He came to Silicon Slopes HQ in jeans and Jordan’s, but Hightop’s founder and CEO, Mick Hagen, is a really big deal in the world of Web3. Named as a Forbes “Champion of Crypto,” Mick and Hightop cofounder, Rachel Hofstetter, joined us on stage for Silicon Slopes Conversations Friday, November 4, 2022.
With an enthusiasm that’s completely contagious, Mick told us how he–perhaps because of his mother who emigrated from Guatemala–has always had a hustling mentality.
“Since a young age, there has been an underdog mentality in our house,” said Mick. “I’ve always had this chip on my shoulder to do everything I can to make the most out of every opportunity”
After living in Brazil for a few years, Mick came back to the United States with a fresh perspective and an intense desire to help people who didn’t have the opportunities and resources that he did.
Mick told us how he pursued his education, but ultimately dropped out of Princeton and started Zinch—an ed-tech startup that connected students around the world with opportunities in higher education. Mick helped Zinch grow to an international, 8-figure revenue company that was acquired by Chegg in 2011.
Mick and Rachel dove in, and Rachel told us how the internet has evolved from Web1: read, to Web2: read, write, to Web3: read, write, own, and how that ownership part of Web3 can change lives for the better.
Ultimately, Mick’s goal has been and continues to be lifting others where they stand. “Instead of making everyone come to us (Web3) down the rabbit hole, let’s come out of the rabbit hole and go to them. Let’s bring it to them, on their terms, where they are.”
Mick started Hightop with that mentality in mind. Hightop is a digital bank that gives people the ability to capitalize on finances in terms they can understand. “We are working with many companies that are tokenizing homes, cars, etc.” said Mick. “As more of these things get tokenized, you will be able to earn yield on these assets. We are going to unlock more value and more productivity for your assets. And for me, that changes the world.”
There can be a lot of scary things associated with Web3 and crypto, and in the Q&A section of the conversation, Mick talked about combatting those problems. There are certainly risks, but there is also technology underway right here in Utah to combat the issues at hand. Mick remains optimistic, and when asked by his son, a student visiting the live chat with Slopes School, what advice he would give to young entrepreneurs, he said simply, “Stay curious.”