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StaxExchange Q & A Follow Up

by Tricia Whitlock

Matt Baxter (@mattwbaxter) has launched StaxExchange, a digital marketplace for tax credit buyers and sellers.

A few weeks ago we gave you a rundown of the company, Matt’s inspiration, and his favorite tools. Check it out, and then continue reading below to learn how StaxExchange stays on top of trends, builds a culture of diversity, and what they need most right now.

Where do you gain your insights from and how do you stay on top of emerging trends?
For insights, I follow how technology and the internet is disrupting other traditional financial service industries and creating new markets. There are really interesting things going on in this area and great companies to watch. SecondMarket is an online marketplace for buying and selling illiquid assets. A company called Upstart was started by ex-Googlers and lets you literally invest in smart people and receive a % of their future income. Google itself is actually running a generalized second price auction to set prices for ads. This is a space that you can think really creatively about new business models that use the power of technology and markets to create entirely new products.

To stay up on emerging trends, I think about the insights from those other fields and what is applicable to tax credits, study economic literature on market design, keep up with competitors, and then talk with customers about how they see things to get an idea of what they will find really useful.

What’s Unique About Your Company Culture:
I think the great thing about our culture is that the diversity of the experiences of the team gives us a lot to draw on. Most of the team are developers, but they each bring something different to the table in terms of education, projects, skill set, and perspectives.

What You Need Most Right Now:
The sustainable barrier to entry of an exchange business model is the network of buyers and sellers that creates liquidity. There is a lot of interest in an improved tax credit marketplace and we are working very quickly to iterate our way to the optimal product, but we could always use more technical talent.

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