1. Who are you?
I’m a Canadian living in Germany for the past 15 years. For the past 12 years, I’ve built banks and financial services companies around the globe for Daimler and then in my own company Avantalion International Consulting. Now, I’m doing a second startup, ascribe.io to fix the UX for intellectual property.
2. Which services do you sell and who are your competitors?
We serve creators and content owners to register and transfer their intellectual property with less friction. We make money via API Calls, subscription and fee services. To date, there are no real competitors in this space. To now, there has not been a company that has tried to solve ownership of digital goods on a global level.
3. How did you get your startup idea and how did you finance your startup?
The total value of intellectual property in the world is $25 Trillion and we think it’s undervalued because the UX is broken.
Creators share their work and the idea spreads, but the attribution is lost. Consumers want to pay for content legally but the barriers are too high. And content owners have trillions of value in digital IP that is lying latent and unrealized.
We think that we can solve this problem to make the UX for buying, selling and licensing IP by starting with digital art.
We are financed by angels and VCs in Berlin, London, and New York.
4. What were the biggest challenges in starting?
Finding product/market fit. We need to find the people who have the highest pain point and then serve them. This helps us to define the boundaries of the problem so that we can deploy resources on the right tasks.
5. What areas within Tech do you personally find most interesting and why?
The art is in building a seamless UX that is intuitve and simple, but powerful. It’s all about cloaking complexity that lies under the hood so that people can get things done.
6. What opportunities do you see for Tech startups in the DACH region, and how can we help to accelerate it?
Innovation can happen anywhere because the barriers to entry are so low now. The challenge is to invest resources where natural advantages lie.
For DACH, I think it’s in areas of high-value, process-oriented and complex supply-chain components. Startups can leverage the very strong industrial and Mittelstand base to launch new products. DACH is in a good place for a host of Energy, 3D, Nanotechnology, AI/Robotics, Security & Privacy, and Blockchain startups. The possibilities are endless but you need the financial, legal and startup ecosystem working in tandem to realize the benefits.
I believe that Innovation happens best when government functions properly – universal health care, progressive immigration policies, balanced taxation and a reliable legal system.
7. What tip would you like to give Tech entrepreneurs?
Life is too short to be safe and conservative. We need more people who can dream big and then work towards achieving their goals. There’s no shortage of problems and challenges facing the world and given Germany’s central position in Europe and globally, it’s one of the best places to start a business in the world.