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Proman Consulting | the queen's unicorn

the queen's unicorn

Charlotte airport, departure for Miami. Right next to it is the exit for Las Vegas. It is an understatement to say that you can feel the positive energy and spirit of the cities we go to. We found a couple of business and tech events in Miami and decided to go for 4 days, as they say, "business and leisure". On the first day, we have an event, and Thanos goes straight from the plane to meetings. 

Since the flight lasted approximately two and a half hours, we arrived in Miami around 9 in the morning, leaving us with the entire morning to explore the city. We decided to venture into the vibrant "Little Havana" district located nearby. As the name suggests, stepping into this area felt like being transported to Cuba. The streets were filled not only with tourists but also with a majority of Cubans and Dominicans. We came across shops where handmade cigars were crafted and sold, lively music and dance performances, vintage cars, and a rich display of Cuban history. After spending a few hours enjoying the neighborhood's charm, it was time to prepare for the final day of the tech event. 

Elena and I hailed an Uber to take us to the address provided, only to discover that we had arrived at the wrong location. It turned out that we needed to drive for another half an hour in the opposite direction of the city. We ended up being 45 minutes late for a two-hour event. Upon reaching the second location, we were greeted by a spectacle fleet of about 30 supercars lining the street. Among them were a Formula car, a monster truck, Teslas... Determined not to give up, Elena continued her quest for the event. As I watched her navigate the area, circling around in search of our destination, after approximately 15-20 minutes, she returned with information. It turned out that the initial address was indeed correct, hosting the business portion of the event, while the current address held the second part—a captivating exhibition and sale of multi-million dollar cars. 

The next morning, as we woke up, a notification appeared on our phones, "Tornado Watch." It seemed like Miami was determined to display all its diverse facets to us. The sky showcased a captivating blend of gray, black, white, and blue hues. We patiently waited for three hours, and while the situation began to calm down, the alert remained active. Eventually, some areas cleared up, and the rain subsided. The storm was gradually passing, so I mustered the courage to suggest moving forward. In about 15 minutes, I reached South Beach by Uber. The driver and I attempted to converse in Spanish, but neither of us fully understood each other. Nevertheless, when I arrived at the beach, it was crowded. Tornado? No tornado. Okay? Okaaay.

Regarding the remaining enjoyable moments in Miami, we won't delve into the specifics in this business-oriented blog. However, over the next two days, we relished our time at the beach, explored the vibrant nightlife, explored the mural district, visited various parks, and indulged in a wide array of delectable cuisines. The overall impression of Miami was akin to stepping into another world—an incredible place that, beyond its reputation for lavish entertainment and tourism, boasts a substantial capacity for serious business endeavors.


Last week, I attended numerous events, which provided me with valuable contacts and a couple of meetings. One particularly interesting was with Adam Buck, from RevTech Labs, a local Venture Capital firm. Being unfamiliar with communicating and conducting business with a VC, I decided to be upfront about my lack of experience and expressed my eagerness to learn. Specifically, I was keen on gaining insights into the electric car industry, which had captured my interest. Adam was incredibly approachable and agreed to connect with me via Zoom and explained basic things I need to know, walked me through everything about the car, he literally told me the next few steps and gave me an idea for the initial strategy, which I needed the most. He was also interested in hearing what my company does, so he pointed out the potential for investment there as well. One of the top 5 one-on-one meetings definitely in terms of learning, transferring knowledge, connecting further with contacts, setting some things up, analyzing... Extremely valuable.


In terms of more interesting ideas, I had a meeting with the owner of one sports device, specifically hardware that is placed on the arm muscle, which needs software. The device tracks muscle movements, which the software is supposed to process and advises basketball players on how to improve their shots. Great idea. Also, one very interesting place, especially because of aqos, is RK motors. Car salon. But not the most ordinary. The global top destination for collectors and fans of both oldtimers and high-performance tuned cars. Me at the car playground again, for the third time. Auto Centar Đorđević will be satisfied, but what I'm trying to catch is Pitch for aqos. We've been looking around for some time, I'm in my photo shoot a lot, and we get the company of one of the sales directors who shows us around and practically starts a tour here as well. At the end of the tour, I pitched a car, it turns out that his previous company bought another car company, and he gave his contact, asked for a presentation. We're rolling.


The last business visit while we are in Charlotte, and probably in the USA, AvidXchange. One of the three Unicorns from Charlotte. I have a feeling it's going to be really, really good. As we approach the location, the street is marked with flags and signs of this company. As we approach, I realize that this is actually a campus.

AvidXchange is a leading provider of payment automation and expense management software for companies and their suppliers. The value of this company is 2.2 billion dollars, and annually it processes 56 million transactions worth about 180 billion dollars. They have over 1600 employees.

We enter the company, go through the security check and the first thing I see is Steve Jobs over the entire wall and the sentence: Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower. A look to the left opens up a huge area with arcade games and an entertainment area, where I think about 30 people can have fun at any given time. We gather around Chris Elmore, one of the co-founders and Director of Partnership Development who was our host today. Everyone introduces themselves in a circle, it more or less acts like a quick one-minute pitch.

The AvidXchange tour begins, during which we have the opportunity to hear the most interesting stories and moments from their 23-year history, but also to learn the most important things. We stop by a large globe for short time, which is located in the center of a smaller hall, which further leads to a large gym and an exhibition area of various exhibits, gifts, memories.... On the globe are checks on the territories where they do business. I took a pelzer and a photo as a souvenir. One of the big stories is that NASDAQ rang its bell during its IPO, outside of its headquarters, right here in the Avid building. That was the moment they went public. Chris, meanwhile, during his 23 years with the company, quit his job four times without success. Thats it. It's his house.

We reach the part of the building that is an open type, with a large tribune in the middle, around which there is also accommodation, a huge wall with greenery and of course a huge screen, an open floor with offices and galleries. That's actually where Nasdaq held the ceremony. Chris gave us a presentation. He talked about how they built their startup on their mistakes in the first few years of business. The first three products during the first three years were failures. But they were persistent. They were confident in the essence of their idea, which they had to improve based on market demands. They had to be innovative. They understood the great added value and how to sell, when they started to grow, they were recognized by others and managed to raise a lot of investments. One of the more famous is Master Card and partners in the amount of 120 million in series f. He talked a lot about innovation, how to save and calculate time, but also what is the difference between what happens and what you sell.

It was the last day of work in Charlotte, but perhaps one of the best business visits or events. Talking to Chris is more than worth it, I would say worth its weight in gold, seeing the Unicorn from the inside... priceless!

The closing ceremony took place at Heist Brewery, where we gathered to celebrate the conclusion of our program. Alex and Kiristen from International House, who were responsible for organizing our stay and agenda in Charlotte, were instrumental in making our experience exceptional. They were constantly available to assist us with any needs we had and arranged visits to significant events and companies, connecting us with influential individuals in the business and entrepreneurship world. Moreover, the atmosphere was filled with incredible energy, warmth, and openness. In this more intimate setting, we received thoughtful gifts as tokens of appreciation for the wonderful collaboration we had over the past month. A heartfelt and enormous thank you to these incredible individuals for making our time together truly memorable.

After leaving the brewery, we made our way to "Cinco de Mayo," a Mexican holiday commemorating the Battle of Puebla in 1864. The neighborhood was transformed into a vibrant fiesta, filled with incredible energy. A central stage was surrounded by traditional food stalls, while a brewery and various beer trailers added to the festive atmosphere. Further down the street, other breweries and bars joined in the celebration. The stage was alive with the melodic tunes of mariachi bands, captivating the crowd and inspiring people of all ages to dance. From young children as young as 5 or 6 to spirited octogenarians, everyone couldn't resist moving to the rhythm. The music and overall vibe were so infectious that it was impossible not to join in the dance.


Our time in Charlotte is drawing to a close, and after 5 weeks in the US, we will be heading to Washington, D.C. I got used to Charlotte without any problems. And on David, my roomie. I'm happy because we're going home in a little while, but to be completely honest, I spent a very, very good time in Charlotte, during which I fell in love with the vibrant of the city and the people and the business ecosystem. A beautiful city, full of greenery, clean and safe. People are warm, hospitable, and open, they want to help. There are a lot of sports, there are many local breweries, it is not far from the ocean, and the mountains are even closer. The second financial center in the USA, so business is also very well developed. Lots of entrepreneurs and startups.  Finally, I would like to thank my roommate David for a carefree period in Charlotte. For a month I felt like I had an older brother. The man literally took care of me. He found out that I'm nervous when I'm hungry, so he constantly urged me to eat. By the way, Irish or Irish, Serbian or Serbian, joke party 24/7. It's been a lot of fun this month. And unforgettable! Queen Charlotte, my lady, see you again. And now the capital.


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