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Lithium Ventures named the winner of pitch competition

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Sean Stapley, one of the organisers of Penrose’s pitch tech competition (Photograph supplied)

Ben Doherty, founder of web3 community management platform Lithium Ventures was named the winner of Penrose Partners’ pitch tech competition.

The competition was held virtually, as part of the Fourth Annual International Tech Summit 2023 which wrapped up on Friday. Ten start-ups, mostly from Canada and the United Kingdom, participated.

Ben Doherty, of Lithium Ventures, winner of Penrose’s Pitch Tech competition (Photograph supplied)

Each competitor in the competition had five minutes to pitch their tech business, then five minutes to answer questions from the judges.

During his pitch, Mr Doherty explained that Lithium Ventures provides deep dashboard analytics to allow web3 projects to manage, grow, engage and incentivise their community.

Lithium Ventures provides deep dashboard analytics (Photograph supplied)

“Our bet is that community economy is the fastest growing lever of marketing and advertising in the new sense,” Mr Doherty said. “We have one app for the businesses and one app for users that is a gamified discovery platform whereby you complete missions, discover projects and are rewarded with incentives, either online or offline.”

Lithium Ventures is gambling on artificial intelligence becoming a core driver of the community economy.

“You have been under a rock if you have not been keeping up with ChatGPT,” said the Hackney-based Mr Doherty.

“We were on the ChatGPT developer programme and we are already looking at building a simple plug-in that would add so much community leverage to the community managers using our platform.“

First, second and third place received an introduction to private investors and consulting hours with the Penrose Partners team and select ecosystem partners, Renga and Incubella.

Nick Almond, of Factory DAO (Photograph supplied)

The second-place winner was Nick Almond, of Factory DAO in Toronto.

What is a DAO

A decentralised autonomous organisation or DAO is a community-driven initiative where members have control over organisation operations. Like traditional organisations, DAOs are bound by laws, but unlike centralised structures, the laws are written on software code.

Mr Almond said DAOs are very much the future but have some fundamental flaws.

For example, last year a group of crypto investors putting their money into Wyoming land lost $92,000 because of a Discord hack. The loss was blamed on social engineering and faulty security measures.

“A lot of token holders and users have been genuinely harmed in the last cycle and we are here to fix some of those issues,” Mr Almond said.

He said Factory DAO has found some “robust solutions” to loopholes of fake decentralisation and broken governance in this space.

Third-place winner Aaron Martinez, founder of Silo Defi, said: “We are raising $2 million in seed to deliver the first comprehensive defi-driven suite. It will offer fully collateralised options, defi clearinghouse, off chain, fire blocks integration, on-exchange wallet and more.”

Aaron Martinez, of Silo Defi (Photograph supplied)

Mr Martinez was located in Texas.

Two Bermuda-based start-ups, Cactus Ltd and Iternal, competed but did not place.

James Robinson, founder of Cactus Ltd, said his company was trying to solve “prickly problems” of insurance and reinsurance.

Cactus Ltd is the Bermuda-based company behind Marmalade, the deal-pricing and data-capture system.

Last year $150 million of reinsurance premium was priced and processed through the Cactus platform.

“Our target clients are independent brokers who have small deals they want to be placed in the large market,” Mr Robinson said.

Mr Robinson said he was starting with the excess property casualty market on the island because in Bermuda he can access senior leaders quickly.

“That allows you to get decisions made without having to go through several levels of bureaucracy,” Mr Robinson said.

This was Cactus’s third time taking part in the competition. Mr Robinson said they would “absolutely” take part in the pitch again next year.

Judges came from a variety of tech backgrounds and included Jared Henriques, Inayat Irfan, Matthew He, Stephen Edvi, Matthew Rose-Heuman and Almar Sheikh.

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Published April 17, 2023 at 7:54 am (Updated April 17, 2023 at 7:54 am)

Lithium Ventures named the winner of pitch competition

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