Having moved to Hong Kong in March 2015 from Guernsey, I was not expecting to be in the blockchain industry two years later. However the experience gained during my 19 years in the finance industry where I played pivotal roles in establishing fund administration offices in South Africa and Hong Kong has allowed me to develop skills that I’ve been able to use in the various projects I have been involved with. These projects have ranged from a crypto to crypto exchange, a fork of bitcoin and a couple of blockchain projects, most notably PlannerScape, of which I am a Founding Partner and the Corporate Development Director. One of my responsibilities is to identify potential partners and advisers to help us fulfil the potential of our project.
Without partnerships, projects and companies have a lower success rate as they do not have all the resources, knowledge, experience and market presence for every aspect of their business. By partnering up with several companies or individuals this also provides different ideas, materials and expertise. This statement can also be made about advisers due to their varying backgrounds and experience in a relatively young industry.
So how do you choose a strategic partner? It really varies from company to company. I would expect at the very least the following to be on a ‘partnership criteria list’: experience, financial strength, honesty, trustworthiness, reputation, strong network, aligned vision, and transparency.
To date at PlannerScape, we have been fortunate enough to have already built a lot of strategic partnerships and preferred service providers such as Amazon, Blocklinker, The Hoffman Agency, Infralutions, Thomson Reuters and WeWork. The expertise of these partners includes cloud computing, blockchain development, PR, compliance and property letting.
OSL and Hublot Partnership
Partnerships may not always seem like they are the perfect match and whilst time will tell (no pun intended) whether the partnership between OSL and Hublot will be successful, I will use it as an example. OSL are Asia’s largest digital asset broker in Asia-Pacific (and, like us, are based in Hong Kong) whilst Hublot make luxury watches. The partnership announcement was made during Consensus in Singapore, an event that our CTO, CEO and I attended recently.
This partnership, at face value seems to adhere to all the aforementioned criteria and touches on what I mentioned at the start of this blog about strategic partnerships (Apple). Whilst at first it seems they have no connection, both companies can benefit immensely by understanding and appreciating each other’s unique strengths and advantages to tap into a market they are not already involved in.
Liverpool Football Club and Tibet Water Resources Partnership
My second example is not a success story but highlights the importance of how much there is to consider when determining partners.
Liverpool Football Club (“LFC”), the eighth most valuable football club in the world signed a deal with Tibet Water Resources Ltd (“TWR”) in July 2017. The intention was clear: TWR would benefit from LFC’s worldwide exposure and LFC would continue to grow their unrivalled support in Asia. However, before long it became apparent that fans of the club were not happy with the partnership due to various reasons which resulted in LFC not renewing the partnership after 12 months.
For an institution like LFC they can afford to have a bad partnership or one bad decision as they have several potential partners knocking at the door but for smaller start-ups it is vital that the right partners are chosen.
Negative publicity or concerns within the industry at an early stage does not bode well long term especially with all the trolls and fudsters in the arena.
Partnerships at PlannerScape
At PlannerScape, we are trying to collaborate with the right partners. We are building partnerships to sustain the long-term future of PlannerScape. For anyone reading this who may be interested in partnering up with us then please do not hesitate to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want to stay up to date with the PlannerScape project, please join our telegram group and help us grow our partnerships and community. We are also on several social media channels, so feel free to follow us on your preferred platform:
Keep your eyes peeled for our next blog!
Have a great week.