Entrepreneurs Respond to Economic Crises

An entrepreneur looks at the world as a puzzle to solve. She looks for pain points and opportunities to do the hard work other people aren’t willing to do. So it has ever been: entrepreneurs tinkering at the margins move society forward. As George Bernard Shaw once wrote:

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

I work with an amazing company called Lykke that is responding to the outdated and fee-driven financial system with its own solution: an open-source exchange for all financial assets, from currencies to stocks and bonds to options and swaps to land and property of all kinds. Our product, the Lykke wallet, lets people buy and sell currencies as cryptographic tokens that settle on the bitcoin blockchain. It sounds exotic, but in reality it’s just a better way to exchange value from person to person.

We want to start to branch out now, bringing our platform to more people in more places. So we’re having a contest to find bright entrepreneurs who can bring our solutions to cities around the world.

The Lykke Subsidiary Challenge

Lykke has a wallet for exchanging currencies on iOS and Android. Using the wallet, people can register, upload cash, and then trade to other currencies and from person to person. Buying other currencies is extremely inexpensive — we have some of the lowest spreads of any exchange, and no fees. Settlement takes place in minutes on the bitcoin blockchain. You can download the wallet by searching for it in your app store and see it in our YouTube video channel.

We are looking for teams in any country who want to set up a Lykke subsidiary and run it. Examples:

  • Set up a bank account in one city in India to accept people sending us rupees. In exchange, we give them rupee tokens in our app, and they can use that to make purchases, exchange money with each other, and buy other currencies as a hedge against currency fluctuations.
  • In Uganda, we have a partnership with Bitbond to help convert bitcoin loans into local currencies. We need someone to facilitate that and show people how to use our wallet to manage their money.
  • We can create and issue local currencies just for one community. This has been done many times in the past and could be a path to a solution for some communities.

There are three phases to getting Lykke started in your country:

  1. An initial set-up phase of around 90 days to secure licenses, bank accounts, team members, do market research, and plan the launch.
  2. A launch phase of 6 months to get people using the system.
  3. An ongoing business phase that continues to build on the initial success, add more products and features, integrate more with local partners, and become part of the Lykke network worldwide .

We plan to start with a lean phase 1 that leads to a lean phase 2, using resources as effectively as possible. We will work with award winners to support their efforts through each phase. This could eventually lead to full-time employment or a franchise/profit-sharing model and can be taken to other cities.

How to Apply

We are looking for people who can take action and show us that they have the passion for solving a serious problem. You will have to open a bank account, accept currency, create and issue our tokens for local currency, arrange for a license, get the word out, etc. Our budget for this depends on the location, the market, and what you think you can accomplish. It will help if people on your team have experience in digital currencies, banking, business development, local and online marketing, currency trading, licenses, regulations, and media. We are looking for your enthusiasm and drive to solve problems in your country.

Please include the following in your response:

  • Team names, histories, capabilities
  • Your country, city, market, demographics, and banking/currency situation
  • Experience with broker’s, e-money, or payment licenses
  • Plan for first set-up phase of about 90 days, including expenses and metrics
  • Plan for next six months’ marketing and roll-out, including budget

You should plan on spending two weeks on this proposal. Feel free to include videos, spreadsheets, slide decks — anything that shows you will be able to set up a local Lykke subsidiary. See Lykke.com to learn about the licenses we already have — you will be responsible for setting up licenses and staying compliant.

Awards: We will give one $2,000 first-place award to an exceptional and market-ready response. We will also give three second-place awards of $1,000. Teams that win may be asked to collaborate with other winners.

Deadline: The contest ends on Saturday, January 28th, at 4pm Central European time. Please register by January 14th (though you can register later if necessary).

A few disclaimers: There is no guarantee of winning a prize. The prizes are only awarded to entries that the Lykke judges find worthwhile. Prizes are awarded in Lykke coins, which may be redeemed for currency and sent to your bank. You must be at least 18 years of age. You must not submit twice — your first submission is the one that counts, so test it on other people before you commit. You will be responsible for declaring your own income to your local tax authorities. All submissions will be disclosed to the public on the Lykke web site. The prizes are given at Lykke’s sole discretion. The decisions of the judges will be final — there is no appeals process if your project does not win a prize. No other compensation will be given at this stage.

To learn more, visit Lykke.com, get your Lykke wallet at the app store or Google Play, and see our videos on on YouTube. We also have a telegram community, where you can meet others interested in solving such problems.

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Provocateur, professional heretic, slayer of myths, speaker of truthiness to powerfulness, and defender of the Oxford comma.

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