Business in the Front, Crypto in the Back: How to Be a Blockchain Startup in Fintech

15 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2019 Last revised: 9 Sep 2019

See all articles by Henry M. Kim

Henry M. Kim

York University - Schulich School of Business

Ushnish Sengupta

University of Toronto, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, Students; York University - Schulich School of Business

Marek Laskowski

York University; University of Guelph

Date Written: July 19, 2019

Abstract

We present the journey by which Novera, a blockchain start-up, partnered with CompanyX, an SME investment firm actively looking for opportunities to leverage disruptive technologies. We believe that the key to this journey is expressed in Novera’s “Business in the front, crypto in the back” perspective. Finance is highly regulated and conservative. So, Novera would not have been able sell its concept for a novel bitcoin tracking fund that received over $1M in venture capital without its corporate ethos: Novera would be able to walk into any boardroom and clearly demonstrate compliance to regulations, and moreover show that their business practices would meet stringent expectations of large financial institutions. At the same time, it is Novera’s vision to innovate beyond the fund to a blockchain-based token platform that keeps its team of technologists motivated and forward-looking. We advise others weighing investment in blockchain, especially SME’s and start-ups in finance, to understand and manage this dichotomy.

Keywords: Blockchain, Decentralized Finance, SME's, Entrepreneurship

Suggested Citation

Kim, Henry M. and Sengupta, Ushnish and Laskowski, Marek, Business in the Front, Crypto in the Back: How to Be a Blockchain Startup in Fintech (July 19, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3423179 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3423179

Henry M. Kim (Contact Author)

York University - Schulich School of Business ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

Ushnish Sengupta

University of Toronto, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, Students ( email )

252 Bloor St. West
Toronto, Ontario M5S 1V6
Canada
(647) 210-2524 (Phone)

York University - Schulich School of Business ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada
(647) 210-2524 (Phone)

Marek Laskowski

York University ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

University of Guelph ( email )

Guelph, Ontario
Canada

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