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Unlocking Web3: An Interview with UpLift DAO COO Irina Berezina

Irina UpLift

Web3 is exploding. 

To spearhead a movement while keeping pace with its dynamic growth is not everyone’s game. 

Meet Irina Berezina, the COO of UpLift DAO. A business veteran with 10+ years of experience in  building high growth projects. 

 She has been helping more people onboard Web 3 through lucrative projects since 2021. 

Recently, she sat down with acclaimed crypto lawyer and entrepreneur Irina Heaver at the AIBC Summit, where UpLift was awarded the ‘Accelerator of the Year’ title. Irina Berezina talks about her journey with UpLift DAO and how the community is changing fundraising as we know it. 

Here is a wrap-up of the conversation.

A DAO of business angels 

UpLift is a crypto DeFi fundraising platform that helps ambitious projects get off the ground and cross their milestones with the help of a dedicated community. The platform hosts IDOs (Initial DEX Offerings) for projects from an array of crypto sectors, including security technology, GameFi, and NFTs. However, the support is not limited to launches. UpLift extends long-term assistance to projects through its incubator and accelerator programs:

“Lots of time when projects are looking for a launchpad, they are looking at how quickly previous IDOs have been sold out. I think that only shows short-term commitment. At UpLift, once we launch you, that’s not where we are going to stop. We are going to help you accelerate your growth further. The community will be still involved through community incentive programs and social media activities.”

“We have a very good system in place regarding investing periods to avoid token dumping. And we are trying to get these projects as early as possible to make sure that they have robust tokenomics,” she elaborates. 

Decentralised Autonomous Organisations, or DAOs as they are fondly called, have shown the world what crypto communities are capable of. Here, the community of stakeholders makes decisions, rather than a few people who sit on the top. The democratic organisational structure helps direct the project in everyone’s best interests. There is no room for corruption, fraud, or mismanagement, thanks to the transparent make-up of DAOs. 

If the governance is decentralised, what is the role of a leader in a DAO?

“Some projects come with really cool, creative ideas. For someone who has been in the industry for a long time, it might be easy to understand in a few seconds. But for someone who is new to crypto, it could be quite a complicated concept. They would need to see it from a different angle. That’s what I help the community with.”

Unless people know what a project is about and how it can benefit them, growth is hard to come by. Irina’s innate ability to break down complex concepts has expanded UpLift DAO into a global community. 

At UpLift, Irina bridges the gap between people and projects. 

The community is at the heart 

One of the key highlights of the launchpad is the active involvement of the community in decision-making. This is facilitated through an online voting system.

“We’re using a third-party platform for voting. Initially, it crashed down because of the large number of people trying to vote. It was fixed fairly quickly, but it is an amazing sign. I loved it.”

Crypto users are bombarded with new projects and tokens everyday, and it can be difficult to keep them consistently engaged. To tackle this, UpLift has multiple community programs that incentivize users for their contributions.

“We’re working on a community ambassador program. We are trying to come up with something which a lot of people will benefit from. It will cover as many people as possible from various sectors. We’re taking our time with it, so I can’t share more details right now. But it will be announced pretty soon.”

A leap of faith 

Irina Berezina, like many of us, was looking for a big change during the covid-induced lockdown. That was when Ms. Heaver approached her with a job offer at UpLift DAO.  Although new to crypto, the unwavering optimism of the community encouraged her to take a leap of faith. 

“I was a bit bored with the conservative industries, I was looking for something very exciting, something very new, something more inspirational. The very interesting part of the industry is how ambitious everyone is. You always have to be on top of things. You learn something new every day. It’s always a consistent challenge for my brain and I love it!”

Keeping up with a 24×7 industry

This is what Irina has to say when asked about the challenges of working in the crypto market, which is open day and night, with things evolving superfast. (And you can always expect a call at 3 AM!)

“I want things to move on quickly, I want to see progress, and that’s what makes me get involved in crypto. When you really enjoy something, it kind of radiates from you.”

Irina quickly ascended the steep learning curve demanded by the industry. What resources does she suggest to people who are just starting out?

“The obvious one is you go online and search for whatever terms you don’t understand. But you won’t find very deep information, you won’t find many explanations. You need to dig further. It’s also helpful to speak to people and go to different conferences and summits.”

She emphasises the importance of interacting with new projects and understanding what they’re doing. Pitch decks are a great way to get a peek into new start-ups. While not all of them may make sense with jargon strewn around, you can always find out more from the team or the community. 

“There is DeFi, there is GameFi, there are all these puzzles you have to keep on looking for. It’s an ongoing process,” Irina says. 

Given that Irina has an MA in Business & International Relations and an IBM Professional Certificate in Data Science, the concern is well-founded: Is crypto-only for people with a remarkable track record?

“I think crypto is for everyone who is interested in new things. If you like creativity, if you like progress, if you like a variety of changes, this is the industry for you. You just need to be open-minded,” she reassures us.

Growing together

The rapid expansion of cryptocurrencies has a lot to do with global collaboration. UpLift DAO embraces the true spirit of Web3 by hosting a fair and decentralized system where projects and retail investors can grow together. It features a lottery-based IDO allocation system, as opposed to tier-based, for better representation from participants. 

Led by talented individuals like Irina Berezina with excellent track records, UpLift aims to nurture a diverse range of Web3 projects, and in turn, give financial freedom to more people.

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