OneFeather to provide FinTech solution to First Nations
OneFeather, a Victoria based startup, had a vision to impact the lives of indigenous peoples through their smartphone with easy access to essential financial services in a digital wallet app. They entered the Venture Acceleration Program in 2017 through our partners at VIATEC to help them make this a reality. Fast forward to 2019 and OneFeather has partnered with BlocPal to develop and release the digital wallet app for First Nations members across North America. The new wallet, to be launched later this year, will provide never before available digital financial services as well as important administrative and governance functions designed specifically for Indigenous peoples, communities and governments in both Canada and the United States.
“There are over 2.2 million Indigenous people in Canada alone – First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples – and we are excited to impact the lives of indigenous peoples through their smartphone with easy access to these essential financial services,” says Lawrence Lewis (“Klah-Lees” – We Wai Kai Nation), Founder of OneFeather. “We believe today’s technology can empower and prosper our people, and this partnership with BlocPal is an excellent example of how we can accomplish this.”
Q: What goals did you have before entering the Venture Acceleration Program and how did the program help you achieve those goals?
Lawrence: Our purpose has always been to redefine the indigenous experience through innovation and technology. While we are very clear and focused on the “why” of our business, we did not always have a clear line of site on ‘how’ we were going achieve it, ‘who’ was going to do what and ‘how’ we were going to make it happen – which is totally fine. Our goal is always to find the appropriate path, and make sure the zigs and zags along the way build the culture and foundation our business. The Venture Acceleration Program (VAP) helped us make sure these course corrections were instructive and accelerated our business model.
Q: What made you decide that the Venture Acceleration Program was the right fit for you?
Lawrence: Our experience with VAP program was very positive and beneficial. Continuing our relationships and access to our Executives In Residence (EIR) was very important. We started the VAP program to access expertise and guidance, since we are not expert at all things and had a pretty slim team at the beginning. It seemed critical and essential to access as much intelligence as possible to help accelerate (and make sure we did not come off the rails) our business development.
Q: What was the best part about working with the team at VIATEC?
Lawrence: By far, the guidance and assistance provided by the EIRs has been invaluable. They have provided insights, questions and guidance which has helped to keep us focused. Their mentorship has been key to growing our company as quickly as we have.
Q: What are you hoping to accomplish in the year ahead?
Lawrence: We have several very specific goals to accomplish before the end of our business year (December 2019). Specifically, to launch our OneFeather wallet, along with a suite of digital banking solutions and our ERC token 1FT (OneFeather Token) and integrate the balance of our digital solutions through this single digital interface.
Do you have an innovative vision? Learn more about our Venture Acceleration Program to connect with experts and launch your idea.