Spotlight on Adam Alpert / by Haley Smith

Meet Adam Alpert, cofounder of Pangeamart - an online marketplace redefining the way we market our talent and search for services and goods in our own community. His time with the Entrepreneurship Center at Brown University has greatly influenced his business savvy and entrepreneurial aspirations.

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What is Pangeamart, and how did the idea for it come about?

Pangeamart is a peer-to-peer marketplace for college students, where they can offer any service or good to their peers.  It allows you to share your skills, make some extra money doing something you’re passionate about, and establish a reputation.  Likewise, you can discover all the cool things other students are doing.  It creates a really interesting basis upon which to meet new people in the community. 

My story with Pangeamart started when I was a student at Brown.  I was a freelance videographer and was always looking for cool new projects to involve myself in.  I met a lot of great people by creating videos.  These people were so creative, enthusiastic, just downright interesting.  I’ve found that some of best relationships are built when there’s a valuable exchange of knowledge, skill, and experience.  The difficulty is in finding those projects and those people.

Then I met someone who would become one of the Co-Founders, Isaac.  In my dorm room sometime during the winter of early 2015, he brought up this idea of how to facilitate new connections by enabling people to easily share their skill sets in a local community.  It really resonated with me, as I was trying to find more ways to meet people and utilize my skillsets as a filmmaker.  We had identified a need and thought through what our version of the solution would look like.  We brought on another Co-Founder, John, who owns the technical development and we’ve been hard at work ever since.  We launched our beta on the app store in Fall 2017.

 

 

How do you see the future of Pangeamart as it scales and encapsulates more communities and economic ecosystems?

I see Pangeamart as a means to provide more equal access to opportunity.  I’m a believer in the free market, and I don’t believe we have one today.  Power is in the hands of a few, established, profitable corporations.  It’s very hard for individuals or new businesses to compete.  

Pangeamart provides the tools that enable a new type of free market to emerge, one that is built upon new personal connections, individuals, and competition.  Pangea was built for the world, not just college communities.

There are many countries that have yet to construct the same robust economic infrastructure as we have in the United States.  Emerging economies are built around mobile phones, and our product hooks into that infrastructure and enables a local free market with low barriers to entry to form.  We want to inspire and enable people to create more value in their own communities and help people invest their money locally as opposed to it being siphoned out by foreign corporations.  We can create economic velocity within local communities anywhere in the world to provide opportunity, collaboration, and growth. 

We firmly believe that we can reunite the world by reconnecting communities through commerce. 

 

As you studied entrepreneurship at Brown and participated in Brown's Breakthrough Lab program, what are some of the greatest pieces of business advice you've learned?

Dreams don’t work unless you do; that’s really how I’ve synthesized a lot of the advice and experience I’ve gotten at Brown.  

First, it’s important to have that dream.  It’s vital that you can envision a future that solves some hair on fire problem we face today.  If you can’t first see it in your mind, it’s going to be really hard to build it.

The vision is not even half the battle though.  You can have the greatest idea in the world, but it means nothing if you don’t do something about it.  In an academic setting it’s easy to criticize an idea, and point out how it might not work or how maybe it isn’t different enough.  People love to point out flaws from a distance. 

At a certain point you have to move beyond the necessary academic exercises and go out there and get real data on a real product.  You’ve gotta put in the work.  The only way to silence the disbelievers and the pessimistic skeptics is to prove your idea, your belief, and your opinion with hard evidence.  This is a lesson I learned studying history.  And that’s exactly what we are doing now in an entrepreneurial setting.

In order to realize the dream, you have to put in the hours and the reps to prove it.

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