Marco Affonseca, bild

Gamechangers: Bild

23 April 2018

Bild is… an investing platform that connects investors to sustainable infrastructure and clean energy projects. Bild allows, for the first time, investors to diversify their portfolio into projects that foster real economic growth, job creation, and positive environmental impact. Through Bild’s platform, investors are able to choose global assets or portfolios that are not only sustainable and show attractive returns, but are also good for the economy – such as wind energy, solar energy, water treatment, waste management and new clean technologies.

My co-founder and I… have been working in the renewable energy and infrastructure industry for our entire professional lives. We wanted to create a business that, in addition to creating value, improves people’s lives. While we were studying at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology we met Clayton Christensen, one of the most prestigious professors from Harvard, and we discussed the current problem of capital allocation, incentives, and GDP growth.

What we learned during that class is at the core of our value proposition. With our in-depth domain expertise and extensive research, we identified an opportunity to create a disruptive technology business that would help close this gap and allow people to invest in those type of assets.

Our biggest challenge… is being able to create value and traction with limited resources. As with every early-stage start up, working with just a few employees and having to design, develop, finance and acquire customers, it is always challenging. Nonetheless, we work hard and are focused on executing our strategy and changing the investment landscape forever.

It’s one of the best things that’s ever happened to our company.

I joined the Barclays Accelerator because… it was an amazing opportunity to partner with one of the largest financial institutions in the world and to be able to have access to this type of expertise. The reach of Barclays as a global institution also gives us a strong presence in the US as well as in Europe, which is very important for us. It’s one of the best things that’s ever happened to our company. We will be launching in the US, UK, and Europe this summer and hope to continue our collaboration with Barclays globally.

We are going to see changes… as currently half of the world’s population are millennials. They are the largest generation in history, and part of a new wave of investors who want to align their investment portfolios with their values and goals. Renewable energy, local impact, and sustainability drive investment decisions for millennials and will further increase demand for these type assets in the coming years.

Millennials are disrupting the traditional business models and re-defining investments. This trend is global, and this generation will be the wealthiest ever in the history of the United States. I expect that in a few years the investment sector will experience a tremendous shift, which – coupled with technological advancements such as machine learning, artificial intelligence and automation – will foster the allocation of capital to ensure long-term sustainable growth.

Being an entrepreneur is… like being an explorer. Every day is a new challenge and you have to be comfortable living with uncertainty. You also have to be bold and believe that things will happen. People will always challenge you when you try new things and build something revolutionary. There is always resistance from incumbents, but every challenge we face represents a big opportunity.

The thing that sets us apart is… that we are the first investing platform that offers direct access to global sustainable assets with proprietary socio-economic impact models that provide full transparency and allow investors to see the impact of their dollars in real time. We also use machine learning to ensure suitability and that users are investing in alignment with their risk profiles, asset class, values and goals. Last, but not least, we use blockchain technology to facilitate project finance transactions and provide liquidity for investors like never before.

If I could go back in time… I would tell myself to have fun, study, and work hard, because these are the foundations of what you do in your life. I would also tell myself that things happen for a reason, and not to worry too much. And last but not least, I would tell myself to not be too comfortable with the things you have and not to be afraid of pursuing my dreams. We have the power to do anything we want in our life – just go after it.

Every innovator has to… live in the future, have our mind and eyes open, work hard and be courageous. You also have to take advantage of the opportunities you are given and connect the dots. I believe that the opportunity I got to study at MIT was a big step towards entrepreneurship. The opportunity to join the Barclays Accelerator was also fundamental in moving forward with our business model.

Being an entrepreneur is like being an explorer. Every day is a new challenge and you have to be comfortable living with uncertainty.

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