It was a great fun ride with a lot of bumps since DropDeck cofounders were first brewing the idea of changing the world back in early 2016, based on a vision one of us has been pursuing, refining, and spreading since 2010. We planned to utilize our skills, knowledge, relationships, and youth in building an advanced platform that can help guide global resources to the right places, foster innovation worldwide, and make the world a better place.
In July ’16, while working at a startup center, we came up with an idea to scale-down our previous project called PropMap, and began to conduct serious market research.
In August, two cofounders assembled and DropDeck was designed to become the best startup investment platform in the world.
In September, we welcomed our first hire and a 3rd cofounder, and began our journey.
In October, we began to build a proof of concept and start raising fund.
In January ’17, we founded DropDeck, secured our first 1st angel investment, and were sponsored with 2 offices at the heart of the city from the Business Startup Support Center (BSSC) and Vietnam Silicon Valley (VSV).
In February, DropDeck got featured on VTV and HTV (national TV channels). We entered the IBM Watson AI XPRIZE, a prestigious international AI competition, and began to draft an ambitious AI plan.
In March, DropDeck passed the 1st round of the IBM Watson AI XPRIZE, enrolled into the SoftLayer Catalyst Program, began to use IBM Bluemix to implement machine learning for free, and gained access to a group with 50+ AI mentors around the world.
In early-April, DropDeck became the Champion of the Enigma Blockchain Contest organized by Infinity Blockchain Labs and won a trip to Singapore to meet with blockchain thought leaders. During the contest, we met with the first advisor of DropDeck.io.
In mid-April, after moving into a new office, we struggled financially, made hard decisions, parted ways with a cofounder and half of the team.
In late-April, we went on the Singapore blockchain trip, met with the some future advisors of DropDeck.io and some VCs. After a VC’s offer, DropDeck earned an evaluation of $1 million for the first time. We also gained critical insights into the startup investment industry that later led to a major pivot.
In May, After the blockchain trip, we began to take blockchain more seriously as part of our AI solution. We couldn’t do so earlier because each technology was challenging enough to handle, let alone to combine them, both conceptually and technically.
Also in May, we consolidated all insights from potential customers, advisors, investors, partners and consultants so far and realized that the market size for startup investment is itself very big, yet relatively tiny when compared to other related markets. We also noted the frequency of people telling us to add lending to the DropDeck platform and began to take according market research more seriously. Eventually, we decided to pivot DropDeck from a platform for startup investment only, to a platform for both startup investment and SME lending (or simply “business funding”).
In June, after researching the global lending market and the existing deficiencies of current lending platforms, we began to shape the total solution of DropDeck for international business funding and arrive at the necessity of creating a cryptocurrency-based incentive ecosystem. However, with the new vision in mind, the capital needed to realize it increase 10-fold. At that time, our first advisor inspired us to create our own cryptocurrency.
In July, DropDeck.io was born. We began to work on a world-class white paper to lay the foundation for a cross-border business funding platform. While giving speeches at Innovatube Frontier Summit 2017, we met with our campaign partners and connected us to the rest of the crypto space in our country.
In August, DropDeck was admitted to the Topica Founder Institute and then won the Most Creative Startup Prize at Startup Wheel 2017.
In September, we welcomed our Chief Advisor, who restructured our white paper and laid out the campaign preparation schedule. On Sep 14, we won the Special Prize of Swiss Innovation Challenge. Our white paper has attracted more than 100 expert contributors who constantly commented and helped with proofreading.
In October, DropDeck won the 1st Prize of Startup Jerusalem. We submitted our first annual report to IBM Watson AI XPRIZE on our findings on complementing AI development with blockchain features. At the same time, we launched a Bitcointalk ANN Thread and a Bounty campaign.
In November, we embarked on an international roadshow to Korea, Singapore, Japan and Indonesia.
By December, DropDeck.io has been featured on over 200 publications around the world (including CoinTelegraph, Forbes, Huffington Post, TheNextWeb, etc.), reviewed and interviewed by more than 10 Youtubers, retweeted 77,1000 times and liked 72,4000 times on Twitter. Our token has been hosted on 3 exchanges. DropDeck.io has also attracted more than 500 applicants on AngelList. Nevertheless, in this bumpy road, heavy blows happened, and we are still working hard to sort things out.
On this bump road, some heavy blows have happened to us: hurricane (killed a US partner), Parity disaster, super bug (hospitalized a community management partner for weeks), scam coins, dispute with tech partners, Presale buyers selling tokens in black markets, ETH price skyrocketing, crypto kittens, etc.
We want to express gratitude to everyone who lent us a hand and a leg, and wiped away our sweat and tears in both good days and bad days.
In 2018, we would focus on sorting past things out within the 1st Quarter, and then temporarily retreat from the crypto/startup space to contemplate on battle lessons. A pause before the next fight. I wish for every friend’s understanding, patience and support. Best regards.
Check out details about all of our achievements at https://medium.com/dropdeck/dropdeck-io-achievements-and-best-practices-d8bdf0bee8e0
Check out all videos of our presentations and interviews at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLXKVWY-VAqq-bwLOlbt2USE-l-Uw_QIA-