CEO Joel Neidig recently did a one-on-one with Matthew Shroyer, a former white color crime defense attorney, who has joined SIMBA Chain as head of Legal and Operations.
Joel: Matt, glad to have you on the SIMBA Chain team. Tell me, why did you leave the world of “suits” for a tech company?
Matthew: (Laughs) It’s a bit of a culture change! After graduating from law school in 2010, I joined a New York litigation firm defending white-collar crimes—tax issues, banking regulations, securities issues. I saw how easy it was for companies to get so focused on what they were doing, they’d blow right past regulations and get in trouble. My time was spent looking backwards, finding the missteps and solving puzzles. Leaving litigation for SIMBA Chain and the tech world is a 180. For the first time in nearly 10 years, I’ll be looking forward at opportunities instead of back at problems.
Joel: You also have experience with NGOs. What was that like?
Matthew: My wife and I moved to Greece and started Fenix, an NGO that provides humanitarian legal aid to refugees. What an experience! Dealing with red tape underscored that whether it’s a nonprofit or business, having a great idea and believing in a purpose is not enough to see that purpose through. There are personnel, regulatory, and financial issues that have to be dealt with constantly. Resolution of those issues is often just as necessary for success as the underlying purpose of an organization, whether it’s a tech company or NGO.
Joel: What attracted you to SIMBA Chain?
Matthew: First and foremost, the people. What SIMBA has been able to accomplish in a relatively short amount of time is extremely impressive. The leadership here is accomplished, passionate, and focused on empowering a team with diverse backgrounds to keep the momentum going. That was very important to me as I thought about leaving law firm life. Second, I firmly believe blockchain is a vital leap forward and it’s exciting to be a part of a company that’s pushing the boundaries. Finally, I grew up in South Bend, Indiana, where SIMBA Chain was founded using technology developed at Notre Dame’s Center for Research Computing. Being part of something that builds South Bend’s reputation as a place for innovation and creates jobs in the economy of the future is something that means a lot to me.
Joel: As Head of Legal and Operations, where will you be focusing your energies?
Matthew: My role is about structure, guidance and balance. We’re a young business and while our leadership has built amazing technology, that’s just one piece—a huge piece obviously—but just one. To make sure SIMBA Chain reaches its full potential, there are concerns from legal and operations perspectives we have to be aware of and address. My goal is to help us scale out as efficiently as possible and ensure we’re dotting all the I’s and crossing all the T’s so our development team has the freedom to do what they do best.
Joel: What do you see as our biggest opportunities and challenges?
Matthew: The market is recognizing what we already know—that blockchain offers an immense value for those who adopt it and that SIMBA provides a service to make that possible on a much broader scale. The challenge is making sure we are able to meet market demand.
Joel: What are your priorities over the next 100 days?
Matthew: I’m doing a full review of the legal framework we have in place and systematize our HR program. We’re hiring and need to be ready.
Joel: So what your suits? Mothballs or SIMBA uniform?
Matthew: I was going to ask you that question.