Interview with FinTech4Good President Xiaochen Zhang in New York Stock Exchange
By: BGN - Blockchain Global News
Published: Feb.2nd, 2019
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Patricia Wu: Welcome, Xiaochen. I love that name. Tell us about your company.
Xiaochenn: Sure, FinTech4Good is a global network that through our investments, advisory, media, education program that we connect the blockchain startups with investors, with thought leaders and also with policy-makers. Our overall mission is to help to scale 100 blockchain and fintech companies within two years and helping them using their solutions to address global sustainability development goals.
Vince Molinari: Xiaochen, we might go back to the UN. I am mutual works, and clearly you reference these sustainable development goals. Really important and clearly the name reflects a focus on doing good. With the company that you work with, how may would you say have a focus on impact, or having a metric aside from the traditional rate of return.
Xiaochen: Yeah, majority of the companies that we work with have impact focus. And the reason is very simple, companies with impact focus face more challenges to communicate that angel to the investors. Through our work, we help them to, basically, to help the investors understand they will not only bring the finical return but also bring the environmental and social return. I will give a few examples. One of the companies is Vodi, as a micro-tasking platform, through their new technology, that's much less the groups can really just receive payment through completing micro-digital task, this has been tested in Vietnam. And another company, as blockchain based P2P energy company, through their work, it can address a lot of renewable energy current problems in many developing countries. I can give a lot of examples like that. Through our work, we help them to not only bring new capital in to their existing practice but also help them come with the story which the investors and also government officials understand the potential impact they can bring to the economy.
Vince Molinari: Great! And you able to measure those KPIs of those results along what you are doing?
Xiaochen: Yeah, and we mainly use United Nation SDGs as our overall framework, from the 17 goals and 169 targets that we basically convert in to our investment philosophy and also methodology. As of now, we use 5 indicators to capture how much we have helped them to bring that impact to the world, which include 3 main targets, we call them “Responsible Innovation Framework”, which include: green, impact and also innovation. From the green, that is about medication and adaptation. For the impact side, it is about social and environmental return. And for the innovation, that frontier and adaptive innovation.
Patricia Wu: So, it is like, listening to you as you really try to nurture the startups. You have many different initiatives, one of them is the Digitalx100 acceleration program. Tell us a little bit more about that.
Xiaochen: Sure, in the blockchain and Fintech space, startups face a lot of challenges, many of them already have a minimal product ready to be launched, but then they are in lack of capital, they are in lack of market entry expertise, they also are in lack of the potential advisory service being provided by the industry experts. Through a two-month acceleration program, we help the top 10 most impactful blockchain fintech companies to meet their own targets. For this program, something special we designed is called “Global Fellowship Program”, for each startup we match them with 3 interns that we pre-trained, later, these interns will work with them in these two months, and to do research and many other works. In this status, not only they help the company to reach its goals but also the interns, as students, can get the first-hand experience by working with the leading technology companies.
Vince Molinari: Xiaochen, in that process, when they graduate from the accelerating program. Do they have accesses to capital, do you help them be able to grow and execute on that business plan?
Xiaochen: For the acceleration program, we have our own fund dedicated to the acceleration program. We also have a network of investment fund who are looking at our startups graduating from the acceleration program. Comparing with the last year 2018, we received around 2 hundred applications from one of our acceleration programs. We selected around 15 companies, through this, what we called “Asian blockchain acceleration week”, (we) brought them directly to China and Korea. They would not only be able to meet with the investors face to face, but also identify the partners whom they can partner within those markets immediately. Within a very short period of time, they can access their market entry strategy, and also find right partner to build their plans there.
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Patricia Wu: Speaking of China, you just recently completed China top 10 blockchain Innovations. That’s exciting!
Xiaochen: Yes, it is. This is a global series that we are identifying the global top 10 blockchain startups innovations in 2018. The phase one of that event is “China top 10 blockchain innovations in 2018”. We got around 10 blockchain leaders in the space, each one of them nominated 3 companies, then we invited the public to vote for the top 10 from these top 30. Within half month we got 1.4 million people who got involved in this. Now we have our China top 10 already selected, which include from the public ledger to the most influential blockchain applications in the finical service, energy, and many other sectors. Next week, we will have the communication out. And the top 3 out of this (China) top 10 will join the other 27 blockchain innovations from other 9 countries, to compete for the “top 10 blockchain innovations in 2018” globally.
Vince Molinari: So, you are truly moving this on scale. Within 10 or 11countries?
Vince Molinari: That is truly epic in size and how quickly you move. When the result comes, when do you find out who the ultimate winner is?
Xiaochen: We will announce the China top 10 in the week of Feb 5th. In April, we will organize the “Blockchain Disrupter Summit” in Seoul, Korea. There we will announce the global top 10. In addition to that, during the New York Blockchain Week in May, we will also organize the “Responsible Blockchain Summit” in New York, many leaders who are involved in this space will celebrate together with our global top 10 and country-specific top 10 in New York.
Patricia Wu: China is one of the largest investors in the blockchain space, how does the government treat the space.
Xiaochen: Blockchain is definitely a very important area of focus for the China government. The year before, China has already included blockchain in the China’s 5-year economic development plan. After that, it was translated into sector’s specific 5-year plan, so each of the minitractors now has a blockchain minded. This is why you can see blockchain is being promoted not only at the national level but also at the local level. In addition to the policy incentive, we also see many local governments have partnered with the private sectors to launch large scale blockchain investment fund, especially in Hangzhou city, in Wuhan city. All those funds are at billion dollars in scale. China has been within the top 3 blockchain investors, in the past few years. From the patent site, in the past two years, China has published more than four hundred patents, which makes China as the number one blockchain patents owners’ country, next to that is the U.S., and Australia which has around 100 patents and 40 patients. Of course, China is really promoting blockchain based technology innovations. But from the investment side, or blockchain based fund-raising side, Chinese government is very cautious. You can see that, the ban of ICO, also more conservative for the message towards the STO, have sent a signal that China defiantly want to protect the investors from the blockchain based fraud.
Patricia Wu: So, we certainly covered a lot of ground here today, thank you so much, Xiaochen.
Xiaochen: Thank you.
Patricia Wu: For more information you can visit https://www.fintech4good.co/