In June 2017, the founders of eSapiens Ventures assigned me to lead a new venture alongside two brilliant software engineers: explore business opportunities emerging from the rise of Blockchain Technology. With seed capital just enough to run experiments for a few months, at day one we were both thrilled and frightened: "What exactly are we going to do?".
Over the following weeks, I facilitated dozens of hours of research and business model workshops that uncovered an important insight: strong partnerships with local companies would be the key leverage needed to succeed in our task. We were surrounded by fantastic Law firms, Accounting offices, IoT startups, and other companies from a wide range of industries that were as eager as we were to dive into this unknown Blockchain universe – the perfect setting for co-creation efforts.
Blocko Innovation Lab was born with a bold vision: become Brazil's catalyst for new Blockchain-based products capable of shaping the future of industries such as Investment, Accounting, Law, Supply Chain, and others.
Named Blocko's CEO, I became responsible for both forming the right team to deliver on the vision, while managing a sustainable business. Over the following 18 months, I've connected and worked with entrepreneurs, venture capital teams, startups, and large companies from different sectors to uncover 20+ business opportunities.
Each of these opportunities was carefully framed and developed through a Double Diamond method, mixing design thinking & lean methods to deep dive into users’ needs → prototype fast → learn → iterate → repeat. Only a few ideas have been greenlighted to move forward, while most were either sent to re-evaluation or dropped.
We orchestrated a Joint Venture of three companies to ideate and test a platform that combines IoT, Blockchain, and industry expertise to ensure product authenticity, royalty audits, and Brand Management for Sports companies.
We collaborated with Brazil's largest private education group to define the scope of a nation-wide platform which unifies students records across schools, governments, and employers.
In partnership with two local law firms, we designed a digital service that automates usual processes of a lawyer's workflow by leveraging Smart Contracts on the Ethereum Network.
23 Business ideas co-created, tested, and validated for go/no go decisions
One of the greenlighted ideas has been launched in the market and already successfully met its product market fit
Gathered sufficient learnings to disqualify immature ideas before further investments
If kickstarting one single business is already very challenging, building from scratch an innovation lab set to validate several business ideas is definitely an epic journey. Blocko's endeavor is a long term marathon.
The innovation lab activities are currently on standby so the teams' attention and resources are directed to the products greenlighted for further investment. However, I still oversee these products as Head of Product at eSapiens Ventures, working closely with each team to ensure Product Market Fit and long-term sustainability.