Serial entrepreneur Anthony Zhang launched his latest venture, Vinovest, a fintech for fine wine investing, in 2020, just before the pandemic took hold. The stock market soon fell 30%, but Anthony claims the wine market did not follow this trajectory. It was on its own path. Two years later, Vinovest has more than 10,000 investors and is helping to turn luxury wine into a viable alternative asset class for mainstream investors.

“There is no other single place for people to learn about wine valuations other than us. If you look at a tech stock, you can see its track record, the products it produces, its management team, the returns you can expect,” he says. “Fine wine investors need the same information. We are trying to create parallels between wine and the stock market.”

Anthony started his first company, EnvoyNow, a food delivery app, when he was 19 and a student at USC. He expanded into 23 markets across college campuses nationwide, with hundreds of thousands of students using the app before the startup was acquired by a Walmart subsidiary.

Six years ago, when he was 21 and still growing the business, Anthony suffered a spinal cord injury that left him quadriplegic. On a ventilator for four months, he wasn’t sure he would be able to breathe on his own again. Six months into his recovery, he was breathing and eating independently and back to business.

“You have to will yourself to make it work. No one else can do it for you,” he says of his recovery. “That same mentality is true for building companies. It’s not just a straight line going up. It’s fighting and fighting and figuring it out.”

In today’s episode, Anthony speaks with Jamie and Ana about his lifelong desire to be a CEO, the lessons he’s learned, how Vinovest works, resilience and more.

Key Takeaways

  • Luxury assets such as wine often outperform the market, but only the very wealthy have access to them. There should be more open access to quality alternative assets for the average person.
  • The wine market has almost no correlation to the stock market, which makes it a more stable way to diversify and hedge against inflation.
  • Resilience is about being self-motivated. It’s about making moving forward the only option.

Quote

“Most people who suffer a spinal cord injury or paralysis never return to work. I want to be an example that it’s possible to go back and do the things you love. I don’t know of too many other CEOs who are in my condition, and I want to show it can still be done. ” – Anthony Zhang.

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