Michele Romanow’s bullish on the blockchain

Michele Romanow

Michele Romanow

Throughout her business career, Michele Romanow has quickly learned how to make wise investments and business decisions.

The founder of three companies before her 30th birthday, she is one of the dragons on the CBC television show Dragon’s Den, Shark Tank’s Canadian counterpart. One of WXN’s “100 Most Powerful Women in Canada,” Ms. Romanow is a director for Whistler Backcomb, Freshii and SHAD Valley.

Ms. Romanow said her interest in fin-tech began three years ago when she founded Clearbanc, an SMB lending platform using business data to create personalized lending offers that are paid back as sales are made.

‘Better financing,’ Romanow says

“We provide better financing for entrepreneurs from data generated from their business, without them having to provide personal guarantees,” Ms. Romanow explained.

She added true SMB lending doesn’t exist in Canada, so many entrepreneurs have to use their homes as collateral. Given the data exhaust that people now produce she knew there had to be a better way to use that data to provide accurate financing decisions.

Since Ms. Romanow founded Clearbanc it’s been hard to avoid the wave of fin-tech in Toronto, so it is only natural many companies are looking at how to incorporate blockchain technology. It’s the same everywhere else and given how early-stage blockchain is there are plenty of opportunities to invest in companies shaping Web 3.0.

Block X launching

That is why Ms. Romanow is one of several prominent tech entrepreneurs launching Block X (CSE: BXXX). Joined by Hamed Shahbazi of TIO Networks (sold to PayPal for $233 million), Lithium-X executive chairman Paul Matysek and BTL CEO Guy Halford Thompson, Block-X will look to invest in promising blockchain companies across North America.

“It’s a naturally global product, though with our existing networks we’ll begin with North American companies,” Ms. Romanow said.

“We’re open to a bunch of different things.  I see immediate applications in back offices, fin-tech, supply chains. Media is compelling.”

While blockchain is new, the method Ms. Romanow will use to evaluate companies is tried and true – executive team attributes and experience, business plan, and total potential market size are some of the factors she cited. That will help as the crypto-world is facing regulations and unknowns.

“This is a new industry and there will be some aggressive actors,” Ms. Romanow said. “We’ll fund good companies and stay compliant with what we know.

“There’s no perfect law, we’re shooting in the dark somewhat. When you invest in a new industry you make an educated guess.”