Dear Friends and Colleagues,
After 3 years in NYC and 6 months in London, The NetForum has finally landed in Silicon Valley! We will be holding a NetForum breakfast event on May 25, 2016 hosted by Jitendra Kavathekar, MD of Open Innovation at Accenture in San Jose, featuring James Slazas, CFO of ConsenSys, a venture production studio building decentralized applications focused primarily on Ethereum, a leading Blockchain platform.
The objective of this discussion is to get a better understanding of where Blockchain applications are in fact gaining traction. This event is for anyone who has a viewpoint on the subject or experience to share, or just wants to understand how the Blockchain will affect their business.
We perfected the NetForum in NYC and London for 3 years before coming out West. The NetForum is a monthly breakfast bringing together Digital leaders from expansion-stage startups and large commercial enterprises. There are no pitches, no presenters — everybody is there to share viewpoints on a topic suggested by the members — and we invite special guests who can enlighten us all. A summary of the discussion is then published to the NetForum membership to spread the insights to a larger group. See the list of companies that were represented at our events, and some of the most popular topics we have covered. There is no cost to become a member or attend.
On October 27th 2015, we held a Blockchain event in NYC. It was a smashing success. The discussion was very enriching with important insights from key people in the trenches. We chose to do a follow up event on Blockchain due to the explosion of interest and funding in the sector. We felt it was important to get behind the hype and go to the source and see what was really going on. On May 25th, we will get answers.
We invited James Slazas to participate as the special guest because ConsenSys sits in a unique position in the market. ConsenSys’ mission is to invent, design, fund, launch and spin-out products and companies leveraging decentralized applications based on its preferred version of Blockchain, called Ethereum. Its projects span multiple industries, from financial services to music. It is working with Microsoft to launch an Ethereum-flavored Blockchain-as-a-Service on Azure, and has attracted the attention of the likes of IBM and JPM Morgan Chase. (See the NYTimes recent article: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/28/business/dealbook/ethereum-a-virtual-currency-enables-transactions-that-rival-bitcoins.html). ConsenSys is a great barometer of what is going on and what is coming down the road.
Despite all the excitement surrounding the Blockchain, especially in Financial Services, there are cautionary voices. Morgan Stanley recently released a report cautioning that Blockchain adoption in Financial Services was going to face significant challenges and that Blockchain’s impact in the short term would be limited. http://www.the-blockchain.com/docs/Morgan-Stanley-blockchain-report.pdf According to Morgan Stanley, we are still in the proof of concept stage of Blockchain adoption, and success is not self evident for many use cases. Yet, I have spent enough time with leaders in the Financial Services industry to be convinced that most take the Blockchain both as an existential threat and an opportunity, and that whether it is 2, 5 or 10 years away, this is a train they feel that they cannot afford to miss.
I invite you to join us at Accenture on May 25 to share your views on the impact Blockchain is having on your company and your industry, and how you are responding or plan to respond. As always, the NetForum is free — thanks to our host this month: Accenture. Space is limited so RSVP at your earliest convenience.
Accenture’s address is 50 W San Fernando St, San Jose. The venue will open at 8am, breakfast buffet will be served, and will sit down and start the discussion at 8:30am and end at 10am.
We look forward to seeing you there!
Laurent Ohana (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Raj Singh (email@example.com)