Interview with David Orban
Network Society Ventures
is a global venture firm, seeking to deliver superior returns by capitalizing disruptive technology-based companies that are leading the transformation from the post-industrial age to the Network Society.
Network Society Ventures is focused on making investments in the sectors that are driven by the Eight Pillars of Change promulgated by the Network Society Manifesto: Energy, Manufacturing, Food, Health, Learning, Finance, Security, Policymaking.
Hi David! What led to your founding Network Society Ventures and why did you decide to focus predominantly on the rise of The Network Society?
Accelerating technology changes exponentially the world around us, and this leads unavoidably to decentralization. This is the thesis that is at the basis of Network Society Ventures and our investments in many different categories across geographies all over the world where we make financial resources available to startups that can grow at scale implementing novel approaches in energy, manufacturing, food, health, learning, finance, security and policy making.
Which of the sectors under the Eight Pillars of Change has Network Society Ventures invested in the most?
At Network Society Ventures we have identified eight sectors where exponential changes already leading to decentralization, energy, manufacturing, food, health, finance, security, learning and policymaking. But these are not really independent because certain interactions are natural and unavoidable, Blockchain that is traditionally associated with finance is an underlying technology which is employed in energy and manufacturing, as well as many others as well.
These are the areas where we have invested the most.
How do the publications and projects coming from Network Society Research influence the work you do with Network Society Ventures?
Network Society research looks at how policymakers can accelerate or hinder the adoption of exponential technologies leading to decentralization. With our footprints in many different geographies across the world, we are able to understand as a leading indicator how local teams and startups are going to be able to take advantage of conditions that help them achieve scale. As a consequence, we are guided in our investments by understanding where in the world creativity and passion can meet with local conditions that are favorable to entrepreneurship and our investments.
What are some of the most successful, disruptive companies you've partnered with thus far? What caught your eye about these companies in particular?
Many people think that they can't have solar panels on their roofs because it is oriented on the wrong direction, but with the sun exchange, you can own a single solar cell in the best locations in the world in Africa in stream solar energy literally through bitcoin transactions in your digital wallets, even if you are in Norway where it is dark six months out of the year, it is one of the most interesting investments that we made because it operates at the intersection of exponential technologies such as solar energy, blockchain, crowdfunding and many others.
What's next for your work with Network Society Ventures? What are the main partnerships, sectors, and companies you'll be focusing on throughout the year?
We are launching a new investment vehicle concentrating on pre-seed opportunities that is going to enable online and offline contests to select best of breed startups in many different countries and continents. We will use an online platform to allow the vetting of the investment opportunities that is going to be incentivized and we will organize contests where judges can vote, who should win, and who should get the investment.