All things change. Whatever is born is subject to decayThe Buddha
Feature Image of Venice, Italy by Gerhard Gellinger from Pixabay Picked that image remembering the Renaissance that started in that place.
2020 so far has been eventful is an understatement. First things first, COVID-19 is the black swan event, although a number of people have been expecting a pandemic outbreak, no one could actually predict the scale, speed and the timing of it. Actually, I stand corrected it was predicted and was in the fore-front of all high impact global threats but we did not take it seriously enough. It has decimated the tourism and travel industry, the healthcare system and globalization as we know it. I know we will cope, we will survive. Things will get much worse before it gets better.
The world is in constant change, however this Black Swan event like the ones before has fundamentally changed how we will do things in the future. The good thing is that we all will learn how to work remotely using digital technologies, which should help. Hopefully, we will fly less which is also a good thing as flying is one of the leading causes of Co2 emissions in the world. If you have not see the cleaning of the air and settling of the water when the shut down was implemented in Italy, you should. It should give us some data to conserve our natural surroundings from our footprints.
I wrote a post a while back about Digital being the 5th dimension and now it has become real to everyone. The current lock down has created opportunities to reinvent how we make and do things, it gives startups a huge leg up as startups are by definition should be leaders in the use of digital technologies and automation. It also puts pressure on startups that are not digital natives because incumbent businesses will start to look at digital technologies as a must have. I remember the dotcom days when having a website about your business was considered being digital. Going digital will mean a lot of things, the globalization may take a back seat but tapping the global talent to develop digital solutions will come to the forefront.
Cloud and Mobile native applications will become the norm, if you are a technology business and not deployed on the Cloud or have a mobile first strategy consider this your warning. You will go the way of the dodo. How much I believe in this? Well, I launched Iceland Venture Studio with the investment hypothesis that Personalization, Decentralization and Democratization of data and algorithms will be the future. Did you click on the link and read the investment hypothesis? No? I will wait…
As you can see how founders and entrepreneurs need to adapt and the CoVID-19 lock down has shown why this future is not that hard to imagine. Every team that we have invested in based on the above thesis will thrive in this future. Here is brief about each of them:
Retina Risk: Decentralized Algorithm that enables every diabetic patient to learn and understand the risk of diabetic retinopathy a.k.a blindness. This app allows every diabetic, irrespective of where they are in the world or what healthcare system they are part of to understand and self manage their risk of blindness.
Flow VR: Decentralized technology tools to enable anyone to learn meditation. The team is building a platform that can be used by any meditation teacher to leverage technology to transmit their knowledge as it relates to meditation. The mission of the company is to enable everyone in the world to meditate.
Indo Bank: Fully decentralized novel bank that gives you the highest interest rate without the risk. It democratizes the privileges enjoyed by banks from the central banks of the world. The first use case is a savings account that is simple to use, mobile first, cloud native banking technology.
GreenVolt: Decentralized energy storage using Nano technology. GreenVolt Nanomo technology can be used to make structural batteries that can be molded into any shape. The same nano particles can be used to coat the walls of a building, where the walls become the battery. This technology company can decentralize power, we can build homes in places where there is no need to have electricity power plants or transmission lines. The home only needs solar roofs and GreenVolt walls.
Expertrons: AI video bot-assisted platform to help professionals with their interview preparation & getting hired through referrals. Experts get a lifetime earning opportunity via one-on-one paid consultations. Again, democratizing access to mentors through AI technology so anyone who wants to learn from the experience of the mentor can do that. Recorded mentor video content is used by the AI video bot to create a real time conversation.
6 Degrees: Personalized wearable device that allows the disabled to control electronic devices. The device has various use cases but the most important and first one is to get those who are disabled to be able to use technology because it is not a nice to have but a must have today. The team is also working on bringing back some of the people who have been out of the labor market due to disability.
I am always available to talk to founders who are working on our investment thesis. We are seed/pre-seed investors so we write small checks but we progressively write bigger follow on investments to make the teams we invest in reach sustainability.