Q&A With IE Professor, Eneko Knörr
Eneko Knörr shares insights on cryptocurrencies and the next hot opportunity - DeFi.
IE Business School professor Eneko Knorr is considered one of the most influential people in Blockchain, according to Spanish business daily Expansión, and was named Best Startup investor 2018 by the Spanish Business Angels Association (AEBAN). He has been featured by media around Spain discussing how cryptocurrency is changing the financial world. He founded AngelClub, a startup investment fund, and Onyze, a crypto assets custodian. He previously started Ludei (San Francisco) and the Spanish top 5 hosting company Hostalia (sold to Telefonica).
Here’s a closer look at Eneko Knorr:
What classes do you teach at IE Business School?
Entrepreneurship, Startup Investing and Cryptocurrencies. I’d like to start teaching Decentralized Finance (DeFi) as it’s the next big thing.
Tell us more about the two companies you are co-founder of, AngelClub and Onzye.
I began as an early investor at some of the most successful startups that evolved into companies in Spain, such as Ticketbis, Habitissimo or Captio. I started AngelClub, a private investment group, as a way to allow people to co-invest with me.
Onyze is a digital assets custodian. We keep cryptocurrencies safe and we provide banks with an easy way for them to offer crypto to their customers.
How and when did you get involved in blockchain management?
Inside the blockchain world, I’m interested in crypto only. Blockchain was created to make Bitcoin possible, and, in my opinion, it’s the most significant in this case by far. Crypto is going to be huge, and it’s powering a new way to create financial services–Decentralized Finance, also called DeFi. I’m involved in several DeFi projects right now.
Why is it so essential to get involved in cryptocurrency?
I became an internet user in 1995 and I started my first company related to the internet in 1999. The biggest opportunities as an entrepreneur come from betting early on new technologies that can go mainstream. I took the risk being on the internet and creating a company (Hostalia) that was acquired by Telefonica, and now I feel like crypto is the new internet. It’s the place to be– it’s where the billion dollar opportunities are!
How do you apply the knowledge you have of cryptocurrency and how can it best be used by your students at IE?
When I used to teach my sessions about cryptocurrencies, I would tell my students that they were about to attend their most profitable class ever. If they listened carefully and paid attention, my recommendations would allow them to pay for their entire IE tuition. They laughed every time. I guess only 5% of them invested in crypto. Now, they’ve probably realized that I was right. Bitcoin was between $4,000 to $6,000 at the time of my sessions. Now it’s at $50,000. On top of the investment opportunity, I still think that those willing to have a career in finance, should learn about DeFi to have bigger chances to land a great job.
How can current students and graduates get involved in this new climate of finance?
They should learn DeFi, it’s the future. There are books and videos about it. When you like finance, the more you read about DeFi, the more you love it and the more you realize which factors about it represent the future.
How has COVID-19 caused a higher level of interest in this sector?
The last 12 months there has been a boom in the crypto world, but I personally don’t think COVID-19 has had anything to do with it.
What are three main tips that you can give us for investing in a promising start-up?
The startup you choose should be in a huge market. It should have built some entry barriers. And, the most important thing, the founder team has to be awesome: good education –IE, of course– complementary skills and, if possible, experience doing startups previously, either succeeding or failing.