Building BlockLand in Cleveland – An Interview with Bernie Moreno
I recently interviewed Bernie Moreno, a local luxury car dealer in Cleveland who wants to position Cleveland as a leader in blockchain research and development. Moreno has assembled a group of some of Cleveland’s most prominent business, education and government leaders to focus on different subjects in the BlockLand initiative. A central component of BlockLand is to organize a blockchain convention in Cleveland which has been booked for December 1-4, 2018.
Recently I interviewed Bernie regarding the BlockLand initiative and upcoming convention.
What got you interested in blockchain technologies?
It’s the next generation of the internet. We have an amazing opportunity to take advantage of this coming wave of innovation.
How did you learn about the technology and potential uses?
I’ve been studying blockchain and ideas for implementing the technology for over two years, have invested in some companies, and started my own company that will digitize car titles.
What is your vision for BlockLand?
To establish Cleveland as a significantly relevant technology center by being a leader in blockchain solutions, geared toward business and government applications, with the goal of massively growing employment that benefits the entire Cleveland community.
Have you been able to generate interest from business, higher education and government leadership?
Yes, over 500 community leaders are engaged from all sectors of the economy?
What did you and the eight Cleveland leaders learn from your trip to Toronto’s Blockchain Research Institute (BRI) that will help build the BlockLand vision?
That we could achieve our vision for BlockLand. In fact, we will make a big announcement soon relative to the BRI in Toronto.
(On August 16, 2018, BlockLand announced a first-of-its-kind partnership between Cleveland-based JumpStart Inc. and the Toronto-based BRI. Cleveland will be the first city where small businesses and nonprofits will have free access to data and research from BRI. BRI has 80 groundbreaking blockchain projects using the technology in different areas.)
What makes the Cleveland Blockchain Solutions Conference on December 1-4, 2018 special?
What makes our conference and Cleveland special is that we have all of the ingredients that make us the perfect place to be if you’re focused on blockchain for business or government applications. For example:
- Thought Leadership: This is the first ever blockchain conference strictly focused on government and business applications. “Finally a conference for the grownups.” Meet and learn from other business professionals and government leaders exploring solutions using blockchain.
- Talent Development and Retention: Meet high quality, experienced coders and developers, along with attorneys and advisors that are experts in the use of blockchain for business and government.
- Entrepreneurial Environment: Meet angel investors, venture capitalist, private equity, and lenders ready, willing, and able to make investments in your idea.
- Legal System: Hear from the top attorneys in the country on how to avoid regulatory and compliance issues when deploying blockchain applications.
- Political Environment: Learn how Ohio is the country’s most progressive state as it relates to the implementation of blockchain technology and meet city, county, and state policy makers eager to learn how blockchain can help them transform government.
- Philanthropy: Explore the many ways Cleveland non-profits are using blockchain for social good and hear firsthand their plans to ensure vulnerable populations are not left behind.
- Business Applications: Find out how Cleveland companies came together to form exciting new consortiums to create a vibrant blockchain eco-system.
- Next Generation: Discover why so many young adults are choosing Cleveland and its high quality of life to start their new blockchain ventures.
- Research and Innovation: See firsthand the world class experts working in Cleveland’s Universities and research centers such as NASA Glenn as they chart a course to future digital technologies.
- Place: Imagine the largest technology hub in the world and hear about Cleveland’s plan to make that a reality.
We are looking to attract visitors from all over the country and all over the world who want to “set up shop” in America … and have them do so in Cleveland. We have the highest quality of life of any city in the US. Low traffic, low cost of living, amazing cultural institutions, and a great lake!
The conference will be unique in a few ways. First, we will ONLY focus on blockchain for business and government applications. Second, we have two days of blockchain fundamentals and coding course. Finally, we will have well defined tracks depending on if your interest is supply chain, financial services, provenance, legal, or government.