It only takes one look at an episode of Dragon’s Den or Shark Tank to realise just how many people are looking for ways to turn their ideas into large, profitable companies. The concept of online platforms that help accelerate startups, join teams and establish funding is nothing new.
Microsoft 365 and Google Teams allows members of an organization to manage projects together. Kick Starter and Go Fund Me can get your idea capital. And there are seemingly countless angel investor platforms nowadays. Add to that list in the hopeful startup arsenal Zoom, Skype, Gmail, Slack, Quickbooks, and Linkedin. Not to mention sites like Ibisworld.com for industry analytics data, and throw in some legal document services for NDAs and shareholder agreements. It’s no wonder 99% of startups never make it off the ground. The sheer complexity alone is enough to scare away even the most innovative idea and enthusiastic founder. Sydney entrepreneur Benjamin Sarabande and mining magnate Bennet Schwartz have been developing a platform marketplace that is set to change the startup landscape forever.
Founder Benjamin Sarabande (left) and major shareholder Bennet Schwartz (right)
Enter NeonCEO. With an early pre-launch valuation of $10 million, it’s a platform not only set to rival Microsoft’s business golden-child Linkedin, but also offer video conferencing, team management, chat, legal document generation, industry analytics, and a huge data base of skilled users, as well as access to investors who are able to make a profile on the platform. NeonCEO is attempting to consolidate and simplify every essential startup tool a founder would need to grow and launch an empire. If they’re able to deliver the product their flashy hollywood-blockbuster branding suggests, then the market is ripe for a platform like NeonCEO; an era that’s been scorched and transformed by a pandemic that has seen more billionaires made than any time in recent memory. If complexity is the enemy of progress, then NeonCEO is epitome of simplicity. The sleek design and open spaces feel easy to navigate and immediately familiar. Everything seems logical and connected. I could create a user profile and then my company profile. Numbers have always been my kryptonite, so I tried doing a search for an accountant – I was not disappointed. I can allocate company roles to team members, allocate equity percentage, and link my accounting software right into my company profile for all my team members to see. Just 5 minutes of playing around and I could see the amazing potential a platform like NeonCEO could make for someone with a half-decent startup idea.
However, there’s a dark side to this unicorn fairytale: “not everyone has great ideas. They may think their idea is world-changing, but that nagging statistic of only 99% succeeding still looms ominously” Is NeonCEO in danger of becoming a boulevard of broken dreams? Will it’s marketplace become a wild-west of smooth-talking founders and jaded investors all chasing that elusive rocket to the moon? Founders Benjamin Sarabande, an ex advertising executive, and mining millionaire Bennet Schwartz have hinted in early tech blogs that they have their sights set on integrating A.I business strategist algorithms that analyse the company’s progress, and then formulates suggestions on what the next step should be. This in itself is game-changing, but again a risky move; if the A.I business strategist makes suggestions that lead to dead-ends, the platform could quickly gain the reputation Microsoft’s paperclip garnered.
Benjamin Sarabande has stated that the platform is due for a soft-launch late 2021, but so far tech bloggers and media business insiders have not received any invitations to an early peek at the business platform. Major shareholder Bennet Schwartz was quoted “the platform was designed to have almost no learning curve, and we think most people will be able to start using it as soon as they signup”.
One thing that history has taught us is that you need to take risks in order to affect change.
When I look at NeonCEO, I see endless untapped potential, I see opportunities like never before, I see communities of people coming together and empires rising from their collective efforts. I also see a swarthe of charlatans, half-baked ideas, and broken promises. In the end, this dichotomy of moral dilemma I suspect will self-regulate. There will no doubt be abysmal failures created on this platform, but the ideas that end up changing the world will be the ones we remember.