【BLOCK GLOBAL Talks With Ella Zhang, Head of Binance Labs 】
44days ago

The full text is a total of 2670 words, expected to read 6 minutes.

 Editors note: Ella has over 14 years of interdisciplinary experience in venture capital and frontier technologies.


Topic: BLOCK GLOBAL Talks With Ella Zhang, Head of Binance Labs

Time: 10:30 AM, 2/8

Host: Charles Shi, Founder of BLOCK GLOBAL, Founder of Block Technology, Chairman of Global Blockchain Alliance

Guest: Ella Zhang, Head of Binance Labs

Ella Zhang, Head of Binance Labs

Ella has over 14 years of interdisciplinary experience in venture capital and frontier technologies. She was the youngest investment director of KPCB, one of the most prominent VCs on Sand Hill Road. She was early investor of Rong360 (NYSE: JT), Ximalaya FM, LiMei Technology (838556), Asia Innovation Group (launched Gifto), Miaozhen Technology and Meican. Prior to KPCB, Ella has worked for Google, Tencent and UTStarcom in sales, marketing and engineering roles. Ella has cofounded XiaoduoAI, which provides NLP solutions to more than 3,000 clients including Taobao, EMS, Meituan, China Telecom and JD Finance. Ella holds a B.S.E.E. from UESTC and MBA from Stanford GSB, where she started to believe in Blockchain technology and cryptocurrency will “Change lives. Change organizations. Change the world” (GSB Slogan).



Charles: You are currently the head of Binance Labs. How did you connect with the blockchain industry? You have a wealth of experience in the high-tech and venture capital industry. Could you talk about the stages you have experienced in this process?

Ella: When I was study in Stanford Graduate School of Business, I connected with the blockchain through a course called Innovative Inclusive Finance, and distributed computing, cryptography, and digital currency. After communicated with many blockchain entrepreneurs, I began to believe that blockchain technology will bring fundamental changes to the society. I am a friend of Yi He who is Binance co-founder for many years. When Binance was established, I also met CZ. His belief in "Freedom of Money" deeply touched me, and let me believe that the blockchain industry will fundamentally change the global financial system and create positive social impact. This attracted me to join the blockchain industry and contribute to the ecology of the entire industry.



Charles: Please introduce Binance Labs and its main business. What is the current progress of Binance Labs? Binance is the world's leading blockchain ecosystem company dedicated to promoting the development of the global blockchain industry. In this ecology, what role does Binance Labs play?

Ella: Binance Labs is the investment department of the Binance, and we aim to provide incubation and investment service for blockchain and cryptocurrency entrepreneurs, projects and communities.

There are currently two main businesses:

- Direct investment: Invest in those start-ups that have products already.

- Incubation: For early start-up teams, these teams only have initial ideas and have not yet presented mature products and services. Our goal is to find more teams through the incubation program to help them polish products that meet market needs and go to market.

Since its establishment, Binance Labs has completed investment in 40 projects, including 19 direct investment projects and 21 incubation projects. These projects are distributed globally (18 in North America, 11 in Asia, 6 in Europe, and 5 in Africa). Among the direct investment projects, 9 projects have successfully listed on the exchanges, 4 projects have completed the release of the main network, and 11 projects have been or will soon release the testnets.

The Incubation Program of Binance Labs is a 10-week on-site incubation program which is designed to help excellent early teams launch products that fit the market. The season three of the incubation program has begun to accept applications for registration, and plans to recruit early entrepreneurs globally, and will conduct a 10-week on-site incubation in Asia from October to December 2019. During the time, the project team will gather together to develop products and receive guidance as well as support from Binance Labs and mentor team. On the last day of the incubation program, we will hold BUIDLers Day (demo day), all the projects participating in the incubation program will hold roadshows, and top tier angel investors and investment institutions of the industry will be on site to attend.

Our vision is to maximize the potential of blockchain technology. When the idea is strong, this industry will be stronger



Charles: What is the situation of the Incubation Program Season 1, 2 of Binance Labs? What did you learned from the past two incubation programs, and are there any changes in this season?

Ella: In the past two incubation programs, we had incubated 21 teams, 4 of which have successfully completed a new round of millions of dollars in financing (It includes Nym as well as Torus in the first incubation program, and Marlin Labs as well as Cere Network of the second incubation program). In addition to a strong network of entrepreneurs, Binance Labs has established a top tier instructors around the world, providing guidance for entrepreneurs, especially incubating projects.Mentors includes CZ, Yi He, Harry Zhou who is CCO of the invested company Koi trading, Professor Gu Ronghui from Certik, Dong Mo who is founder of Celer, Harry Halpins who is Nym's encryption technology expert, Viktor Radchenko from Trust Wallet, and industry-leading investors as well as continuous entrepreneurs such as Garry Tan, Avichal Garg, Michael Ma, Danny Yang, Lily Liu and etc.

Experts as well as instructors from various industries will talk to the project one-on-one at a fixed time each week, and they actively assist the team in solving various problems. In the weekly Fireside Chat, we invite experts from the industry to share their thoughts and answer the questions face-to-face. In the previous incubation programs’ BUIDLers Day, more than 150 people from the investment industry attended and gave entrepreneurs the opportunity to get close to investors and introduce their projects.

In the third season of the incubation program, we will focus on projects that support Binance ecology and enable Binance ecology to empower the project teams.



Charles: Recently, the Binance Labs has started the Incubation Program Season 3. Please briefly introduce the Season 3 Program. What areas will the Incubation Program Season 3 focus on? And which areas have lower preferences?

Ella: The Binance Labs Incubation Program Season 3 will be held in Asia, but we will select teams from different regions. Each region has different characteristics, different styles of teams and user groups. For example, in Asia/North America/Europe, we will focus on projects in the public chain and other infrastructure construction. In some emerging markets such as Africa and Latin America, we will focus on stable coin, payment, fiat currency channels, remittances and trading facilities.

Please click below url like to apply for the Binance Labs Incubation Program Season 3.




Charles: The Binance Labs aims to exploit the full potential of blockchain technology. How does the Binance Labs explore blockchain black horses? What is the investment standard? How will the Binance Labs provide a full range of incubation services for selected companies?

Ella: The investment standard of the incubation project is mainly the team and how the product fit the market.

On the team side, we will require people of the core founding team have the experience in the blockchain field. At the same time, we are very concerned about the original intention of the founder and the basic qualities of the founder, such as whether the founder has a keen insight and strong ability to solve problems, execution, resilience, survivability and etc.

When we conduct project screening, we mainly focus on three aspects: firstly, project to solve the blockchain bottleneck; secondly, project to be able to launch applications; thirdly, find the original cryptocurrency projects of payment, transnational transfer in emerging markets.

There are three specific parts of the incubation service: Office Hours with the Mentors, Fireside Chat and BUIDLers Day. In addition, we will provide different support according to each team's different needs, including coaching with the company's registration, designing products to match the market, connecting partners, discovering potential customers and connecting with good investors, optimizing project products demonstration and etc.



Charles: The blockchain industry is cyclical. What is your judgment on the current industry cycle? How will the Incubation Program Season 3 take advantage of the trend?

Ella: We found that many projects place too much emphasis on the depth of technology and the products are almost useless since they solve technical problems while not solving problems in reality. Many project problems do not necessarily need to be solved with cryptocurrencies, and there is no possibility of launching in reality. So far, many high-quality public chains have also launched the main network, so we believe that there will be more and more good projects in the application layer, and that the convergence among blockchain technology, cryptocurrency and market will be higher and higher. Therefore, in Incubation Program Season 3 we will focus on application layer projects such as games. We are also actively contacting the excellent game teams in the industry. We will jointly organize a game hackathon activity with several teams that we have invested. The specific details will be announced in the near future, welcome the excellent game teams to join.



Charles: Recently, Facebook Libra has received wide attention. Libra CEO Marcus said that Libra's half reserve is US dollars, it will directly compete with WeChat and Alipay, and not with the central bank and the legal currency. Do you think the Libra revolution can continue to make progress? How much impact will it bring?


Ella: The entry of giants will have a profound impact on the blockchain industry and drive the transformation of digital currencies in the financial and economic sectors. It has the potential to reshape the payment industry, promote global financial flows, and bring new types of financial services.



Charles: What is the latest activities and future plan of Binance Labs? In what ways does Binance Labs hope to cooperate with projects or institutions in Asia?

Ella: The Binance Labs will continue to explore excellent teams, invest in good projects, and work with entrepreneurs to promote the landing of cryptocurrency. We will conduct the incubation program season 3 in Asia, so we would like to reach out to more project teams in Asia and invite them to join our incubation program. We will invite experts from different fields to be the mentor of the incubation program to guide the entrepreneurs, and will contact more funds to jointly provide resources for the projects to boost the development of the industry.



Charles: As a well-known person of the Chinese blockchain, you may know a lot of outstanding practitioners in the blockchain industry. This online interview program launched by [BLOCK GLOBAL]], is dedicated to exploring high-quality blockchian projects and practitioners. Could you recommend three honored guests to our program?

Ella: In the Asian market, there are many high-quality blockchain practitioners we have invested in. Each of them is an expert in the industry. I would like to recommend  all the portfolio founders as the BlOCK GLOBAL interview guests.


Free Question


Q1: It is said that the blockchain has entered the second half. What do you think of the trend of the future encryption market?

Ella: The blockchain is still too far from the second half. My personal opinion is that the first 10 years have only passed the infancy, and now it is the child who will walk. This also means that children will not only become more and more healthy (blockchain technology and infrastructure), but its intelligence, language, expressions and actions will be developed rapidly in all directions (blockchain application will bloom).

When the blockchain application is allowed to bloom, it is the stage of real prosperity of the cryptocurrency market, which is the expected state of CZ. At that time, there are millions of tokens.


Q2: How do you think Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei saying that “China can issue its own Libra”?

Ella: Any possibility exists. I have always seen the development of an industry with an open mind. From the perspective of solving problems, Libra wants to solve the problem of the global unbanked population enjoying the benefits of inclusive finance. This group has a large population base in China. The Chinese market itself and the surrounding Southeast Asia and the Belt and Road countries also have this demand. After addressing this need, Libra (or our own issued token) will naturally become the base currency for widespread circulation. As for the openness of the regulatory policy, we can only wait and see.


Q3: How many projects will be screened in the third incubation program?

Ella: Our first phase has 8 projects, the second phase 13 projects, and the target of the third phase is more than 20 projects, but we will also make adjustments according to the quality of the application project. The aim is not to adjust the screening criteria because of the bull market or the bear market. Our goal is to find the best quality projects.


Q4: What are the main directions of the third phase of the project? The underlying protocol, or the application layer?

Ella: I hope to see more applications and will pay more attention to the application layer project. Of course, there are still many unresolved issues in the protocol layer itself, and we will also filter the protocol layer projects for these problems.


Q5: What is the support of the Binance Labs after determining the project incubation?

Is there a green channel for the project that hatches the token?

Is there any business resource support for payment applications worldwide?

Ella: Support: Landing scene application (BD), follow-up financing (fund raising) - This includes the platform and product of the Binance, such as launchpad, continuous follow-up.

Green channel: there is no guarantee of the listing, but Labs will serve as a bridge for communication to help the portfolio continue to approach the standard of the listing.

Payment application: we will provide strong support using our global talent network, user network, Angel network, portfolio network and our various fiat currency channels.


Q6: What are the incubation conditions for the selection of Binance?

Ella: Excellent founding team and positive initial heart.


Q7: Will Binance invest and incubate the STO Project? Is there any case at the moment? How do you think about STO?

Ella: STO will not be the focus for the time being, but we will consider particularly great projects. At present, we have not invested in STO and are still in the wait-and-see stage. I personally think that STO is a variant or subset of equity, not a native token economy, but I will keep an eye on its movements.


Q8: What do you think is the biggest advantage of Binance compared with other Labs?

Ella: The Binance has strong resources to help the growth of the incubation project. The Binance Labs team adheres to the long-term investment philosophy and has the patience and responsibility to help the incubation project grow step by step.


Q9: The encryption market has gone through several bulls and bears, and now it is more favored by traditional giants. What do you think is the significance of the bear market for the development of market?

Ella: If the traditional giant refers to the Internet giants such as FB, Google, and Tencent, Baidu, that is a good thing. They have more energy to promote mass adoption. The bear market makes entrepreneurs more pragmatic and makes investors more calm. Everyone was busy making money in the bull market, but we are delighted to see that many outstanding projects have emerged after the last bear market.


This article is reproduced only, does not constitute an investment opinion


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