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Innovation, challenges and new solutions. Read Barry’s story here.

Transforming Challenges into Opportunities: My Journey from Corporate Innovation to Startup Success.

My story is a testament to the power of innovation, a principle I’ve embraced throughout my career. Before my current role as an Innovation Lead at Aimforthemoon, I spent over eight years at ING Bank. It was around 2017 when ING intensified its focus on innovation, offering me opportunities to engage in events and collaborate with other innovation teams. During this period, blockchain technology captivated my interest, sparking the idea of a blockchain-powered, equity-based crowdfunding platform for small and medium businesses.

However, the path of innovation is seldom straight. Early on, I encountered numerous challenges, as many initial assumptions about my project proved unfeasible. Through extensive discussions with managers, directors, and founders, I realized that the execution of my concept was more complex than anticipated. Fortunately, we identified these issues within six weeks, minimizing resource expenditure. Although our initial proposition was invalidated, our research uncovered a significant market need.

We identified that private limited liability companies (BVs) in the Netherlands were burdened by outdated and inefficient processes for company registration and modifications. Simple actions, like transferring shares, incurred hefty notarial fees. Moreover, the mandatory physical shareholder registers were often misplaced or outdated, highlighting a system ill-suited for the modern era.

Addressing this need, we initiated the development of a digital solution within ING, which eventually evolved into Evidend. The journey was arduous, laden with bureaucratic hurdles typical of large banks. For example, setting up a bank account for viability tests took over six months. The stringent requirements imposed by risk managers further impeded our progress. However, a fortuitous turn of events occurred when ING, after a challenging fiscal year, decided to divest from our project, enabling us to acquire the intellectual property (IP).

We purchased the IP while continuing our roles at the bank. Then, as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded, it coincidentally catalyzed the need for digital solutions, with physical notary visits becoming impractical. This shift in circumstances led to our collaboration with legal publishing company SDU, resulting in the sale of Evidend.

Reflecting on this journey, my greatest pride lies in challenging a centuries-old system and creating a solution poised to endure for decades. While I valued my time at Evidend, I realized my true passion lay in pioneering new solutions and guiding others in the art of innovation. This realization led me to Aimforthemoon, where I now have the liberty to make significant contributions through innovative endeavors.