HullCoin is the world’s first Community Loyalty scheme, the technology uses block chain to track the ways individuals have supported their community, how they have been rewarded and how they used their loyalty points. Company just announced another secured round of investment. Find out what’s happening behind of scenes in Founder interview with Dave Shepherdson.
Tell us something about Hull Coin.
HullCoin. Giving Hull’s Communities The Credit It Deserves.
How did you get here?
HullCoin is a result of social policy research undertaken by Hull City Council in which we identified that through employing the same technology used in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin we can create an ecosystem that recognises and rewards positive activities such as volunteering, and improving your personal circumstances through issuing a digital credit that can be exchanged for goods and services as a form of discount. Developing HullCoin from it’s original concept to an online platform, currency and network of digital wallets has taken 2 years in development and has benefited from the the support and input from leading thinkers in the fields of design, economics, blockchain technology and community development. We have also received investment from Key Fund, Comic Relief, and DotForge to make this radical concept a reality. Kaini Industries now employs 6 staff that are continuing to develop HullCoin engaging with over a 150 organizations and businesses that are both giving HullCoin and accepting HullCoin in Hull in recognition of great things happening in Hull’s communities every day. What is your inspiration for creating your company?
What is your inspiration for creating your company?
HullCoin has always had ambitious aspirations. It’s development a response by my Co-Founder Lisa Bovill and myself to the challenges all stakeholders within the economy face in times of economic slowdown and suppression. By providing the ability for the public, charities, statutory institutions and businesses to trade civic contributions to society, a new way of contributing to the economy is created. This was originally designed to combat issues relating to poverty in Hull’s communities, in continuing to develop the concept and the technology this has broadened to developing a platform that acts as a blueprint for the regeneration of local economies through a shared distributed ledger of social value being generated within communities.
What have been your biggest challenges as a Tech4Good Startup?
It’s safe to say that we have faced numerous challenges in developing HullCoin. As a company we are all from different sectors, from blockchain technology, retail, the public sector and in regards to myself community development. We have all found, in our different ways, that we are in new territory. HullCoin, from it’s inception has always generated a lot of interest in the media, and as a result of this Kaini Industries has found itself ‘growing up in public’ as tech start-up, this has been great in creating partnerships and generating investment but sometimes we do feel the additional scrutiny!
What is your biggest learning from Dotforge?
DotForge was instrumental in shaping the company in what it is today. The experience of which has provided us with the insight to develop a potentially complex product and bring it to market. Prior to engaging on the DotForge Accelerator it felt like the company was a collective of individuals with a common purpose by the end of it coherent tech start up with a MVP.
What is the most used piece of advice you have had to developing your startup?
Fail quickly and cheaply!