Leading discoveries and testing business ideas as CEO of Blocko Innovation Lab

My role

General Management

Innovation Strategy

Discovery & Design

blockchain concept

The challEnge

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?".

Approach

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.

highlights

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.

Outcomes

23
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

Key learnings

What I’m proud of

  • Had courage and resilience to lead and take action despite all uncertainties.
  • Successfully avoided the trap of building meaningless blockchain projects just for the hype.
  • Built a strong brand among the local tech community after only a few months in the market.
  • Stablished a horizontal, results-driven culture within the team.
  • I was recognized by my peers as a leader they are proud to work with.

Lessons learned

  • Hired the wrong person at the wrong time, which later led to a lay off.
  • Failed to say "no" sooner to stakeholders that were not positively contributing to our vision.
  • Spent too much time on partnerships that didn't lead to satisfying learnings or results.
  • Took weeks instead of days to test, learn and validate the first business hypothesis.

Let's Chat

I'm open to hearing about consulting inquiries or exciting full time opportunities worldwide

Currently based in Florianópolis, SC - Brazil