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An EClub take on all things entrepreneurship happening @ LBS in Jan
Greetings from LBS! As we step into February, London is finally getting sunny, breaking through the doom and gloom of the post festive season hangover, culminating with all the exciting things that happened on campus in January.
In this edition, we are focusing on two exciting events that took place on the LBS campus that brought in some HODLing participants and speakers, as well as hackers and builders from across London, providing a quick snapshot of the rich and dynamic ecosystem at LBS supporting web3 entrepreneurs and hackers alike in case you missed attending these events! Now put your FUD aside and dig in.
The London Business School Blockchain Society’s mission is to make web3 accessible to all. The community is one of the most passionate and enthusiastic on campus, with each talk having a litany of IRL audience questions. This year’s event was sponsored by the BCB Group, NEAR Foundation and a16 Crypto. To give a quick summary:
This year’s blockchain summit peaked some astounding milestones:
6 Panel/Speaker events
Bootcamp and Hackathon led by the NEAR Foundation
There were many interesting discussions covered, from regulation and CBDCs to the web3 startup and VC ecosystem.
Some notable speakers that attended included Marieke Flament (CEO of the NEAR Foundation and LBS Alumna), Thomas Doyle (Coinbase, Head of Hedge Fund Sales EMEA). Daniël Rood (Google Cloud, Head of Web3), Tyrone Lobban (J.P. Morgan, Head of Blockchain Launch), Amit Chaudhary (Polygon, Head of DeFi Research), Dr. Bernhard Kronfellner (Boston Consulting Group, Partner & Associate Director).
In addition to these, the highlight of the event was the LBS Web 3 startups showcase where each company pitched their company/product to the crowd. Congratulations to all those who featured (including our very own Grace from the LBS EClub):
Fyde Treasury, presented by Behrin Naidoo, Bo Zhang, and Carlos Noe Saavedra
HashSafe, presented by Park Yeung
Popp, presented by James Cochrane-Dyet and Sam Dhesi
Kiln, presented by Thomas de Phuoc
Unlonely, presented by Grace Guan
Martian Wallet, presented by Abhinav Bhardwaj
Meta Lordz, presented by Dan Bronstein
WyzePay, presented by Anya Markitanova
Unagi, presented by Remi Pellerin
Here’s a spotlight of three of the companies showcased:
1.Ultimate Champions by Unagi
Ultimate Champions is an entirely free-to-play fantasy football game with officially licensed digital cards hosted as NFTs on the blockchain. Charlie & Remi, the founders of Ultimate Champions have 7 years experience co-managing a game studio at Ubisoft. They grew their team from 35 to 120 employees, managed highly profitable F2P community-based web games and launched new F2P mobile games with multi-million dollar marketing budgets. Unagi has been gaining some impressive traction with over 140K NFT packs sold with a 5.3% conversion rate and over $1.3M revenues in the past 5 months.
Kiln is a staking platform you can use to stake directly, or whitelabel your staking product. In case you are wondering what staking is - Staking is a way to secure a blockchain by proposing new blocks or attesting to other validator’s blocks to earn rewards in the form of coins or tokens. Founded by Laszlo Sabo, Ernest Oppetit and Thomas de Phuoc, the team at Kiln believes that staking is the closest thing we can get to a blockchain network’s “risk-free rate” and that as the crypto economy matures, more long term investors would be attracted to this native form of yield for their PoS (Proof of Stake) assets. Kiln supports a wide range of institutional customers such as custodians, wallets, exchanges, market makers, funds, banks and anyone dealing with cryptocurrencies. Their customers include the likes of Ledger, Flowdesk, Binance US and Lido.
3. Martian Wallet
Martian Wallet is a self custodial wallet to store and transfer your NFTs and Crypto in a safe and secure manner. The importance of self custody has become even more relevant with the new slogan of the cryptoverse: “Not your Keys, Not your Coins”. It is currently available on Chrome but soon to be launched on iOS and Android Play Store. Co-Founded by Utkarsh Sinha and Siddharth Jain, Martian Wallet is currently in the Aptos and Sui ecosystem - new layer 1 projects that seek to solve the scalability, safety and decentralization challenges.
Next up we have HackLBS, a flagship hackathon hosted by the LBS Entrepreneurship Club bringing together aspiring entrepreneurs, coders and designers and enabling them to put on their ideation hats to create exciting products. HackLBS was open to all with different themes and cash prizes totalling to £3000.
There were 80 individuals creating 18 teams from across the UK. This year’s themes were:
Improving Thyself: How can we use technology to make or break habits?
Improving the Planet: How can we use technology to reduce food and product waste?
Hacker’s Paradise: Open challenge - solve anything that bugs you.
This event was powered by the Institute of Entrepreneurship and Private Capital and our wonderful alum Nigel Morris and Lori Morris alongside BCG X. All the participants and teams came through with superb pitches with a final showcase where the finalists pitched their ideas in front of a stellar judge panel which included: Matthew Sinclair, Jeffrey Eneberi, Sid Singh, Nitish Malhotra, Rupal Patel, Jeff Skinner, Matthew Brooke-Hitching, Osman Haneef, Amanda Hultman, Elisabetta Zaccaria, and Max Comfort.
A special shout out to LBS alum and founder of Days, for supplying our hackers with Days’ alcohol-free beer.
Winners of HackLBS 23’:
Serve Circular [Improving the Planet]: A software that helps restaurants reduce food wastage and costs through optimisation of order quantity, promotion recommendations and menu engineering
SquadGoals [Hacker’s Paradise]: Helping communities participate in goals to change habits through a buy in while rewarding the winners with a pot of earnings
(Jacquie Harvey, Nicola Gubb, Krishna Kanneganti)
Spotlight on Mongo - Winner of Hacker’s Paradise
Mongo is a product that plays on a rising trend - for young people to gain knowledge outside the typical search ecosystem or traditional means. Over 46% of Gen Z is on TikTok and a growing number of them have been using Tiktok for educational content. The Mongo team was able to tap into this effect and even launched a real Tik Tok page that had hundreds of interactions during a short span of 24 hours. In their pitch, Mongo demonstrated a prototype that gamified the learning experience through rewards or Mongos that you can earn through a customized, highly interactive experience and differentiated among the various elements of attention that capture and influence Gen Z behavior.
Congratulations to the winners, we hope that you bring these products to market soon! While this month has been busy we have a lot to look forward to with the LBS Launchpad 23’ Cohort being selected and gearing up for the program.
Follow the Launchpad page for more details, and watch out for our next edition! Until then, get some sun and enjoy the additional 83 mins of sunlight :)
Thanks for reading, see you next month! Do you have any comments or feedback? Get in Touch!