The importance of community within the start-up and blockchain industries.

When a mission is so aligned in a small community like ours, it is only logical to create partnerships with others who understand the value of a professional endeavour. After working closely with them on various occasions, Nick Cowan CEO of the Gibraltar Stock Exchange (GSX) and the Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange (GBX) made an announcement coinciding with the February Startup Grind event, that Startup Grind Gibraltar is now an official partner of their own community project the Blockchain Innovation Centre (BIC).

Coincidentally the guest speaker was professional basketball legend Ferran Martinez, who at present is the founder of the Sports Blockchain Revolution business globatalent.com. He has just launched Startup Grind Andorra as the Chapter Director. This once again is a testament to the extended family that is Startup Grind as the largest independent start-up community, actively educating, inspiring, and connecting 1,000,000 entrepreneurs in over 350 cities. They nurture start-up ecosystems in 120 countries through events, media, and partnerships with organizations like Google for Entrepreneurs. The global community works remotely with Chapter Directors in each city who are responsible for hosting monthly events featuring successful local founders, innovators, educators and investors who share lessons learned on the road to building great companies.

The BIC’s mission is to create and support an industry workforce in Gibraltar for the new digital era, working in partnerships to execute the local vision of facilitating breakthroughs within the global blockchain community. The partnership with Startup Grind Gibraltar is the first step in bringing together the community; delivering events featuring inspirational thought leaders and industry experts from across the globe. By sharing their knowledge and experience we hope to inspire, motivate and amplify the aspirations of the community in Gibraltar.

There is a global shortage of talent within blockchain as an industry. Gibraltar has become the natural home for businesses using the technology and now needs to help bridge the gap by becoming a catalyst for educational programmes and there was never a better moment now that we have our very own university. The BIC is setting its sights on offering developer and non-developer based re-education spanning the age divide.

We want to connect Gibraltar to the world of blockchain technology, striking up partnerships with local and international start-up hubs, universities and industry associations from Europe to Asia, USA and Australia using the current network available to them through GSX & GBX. Stay tuned at bic.gi for all available updates with the Blockchain Innovation Summit announced in January now being moved to September with the new developments making it an even bigger project than initially thought.

Working together developing a partnership that establishes strong communication and momentum with key elements in place to form a solid foundation and a core engine of innovation for growth. What sets us apart from the rest of the world in such a small state is our cultural characteristics, the entrepreneurial spirit that has brought us through the ages with the ability to act on our agility and resilience.

So naturally this is a time to encourage a community that embraces start-ups across all industries. Venture Capital, private investment and funding were almost at a standstill here in the past decade and more needs to be done to channel benefits towards the investment in start-ups and technology industries. The opposite of this is a culture that downplays innovation, rejects risk and change resulting in actively preventing economic development through innovation. If a market grows overall this will directly pave the way towards other companies being able to sell their products and provide their services so there is also a need to establish collaboration between companies. This is actively happening with GSX, GBX and BIC as a group prime examples of the type of industries that have increased shared benefits globally are within; cryptocurrencies, blockchain, augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR).

The start-up phenomenon has been built on a blank canvas, seeing failure and success become natural partners, doing away with traditional corporate structures and where ideas and passion become the lifeline to providing solutions with social purpose. Thanks to these breakthroughs we should also embrace another opportunity that could play a vital role in assisting Gibraltar’s tech workforce – remote work.  In a blog by emplo.com they describe simply: “This phenomenon is spreading across the globe because it can be beneficial to both businesses and their employees. You can observe a productivity increase among your workers, they are happier because not only do they get to spend more time with their families but they’re also less prone to stress. While you can save a lot of money on office lease and get access to a wider talent pool.” It is predicted the number of remote workers will grow to 1.87 billion by 2022. Senior Editor of Forbes.com Laura Shin has also written on the success of remote businesses in various online articles; she is now dedicated full time to her podcast on crypto ‘Unconfirmed: Insights and analysis from the top minds in Crypto.’ You can find it on itunes.apple.com.

In a fast changing world expertise is a term loosely used. Is it really possible to become an expert in industries that have emerged so recently? Just to be sure, there will be a whole range of BIC activities, adding to the monthly ‘Fireside Chat’ events that will provide further knowledge, education and continued professional development.

Startup Grind hosts two yearly international conferences Global Conference in Redwood City, Silicon Valley and Europe Conference in London Central Hall, Westminster this month; once again Gibraltar has a presence there.

For more information visit startupgrind.com/gibraltar.