kind of was one of the first people there as they’re building their North American practice. Uh, you know, about, uh, I guess, uh, 15 years ago now and, uh, uh, learned a lot and, and ended up, uh, realizing that. You know, being more entrepreneurial, doing startups was actually like even more hands-on.
So how that happened was I was working in an investment bank, advising clients who are doing, you know, M and a, or IPO’s right. And these, these guys who are coming to us, um, to refer this advice are the entrepreneurs, right? They, you know, a founder or CEO who kind of took his company is now selling it or.
Going public. And I was thinking to myself, wow, I want to be in that guy’s shoes. I want to do that. And you know, I kind of, you know, kind of always had that in the back of my mind. And I gotten an opportunity and got introduced to, uh, a friend of a friend who was a VC prominent VC in New York and had a, had a meeting with him about my interest in doing that.
And he hired me on the spot. So it was like literally a few days later, I couldn’t believe it myself. So. Uh, and that’s how I got started in VC friend of mine named Adam stern, who kind of gave me that first opportunity. That’s fantastic. Um, so, okay, so now you’re a VC, so you’re already in the entrepreneurial world.
What I think what I’m trying to get to hear a little bit is, so it sounds like that happened through chatting with a friend of a friend, but how did you start? So you’re kind of already an entrepreneurial path, I guess. How did you start your own first company or was that VC. Company to your first company, right.
Is how did you go from working for someone to owning your own company? Right. Yeah. So, you know, I think that I already he’s had a strong desire to do it. And, um, you know, I think it’s a learning process, uh, you know, and when you’re an entrepreneur every day and everything you do. Um, and so you have to start with the strong desire to want to kind of be independent.
I think what happened for me is I, you know, when I was working in investment banking, you, you work. You know, very long hours, you spend a lot of time, you work on, you know, deals you get paid, uh, pretty well. Right. Um, uh, but at the same time, I think you kind of, you know, first, as far as for me, I felt like I wanted a lot more agency in terms of like controlling or like being able to kind of.
Impact you the company itself and be able to start a company. So that was a strong desire that kind of built up. And, um, so my first foray is I, I started this, uh, online training program called wall street program long ago, um, back in Oh five, cause it was all I knew. I knew like I knew how to get on wall street and I knew how to.
Do financial modeling and stuff like that. And so, and when I was at HSBC, I kind of worked in this space of like, you know, when new analysts came in, we had to put together a program for them. And, you know, and so that was kinda my first kind of entrepreneurial kind of flash like, wow, I know how to do this stuff.
I can create a course online to teach people how to work on wall street. And so that went from that to. Oh, wow. I should join VC because now I can learn how to do this more professionally. Um, learn how, you know, VCs invest in start and add value to companies. And so that was kind of the progression to like actually starting, but then yeah, as you said, VC was where I kind of.
You know, learn from other professionals about how that happens. And then also, you know, the companies that you run into at VC firms usually are managed by serial entrepreneurs or people who have been really successful in doing that in the past. So then that was like a real awesome school for me as to how does this get done?
How do you go from like ideation to, you know, getting, you know, a couple million bucks or. You know, more than that into a company. And how does that structured and all that. So those really important lessons, plus also, I mean, I’m sure that people you met through that was a fantastic group of, uh, uh, people to network, right with right.
People who are running companies, owning companies, selling companies. Um, so what happens next? You’re at this, this VC firm, things are going great. What, what happens next? Yeah. So, you know, 2009, um, I’d been there for three years or so, you know, the world economy is, is a little bit of flux, 2008, you know, with Lehman brothers and, um, you know, uh, it’s just the start of that recession.
Um, and you know, when you’re in VC and you have a down market, uh, you know, usually there’s a little bit of waiting, uh, in terms of doing deals. Um, you know, luckily, you know, I think we’re not seeing as much of that in this. In this situation right now with COVID, I think people are still investing. Um, at that point it was more financial markets were kind of being impacted.
And so there was a lot of like, uh, worry on wall street in general. Um, and, and I had an idea and the idea was. Wouldn’t it be cool to go to an emerging market somewhere and start a VC fund. Um, I’ve worked in New York and VC, you know, been pretty entrepreneurial and I love being international. This, between college and grad school, I lived in Europe.
I lived in Madrid and Paris and spent some time in Eastern Europe. So I loved kind of. Being overseas. And I, you know, I was born in India, so kind of traveled a lot, growing up and going back to India and places in between with my parents. But, um, I thought, let me just do it. And I didn’t know anyone. I got on a slight didn’t know any Russians and went to Eastern Europe.
Literally I landed in Ukraine. I knew like one person. So, so Eastern, Eastern you’re reduced to the week before. Yeah, so very, very, very Eastern Europe. Yeah. Oh, wow. You kind of would be amazing. It’s supposed to be gorgeous. Never been I’d love to go some days, but, so, so yeah, so you’re in Ukraine and then why.
Yeah. So I got there again, I didn’t know anyone. I’d actually, you’ve been introduced coincidentally to someone who worked at the American embassy, like a week before I left. Um, I was on this thing called couch surfing, as you probably have heard. Um, and you know, I had an, I had a guest who was like, Hey, Uh, you know, can I stay at your place in New York?
Cause I was living in New York at the time and I was like, look, you know, I’m actually moving this weekend. So unfortunately, you know, you can’t stay my place, but um, you know, definitely come to this party I’m going to, and I guess he was so thankful that I invited him to some really cool party, um, that, uh, he was like, Hey, I have this friend in Ukraine, you should meet him.
Then he worked at the American embassy. So I knew that one person. So I stayed in Ukraine for a month, you know, again, Got it. We got to know key, which is the capital. And then, uh, went to Russia, uh, then Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Moldova just traveled around purpose was. Let me get to know this part of the world.
Let me kind of get to know these places, maybe meet some people, um, and got that to Ukraine and realized that that was a spot for a variety of reasons. One wasn’t Russia. Russia is a big market. And if you do VC in Russia, you’re in Russia. If you do, you know, in the other markets were more like EU, which is, you know, Pretty much like being in the U S you know, um, you know, Poland’s interesting, but at that time it had been in the UAE for awhile and, you know, you know, obviously part of that common market.
So Ukraine was like this Greenfield opportunity for a variety of reasons to big market. And I thought, you know what, Ukraine’s the spot, let me do it. And so I ended up staying there for a, you know, a year and a half. And, uh, you know, trying to network and stuff. And, you know, I got a lot of meetings. People took meetings with me cause I was DC investment banker from New York and, um, I got ended up needing, um, I, okay.
So I, I, I, I ended up meeting a guy who knew me from New York, like coincidentally. Like he, you know, it ran, it, ran into him and he’s a great friend of mine now, his name’s Dan Romanic. Um, uh, and he’s a VC now, but, uh, his point is he was like, Hey, what are you doing here? And I was like, well, you know, my goal is to start a VC.
And he was like, Oh, do you know, uh, you know, Victor Pinchuk and East one group. And there are big, uh, investor out there. And he basically, you know, introduced me to them and, uh, that group, and I got connected with, um, you know, my future partners, one of which, uh, Evelyn , who ran Techstars in Boston subsequently and, and another partner, Olga Belco is now in parliament and Ukraine.
So we got all got introduced and, um, you know, we’re all passionate about doing a VC fund. And so we started these slaps and, you know, again, it was just being on the ground. You know, burning the ships, you know, like I’m there, like there’s only one end of this is start the VC fund and it worked out, it took me about a year and a half and we did it, uh, invest in about 35 companies in the region.
Wow. I mean, obviously you have a lot of people are going to hear that and they’re going to say, okay, Like that sounds scary. Right? We’re going to go to Ukraine. Uh there’s you know, politically it could be interesting. It’d be a lot difference. How did you get over that thought process of, you know, the risk?
Was it just because the reward would be so great or like, you know, cause I, you, you, the way you’re talking about it, it sound like no big deal. Like Ukraine greenfields. This is great. Let’s rock and roll. Like, uh, any thoughts there? Yeah. You know, I mean, I think, um, yeah, I think it is crazy in a way. I mean it, in some ways, and yeah, I would say that, um, You know, I’m just, um, I would tell you that I’m very, just passionate about, uh, you know, ideas that I have and really just believe in them and, and go go for them.
It’s just kinda something that I just, I don’t know. I guess it’s, it’s one of those things it’s kind of built in. It’s kinda like how, you know, I got into investment banking. I mean, that’s a whole other story, like, you know, just kind of. You know, I was just like, man, I want to work on wall street, you know?
And, uh, and, and so I just, I didn’t even think twice about it. I like, I got on a plane and I, and I flew to Ukraine and I didn’t know anyone there. And then I lived there for awhile and, you know, um, You know, uh, you know, obviously made a lot of friends very quickly and got very, uh, you know, love the place.
It’s like one of my homes now. Um, but, uh, you know, yeah, at first it was, it was kind of like what, like, you know, it’s a lot of new stuff a lot. And you know, I also like that. I’m also, I’m very, you know, excited about, um, learning things. I’m not. You know, I I’m very, I guess, risk tolerant in a way. Like, I, I think life is about that.
And if I’m not doing something, that’s expanding myself, giving me a high learning curve. Uh, then for me, it’s, it’s not as interesting. So, you know, I’m nomadic now. Right. And so that’s a whole other thing, but, uh, I think it, part of my DNA is kind of going and trying and doing stuff because you only live once and you know what, that’s fun to go and do stuff.
Um, but it’s also like an interest in learning as fast as I can and getting to know people. And so, yeah, I didn’t take it. I took it in the opposite way of, of the fear and the danger and that. They’re worried, but more so like, this is going to be awesome. Yeah. There’s no way this is going to stop. Yeah.
Just for the traveling aspect of it. Cause I love the travel, your favorite places and Ukraine or the area where are some places to go? Who’s somebody who’s never been. Uh, in the world or in Ukraine and Ukraine and the area Eastern Europe area as well. Yeah. In Eastern Europe, you know, it’s, it’s a wonderful part of the world.
And, um, you know, the people are amazing. Uh, I would tell you that I have so many friends, uh, who are Slavic and, um, you know, uh, it is a, a wonderful, wonderful part of the world in general, for the people in terms of places. Um, you know, I grew up, uh, in the eighties and really enjoyed. Uh, history quite a bit.
And so, um, you know, uh, I remember, you know, co deep in the cold war, you know, in the eighties, you know, maybe not as deep, but, you know, coming out of it. Uh, I would read a lot about the Soviet union and the former, you know, countries that were involved in the Soviet union. And so for me, that historical perspective of the economics and different cities that were, you know, very much part of.
Countries that we’re in this other kind of, you know, opposing kind of worldview. Uh, it was interesting to me, the architecture, there is obviously interesting. There’s beautiful places on the black sea, like Odessa, um, that are great places in the summer. Um, I lived in Crimea now, which was taken over by Russia.
Um, but I lived, we lived in Crimea for a while, as well as, uh, in Minsk Belarus. I love, um, uh, I subsequently start, helped start a, uh, you know, I’m on the board of tech mins, which is a, uh, In early stage accelerator in, in Minsk, in Delary. So I love men skin Valerie’s as well, totally different political system.
As people probably know that know it’s coming to become more of a public known fact with, uh, what’s happening there. But, um, You know, uh, I think there’s a lot of places there in Eastern Europe, even outside of that region. So Croatia and, you know, Serbia and other places. They’re also really beautiful.
Prague, I think is gorgeous. Um, you can’t go wrong. I think there’s a lot there, especially if you’re interested in history and beauty and, um, culture. Yeah. It’s amazing. Yeah. Completely. I mean, it sounds fantastic. It’s definitely going to be on the list. So we’ve talked a lot about. You know, financial investments, VCs, all this, and then, you know, obviously on your resume is this production company like left brain, right.
Brain. Right. So, so how did, and I don’t know if we’re jumping super far ahead on your story, but how did you get in that world? Right. Yeah. You know, I I’ve always, um, you know, I guess left brain life ran, right? Marine. Yeah. I’ve been been like that. Um, you know, since I was pretty young, uh, always interested in English and the arts and reading and movies and entertainment.
Um, um, as, at the same time, you know, always been interested in science and technology and such, and, um, you know, I worked, uh, it, I started the VC fund. I, I ended up, uh, um, uh, you know, the story, how it happened is, is, and in 2013, um, You know, deciding where, you know, where I wanted to live after, um, Ukraine, because I thought, you know what, um, we did Ukraine, uh, that was awesome.
Living internationally was awesome. Um, you know, Yeah. Like what about the rest of the world? You know, if I could do that and Ukraine, like, what else, you know, what, why don’t do this somewhere else? And so I had this idea of, Hey, what about Southeast Asia? And you know, that would be cool. Like when maybe there’s something I can do there.
Start sitting there, uh, ended up on a trip to Southeast Asia. Got involved, um, in, in, you know, meeting a lot of people there, um, uh, on this trip through some of the people I was involved with in Ukraine and got involved in a company called top towel. Uh, top towel is a, um, uh, A talent marketplace, um, which is backed by Andreessen Horowitz.
And it’s, uh, I was kind of the first BizDev that top towel, uh, top tells a remote distributed company. And, you know, this was back in the day in 2013, totally remote, totally distributed, no offices work remotely, all of that stuff. And, and top tail is actually one of the big promoters of the distributed lifestyle.
And so, you know, joining them, I, we started living around the world. So kind of, you know, Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, South America. All over and, um, turned out I, I was in LA and got involved in a company that’s on the YouTube platform is a stealth company. And at that company, cause it’s a media company on the YouTube platform, uh, ran into or worked with, uh, not ran into, but worked with directly, um, with my cofounders, um, at the rogue initiatives.
Um, so one of my cofounders actually is the one I worked with. His name is Pete blue, Mel. Um, his background is he had produced call of duty, the game, um, modern warfare series and ghosts. And then previously he had worked with, uh, Um, you know, Steven Spielberg at Amblin entertainment and Dreamworks, um, and that’s, uh, a small crew of people there.
And, um, and so we, we got to know each other and, you know, my background was obviously VC and global and tech and stuff. And, um, the idea was, Hey, you know what, let’s start a studio, um, that leverages, you know, what’s happening in this new world, which is. Virtual reality, which was like exploding at that time period, Oculus just gotten acquired by Facebook and VR was really interesting.
And, you know, I had a strong interest in VR and AR just because it’s cool and it’s, you know, I think it’s awesome. And so we ended up, uh, getting together and saying, Hey, look, let’s start a company that’s focused on Hollywood and creating new original content that goes across feature, film, television, gaming, virtual reality, all the way to amusement park rides and you know, essentially new franchises.
That was the idea behind road initiative. And. You know, we partnered with Michael Bay. Who’s, you know, well-known Ashton director because they’d worked together at, uh, at Amblin and Dreamworks, uh, on the original transformers. And so, you know, he came, he joined us as well as, um, other, you know, other, other people in Hollywood that are pretty well-known and.
Uh, you know, that was kind of the, the progenitor of, of that. And, you know, I obviously had, um, the investors and others that I’d known from, uh, you know, even, I think one of our first investors I’d met in Ukraine who ended up starting a VC fund, focused on VR and AR. Called presence capital. And so presence, capital, we’d known each other.
Cause he visited my VC fund is Paul Bray deal. Um, and he’s a cool guy. And he had known me from Ukraine cause he came to my office at East slabs and Keith and we ran into each other in LA. I mean of all places. I’m walking down the street, I’m living in LA and Paul’s there on the street. And then he messages me and he’s like, Hey man, are you doing something in VR and AR and noticed you’ve been posting about this.
And I’m like, yeah, actually I’m starting rogue initiative. And he was like, Hey man, we got to talk. And so he ended up leading our around for rogue and uh, and then, yeah, that’s how we kind of blasted off and did that. So, so, okay. Michael Bay, right? So massive director. What, what draws him to you? I mean, because he’s somebody who could work with anybody just about right.
And I’m thinking some parallels, because a lot of his movies kind of look like could be video games. Right. I don’t know if that’s the, uh, the draw to, to, to have a virtual reality out virtual reality arm there, but like, how do you one, okay. Say somebody sets up the meeting that’s hard in itself, but how do you, how do you pitch somebody like Michael Bay to, to partner with you?
Well, it was a very warm, close connection of my co-founder Pete. So they’ve worked together at Amblin and Dreamworks and Pete went on to produce the call of duty franchise, modern warfare series and ghosts. And so you’re exactly right. Michael Bay’s movies look a lot like a call of duty game and vice versa.
Call of duty game looks a lot like a Michael Bay movie with the explosions and, you know, Kevin Spacey acting or whatever, right. I mean, they’re the quality of, and the interactivity of both of those mediums are really coming together. And that that’s, what’s really interesting right now that the space, you know, when we go into super world kind of talk more about that, but really, you know, what’s happening is, is that across entertainment?
Content, whether you’re talking about Quimbee on mobile phones or, you know, Netflix and what they’re doing, um, we’re going from linear entertainment into interactive entertainment and that those two, you know, examples and Michael Bay movie or call of duty franchise. Um, you know, really demonstrate to anyone who’s been playing call of duty for years are watching really awesome CG, you know, feature films realizes those assets are the same, you know, and, and, and so that’s kind of the, you know, the, the, the confluence of both of those mediums and the opportunities.
And so. A filmmaker like Bay or, you know, James Cameron or Steven Spielberg or any, any of the, any of those guys, um, really can say, Hey, you know what? This video game is interesting. And instead of making it an afterthought right of, Hey, we’re going to do a big movie and then, Hey, let’s just make a video game, you know, just to satisfy people want to play a video game.
That video game actually could become, you know, easily, much, much bigger than the movie itself, as you probably know, you know, video games, you know, they’re opening weekend is, can be multiple times the opening weekend of a movie in a big movie. And so the opportunity to be able to create new original content that is meant to go across all those mediums and not as an afterthought.
So not as like had it happened before, which is you make a video game, like, Hey, let’s just make a movie about this video game or. Let’s you know, this movie does really well. Let’s just make a video game about it, but it becomes a concerted effort to do that at the highest levels across all those mediums.
That’s what rogue initiatives about. I also think the world’s gotten a lot smaller there. You know, you got, you know, you do your movies, not just one. Marketplace has not just United States. You know, you might be probably Michael Bay, you know, China would is probably massive. And then also you have the video game there too.
Um, so it just makes sense to integrate, not just, um, you know, I think it also heads hedges their bet, right? If we’re making this big movie, we can also also push out a big video game and get a different market market with it. My next question is around. Co-founders right. So, you know, I met this great, great.
Co-founder got, he’s got all these connections, but what’s your approach because a lot of people talk about co-founders are like, you know, are you ready to marry them type of thing? You need to really love this person. How do you know? Cause then you, and we’ll talk about, you have a co-founder for civil world too.
Um, what’s your approach to finding a co-founder? Do you have any tips or tricks or, um, any, uh, super negative experiences, anything right. Yeah, no, I think that’s a really awesome question. Um, because I think you’re a hundred percent right. That, you know, I think it’s a mix of a couple of things is like, do you, do you enjoy working with this person?
Uh, you know, you want, you know, first and foremost for me is, you know, and enjoying life and enjoying my day to day, um, You know, work, um, because if you don’t like it, then, you know, that’s just that for me would just be too painful. So, um, I have to really, really like it. And so that I would say that’s, that’s one factor I would say the other factor is really, you know, uh, is there, uh, a complimentary reason that, you know, when you’re meeting someone, maybe you’re really good at something and the other person, you know, lacks that area and vice versa.
And so. And that can be pretty obvious. Um, just based on, you know, understanding what the core strengths of someone is. Um, so I think that that is a really good factor. Um, I think you, uh, have to be really, you know, uh, good on the legal stuff. So, you know, make sure that you kind of. You know, get, get all that sorted.
Um, so that way you, um, are protected, you have equity, um, you’re able to kind of operate in a way that allows you to, um, you know, have a sense of security in terms of. Your, you know, ability to, to add value to the company, um, as you are creating value in that, you know, that comes from, you know, experience from VC and, you know, banking and other things where you kind of just want to make sure that you’re, you’re, you’re kind of setting up the company properly and you’re, you know, getting, you’re getting the.
The accretion that happens to the company’s value because you are a quote unquote co founder or, you know, a stakeholder in the company. Um, and so I think it’s kind of a matching process of all this stuff. I mean, I, you know, I think that, you know, there are ways to go and sign co-founders like co-founders meetups and stuff like that.
And, you know, I have heard of situations where people do do that. Um, I think in some, some ways it’s beneficial to find co-founders where you work already or people you’ve. Works with in the past. Um, so that’s always been a, uh, a good way of assigning co-founders. Um, and so I think it can happen a variety of ways, but I think you’re exactly right.
You definitely need to make sure that the people that you work with, um, you like, you know, um, you’re protected legally as well. So it’s kind of a combination of all those things and you got all those things and you, you gonna have, you know, you can’t like be afraid of like doing stuff, you know, like. Some people are like, Oh, I’m not going to do anything.
Cause like, I don’t know anyone and I don’t know a co-founder and so therefore I’m like restricted. So I think at the end of the day, you do have to meet people. You don’t know whether that’s a new investor or a co-founder or partner. Um, I think my, my, my philosophy on that is I have a very open, open heart, like open to learning, open to experiencing, you know, and as, as long as I can kind of keep building on my foundation of knowledge and experiences and.
That’s cool. I mean, I’m willing to try stuff and you know what, you know, I think that happens a lot when you’re starting a company too. Cause you’ll, you’ll meet other companies, you know, like, Hey, like let’s get to know each other let’s partner. Let’s like do this and that. And then you’re like, wow, this person’s cool.
Like I’d love to work with them. Or like, you know, and that’s also happens, you know, it happens to me is a lot of people just come to me and they’re like, Hey, rich. Like, yeah, you want to do this, you know, and I’m like, yeah, cool. I’d love to learn about it or hear about it. And you know, so I’m always down to do that too.
Sometimes it starts through like some kind of advisory relationship where, you know, people come to me and say, Hey, like, I’d love your advice on this. And so you’re kind of coming in through this kind of other way of like understanding this person and what they’re doing. And. And then that turns into a co-founder relationship.
So yeah, a lot of ways to go about it. I guess it sounds like, you know, one of your approaches, not even so much the co-founder, but just to be involved as to put yourself out there, say what you’re about, what you’re interested in. Um, I’m always a big believer in, you got to kind of put it out there. What you’re, what you want.
A lot of people are very worried about that and they’re closed and then. Nothing really comes their way. Right. Even just stuff for this podcast. You know, we, we met on the Austin startup week. I don’t think the guy was talking about podcasts, but don’t have this big mic, all this, and then like the podcast comes up and here we are, you know, so it’s always fun to, you got to put yourself out there.
Sure. Um, so let’s talk about super, super world, right? So this is AR social company with real estate. Why don’t you give us an overview of what it is first and then we’ll, and then let’s dive in, right? Yeah. Sure. Sure. So I’ll give you kind of the foundation story of it and kind of walk you through our vision.
So, um, you know, as I mentioned to you after, you know, starting rogue initiative, uh, it was pretty well-established, uh, in the VR AR space, you know, we do a lot of. Uh, VR content and rogue initiative, and we’re backed by a lot of the well-known VR, AR venture capital funds in Silicon Valley and globally. And so, you know, uh, very much in that space at this point.
And, um, you know, Pokemon go, came out and became this worldwide sensation as you know, and the whole world knows, right. It became this, uh, very interesting, um, platform. And, um, um, I got together, uh, with my co founder. His name is max wound now max and I had also worked in previously at the stealth company on the YouTube platform.
And, um, he’s a brilliant guy, a little bit about max and max. Co-founded expire and sold it to Viacom, but he’s done fizzles, sliver skit, and Toon star, all venture backed companies and sliver and tune star, both in the immersive space. And then previously he worked in Stephen Hawking’s department at Cambridge.
So he’s this like amazing, you know, genius programmer. And we, we basically just, you know, like really. We really liked each other and had a lot of respect for each other. And we’re very different, you know, back to the, the complimentary skills. Um, he’s a very hardcore programmer and I’m kind of, you know, a global kind of VC BD kind of background.
And, and we were both fairly excited about, you know, wouldn’t it be cool if we could. If we can’t build the next Pokemon, go to build a world, let’s build an immersive world where the next thousand, you know, AR companies gets built onto. So let’s build a world that was kind of the big vision of super world.
And so what is super world? So, you know, Darren, if I come to Austin and you’re not in town, you could say, Hey, rich, you know, I’m not around, but. Why don’t you check out my world, right? And I could walk around Austin as an example, and you’ve left me things there. You’d love to hologram of yourself somewhere.
You’ve left photos and videos in different places. You’ve left messages at your favorite restaurants about what I should eat and drink basically. Personalize the real world in augmented reality. Um, so you have a world. I have a world brands have the world, so, you know, Nike could put a shoe in Zilker park, a big Nike shoe, but Coca-Cola in the same place could put a big interactive Coca-Cola bottles.
Any spot in space could have an infinite number of items, depending on what world you’re looking at. These are all just filters on top of the real world. I have a world, you have a world brands out worlds. And so what I’ve described. It’s a combination of Pokemon go, which is an analogy for adding digital information to the real world meets four square was his analogy for data in this case, if we all have virtual interactive world, lots of data, right?
And then the third part is super world is monopoly. So, what does that mean? It means that we’ve taken the surface of the earth and we’ve divided it into 64 billion digital blocks. So each block covers a city block of land. So if you look at downtown, let’s say Zilker park. Okay. You got a bike. You know, where you bought a piece of property.
I think you buy a block of Zilker park and what that does is it get one you’re buying a digital asset. You’re buying what’s technically called an ERC seven 21 token. And that’s a unique collectible. It’s like a unique digital assets, like a baseball card or. Piece of art, you know, you can think of it that way, but the difference is, is because it’s on the blockchain, it’s programmable, right?
And so we can program it to give you a share of any of the revenue that occurs on that virtual block in augmented reality, advertising transactions, e-commerce digital commerce, data, analytics, gaming, anything that happens there that we can attract revenue to. And so essentially we’ve created a, you know, a immersive world on top of the real world that you can.
Buy and sell and own as well as a way for anyone creators, users, other developers to build on top of that world and whole ecosystem. So that’s what Superbowl. Yeah. So I think somebody might hear all that and get a little caught up on the, the filters area. And I kinda just came up with this one. You were talking about this.
Okay. So you were saying, okay, we can have. You know, Coca-Cola could be pushing a bunch of quote-unquote ads, but in a much more interactive way, Nike. And then, you know, let’s say where Zilker park ACL is going on and you have a couple, uh, alcohol companies, all this is happening. Right. And the way I just started that is like, well, that’s happening right now on TV as well, but we just changed the channel.
Right? So that’s the quote unquote filter is I’m watching NBC now and then CBS. So. My guess is just as it’d be kind of, cause you’re going to need that for the revenue model of it to make sense. You know, advertising has always given us so much more for free or for low cost because you know, they’re, they’re carrying the stick.
Right. But, um, is that kinda what you’re thinking there to where I could basically choose to be on a quote unquote Nike channel or X games channel that’s going to partner with red bull and a bunch of other companies. Yeah. So it’s a mix of not only, you know, potential interactive, immersive content that’s created by from brands.
And, you know, I think you’ve said it exactly right. Which is, you know, I think the advertising space is going to change from being, you know, content that interrupts your normal programming to being content that you might actually want to interact with. So car companies are coming out with digital versions of their car that you can look at and your living room, because you think it’s cool, right.
You know, the new cyber truck or, you know, whatever, if you could pull it up in your living room, maybe you’d actually want to go and check out what that looks like, do something cool to, to experience whether that’s an actual 3d object or an interactive game, even right. Or world that you can experience.
The idea is that, you know, So two things. One is that you have the optionality of being able to, again, change the channel or see anything that you want to see based on what your interests are. And again, they don’t have to be, you know, again, um, add vehicles. They could be, you know, educational. Pieces of interactive experiences cause you want to learn something or you just want to get a sense for the weather and you want to see it in a different form factor and not look at a 2d phone.
I think that the idea is, and again, back to the vision of super world is to improve your world, to improve your life, to enhance your life. And, you know, I think, you know, there’s documentaries like the social dilemma that have come out recently that made people question, you know, looking at a 2d screen all day and you know, is this sucking me in and you know, am I like to, and throw it into kind of what’s the next, you know, um, piece of content that I’m going to see.
And I think our vision is, is that your world is your world. And that filter that, you know, world that you occupy, you don’t have to have anything in it if you don’t want to. And, you know, it’s kind of like your iPhone I’m, I’m, I’m, you know, I’m a big believer in their philosophy on privacy and data and other things.
And, and so, you know, again, we want this content not barrage you with quote, unquote advertising, but really be this kind of permission to experience that you, if you want to see something cool, And you are interested in a certain topic. You don’t have to look at a video on your phone, you could experience it around you and you’re doing it because you actually want to experience that.
You know, I give an example of. You know, um, you know, like if you want to see, you know, something let’s say related to science, you know, it could be, you know, you want to see the planets or something. Right. And you, you look at the planets and maybe one of the planets there is actually, uh, you know, or the planet of the solar system you’re looking for in front of you in AR that’s actually a way of.
Telling you that there’s this TV show about the planet that’s on Netflix or something. Right. And so you’re like, wow. You know, they made this really cool solar system that I can learn about the planets and boom, if I really want to learn more about this, they have a show and I can watch it. So that kind of just like this.
You know, other way of kind of informing you, educating you and, you know, entertaining you, helping you communicate, but all of it’s very native. So I dunno if that that helps elucidate path. It does. And I was listened to, uh, your, the podcast with Javier Mercedes, the passionate progress show. I was actually on his show a long time ago as well.
And he’s been on my show too. So yeah, you’ll have a lot of fun, lots of energy in his intro. Uh, but, uh, One example you gave there. And my apologies if I don’t do this well, but it’s like say Nike could be a company that would, um, similar to Pokemon go could like hide a bunch of these limited edition shoes everywhere in the AR world.
Right. And you’d have to go find them and then you get a prize or something at the end of it. And I think that’s really interesting that you could, you know, have these kind of Easter egg hunts as it’s just one example. But I think that’s a lot of fun. And, and me as a marketer, because I’m big into marketing is I love that we can get a little bit, I, well, I dislike the push at you advertising model.
That’s been so been around for so long and I would much rather have it in more interactive advertising model. Even if I reach only a 10th of the people, I’d much rather be like the people that actually want to interact with the brand. Right. As opposed to just. Trying to spray and pray and hope, hope a couple of people actually like my ad, um, So how did, how did, how did super world start?
And I know you met, you got a co-founder and all that that you’ve worked with before, but you know, how does, how does one just say I’m going to do it AR real estate VR company that, you know, like it’s, it’s quite out there right. A little bit, when you think about it, that way. Yeah. Yeah. You know, it, it kinda like, you know, back to, you know, getting on a plane and going to Ukraine, it’s kinda like one of those, one of those things, um, yeah.
You know, we were both, again, very passionate about augmented reality and virtual reality and, you know, uh, just kind of really knew kind of the ins and outs of that space from. You know, co-founding other companies, as I mentioned, max and I backgrounds and, um, you know, we, we, what happened was in 2017, um, Apple started getting this real big push into augmented reality.
So it was, uh, you know, there’s a few. Different inflection points that we’re riding upon right now. Um, those inflection points are number one, Apple and Google recreated SDK software development kits, um, related to developers, being able to build augmented reality content. Um, this happened in 2017, in 2018.
So, you know, we were right on that. That was very interesting for us. Um, the other thing is, is, you know, the reason Pokemon go could grow that fast is, you know, there’s now 3.5 billion mobile phones that are AR enabled soon to be 6 billion mobile phones. And that’s a real big push. So Apple’s adding LIDAR, you know, they just add it to the iPad, the new iPhone’s coming out.
We’ll have LIDAR and, and, you know, so that’s really interesting. So that’s coming in as another wave. Another wave that is happening is what’s called the AR cloud. The AR cloud is technology companies like Google and Apple and Niantic and magic leap and Microsoft, they’re all spending billions of dollars to be able to identify the space here around us.
Right. And so you can actually pinpoint this spot versus this spot. You know what I mean? Um, and so that’s what the AR cloud allows you to do. And, you know, you, you take in, and then the other thing is glasses are coming out. So, you know, you can see on your iPhone, even in 2017, in 2016, people started feeling like, Hey, you know what.
I have the newest iPhone. I don’t need to upgrade to another iPhone because my iPhone is powerful enough. Right. And so you have all these tech companies like Apple and Google and others who are like, you know, we need a new form factor. Um, you know, Oculus got purchased by Facebook and VR started really kind of developing and, you know, AR um, you know, Kind of started off with Google glass and other, other kinds of things that snap is doing with their spectacles.
Um, and you know, those other companies started realizing, Hey, there’s an opportunity here to create a new form factor. Um, that’s going to be even better than mobile phones that everyone has, right. Smartphones. And so you’ve take all of those together. And this was in the time period. 2017, 2018. And we started thinking about the immersive world around us and thinking that, Hey, you know what, if we are moving into this immersive world, who can we monetize the space in front of us is everything.
If everything is going to be in front of us and you’re going to be three dimensional, what happens to all this screen space? You know, like, you know, the screen face on your mobile phone or your computer screen. You know, it has different content there, but what about here? And how can we kind of think about that?
And so I’m a big fan of Peter teal and zero to one and, and, and, and, you know, uh, read a lot about these types of concepts. And so that was something that was really intriguing to us. And I think with COVID, uh, you know, uh, becoming a, uh, a forcing factor for people to go more virtual now it’s becoming even more understandable.
I’d say. Pre COVID people are like, Hmm, you’re building a virtual world. How interesting now it’s like, Oh man, you’re building a virtual world. I get it. You know? So if you see that happening, do you fear that you’re too early? You know, I, you know, that’s always something that people, um, you know, need to be very mindful of when they’re building new technologies.
Right. Um, you don’t want to be too early and you want to time it. Right. And so I would say that, you know, there’s four kind of inflection points that I mentioned to you. Right. So. The, you know, the mobile handsets, the SDKs, the hardware, the AR cloud. And now COVID, you got five inflection points, right? You got Tim cook going on stage and saying, Hey, we’re coming out with a new pair of glasses.
You see all the activity, what they’re doing in terms of buying companies, Mark Zuckerberg, just announced classes are coming out with Ray-Bans next year. And so now I don’t think we’re too early anymore and it’s happening. So we’re, you know, and we’re seeing that we’re seeing a lot of interest in what we’re doing.
And, um, you know, I think, uh, you know, I think it’s palpable, um, that people understand it. You know, my mom had no idea what super world was years ago. Like she thought I was like, you know, you know, on drugs or something, like, what are you talking about? Then I remember this year, she was like, Hey, what’s going on in super world?
Like, she kind of understood the, you know, the concept of it. So, um, and so that’s interesting, you know, it’s like, okay, she’s bringing it up then. Yeah. It’s definitely, you know, prime time, I think. So five years from now. Right. Uh, where do you see whether your, however, you want to take the question yourself for the company?
Where do you see, where do you want to be? Right. Yeah. You know, um, you know, I think that it’s a good question because as we are evolving as a company, as we’re working on products and kind of continuing to figure out, um, how we can evolve, I think are our main, the main ways that we think about this is first of all, we’re on the blockchains.
We’re not going anywhere. You know, your, your kids can buy super world to say, you know, it’s kind of goes back to, you know, Bitcoin, you, you might believe in Bitcoin, you don’t believe in Bitcoin. There’s only 21 million of them and people are buying them. You know what I mean? And so you can either choose to have one or not have one, that’s it, right.
Same thing here. So super world is around. We’re not going anywhere on the blockchain. We’re blockchain agnostic. So we’re on a theory right now, but we’ll be on other blockchains as well. We’re distributed, you know, we’re decentralized. Um, and, uh, so in, in one way, you know, that’s on the, on the real estate or the virtual key stakeholder kind of virtual land aspect of what we’re doing, it’s really about, you know, getting users on board, um, helping people understand what we’re doing, understand, um, why they would buy super world.
We’re seeing really good progress there. So, you know, our average paying user buys. Um, that 10 to 15 plots spends about 400 bucks on average. So it just means to us that people, when they, when they, when they get it, they like get it. And they, and they were very excited about it. You know, you know, as you know, I’m just buying a plot of land, you know, people who buy a lot and they could buy different places, had this connection, you know, and it’s very viral story too.
Like they tell everyone they know it’s just like, Blows their mind, like what, you know, you’re selling virtual land. So on the virtual land, I would say that, you know, we want to continue to, to, to sell and, and to get more and more stakeholders involved. We have this hashtag team super world now, and it’s just basically, you know, everyone who, who owns land or who’s, who’s kind of, uh, who believes in the mission of building a world.
And so that’s pretty exciting. So we’ll continue to do that. On on the, on the product front, which again, our, our philosophy is, you know, we want to build this seamless world. So, you know, other applications can build on super world. We have our own applications. We have a mobile app that’s coming out, um, at the end of the month.
Uh, we’ll we’ll do like a soft launch and then do more of it. You know, serious launch of that, um, later, and it’s gorgeous and, you know, we’ll, we’ll kind of get that into market, but we’re also working on other applications as well. Um, that also get people into virtual virtuality. Right. And we’re seeing that happen already.
Right? So now most people don’t leave home in our own zoom calls. Well, you know, we have applications for those people. Like things they can do when they’re on zoom calls or ways to meet each other on video calls and they don’t have to be all AR so I think there’s a, there’s another kind of way of looking at this.
It doesn’t have to be AR it just has to be happening on the real world somewhere. And, and so there’s a lot we can do there. And, and, you know, again, I had a couple of calls in the last day or two about virtual avatars, you know, companies coming to us and saying, Hey, look, you know, we make virtual avatars.
We’d love to have them in Superbowl. Yes, definitely. You know, so we’re open with super world in terms of the ecosystem, in terms of supporting the ecosystem in terms of, you know, the companies that are creating cool stuff. Um, and so I would say the answer to your question is over the next five years, we want to really work on, you know, providing, um, users with this awesome experience, integrating with a variety of products, building our own products, getting people on the real estate real estate side to become key stoic stakeholders on the platform.
Um, we’re. You know, adding a lot to that platform as well. So people can, you know, do a lot of buying and selling and other things. We have a guy named Stephen Wolfram is one of the top AI computer scientists in the world who’s joined us. And you know, one of the reasons he’s very interested in what we’re doing is because of the fact that the virtual land itself has a lot of.
You know, uh, ability to kind of, uh, you know, have this kind of connection with the physical worlds, right? So if you buy a piece of virtual land somewhere and there’s going to be a mall there now next year, that virtual land will go up in value. And so I have this hypothesis, uh, which is, uh, you know, a virtual block and super world, uh, will very soon be worth more than the physical block that it sits on.
Right. Um, you know, I believe that to be true. Right. And, and, you know, I think we’re already even seeing that happen with people repricing their real estate and super world. Right. Um, potentially higher than that block that it sits on depending on where it is. Right. So, yeah, I think it’s very exciting.
There’s an evolution of all these products and lots of com and, you know, I think it’s really getting smart people on board. Uh, who can help us and people who are passionate about this, uh, cause ultimately, you know, Darren, we want to improve the world. We want to give people this, you know, life enhancing, virtual experience that benefits them, but doesn’t take away from their reality as well.
Right. It enhances the reality. That’s the goal, but you got to think about. Phones in 2010, just 10 years ago. And you know, what, where are we going to be in 2030, just 10 years. I mean, it’s not, it’s a short period of time, a massive difference. Uh, I do, you know, you’re involved in a lot of different things, right.
Uh, and so I think, I guess, do you have any routines or what’s a normal day in the life? Like how do you, how do you, how do you be, you know, anything that helps with your productivity levels? I guess. Yeah. Yeah. I know a big time. Um, you know, I’m a big fan of, you know, Tim Ferris and dr. Peter Attia and, you know, uh, Jocko and all these guys, you know, in this, in this group that you’re probably familiar with.
And, um, you know, I read quite a bit, uh, you know, Um, re re from rate. I love Ray Dalio and principles rereading a book by Stephen Schwarzman, um, uh, Blackstone. And so I have, you know, from my background, I have kind of this, you know, it’s kinda multi-varied interests. So one thing I like to do is read or learn and it’s audible now, basically.
And so a lot of what I do is I wake up in the morning. I go for a run. Um, and I’m on audible. And so I’ll just like run, uh, and you know, so working out it’s like really important to me. Um, and then I’ll go list, um, at some point during the day. Um, so that’s like super important and like really I’d love that.
And I enjoy doing that. And, you know, it’s time periods in my life when I haven’t been able to do that. Like maybe like know hadn’t had a gym or I’m in the Ukraine and it’s like negative 35 degrees or something. And I’m like, Oh man. You know, um, you know, I try not to have those periods happen that long.
So that’s a big thing is I’ll wake up and go work out. I’m also big into the whole like Bulletproof coffee kind of thing. Um, so I’ll have a Bulletproof coffee. I’ll do like intermittent fasting. Um, and again, this is all like dr. PETA Tia, and I’ve been a fan of his from like 2012. Um, so, you know, kind of been in that stuff for awhile.
Um, and yeah. You know, I think that’s important. And then I think I also try to meditate. Um, I think that’s really cool and I’m Indian. So, you know, uh, that’s kind of like come from my like background, like my, you know, growing up. I, I remember when I was like four years old or five, maybe this was like in the early eighties.
Um, my mom took me to yoga class. And I was like a five-year-old and I remember I’d tell my friends like, Oh, I went to yoga today and they were like, what’s yoga. It didn’t exist. No one knew what that was in the early eighties, you know? And so I kind of grew up with some of these things. So I’d say like, yoga is like kind of, you know, very cool.
We, we just spent some time in Bali and Thailand, so we just moved to the Bay area. But, you know, before Austin, we were living in Bali and Thailand cause I’m nomadic and, um, No, it’s my, my family and I, and, uh, we’re really into, um, uh, you know, yoga and meditation and, you know, all, all the kinds of stuff that happens in a boot or, um, we lived in this other place called Island, which is beautiful on the beach, but it’s, it’s part of that community.
Right. And so I think, you know, part of back to the, like the daily routines and stuff is I think, you know, as I’ve been kind of in these different. Kind of communities or different kind of areas of knowledge. I think even traveling, I try to pick up different things that are important to me and, you know, like learn from people and those kind of get integrated into my daily routine.
If that makes sense. Yeah. Kind of what I hear through that through my own lens is one. With your body pay attention, right? Whether it’s food that’s held happening, you’re working out, you know, what’s working for you. And then with your mind is the same thing, pay attention, but also be, uh, up for new things and prior prioritize some of it.
Because if you don’t make time to do that stuff, you just you’ll never have time if you, if you don’t do it. And I think a lot of people forget that, that we’ve got to make some time for ourselves, not just our jobs and our, and other people. Um, Uh, all these things you’ve done. What’s, what’s one of your favorite memories related to, to all the, your, to your career so far, so far.
Um, you know, yeah, that’s, that’s a good question. I, you know, I think it’s, it’s an evolution, so I’m always looking to create new and new memories and new experiences. Um, and you know, part of this nomadic kind of travel is to. Oh, you know, like people always ask, you know, Hey, so what’s your favorite place to live?
Right. And, and, you know, I like them all, like I like a lot of places and they’re all really cool and we live on a planet and I guess this kind of goes to super world. Right. So it’s a world, you know? And so I think that, you know, similarly into that question, um, you know, there’s, there’s so many, um, kind of cool things that happen, um, in your, in one’s life.
And, and some of those are. Business-related some of those are just life-related. Some of those are like travel related or, or whatever. And, and so it’s hard to really pin down one or two, but, uh, I would say the philosophy of always trying to look for, or just kind of experience and being open to.
Experiencing things. But I would say that, you know, you know, moving in New York was pretty awesome. I always recommend anyone to live in New York city if they can. That’s a great, uh, you know, uh, place for ideas and meeting very dynamic people. I would say, moving to Eastern Europe and kind of opening up to.
You know, realizing that you are not in whatever that is, you know, depending on your country, you know, moving somewhere else, I’d say that’s important. So, you know, I studied abroad after college, which kind of opened up my mind to, Hey, I can live overseas and this is cool and you can do stuff. And then again, I would say is, um, you know, trying different industries.
Uh, so, you know, I went from, you know, again, Surgical operating room, you know, taking out eyes for transplant surgery, which is totally different than being on wall street or being in the Hollywood or, you know, Starting a world. So whatever it is. Right. So it’s kinda like, um, you know, I think being, uh, to these different things I think is in an of itself, you know, switching industries or whatever is kind of memorable cause you, you start off as a student.
I think that, that is again, back to the nomadic thing where you’re always open to learning, you know, kind of keep this mentality. I’m a big fan of Tony Robbins. So I would say if, if, if, uh, you know, some of the experiences I’ve had with him, um, Uh, it had been pretty amazing, you know, date with destiny is like this super cool experience that he does.
There’s a movie about it on Netflix, but I, you know, been, uh, you know, a fan of Tony since I was like 18 years old. So, uh, you know, that, that kinda kind of opens your mind about things and what you can do or what you should do, or you know, how you can improve yourself and constantly never improve constantly.
And never ending improvement, you know, things like that. So I’m always about that. And so that’s kind of this open mind about hopefully the next new Austin experiences coming now. So that’s the, that’s the idea. So this is amazing too. So I sent my viewpoint. And any regrets along the way. Yeah. You know, that’s also, you know, I think that you, I guess if you examine your life, you can always think about, Hey, should I have done this or should I have done that?
Or maybe this would have been better. Like, should I have not even done this other thing or whatever. Right. And, you know, I think that that is, uh, potentially a mentality that, um, can, can be problematic. I think if you even go down that. Point of reasoning, because I think, you know, if you think the other way, which is like, Hey, you know, anything in life, like in help you learn about how to, you know, deal with the situation or growth or evolution.
And, um, you know, like maybe, you know, a more spiritual way of thinking about it is like everything that happens. Is like a lesson or, you know, something that you needed to kind of endure. And so again, attitude is everything and, you know, so I don’t think that you can maintain that attitude. There’s a great book called, um, the, uh, uh, the, something, the inner soul it’s by Michael singer.
Who’s great author. Um, I forget the name. It’s something soul, uh, I’m blanking, but Michael singer has written several books, great books, one called surrender experiment. Um, which is awesome. And then, uh, the other one about soul, I forget it. This book is kind of an Incapsula the answer that you’re asking, which is, you know, you, you want to kind of let these like memories or regrets or whatever pass through you, and they’re called some scars.
Right. Which is all, you know, Hinduism in Indian kind of culture as well. So, you know, I think that is the kind of the philosophy that I would, I would espouse for, you know, things that you might think are like not a good thing or not that, that thing. Cause you know, um, there’s another guy, Joe Dispenza, who has this other book called supernatural, which is really cool.
And it’s all about how we’re all kind of, you know, uh, we’re all connected. We’re all part of the universe. And basically, you know, you can create. And it’s all, you know, again, physics and, and so some of these things, if you kind of retain kind of what’s so-called regrets, you’re basically kind of connecting yourself with something, right.
That is, um, A memory or something physical. And if you don’t have those things, then you can slow and kind of make stuff happen. So I don’t know if this sounds a little goofy, but this is, I mean, stuff that I strongly believe in. Uh, you know, I think that’s kind of a philosophy that I live by. Was very similar to what I was saying earlier about, you got to control control your mind, cause those are gonna weigh you down.
Those thoughts and negative thoughts is gonna make it harder to make other decisions. And, um, you know, and I, I just a big believer that you get you, you could get a get control what comes in and out of your head, right? So you, you should at least pay attention to that and try your best. So my last question I asked to in every podcast is how would you like to be remembered.
Yeah, that’s a really good question. I, you know, I, uh, you know, um, want to, uh, be someone that, um, really, uh, I think my kind of values are I’d love to create. Uh, and so again, that is, uh, something that I enjoy doing, whether it’s companies or, you know, uh, other ideas or things that I have are. Um, you know, are there other kinds of things?
So creation creation is just really something that I, I I’d love to, you know, keep creating. Uh, and, and, and hopefully those things, uh, are, you know, are, you know, the goal is to impact and improve the world and have a positive impact on people in the world. So that’s really important to me. Um, So I think that, and then, you know, again, uh, just enjoying my life and, and being very positive about, um, it just being, making sure that I’m doing things that make, you know, they’re fulfilling, um, to, you know, my friends and family and, and.
You know myself and, and, uh, so enjoying, enjoying so someone who enjoys life and, and, uh, so I’d say those three things again, or, you know, being able to always create, impact the world in a very positive way and, um, to enjoy, enjoy my life and do things that are possible. And, uh, and to enjoy that with my family and friends.
So that was kind of the three kind of values to have. I love it. Well, rich was a pleasure to have you on the establishing your empire podcast. I really appreciate your time and a fantastic message. And I really appreciate it. Yeah. So much. I really appreciate being here and looking forward to doing more and, and, uh, you know, I’m so happy that we connected and thanks again for the time.
All right, man. Cheers. Thanks.