Founder Stories: Daniel Stockhaus - Polkastarter
Published 28th October 2022 by MSV Team
We’ve got some brilliant projects within our portfolio and want to tell you more about the founders and teams behind them. On a regular basis, you will have the opportunity to learn more about specific projects through our interviews. Feel free to post any questions you may have further down in the comments section.
In today’s interview, we have Daniel Stockhaus - CEO and Co-Founder of Polkastarter. Let’s go!
Hi Daniel, how are you? Could you kick off and share a bit about yourself?
I’m very well, thank you! First and foremost, I want to say hello to Morninstar Ventures and the community and thank you for having me. My name is Daniel Stockhaus, a tech entrepreneur who, before launching Polkastarter, was involved in eCommerce, doubling in both B2C / B2B realms. From forging relationships to transform enterprises to designing scalable digital marketing roadmaps, I had a long journey in tech and business before reaching the Polkastarter milestone.
When and how did you enter the crypto space? Why did you eventually decide to build a web3 launchpad?
That eventually led me to found my own e-commerce company that, at its peak, did $20m in revenue per year and had 1m+ customers. After I sold my own e-commerce company, I got heavily into blockchain around 2017. I was fortunate enough to be part of the crypto media and stay up to date with the latest developments in the space. As part of my job, I interviewed ~100 blockchain founders to find out what makes them tick.
I quickly realised that the most successful founders firmly believed in their own vision but also understood the invaluable role of the community in their potential success. The best projects in the space share the common goal of wanting to make the world a better and fairer place. This is where the idea of Polkastarter started to form.
Tell us more about Polkastarter: how has the journey been, and what have you achieved so far?
Being a startup is challenging enough as is. Being a startup in the web3 space is double the challenge, but I guess, double the fun. The journey has been a whirlwind, with ups and downs, tribes and tribulations, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Our goal is to help projects flourish, find their footing in the market and get as much market exposure as possible.
Having launched 110+ projects with our alumni companies raising an average of ~$500k through our web3 fundraising platform and external funding, I’d say we’re delivering on our promise.
A couple of months ago, you launched Polkastarter Gaming. Can you explain more about this initiative?
Polkastarter Gaming is a project that was born organically through the response and feedback we were getting from the incredible Polkastarter community. Gaming is the ‘poster child’ of web3 use cases, an environment where the strengths and potential of blockchain technology can shine. Taking that into account, we decided to create an online platform where gamers can embrace the beauty of web3 gaming. The goal? To onboard 100M+ gamers and remove the friction between web2 and web3.
From delivering an unbiased perspective on games and content for GameFi to early access to gameplay, exclusives and news on the state of web3 gaming overall, Polkastarter gaming is a hub for people who want to indulge in engaging content on both YouTube and Twitch.
You are starting a physical Incubator in Lisbon. What can you reveal to us about it?
Since late 2020, the team at Polkastarter has mentored, developed, and empowered projects to help them build the next generation of products and services in web3, which was all possible through the magic of the Internet.
In an increasingly remote world, we still believe personal encounters and connections with like-minded individuals can breed creativity and innovation, giving projects the ‘oomph’ factor that makes them stand out and last the test of time.
The opening of the Poolside Hub gives this effort a physical dimension and a new layer. The Hub is a 12,000 square feet multi-purpose space in Lisbon, Portugal.
Apart from acting as the Polkastarter office, the Poolside Hub will also house a co-working, a podcast room, and multiple meeting and event spaces to host web3 conferences, meetups, hackathons, and social events. Incubated projects will also spend a week of their 12-week program at the Hub for in-person mentoring and meeting other founders.
The Hub in numbers:
- 12,000 square feet;
- 5 co-working rooms;
- 60 co-working desks;
- 3 event spaces;
- 2 restaurant areas;
- 2 large terraces.
What are you most proud of concerning your work at Polkastarter, and what is your biggest challenge?
There are so many things I’m proud of regarding Polkastarter, but I’ll zone in on two areas. Firstly, nothing would have been possible without the community. The response we get from people that are slowly entering the web3 ecosystem is rewarding, empowering and inspiring. This gets us going and makes us get out of bed in the morning. Seeing people embrace, follow and get involved with projects on a deep and meaningful level. Secondly, I’m proud of the projects we’ve helped get off the ground and reach an audience. Our support package at Polkastarter is not strictly business. We get close and personal with the teams behind the projects and develop relationships that go beyond the IDO. I feel that Polkastarter is vital in creating a healthy foundation for web3 in general.
When it comes to challenges, it’s all about staying calm and collected to the ebbs and flows of an industry that is innately volatile. In times of crisis, we need to be the voice of reason and encouragement for both the community and the projects.
Anything else you would like to share with us?
Polkastarter’s reception from the crypto community has been remarkable, to say the least. That puts fuel in our tank and makes us want to give these projects even more ammunition to achieve their goals. We will launch many exciting initiatives to do just that very soon, so stay tuned on all of the Polkastarter pages and social media channels for the relevant announcements.
Thanks a lot for your time Daniel and good luck with your projects!
If you have any questions for Daniel, please use the comment section below.
The Morningstar Ventures Team