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NOTE: Since 2009 the title of the International Journal of Entrepreneurship Education (IJEE) has been changed to the title above.  ISSN numbers: IJEE 1649-2269 and IRE 2009-2822

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ISSN Number: 2009-2822. Frequency: 4 Issues per year (online only)  

Article #1647 - Business in the Front, Crypto in the Back: How the Blockchain Startup, Novera, Is Innovating upon Traditional Finance

IRE Vol 19: Issue 1, 2021, Pages 117-136

Author(s): Henry Kim (Schulich School of Business, York University, Canada), Ushnish Sengupta (Schulich School of Business, York University and Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Canada) and Marek Laskowski (Novera Inc., Canada)

We present the journey of Novera Capital, a blockchain start-up, that partnered with Finco, an SME investment firm actively looking for opportunities to leverage disruptive technologies. The key to this journey is expressed in Novera’s “Business in the front, crypto in the back” perspective. Finance is a highly regulated and conservative sector. Novera would not have been able sell its concept for a novel bitcoin tracking fund that received seven figures in venture capital without its corporate ethos. Novera is able to clearly demonstrate compliance to regulations, and moreover show that their business practices would meet stringent expectations of large financial institutions. At the same time, it is Novera’s vision to innovate beyond the fund to a blockchain-based token platform that keeps its team of technologists motivated and forward-looking. We advise others weighing investment in blockchain, especially SMEs and start-ups in finance, to understand and manage this dichotomy.