The Founding Story: from purpose-oriented CEOs to an impact-creating coalition
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” — Helen Keller
This is a story of 3 guys working in three different domains but whose worlds collide in the winter of 2021.
Ever had questions like why am I doing this or what impact will my work have pop into your head?
Well, you’re not alone.
Such was our case.
We are working in three different ecosystems but all with a huge impact on the world of tomorrow.
Konstantin Grouzdev entered into the blockchain ecosystem in 2017. He quickly saw the potential of this new infrastructure and joined SmartChain two years later in 2019 to help design their business model. He took the lead of the company and urged his team to question the purpose of SmartChain. One clear answer emerged from the team, the desire to have a global and positive impact by leveraging blockchain technology. The latter one is a means to an end and with that sentiment, they focused their efforts on the Cardano blockchain. Why Cardano? It was the only one aligned with their social ambition. They built an A-level team in the search for a project that will concretize their vision.
Eric Raffin is an expert in product development, from idea inception to scaling. His company has assisted over 150 startups with a success rate upwards of 90%. However, he felt they needed to do more to create an impact on the world around them. So, four years ago, the company was rebranded as Matters. This rebranding and new company spirit was echoed in the projects of the company. Notably, designing an accelerator program for social entrepreneurs with Share-it and creating a startup for CSR internal programs.
Frédéric Arnoux is passionate about radical innovation. During his PhD, he was part of an ambitious task force that redesigned the helicopter engines to allow 40% consumption reduction while existing R&D had achieved little on this topic. He co-created Stim to work on reinvention challenges faced by leading industrial companies. In 2020, during the covid lockdown, along with his team, he decided to refocus the activities of Stim for reinventing energy, process and mobility models with major companies to face the climate threat: Stim Shift was born.
Every single one of us was committed to using our methods and expertise for meaningful changes but on our own, the impact scope was limited. One structured molecule is often better than three atoms in their corners.
Here comes the catalyst
Our uniting force came in the form through the intervention of a highly proactive agent : Tangui Friant.
A serial entrepreneur, who was aware of our collective strengths and was keen on mixing our skills and knowledge to create something even more powerful. He brought us together and ignited the first spark between our three companies.
Being aware that, on the one hand, there is a gap of 2,5 trillion to finance sustainable development and, on the other hand, more than 90% of the crypto supply is used for speculation purposes and not for transactions, we had a very strong feeling that something was going wrong or missing in that area.
On that basis we laid down the foundations of the first ever accelerator on blockchain to foster solutions creation and development for climate change and social matters.
While the whole world was gradually emerging from the Covid-19 crisis, we bunkered together in the South of France to plan our next move.
And a week later, Cardashift was born and, with it, a coalition of 3 highly skilled companies dedicated to a unique purpose.
Creating the first launchpad on blockchain, financing & accelerating businesses for climate change and social matters!
Konstantin Grouzdev, Eric Raffin & Frédéric Arnoux, still supported by Tangui Friant