An Interview With Fotis Georgiadis

Women are naturally very community-oriented and for anyone starting out, I’d start there. Find a supportive community of like-minded people. I make it a point to talk to lead data scientists because it’s a very niche space.

As a part of our series about Wisdom From The Women Leading The Blockchain Revolution, had the pleasure of interviewing Imge Su Cetin.

Imge Su Cetin, CEO and Co-Founder of Defy Trends. Imge Su is a data scientist whose prior experience ranges from creating apps for the United Nations to studying the adoption of Electric Vehicles. Her vision with Defy Trends is to break down artificial information barriers and empower people to make informed decisions in crypto investing and trading.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you share with us the story of how you decided to pursue this career path? What lessons can others learn from your story?

Before founding my company, Defy Trends, I had no idea that crypto was going to be a calling. I am a data scientist at heart and was working at the United Nations as a lead data scientist building products, scraping the web to forecast bilateral migration around the world using big data. At the time, I became interested in investing back when Wall Street Bets was popular. So, I used my skillset to scrape social media sites like Reddit and other sources to help me make informed investment decisions. That led me to build a similar product for cryptocurrencies, which was starting to go mainstream. This really took on a life of its own. I had friends who were also looking for data-backed information about crypto and wanted more transparency around these digital assets. There was no one else out there doing this and I quickly learned that there was a major opportunity in this category.

What we do at Defy Trends is very niche. We’re not creating an NFT marketplace or crypto exchange like so many others are, but the solution we provide is desperately needed in this sector. Millions of people invest in crypto blindly. We are taking away fear and uncertainty from the equation by providing traders with real, data-driven insights to inform their investment decisions. I had never considered running my own company before; data scientists tend to go into academia or R&D careers. This was a new way of thinking as a career data scientist and I learned that I could in fact combine my entrepreneurial spirit, skills, and interests into one venture, and that is how Defy Trends was born.

Can you tell me about the most interesting projects you are working on now?

There is always something new and exciting in the crypto and blockchain sector that excites me, but one of the most interesting projects we are working on as a company is the Defy Trends Ambassador Program. We want to ensure all women are able to confidently enter this sector and get a piece of a disruptive technology. The Ambassador Program is a global education initiative to help women and those that identify as women to learn about new technologies and investments opportunities to achieve their long-term financial goals. We really believe that women should be empowered to take charge of their financial lives, particularly as investors. The crypto space is very community-oriented, and women especially naturally gravitate towards community and desire a safe space to learn about crypto and Web3. We’re creating chapters led by our ambassadors all over the world and are really excited to see it grow.

I’m very fortunate to have had great mentors in my life, particularly in a male-dominated space like data science. I notice that I’m often the only woman in the room and that’s something Defy Trends is passionate about changing and leading. We want the discourse around crypto, blockchain, and DeFi to be inclusive for all women. That requires creating safe spaces led by other women who are equally investing in the industry as they are in supporting other women who are just entering this space.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I had two very influential mentors that have changed the course of my life and career. My professor in grad school, Dr. Volkan Vural from the University of California San Diego (UCSD), is very entrepreneurial, like me. He really pushed me to investigate opportunities beyond academia. He was a great example of this — he had his own company where he used his research and experience to build AI for “smart clothing.” These items could do things like take your temperature and tell your smartwatch what you were doing. He was teaching data science to MBA students and got me to think outside the box. Turns out, you don’t need to have an MBA to start a company, and the world of data science is unlimited. Data science can optimize any tech company and is applicable in every business because we live in a data-driven world.

My second mentor was my pre-seed investor, David Moss, who is still guiding us with Defy Trends. They say the first investment is the hardest. He really believed in me and what we were trying to do with Defy Trends. He gave us the initial funding to excel and make it bigger, and he introduced us to a lot of other investors, too. Our network has flourished since then, and that’s critical in any business environment. The more people you know, the more you grow as a company, a leader, and individual.

What are the 3 things that most excite you about blockchain and crypto? Why?

As a data person, I appreciate that blockchain data is very transparent. There is no grey area when you have all this data at your fingertips to help you make informed decisions. I get really excited by the fact that blockchain technology is going to break down the barriers of entry for a lot of people, including startup founders who want to build something meaningful in this sector. It’s an emerging industry with so much to explore, much like the early days of the dot com era. I also get excited about how open and transparent the data is in blockchain, and that allows us to know what’s happening in the financial industry.

Right now, there is a lot of overcrowding and a lot of projects within blockchain. It’s not an oversaturated market though, especially in the data market. I don’t believe in an oversaturated market. Eventually the industry will course-correct, much like the markets do.

What are the 3 things that worry you about blockchain and crypto? Why?

As exciting as this industry is, people still don’t understand the underlying technology. Investors are basing a lot of their decisions on emotions, erratic behaviors, rumors, and hype. This is where Defy Trends comes in. We are scraping the information out there and putting it together in a way that enables investors to make educated, data-backed decisions.

Volatility is another big concern and problem in our industry, and that’s because it’s still so early. Lots of “whales” are moving on the investment side, and that scares off the risk-averse investor. But as we all know, the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward. We’re betting on Defy Trends to help investors navigate the ups and downs of the market.

Finally, we must consider the fact that eventually, regulations will catch up with the industry. Blockchain technology will become more predominant in the banking industry, and for that to work, the government will need to regulate it. It’s funny that this all started as a way to decentralize finance but more than likely, it will become centralized in some way. It becomes a double-edged sword especially if, and when, the technology gets in the hands of the wrong people. We’ve seen this happen with every technology. The World Wide Web, smartphones, AI — all these technologies started with the promise of doing good in the world but there will always be “bad actors” that use it to track or hurt people and organizations. It’s an unfortunate side effect of the technology industry.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? Can you share a story?

The blockchain community is one that represents so much of who I am as a founder but also what I value in innovators. The community is smart, progressive, out-of-the-box thinkers that aren’t afraid to break the rules. This is how Defy Trends started and why I’m such a supporter of other women entering this space. Instead of following the traditional professional route of academia, I took a risk at starting a company in a brand-new industry. Defy Trends also breaks a lot of the outdated financial industry “rules” that have unfortunately, left a lot of women out of. A lot of what we do at the company is built around bringing women into this space, supporting them, and giving them the same benefits of learning, investing and prosperity that they’ve been left out of.

As you know there are not that many women in your industry. Can you share 5 things that you would advise to other women in the blockchain space to thrive?

There are actually a lot of women in this blockchain and crypto space. I’d argue that there are less of us in this very niche category of data products and infrastructure that Defy Trends is in. I’ve noticed through my academic and now professional career that I was usually one of the few, if not only, women in the room. What we really need across the entire financial sector is more women at the C-level.

Women are naturally very community-oriented and for anyone starting out, I’d start there. Find a supportive community of like-minded people. I make it a point to talk to lead data scientists because it’s a very niche space.

I also advise women to take initiative and be clear on what they want to do in this industry or what they want to learn. Then, start building the skills and get more involved in the industry because the opportunities are limitless. You can now create a company or NFT marketplace or start educating people around the subject. Now is the best time to start something before this industry reaches its full peak.

Finally, ask questions and get to know people. It’s more about who you know than what you know, and that’s going to pay off no matter what level you’re at in your career.

Can you advise what is needed to engage more women into the blockchain industry?

My message starts with CEOs. Engaging women in the blockchain starts at the top. CEOs must support more women and support the initiative of hiring more women, putting them in leadership roles, board seats, and so on. It’s understandable that most companies miss this. I never think of gender when I’m considering someone for a role; I’m looking at their skills set and experience. But if you’re not bringing awareness to it or giving women in your company the equal opportunity to grow within the organization, they won’t have the skill sets you’re looking for. So, it’s important to be very intentional as a leader about inclusion and hiring people with diverse backgrounds. Diversity brings different minds, perspectives, and skills to the table and that’s important when building out your team. Even at Defy Trends, our leadership team is very diverse. I didn’t set out to build a company that was only led by other women, but I was actively engaging in the community and meeting other passionate, entrepreneurial women from different countries and backgrounds and that eventually formed the founding team of Defy Trends. I’m very proud of that because it shows other women what is possible.

What is your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that had relevance to your own life?

“Well behaved women rarely make history,” is a one that feels relevant in our time. I’m often viewed as a rebel in the data science industry because I’ve created my own reality by building outside the boundaries of what is known as possible.

Whether it’s in academia or the workplace, women are often advised to conform and not make any waves. That’s something I was taught growing up and in my time in grad school. But had I stuck to that advice and remained a “well behaved woman,” I wouldn’t have built Defy Trends from the ground up and created a space for other women to dive into blockchain and crypto fearlessly. I think we all need a bit of a rebellious nature to accomplish big things.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I hope that our Ambassador Program is already doing just that- opening the space up to be inclusive and accessible for all and promoting education and involvement on a global scale. Web3 is a revolution that we hope to help everyone join regardless of knowledge base, prior involvement, wealth status, location, or any other factor.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

You can find us on

Follow us on Instagram for education @DefyTrends or Twitter

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

Wisdom From The Women Leading The Blockchain Revolution With Imge Su Cetin of Defy Trends was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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