Diamonds are forever. And so is the blockchain. Entrepreneur Leanne Kemp tells us more.
“If nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies.” That’s the signature statement on Leanne Kemp’s Skype. This Queenslander likes change and a challenge. She runs Everledger, a tech firm that tracks the provenance of diamonds and other valuables. Lucky for us, she’s one of the speakers at Advance Queensland Innovation and Investment Summit this week in Brisbane.
Are diamonds really a girl’s best friend?
Of course! We’ve always been enraptured with the sparkle and mystique of diamonds, and our obsession isn’t going to fade. It’s predicted by 2019 our demand for diamonds will start to outpace supply. What’s changed is our awareness. People want to know where their diamonds come from. There’s a real need for transparent, ethical supply chains.
Give us the elevator pitch for Everledger
Everledger is a digital, global ledger that tracks and protects items of value, and we’re on the blockchain. Our platform creates a permanent record of the history of diamonds, luxury goods or any item of value that requires provenance to be transparent. We’re putting bling on the blockchain!
Backing up a bit, how did you come to run Everledger?
I’m a serial entrepreneur at heart (seriously, Everledger is my fourth startup!). I’ve worked in the jewellery, diamond and insurance claim industry for over 10 years.
After years of having seen items of value recorded on paper — leaving them open and vulnerable to theft and fraud — I got the idea of a digital record. The advent of blockchain technology, made it possible.
In 2015 I packed up my bags and moved to London, one of the epicentres of the global diamond industry, and took part in Aviva’s Insurance Hackathon. From there, Everledger was born.
On the eve of your trip to Brisbane for Advance Queensland, what are you most excited about?
I’m genuinely excited about hitting the tarmac in Brisbane and seeing how the city has grown. I love, love, love coming home. It seems every time I land, Brisbane has new restaurants, buildings, parks. I just love the place!
What’s the one thing you want Queenslanders to take away from your session, Investing in Innovation?
Simple: commit to the pursuit of continued improvement. It takes uncommon bravery and foresight to invest in building innovation capacity — especially when circumstances, economic or otherwise, are unknown or adverse conditions.
If you had to give one book to an entrepreneur what would it be
Creativity Inc by Ed Catmull. It gives insight into what it takes to break the mould and create amazing things.
Give us a podcast recommendation.
Mixergy has cool startup stories with 1000+ entrepreneurs and in-depth interviews that always leave you excited for more. I’m just waiting for the Elon Musk episode!
What’s the song that gets you fired up?
Oh, that’s easy. It’s my morning alarm on my iPhone.