Jonathan Moyal cofounded Oliver.ai, to reduce the cost and stress for those applying for a visa to the United States, a problem many of their friends had faced. They promote themselves as The easiest and most secure way to get your visa for the United States.
Jonathan’s ancestry is so global, Moroccan, Jewish, French, American, with a Spanish last name, that he can have empathy for almost any tourist, student, or immigrant trying to navigate the visa system.
Their service is combination of software – which checks the applicants’ paperwork for errors or potential problems – and personal service which sets up appointments and guides the applicant through the process.
Although he comes from generations of old world entrepreneurs, famous for trading, his secret skill is in building his network of exchange. He explains exactly how his ‘favor bank’ works.
“If you go as a tourist to the old city, to this day, in Marrakesh, and you want to buy a pair of shoes, and he doesn’t have your size. He’s going to say sorry, hold on hold on, and he’s going to bicycle to the other end of the market, to someone who should be his competitor. And he’s going to grab a pair of shoes and sell them to you.
So there is this network of exchange, largely based on trust, based on favors.
I realized that I’ve created a similar network of support in the investor community, the entrepreneurial community, and in the not-at-all entrepreneurial community – so that’s my secret sauce. When I look at my success today – we just raised a round, it will be in the news soon – as compared to when I started out – I started out very alone. It’s not networking. My mother calls it the favor bank. When people need something, they come to me and I give it to them, I don’t ask why. If I have the right contact for you and you are someone that I trust, I will not hesitate a second and will give it to you. Inevitably over time, it’s not that people owe you one, it’s that people trust you, so when you need something, you don’t need to feel ashamed to go ask. That network has been invaluable to me over the years, and continues to grow.”
That’s why he wants to help you!
He also shares valuable advice he receive from his dad, who arrived in the US with about two dimes in his pocket.
I asked him if the French were really the way Americans perceive them. As a board member on La French Tech, he was the perfect person for me to ask. Guess what. The French tech scene in New York, is a lot bigger that you imagine.