Behind the Scenes — a Glimpse into Bright Union
Before Bright Union, founders Michiel and Kiril implemented a blockchain solution in a traditional Dutch insurance company together. Later, these two visionary entrepreneurs merged forces, bringing together expertise in blockchain and insurance respectively. Their idea was to build a user friendly and easy to understand concept, without a middle man. Creating something made by people for people. In a time where there were seven decentralized insurance projects under development and with the market being so miniscule compared to traditional insurance, DeFi showed significant growth. Following the motto, it’s always too early until it’s too late, Bright Union was born.
“It’s always too early until it’s too late — Kiril Ivanov”
The Bright Union team is forged to drive the innovation and growth taking place in the decentralized crypto coverage market. A dynamic and talented core team and advisors are building a brand with a crystal clear vision for the future of crypto coverage.
Many of our core team members have shared experience developing solutions in emerging economies to create financial inclusion. I’d like to introduce to you a diverse group of experts in their respective fields collaborating with a prevalent passion. Achieving equal opportunities and safe access to financial services.
Let’s hear from the team
KIRIL IVANOV (Founder & Technical Lead)
Some might say Kiril forewent his childhood dreams of becoming an astronaut. However, he’s now a driving force exploring the blockchain space, pushing the limits of what can be, and utilizing the potential decentralization has to transform society.
Kiril, one of the Bright Union founders, has 20 years of development experience comprising 15 years in finance, 10 years in the insurance space and the last five in blockchain and decentralized finance. Before starting Bright Union, Kiril provided blockchain powered solutions for innovative digital insurance. He’s been highly interested in the growing DeFi space for years, where decentralized networks transform old financial products into trustless and transparent protocols that run without intermediaries. He believes there is a synergy to be found between Decentralized Insurance and Decentralized Finance. You can fix one with the help of the other. This is how the idea of Bright Union came about. Community governed insurance, a concept as old as the first human settlements, brought back to life with trustless and transparent technology.
Traditionally, consumers value insurance as a low touch and low interest subject. But this does not mean this has to be this way. With the birth of Bright Union, Kiril and Michiel aim to pave the way for users to better understand and accept this new form of insurance.
MICHIEL SLOOTWEG (Founder & Advisor)
Michiel, one of Bright Union’s founders, has a long history in corporate finance, business administration and general management. Throughout his career he has developed and maintained networks in the insurance sector, which he’s able to leverage upon while forecasting future ideas for the crypto coverage space.
Managing all aspects of insurance, as well as growing startups to scale-ups are Michiel’s specialties in his role as business advisor, ensuring all areas of the business are properly covered. With a passion for building and developing companies, Michiel loves being able to work on the edge of new business models and technology through Bright Union. When asked what excites him about Blockchain technology, his response was “Blockchain removes the middleman. It creates transparency, efficiency and numerous new business models. It is just very cool!”
When Michiel was asked which problem he would love to be able to solve, his response not only speaks for his character but also his vision for the future of the industry, “I would create transparent supply chains on blockchain, enabling us to track where everything comes from. It will not only make the world a more sustainable place, but we will also be able to insure the different steps in the value chain.”
CHRISTIAN VAN PARIDON (Operational Lead)
Christian stated his career in the legal field where he practiced law in financial markets, M&A and financial capital investments. After which, he was a strategy and financial consultant at Deloitte for startups and scaleups. He now works as a freelance consultant providing assistance to startups, scaleups and small businesses in respect of growth, strategic and/or financial queries.
With four years of experience as a crypto investor, and expertise in tokenomics and decentralized governance, combined with his background in scaling startups and scale-ups to the next phase, Christian is the perfect match for his role as the operational lead in the Bright Union team. Christian can be described as a fixer — he gets shit done — his role is very diverse as he wears many hats: overall strategy, business and partnership development, guiding the investment round & investor relations and additionally he oversees the aspects of each department, making sure all internal processes run smooth.
Christian loves being a part of a mission to combine principles of traditional insurance with a decentralized aggregator to achieve what he believes will be decentralized insurance on steroids. Although he had dreams of becoming a doctor before deciding consulting, whenever anyone is in trouble, he’s the first on the scene!
JORRIT KOOI (Business Lead)
Jorrit is a key player in Bright Union, leading and advising the strategic direction of the project. His years of work experience revolving around working with investors, banking and financial advisory led him to his role as business lead. Although Jorrit has more experience in the area of banking and insurance advising rather than in blockchain, he sees so much opportunity in the market for decentralized advancements. Jorrit has watched developments from afar and is excited to play his part in transforming traditional sectors.
He loves the team of individuals he works with at Bright Union. In his own words when asked about Bright Union he responded by saying “ Not only are we able to build teams that deliver quality under strict time constraints, but we have fun doing it- this is the ultimate goal for anyone!”
STEVEN GILLIS (Product Lead)
Corporate consultant turned tech-nerd. He started his career as a strategy consultant for a tier-1 firm. In the search for adventure, he went to Africa to build a digital healthcare ecosystem, enabling 4 million users to take their first steps towards health insurance. He later started coding which sparked his passion for technology and is now spending his evenings working towards his Masters degree in Software Engineering. For his studies he is working on a scientific paper on decentralized approval of insurance claims.
Growing up he was unsure of what he wanted to do career-wise, other than to do something that makes him happy while learning and growing. Steven’s role in Bright Union is quite fitting to this as a few years ago the blockchain, as well as the role of product management, were nonexistent.
Steven regards his position in the Bright team as a huge opportunity to be a part of dreaming big and working hard in the space of blockchain. In his own words “How often in your life do you have the chance to witness the birth of a new industry up close.” He believes DeFi has the potential to break down institutional barriers in the finance industry, creating room for transparency and inclusiveness, allowing equal opportunity to get involved.
CYNTHIA DE WOLF (Marketing Lead)
Cynthia is a tech enthusiast with +10 years of marketing experience and an interest in psychology and consumer behaviour. She gets energized by marketing innovative concepts and scaling emerging ideas. Cynthia leads the marketing with drive, aiming to increase acceptance of the masses.
“People don’t like change and disruptive ideas always come with resistance from the crowd. I see it as an interesting challenge to make topics such as blockchain & insurance sexy in order to tear down resistance and accelerate mass adoption.”
She acquired the lean mindset in the social good sector and loves helping startups with growth as a freelancer. She has successfully helped projects with fundraising and growth strategies and since 2017, Cynthia has been involved in branding and promotion for blockchain projects.
The part she likes most about the blockchain industry is the abundance of risk takers; visionaries who truly believe in the potential of decentralized consensus as an avenue for knowledge, wealth and power distribution, driving the industry forward, despite all the FUD and the bears on the road.
ANN DVORKINA (UI Developer)
Ann plays her part in contributing to the Bright vision as a user interface developer. Her work experience in both front- and back-end development, along with her background in consumer psychology has equipped her perfectly for this position.
‘Blockchain pushes humanity forward and raises it to the next level’. Ann is excited about working in the decentralization space, diving deeper into expanding her knowledge everyday. She is inspired by the team she works with at Bright Union, a group of professionals in their field who are motivated, enthusiastic and always ready to share their knowledge.
As a trained psychologist working in the tech space, Ann is passionate about neuro linguistic programming. When asked if she could solve any problem in the world, her response was ‘I would teach people how to manage their mind in order to be happier, believe in themselves and find something that inspires them to go out and achieve this goal.’
KENNETH MWANGI (Developer)
Kenneth, a passionate and experienced software engineer, takes care of Bright Union smart contract integrations and UI. His experience in both blockchain as a smart contract developer and the insurance industry building insurance software in Africa, led to his work with Bright Union.
Kenneth is excited about working with a team of individuals equally passionate about blockchain and its ability to disrupt and advance multiple industries at the same time. When asked about blockchain technology, his response was simple, “In just a few years, we won’t understand how we ever operated without it”.
So there you have it.. This is the team setting the stage for executing the Bright Union vision. It started off purely as a developer-led project. Now Bright Union is a fully fledged team who just completed a successful IDO and is tirelessly working towards the main-net launch.
Today, Bright Union is being made and governed by this team. Tomorrow it will be governed by the community.
You can become part of this exciting and growing movement by joining the community and becoming a decentralized insurer.
Interested in being part of the Bright Union team? We’re looking for a solidity developer eager to jump onboard.
About Bright Union
Bright Union is building the world’s leading aggregator and accelerator for DeFi crypto risk markets. Our mission is to make the crypto risk markets work. On our Decentralized Crypto Coverage Platform, our community can compare and buy coverage, stake and earn by covering the community and last but not least join the Bright Union staking pool.
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