Global Startup Grind Community Gathers in London for Europe Conference
As the first jurisdiction in the world to launch regulations for DLT related businesses, the month of June welcomed many start-ups in the space visiting Gibraltar to announce their activity here making local and global media headlines. Corroborated by recent press releases of eToro coming to Gibraltar, Xapo’s and TokenMarket’s local expansion, RSK presentation at ISOLAS Law Firm, Huobi and local B21 looking at licensing and Coinsilium establishing themselves here to name a few.
Twice a year the global Startup Grind community gets together in San Francisco and London for the Europe Conferences bringing together huge audiences who attend to be part of the future of entrepreneurship, fintech, and more. The conference held on June 13th at Central Hall, Westminster is hosted by Derek Andersen, Founder and CEO of Startup Grind. Approximately a total of 2,500 people, many of them founders and investors from across the globe, and over 100 European start-ups will be exhibiting. With more than 75 speakers across three stages, the conference featured a range of sessions including thought-provoking keynotes, educational workshops, and intimate VC Q&As highlighting this year’s topics, including Blockchain, AI, fintech and more.
There are also opportunities before each conference for local start-ups to apply to exhibit and become part of the Startup Grind programme; chapter directors in every city get to recommend local start-ups in their community who will get priority in the application process. Startup programme inductees also receive quick-fire pitch opportunities on stage and training, onsite branding at the conference, connections to our 200+ network of investors and more (to apply go to startupgrind.com/startup).
It is evident that the brand is works hard at maintaining their position as the number one organisation supporting start-ups in the world.
Last month as part of the ongoing campaign to become pioneers in the sector Paul Astengo, Senior Executive with Gibraltar Finance, who leads on new technology initiatives, participated on a panel at the conference breakout stage dedicated entirely to Fintech, which featured Gibraltar. The panellists held a discussion titled “Gibraltar: The Crypto Harbour For Blockchain and Fintech” which also included George McDonaugh, CEO, KR1 and Nick Cowan, CEO, Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange. The Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange (GBX) was proud to be sponsoring the Startup Grind event; they saw an opportunity to be present at one of the leading events for start-ups, with a particular focus on Fintech, as one that the team were excited to be a part of. The bringing together of so many thought leaders, innovators and founders, both speaking and networking at one event creates invaluable opportunities and they have done an outstanding job of this over the past 9 months having a presence at events all over the world.
Albert Isola, Minister for Commerce commented, “Gibraltar strides ahead as we continue to develop an ecosystem for DLT and related businesses. This Government, working in partnership with the Financial Services Commission, private sector, and industry leaders is fully focussed on successfully creating a supportive environment that delivers the results that will ensure the continued prosperity of our community. Start-up businesses are an important component of this infrastructure, so I am very pleased to see that we continue to be asked to share our thoughts and vision with this global audience.”
GBX wants to demonstrate their vision for how they can help shape and nurture this ground-breaking space, which starts with events such as Startup Grind. GBX aims to build a world-leading institutional-grade token sale platform; the GBX GRID and Digital Asset Exchange. Through best practices and good governance brought over from the Gibraltar Stock Exchange (GSX), they seek to establish a new era in token sales, raising standards across the industry. Blockchain technology has revolutionised the way in which start-ups gain access to funding, and through their comprehensive ecosystem, the GBX aims to help innovative projects that pass the rigorous listing process gain access to that funding. The GBX GRID is where AML/KYC account holders on GBX can get ‘one-click’ access to institutional-grade token sales that adhere to a rules-based system, all housed within a secure exchange environment. This process allows participants to get exposure to top-tier token sales and provides issuers with pathways to other avenues of funding for their business. (You can keep up to date on their websites: gbx.gi and gsx.gi.)
Local Fintech start-ups have also emerged. B21 is bringing investing in crypto assets to the masses by building a personal wealth management platform, which enables users to create their own portfolio of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, EOS and others. The app allows customers to invest using local fiat currency, has a user-friendly portfolio dashboard and also supports recurring investments, allowing users to set financial goals and invest over longer periods of time. B21’s objective is to build the world’s largest crypto asset investment community by bringing millions of new investors to the crypto ecosystem.
The B21 team is comprised of experts from the payment, investment and blockchain backgrounds. CEO Simon Pearson has over 15 years of experience in investment banking and the fintech sector in Gibraltar. B21 also has a team of leading industry advisors, which includes renowned crypto experts Michael Terpin, Joey Garcia and Samson Lee. The company currently has 12 employees spread around the world, with the headquarters residing at the World Trade Centre in Gibraltar. B21 aims to be the world’s first tokenized and regulated crypto company and is one of the 30 applicants for the Gibraltar DLT license – which is now in process.
There is an exciting buzz at the moment surrounding the blockchain, crypto and start-up space and it is an incredible journey to be a part of, through the events series and now also the Blockchain Innovation Centre. Working together with all the elements and professionals in the space will be the backbone to create a successful and thriving innovative industry in the not too distant future in Gibraltar. As Senior DLT Advisor at GFSC Sian Jones said in her recent presentation at the KPMG e-summit: “The future is bright; the future is red and white.”
BY DENISE MATTHEWS