Marco Selorio shares his story on how he got started with Event Business, transitioning to Hip Hop Dance Competitions and pivoting during the COVID Pandemic and starting Crypto Gaming United Guild.
He also shares his favourite books and his inspiration.
Marco Selorio Interview - Coinchella
Carlo Selorio: [00:00:00] Okay. I'm here today with my guest Marco Selorio, he's actually my older brother, someone who's built highly successful this all by helping people in the dance communities and in the crypto space is I'm extremely excited to introduce you to him. Marcus and lawyer from. MAs music presents or MAs music.
You've got a few businesses. Yeah. Welcome to the business launch podcast.
Marco Selorio: Hello, thank you for having me. I appreciate you. Thank you. It's
Carlo Selorio: okay. Yeah. Marco is one of those people that I know pretty much all my life, but he knows me pretty much all my life and.
We've I think she's the only one who's known me apart from my parents is seen me grow and seeing me do things. It's good to actually finally dig deep in what you've done, cuz in the past 10 years, you've jumped to [00:01:00] different businesses and I'm being successful in the dance community space and now in the crypto space.
I'm just looking at things , what events what was your life like before starting business? Let's go with your start with hoop dreams first,
Marco Selorio: once upon a time. Not long ago. No, I'm just kidding. Look, I my family and I migrated from the Philippines back in 1989.
And I ended up studying high school here in Sydney. And I moved to Canberra with my family with colo here. And I studied at the Australian national university to grab oh, to, to finish a degree in commerce, accounting and economics. But before that, I think be before I even finished uni.
I think I was already into events because we were part of a youth group called youth for Christ. And some of the camps that we participated in had a big influence in my career now. And moving forward [00:02:00] after uni I didn't really like accounting. It really sucked. Yeah. It's just not, I'm not cut out to do a nine to five.
And that's probably , not your typical thing to do. We were taught, have a stable job work nine to five, provide for your family, but it just really wasn't my thing. And I found ways to be creative because I always wanted to do basketball business. And just like my whole family were into basketball.
I had to find a way to, to create. So I wrote a newsletter and I connected with the Sydney Kings, one of the teams that we
Carlo Selorio: love. I remember going to those Sydney Kings games and we're actually going to receipts handing out all the newsletters. Yeah. The
Marco Selorio: pre-game that, that was probably the first big break.
That I did. So before, before hoop dreams, which is my company I was studying, I was creating activities and events with my youth group. And then when I graduated, that's when I [00:03:00] created my own business hoop dreams. Brings. Yeah.
Carlo Selorio: It's I think you've you pivoted from the basketball events or trying to get through the basketball events and then you jumped in to start doing dance, actually.
No, you did. And you did some. Talent. You brought some talent over here in Australia.
Marco Selorio: Yeah. Look, I that's right. I started it off thinking of becoming a big time producer, I, I wanted to do events. I think that was the thing I wanted to do. I just had to figure out what kind of events would be financially viable and something that I would enjoy.
Cause all the things that I've ever done. I love doing it. I'm passionate about it. Basketball producing shows in concerts to dance competitions, to doing talks and all that. From basketball, I shifted to doing club events. I did a three on three comp. I did club parties with my.
My cousins. And and then I had a youth concert where [00:04:00] I flew in an artist from the Philippines and I, it bombed, I lost $8,000. And ,
Carlo Selorio: that was one of the, that one of, one of the life
Marco Selorio: lessons that you learned. Yeah. Yeah. What I found, what I learned from that. you need to surround yourself with the right people who believe in you, who believe in your vision and at the same time be relentless.
Don't give up just because you failed. Doesn't mean you, you gotta stop there. So from there I pivoted and the, I said what do I want to do? I lost $8,000 in may, 2002. Cause I remember it may 31. And then my brother, this guy
Carlo Selorio: joined, I actually entered, joined a competition,
Marco Selorio: then the dance competition, and it's like all Filipinos.
So I said why is it just that where's the diversity? So that, that gave me the idea of creating a multicultural dance competition. Not the so Filipinos, all different nationalities we're based in Sydney. After three months of planning, I dropped that first event called [00:05:00] groove, which eventually became world supremacy, battlegrounds, WSB, and the rest, as they say is history.
So it's been 20 years of 12 hiphop, has it been that long, 20 years, 2002. 2002
Carlo Selorio: 22 guys. And how many how many countries is WSB in right now?
Marco Selorio: We've been across six continents already, but the main countries that participate include Philippines, Singapore, Australia, obviously New Zealand, Indonesia Thailand, Solomon Islands, and Africa.
Carlo Selorio: Yeah. In your finals, WSB finals, you were getting a few thousand on the actual yeah.
Marco Selorio: Pre events itself, pre COVID. We would get maybe 6,000 people over three, four days. So that was pretty good. There are a lot of people that are into hip hop and street dance because the. The culture, [00:06:00] hasn't become a global phenomenon and that's, I love hip hop.
I embrace the culture. That's why it's easy for me. Like when I create events or projects, especially events even if I don't get paid I don't mind as long as I'm enjoying it, cuz if you're not enjoying it, it's just a job. No, and I always think of that. I have three things that I always think of whenever I create events.
Am I leading? Am I empowering? And am I inspiring? So those. So every time I create something, I have to think of those things and I have to tick those boxes before I carry on with the project. Yeah.
Carlo Selorio: Yeah. Now you've had a successful hip hop business, hip hop dance business. Yeah. Fast forward to 2020.
We got hit. The whole world got hit with COVID. Yep. And. All of a sudden your your money maker or your event
Marco Selorio: start stopped. Yeah. Pre pretty much hit a brick wall. And the business stopped overnight in March, [00:07:00] 2020. So that was also good because it allowed me to look at my health not just physical, but also the mental health because.
I was doing long hours. I was quite worried, anxious about our, I don't have events, , what am I gonna do? I guess it's like everyone else, we had to figure out a way to, to pivot and to earn. And that was really hard, just not just for myself, but for the entertainment industry altogether.
Even though people tried to do virtual. It just wasn't the same, but it allowed me to explore online opportunities. And that leads to what happened to me last year, where I got into the crypto space.
Carlo Selorio: You actually hit pretty much a home run in your first go with in the crypto space, not just trading is actually in the crypto gaming space.
So tell us more about
Marco Selorio: that. Yeah, so we. We thought we were already past COVID. So around January, last [00:08:00] year, sorry January, last year, I started doing events all the way to June. And then from July, till about October, I already rolled out everything. I was like, oh my gosh, I'm back. We're back.
And then we hit a lockdown in July and that, that made me really anxious because. I was like, man, not again. And so I was home that month thinking what to do. I caught up with my old friend Maurice, June the founder of justice crew and said, Hey, why don't we do something online?
You might you might like that, cuz you're both home. Anyway. So we found this Guild called ygg. It's a crypto gaming Guild. It's like an association of gamers. And we said, maybe we should, copy this particular company because they're earning tokens and they're getting a lot of people to participate and play games.
And so we did, so we created crypto gaming United in the first week in August, we launched it. Our, one of our partners, the, I. [00:09:00] Surga GENCO said do a proof of concept if it works. Good. We'll fund it. If it doesn't work, move on to the next. So that's what I've found in the crypto space.
If you, it moves really fast and you only give it like maybe three, four weeks and if it doesn't work, skip it, move to the next. No, and that's what I learned from him. So that first week I said to one of my talents I'm a talent manager as well. I said, do you play this game called AXI infin?
And he said yeah, I'll play, but I don't know the rules. I said, oh my God. So I said, you, if you do really good, everything will open up. Not that I knew how big it was gonna be, but if you fail, then we don't get paid. So that first day he earned 150 tokens. It was
Carlo Selorio: wait a sec.
How did you fund him to play? Because it's, you have to be able to,
Marco Selorio: oh Serge gave us like some cash to buy a few [00:10:00] NFTs not maybe $10,000 just initially. Okay. And then it worked so that first week because it worked, the investors gave us a million dollars. To to start buying NFTs. And so off we go, you start buying start promoting.
I didn't know what the NFT was. So the NFTs gotta have a utility, but for this particular utility of the NFT, you get to play the game and earn token. Huh? So it was so successful after four weeks. We got another $5 million from another investor. So we kept buying my job in this space is cause I'm a promoter.
I was allowed to build the community and grow it. So I got it. I got it up to about a one hundred two thousand at the very peak, a hundred, 2000 as. Wow. And that's in a discord. No. So for those that are in aren't into discords, it's just a way of communicating as well. Yeah. And then nine weeks later, so August, September, [00:11:00] October, we got another 10 million and then another investor.
Yeah. From another team of investors from Dubai. And our partner said we're launching our own token. I said how does it work? He said, don't worry. We got this. Just keep doing what you're doing. I said, all so by the time it launched the token value, I guess the overall company went from.
Zero to 2 billion overnight. Yeah. So that was not bad. That was pretty amazing. Not bad. That was amazing because I've never experienced anything like it. I do events, I fund my own event. So you go from one event to another, you just roll over the money, but in this space, there's a lot of capital from different investors.
Crypto is king you know. And so just from that experience, I said, wow, this is incredible. And I got a phone call at 2:00 AM in the morning. The day we launched our. Token the [00:12:00] CGU token, I got a call from Serge and he said, I said what does this mean? 10 million.
He says, he said to me, welcome to crypto. I said, oh my God. Yeah. So that as a founder of a. You don't, you're not allowed to cash out straight away because that would be called a rug pool or a scam. But just to see how much money you can earn just from tokens or from NFTs, I was like blown away.
I'm like, oh my God, this is incredible. No. Yeah. Yeah.
Carlo Selorio: All right. So it's like from not you didn't invest any money in the
Marco Selorio: business or the investment for us is the sweat equity. So we were the ones working on the ground and the guys mark Carnegie, and certainly. And ramen, we're the ones wheeling and dealing with investors in the
Carlo Selorio: back.
They were the one doing the back end dealing yeah.
Marco Selorio: And Maurice. And I were we're at the front. The forefront of it. [00:13:00] Yeah.
Carlo Selorio: Excellent. So it's pretty much You grew a Guild from zero. Yeah. Looked at a different business model from the, what was it, why ygg G and then replicate similar
Marco Selorio: to what they were doing.
Yeah, what's good about trying to do better this. We did we were able to onboard gamers, just normal people looking for opportunities, cuz they're all lockdown as. So while we were learning about the game and how to promote it and how to bring people, the people at home from, third world countries, emerging countries were also trying to find a way to earn.
So they were home stuck and they all, they were all hearing about AXI at the time. So they were learning the game and they joined us. We brought people from South Africa, south America Asia obviously from the Philippines just emerging nations that are looking for opportunities people with time.
Yeah. We found them and they earned with us, [00:14:00] which is what's so good about web three. It's not just us. The founders who earned. But it's the whole community, so that's, what's the whole community. That's, what's so amazing about this thing. Yeah, the sell
Carlo Selorio: it's excellent. It's excellent. A few questions I wanted to get through anyway.
Yeah. So that the business, so now the CG you are the founding member of the CGU. You've pivoted again to what you are actually doing now. Yeah.
Marco Selorio: Is that correct? Yeah. I finished up with CG in March this year. It was and why it was a tremendous experience. I think I just wanted to create my own projects.
Like what I said, I'm not used to working for other people as well. I'd uh, I'd rather. Take the lead and then add people into my team. So that, that allowed me to explore. So I went to LA, I went to Miami, I went to Manila because the borders already open. And I just wanted to see what else was outside of Guild.
And [00:15:00] that really really opened my eyes when I went to LA and Miami, where I attend. These NFT conferences, people creating NFTs, people, creating decentralized finance projects, web three projects where I met NBA players, NBA stars also actively participating in the space. So that, I guess they got a lot of money that, that was that was also an opportunity for me to network with different people.
That brought so many connections in those three cities. And I guess as a community builder, the most important thing in NFT or web three projects is the community without it doesn't work.
Carlo Selorio: And it's like driving traffic to the actual business. Yeah.
Marco Selorio: So I'm the community builder. So I realized I can use.
Event promotional skill set, marketing skills into this sort of space. So for the people, who are looking for opportunities, if you have sales or marketing experience this space is just perfect for you guys. If you're a creator, if [00:16:00] you're a graphic designer, an illustrator, a developer, man, this is just, yeah.
Yeah. So many things you can do.
Carlo Selorio: Yeah, that's awesome. I know that there's a lot of things that's happening in the crypto space and we had a bit of a crash. I think the market crash a little bit. Yeah.
Marco Selorio: The thing about that, the thing about that is the dip pretty much got rid of people that are, not fully invested, speculating, not fully invested in the space.
So it weed out the fake ones and whoever's. We'll continue building. So what's happened is since I left that Guild, I've moved on and created Coinchella which is, I guess the web three part of my business. I've got a label called MAs music group, which we've got an agency and we got music creators.
So what, I guess what I wanna do. Is onboard more creators into the space, onboard the dance community, the hip hop basketball community that I work [00:17:00] with and create NFT projects. And so at the moment, I'm in about four projects, one of them is I'm a community builder for Manny Pacquiao the the boxing icon from the Philippines.
Yeah. I've got an event, an web three conference next year with Genesis matrix, this fund. I've got the w where are they? They're based in Sydney and I've got the WSB dance community. I'm creating my own NFT. Coach Coachella is in charge of that. And I've got a potential tour with two amazing basketball heads possibly a partnership with Adelaide 36 ERs in Kai Soto and a deal where I get the tour Lakers LA Lakers assistant coach Phil handy to Southeast Asia next year.
Excellent. So Singapore, Manila, and probably. .
Carlo Selorio: Yeah. Excellent. So there's a lot of projects that's in the pipeline
Marco Selorio: for you ready to go. I have to integrate all the [00:18:00] web three crypto experiences that I've done. So I can't go back to doing the same events again. I have to integrate both because I'd really rather stay in the web three than go back to what I used to have.
It's just more exciting lot, a lot more opportunities. And everyone is collaborative here in this
Carlo Selorio: space. Yeah. It's it seems like it's everyone seems to be helping each other in this place.
Marco Selorio: Yeah. No it's super exciting.
Carlo Selorio: So question about yourself, what event in your life made you decide that you are going to go into.
the crypto space, once everything went.
Marco Selorio: I think we did some, a lot of events on the discord virtual events and that gave me an idea of putting together more activations, more events in the web three space. So we were doing a lot of AMAs asked me anything, quest Q and as.
So all those things we were doing online, I was [00:19:00] doing that for six months. And that's why transitioning from virtual to in real life personal events. It took me two months to get my head around it because it's just, it was just not the same. . So
Carlo Selorio: the dance competitions will be online. So
Marco Selorio: I think I'm thinking the idea for that is to create the in real life events, but the virtual side, we wanna show them not just a live stream, but in the metaverse.
So we wanna put nice put all the dancers to come in and create in the space, showcase in the metaverse and find more opportunities to create.
Carlo Selorio: yeah, it looks like it's gonna be it's still early day. Early day
Marco Selorio: for this it's for anyone, everyone who's exploring to come in. It's still early.
It's very early, yeah. Okay.
Carlo Selorio: How does Coinchella make a dent in the world
Marco Selorio: for you? So coin cell for me is a [00:20:00] celebration of what's good about web. About the best things in crypto NFTs metaverses and web three. So it's not just trying to create a party, but you wanna connect everybody and celebrate, keep everything positive inspire each other, encourage each other collaborate.
So what I guess, so that's pretty much what I do when I used to. Play basketball actively. I get more of a kick by giving someone an assist or making someone else better. That, that to me is pretty much what I am as a person. And it translates to what I do in business. So that is what Coinchella about now.
Carlo Selorio: So what were the big wins for you early on that made you realize. , this is really gonna work for you for your business moving
Marco Selorio: forward. Making a lot of tokens earning a lot of tokens was an eye opener, [00:21:00] obviously, crypto, those gone down, but seeing 30 million, I was like, wow, is this real seeing, seeing it in on paper?
Was amazing because I knew if this is my first project in six months, imagine what I can do in the next few years by finding the right partners. No. Yeah. Yeah. So I, I think that's a big win crypto gaming United was just an amazing experience. The mentors I had there were just truly incredible.
They're just amazing at what they. And that being with them, picking their brain every day for six months. Yeah that just yeah it allows me to create and be excited even more to onboard more people in web three. Yeah.
Carlo Selorio: It's it's coming really quickly. I think it's still early days.
It's still not mature. It's similar to what web 2.0 came in, but now web [00:22:00] three is here. think it's, once everyone gets their head around it, things will accelerate as quickly as well.
Marco Selorio: It's good because more people get to win in web three, not just the CEO. COO, not just it's it is the hierarchy has flipped.
So at the top now is the community and everyone else like myself and the founders or the core group serve the community so that the community will end up dictating what kind of projects or direction we wanna go. So that's so different from what we know.
Carlo Selorio: On the flip side what events happened where you weren't sure.
this business would survive, but you figured out a way to pull through, especially with everything else
Marco Selorio: that's happening. That, that failed business in 2002 was a bit of a, life lesson, an eye opener. I learned a lot from that. I'm not all my events make money. I had some events that, that bombed some events that just barely.
Made a [00:23:00] profit. But some of the events that I think are really exciting that I think can cross over into the metaverse or in web three. Would be like a Kobe Bryant event that I attended in 2019 when he came to Melbourne is just a Q and a there was an interviewer, a moderator who talked to him and everyone just watched.
No. So that kind of event people paid $2,500 to attend the event now. That's right. Yeah. There were 2000 people there in the audience. It was never live stream. So imagine was recording doing a physical event like that, and then you stream that in a universe where hundreds of thousands of millions of people can, even, pay a fee to, to watch and experience that's the kind of event.
Yeah. I think that I wanna create no moving forward and even dance competitions where you can be an avatar. Imagine that an avatar yeah. Dancing. Against, it could be dancing in your room or against someone from [00:24:00] Africa or Paris, how does that's never gonna happen in real life unless you, everyone comes to you or you go to them, but in the metaverse you can be anything you want and you can showcase, you can do whatever you want in anything.
Carlo Selorio: Yeah, it's awesome. I think it's really exciting with the metaverse
Marco Selorio: coming. Yeah. If you, have you seen
Carlo Selorio: ready player one. I think I saw a bit of it Haven fully watched the,
Marco Selorio: that watched the, that is the metaverse six years early. Yeah. Six years early.
Carlo Selorio: It's awesome. What makes Coachella or stand out from other competitors that
Marco Selorio: do you think? I think the skill set cause Coachella has three, three arms. We've got an agency with a lot of talents and influencers. We create events. And we are, we have a team that will build and create NFTs. So those three things I [00:25:00] think is what you need in a web community where web three community that can be, potentially be a a successful venture.
Carlo Selorio: And
Marco Selorio: the only thing we don't have. is enough capital no enough, but I think that's coming that's yeah, that's coming. That's coming very soon. Yeah.
Carlo Selorio: yeah. Going forward, what big goals do you have for this business for the next three to 10 years
Marco Selorio: for you? For yourself? We wanna collaborate and maybe onboard 100,000 creators in the space.
I have about 150,000 dancers that are part of my community. So we wanna maybe create projects for dancers, artists, influencers. even athletes, we deal with Josh DY that I put together for CGU and I would like to work with, he did really well. I would like to work with LeBron, James, I wanna work with Drake and DJ coed, just crossing over all these [00:26:00] personalities that that I follow and admire.
And also I wanna create my own metaverse. It might be called Marco or Ella lovers, I don't know. Yeah.
Carlo Selorio: Yeah. That's awesome. Yeah, this it'll be good to see all the. Potential athletes or potential celebrities come in the space. Yeah. Or do things with you. So they'll be good. So LeBron come hit him up.
We're here. We're here waiting for you. Yeah. That okay a fun question. If you recommend one book. to all the folks, all the listeners out there should read, what
Marco Selorio: should it be and why I've got a book for you that I pulled out. And I really follow this guy because he's very different. No, I, I like marketing and sales.
I, I like to promote, as you guys know, I'm an event creator. So I met this guy. I didn't meet him, but he emailed. I was wrapped. His name is John Spolstra. The father of Eric's Spolstra the coach of [00:27:00] he, so he, I actually bought two books, ice to the Eskimos and marketing outrageously same guy, but ice to the S is just stories and ideas.
If you can sell ice to the Eskimos can you imagine that, so these are a couple of books that I like to read every now and then I'd go back and, if I need another refresher idea, inspiration on the music side, I'm reading Alicia keys. Yeah.
Carlo Selorio: Yeah.
Marco Selorio: Alicia keys is more, more myself, a journey. And like time magazine board, check this out. I bought. I was thinking of honor to Adelaide last week I was writing about, that fashion show event, that's gonna be part of my competition in October. I was thinking into the metaverse is what I was gonna call the fashion show.
And then I went, got off the terminal, went in a news agency. And the first thing I saw was this into the metaverse time magazine. So I said, oh my God, this is a sign. So I I bought the [00:28:00] magazine and my idea ideas are aligning with what's going on in the universe. Yeah. It's awesome.
So God's willing I'm really happy that, some things you can control, but other things you just leave it in God's hands. Yeah. Yeah.
Carlo Selorio: excellent. Excellent. I think I'm from when I first. I think I've watched the growth of your you yourself and your businesses over the years. I think you've tried many businesses.
Yeah. And I think I think to where you are now, I think it's like every business has taught you to get learn. There's always life lessons to
Marco Selorio: every business where you, I think the biggest life, one of the biggest life lessons for me is you got, you don't have, you shouldn't have any regrets. I'd rather fail do something and fail than think about it 10 years later and think, damn, I should have done that event or I should have tried [00:29:00] this thing.
And that thing, like when I met JayZ I didn't go up to him and talked to him about business. In hindsight, I should have just talked to him and. Jay, Hey, man, I love your music. Maybe we let's collab and connect. Now I'm a lot more confident. I can talk to anyone and everyone just so we can, make new friends and create opportunities.
Wow. Future opportunities. Some things may happen, like years later after you've built your friendship and rapport.
Carlo Selorio: Similar to what you did with
Marco Selorio: Morris as well. Yeah, no. Even with coach Phil handy that's taken four years. It's four years. The making, when team USA came here, I reconnected with him after 14 years, so yeah we might have a project as well with Patty mill, so I'm just finding out what's happening over there.
So again, For me as a marketer events, promoter, or community builder there's a skill that, that you need to be able to do that. And one of the things that you need is [00:30:00] obviously communicate very well that's right. So I'm open to any ideas.
Marco Selorio: And I have an open mind when it comes to business.
Carlo Selorio: Excellent. Excellent. If our listeners need to need help with metaverse or events, or they have any questions for you, how is the best way to, for them to get
Marco Selorio: in touch with you? Oh, hit me up on socials. I'm available 24 7 I'm on Instagram, Facebook. What's your head was uh, Marco soor. Or you can connect with me on,
Carlo Selorio: is that for what?
Just your personal app,
Marco Selorio: my, for their business and personal or you can check our website, MAs music presents.com. So it's MES music group. You guys can connect, my email's there, my number's there. I'm pretty easy to connect to. I'm happy to give advice, share knowledge and open to any opportunity for people who are interested in creating in [00:31:00] the web three space.
Carlo Selorio: Excellent. So I'll have all those, I'll have all your handles and show notes and I'll put the links to the books as well. So thank you again. Thank you marker so much for being on the show and for those listeners, make sure you subscribe to the podcast. Leave us a comment wherever you're listening.
That helps us to keep them keep making the show better and better, and also make sure you send Marco some love or some of your questions about anything from his events or the crypto space. So we'll see you next time on the business launch podcast. All
Marco Selorio: right. Thank you for having me, Carlo.. Peace Yo!
Carlo Selorio: Okay. Bye.