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GAIA-X HACKATHON #6 – Alex’s Interview

Alex Bourlier, co founder of Startin’blox, participates to the hackathon. His role in Startin’blox is to be the Chief Revenue Officer, ensuring he has sufficient funds in our bank account at all times. This involves securing clients, investors, and research projects, which are vital for our revenue stream. 

Can you tell us about your role within Startin’blox and how it relates to your participation in the Gaia-X Tech-X Hackathon event?

Being here at TechX allows me to seek research partners for tender applications and explore EU projects related to data spaces, as the European Commission is investing in this area. Additionally, I’m looking for potential clients among funded data spaces where we can build applications. Lastly, I’m always on the lookout for potential investors and networking opportunities. While there are no investors present at this event, there i’s a chance for introductions through other funded projects and startups. I’m keeping an eye out for such opportunities, although it may not be necessary to discuss them publicly.

Can you tell us about the service providers you met during the event?

According to me Ithe most relevant service provider that we met here at the event regarding a potential collaboration is called  Cleyrop. Its strategic director, Arnold Muller was here. We had meaningful discussions. 

We also discussed with i2Cat, the Eclipse Foundation, iShare and Exaion. Follow up is on going, it is a bit too soon to tell if the projects we’re discussing together materialize or not.

Any other interesting encounters ?

We had interesting discussions with  I2cat. A Research Center which works on the App Store of IDSA – maybe the soon to be App Store for data spaces. We see strong connections among their initiatives and Startin’blox’s vision. We have looked at what they do and vice versa. We have presented to each other our vision and advances. A next step is to apply for public funding to finance our R&D efforts We are exploring promising avenues.

How did your participation in the event allowed Startin’blox to become known among dataspace actors?

Overall, our participation contributes to our reputation in the ecosystem, as establishing personal connections is crucial in the business world. Companies are composed of individuals, and personal interactions leave a lasting impression. By participating in events like this, we ensure our names are known within the ecosystem.

This event allowsed us to be visible to all ecosystem players, learn new things, and discover valuable funding, event, and partnership opportunities. It’s important not to underestimate the significance of in-person participation and the knowledge gained from such events, as online interactions alone cannot capture everything and we would miss out on a lot.

I had the opportunity to meet in person with people I knew by name, such as the Eclipse Foundation, known for producing widely-used software in the ecosystem. They are an open-source foundation, and since we also develop open-source software, there’s a natural alignment. The Eclipse Foundation is one of the largest in the world, if not the largest. During our discussions, it came to light that they are connected to a potential investor. 

The Eclipse Foundation, may assist us in building that connection. They understand our goals and have provided relevant suggestions to enhance our chances with potential investors. 

Thus, the people we meet can provide immediate assistance or keep us in mind for future collaborations or projects that align with our discussions.

What insights did you gain from the event to improve Startin’blox’s service offering?

On the commercial side, we have definitely acquired valuable knowledge and identified opportunities we were previously unaware of. This newfound understanding will make us more relevant in our market approach, including knowing what resonates with potential clients and using the right language. Additionally, through networking, we have discovered project opportunities that may materialize in the coming months.