For this piece, I sat down with our VP of Business Development, Benjamin Diggles. He provided a thorough overview of Constellation’s recently launched Ambassador Program – from why we started it, how to get involved, the overarching goals of the program, and who some of our notable ambassadors are currently.
While our engineering team is hard at work building out our 3rd generation DLT tech, we recognized a void in the space — namely, a clear understanding of the underlying technology itself, alongside definitions of real-world use-cases are often sparse and misleading. Rather than idly sitting on the sidelines or waiting for the next “bull-run,” or for someone else to carry the proverbial torch, we saw an opportunity to step up and become educational leaders in the space, especially when it comes to bridging the ever-widening gap between existing industries and enterprises that are looking at the blockchain realm with a hefty dose of skepticism and confusion. We feel that many sectors will lean on their advisors and core collectives to guide them through this new paradigm, and we aim to play a vital role in that discussion.
By launching and scaling our Global Ambassador Network, Constellation will be able to extend its reach into core industries to capture the minds of those looking to assimilate blockchain into their solution workflows. Our goal is to position, promote and strengthen the Constellation solution with flagship partners in industries that will accelerate positive net new node growth.
Without further ado, let’s dive into the interview! Everything that follows in quotations will be the wise words of the sage Benjamin Diggles.
First off, what is the Ambassador Program all about?
“So the reason we created the Ambassador Program is that a company of our size cannot currently scale into specific markets. So for us to foster ambassadors within a particular region or market, it gives us the ability to tap into those different regions and market opportunities with an expertise that is outside of our core competency.
A good example would be: I am not a mobility or automotive specialist by any means, but that’s a robust industry that we want to get into. We have an ambassador based out of Germany (Sebastian Spitzer) that provides us with a lens to get into those types of conversations and be able to help us with our knowledge in addressing those sectors.
The point of that is by getting into those types of projects and opportunities; those groups get exposure to what we’re doing as a technology, where otherwise they would likely be ignorant.”
Below is a more detailed list of some of the Program Objectives :
- Establish world-class positioning and representation through strategic partners in regions and industries aligned with our core vision
- Grow and strengthen the value of the Constellation token by building confidence in the market through the quality and focus of our partnership projects
- Nurture a partner program of consistency that rewards those involved in scaling Constellation’s impact on the market
What do we aim to accomplish with this program? What are some of the primary industries or sectors that we’re targeting regarding our ambassadors?
“The real goal is scale. We don’t want to have 5,000 employees across the globe. It just doesn’t make any sense. So our goal is to scale the Constellation solution into the minds and markets around various parts of the world that we currently would not be able to access.
What we’re looking to accomplish is very simple — find people who are really passionate and very excited about what’s happening in distributed ledger technology and the blockchain space and crypto — anything that kind of touches this ecosystem that we’re playing with. Then, to take that excitement and move it over into introductions for either enterprise projects, consortiums or foundations that are looking for that same level of excitement around this space. From there, we can get involved in discussions that will accelerate not only our technology, but will give us visibility into use cases to better help us tune our approach to the market.”
Who would be an ideal ambassador?
“What’s great about the program is that it’s not just exclusive for those that are highly senior in distributed ledger technology. We can work with people who are rather junior or new to it. I feel that excitement and the ability to have a vision of possibility and some aptitude within blockchain is the perfect type of person we’re looking for. So I have people who are fully on board that are teaching curriculums on distributed ledger technology. Clearly, that’s a very senior and poignant type of ambassador.
Also, we have others that are maybe just focused on retail distribution in China, for example, so they’re very industry focused with a small understanding of distributed ledger technology, but they have a lot of excitement, and so they’re willing to learn and wanting to promote it.
So those that are looking for a way to get involved in a project early are those that we’re aiming for. Or those that have that calling inside of them saying, “I’m really passionate about what’s happening and curious about blockchain technology, and I think I can contribute and want to get involved.” Those are the types. So naturally, the goal is to identify the strategic type of ambassadors — the ones that become almost core to the team, that we’re communicating with on a weekly basis and having strong initiatives to see through that we can measure.”
Who are some of our notable early Ambassadors?
“Our program just launched (check out our site for more info on how to join), so a lot of these were early adopters if you will. Sebastian Spitzer, (whom I mentioned earlier), is based out of Germany and is focused on the automotive and mobility sectors. He already secured us a membership with the MOBI distributed Ledger technology consortium, which also involves the World Economic Forum, Bosch, GM, the Linux Foundation – some of those truly great brands. So having him as a proxy to shepherd us into that consortium is quite powerful.
Another good example would be Ray Hatoyama, who is based out of Japan. He’s the former CEO of Hello Kitty. To have somebody of that caliber who sees the promise of our vision and raises their hand up and says, “I want to carry the torch, and I’m going to get behind you guys,” is a tremendous validation for us. It shows that somebody with that sort of prowess can see the promise of what we’re doing. He has tons of experience in the cross-section of the I.T and entertainment industry. So he’s going to actively help us with that global corporate governance and innovation aspect.
Ratul Saha is another main ambassador, who is based out of India, and he also covers relationships within Singapore. He has a Ph.D. in computer science from NUS in Singapore and has a full background a distributed system technology. Having somebody like him that is at the tip of the spear of this sort of technology movement, but also has a strong connection to the education system and the education peer review people within Singapore and India is a massive win for us. So it shows that somebody of that caliber is kind of is hard to come by, so we’re really fortunate to have him.
On the more crypto influence or venture/investment side, we have Julian Jung, who is focusing on being a crypto ambassador for us based out of Boston, as well as Jacob Mullins, who’s based out of San Francisco and is a Partner with Shasta Ventures. So having these guys help us navigate the markets and how we position ourselves from kind of that crypto go-to-market and governance perspective is crucial.
Then the last one I’ll mention here is Sunil Daluvoy, and he’s a business development ambassador based out San Francisco. He has deep roots with the SaaS industry, and he’s already gotten us partnerships with brands such as Hyperledger.
So I hope this helps paint the picture of how individuals with real excitement who understand this space and see the opportunity are, in a way, helping us pro bono to open up doors because they believe in what we’re doing and they want to be a part of the story.”
What does success look like from the Ambassador Program?
“I think success would be for us to be revered in the market as a trusted partner that is consistently contributing value to the space. And so that might look like us being an open door for validating use cases, finding out what the market viability of those use cases may be, and attaching you to the right solutions and different partners that want to build on us or others. Ideally, maybe find funding or guidance on their approach. That to me is the success — can we look at projects that have gone from early inception all the way to deployment? If we’re rich in that aspect, then the Ambassador Program is doing well. If we’re just spinning our wheels talking about possibility, then we’re just like everyone else in my opinion.”
What inspired Constellation to create this Ambassador Program and take this more novel approach?
I don’t think it’s that we wanted to do things our way because things weren’t getting done [in the space as a whole], but we’re just going to do things our way because that’s who we are as a company. We’re actually going to do it the way we think is the right way and what that means is true, real enterprise adoption — that to me is what makes us different. I just think about how do we make this real? That’s it. And I think the Ambassador Program can accelerate us into making this real in the market in a significant way.”
What can people expect to see in the coming months?
“So we just launched our Ambassador Program as far as the intake is concerned, and we’re open for applicants between now and next coming weeks. From there, I’ll start to reach out to those applicants, and I’m working on a certification process which will help them truly understand our technology in the context of the broader marketplace. This will ensure that we feel confident that when they’re going out and spreading our message (or hopefully attaching us to new opportunities), they’ll be in alignment with who we are, and I want them to have pride in that.
So the certification process will be rolling out in the comings months. We’re going to be doing monthly webinar talks, which will feature all of our ambassadors and give us an opportunity to further flesh out our use cases. We’ll also have an in-person ambassador meet up. I want to spend as much time with these people in person as possible because we want to treat them as if they’re our own, and we want to make them rock stars. We highly value our ambassadors, and we want them to feel genuinely valued. It’s all about, how do we collaborate, how do we build trust? And how do we have a cadence that everybody feels like they’re not overwhelmed by, but instead feel fulfilled.”
How can people learn more, and whats the best way to become a strategic piece of the Constellation team?
Outside of that, my main encouragement to people (and this is just general advice outside of even Constellation) is to start to think about where does distributed ledger technology really fit and is it viable? What are the use cases? What’s the possibility? I feel like this market is really focused on high-level stuff — such as, we’re going to “revolutionize autonomous cars” and all this [abstract] stuff that’s years away. The question is, what’s going to be impacted tomorrow, and what does that look like?
So that to me is something I want to foster within this group. If somebody can get their brain thinking in that process before starting certification or getting involved in the ambassador program, then they’re already going to have a leg up because that’s in the theme of what we’ll be doing on a consistent basis.”
Any last words?
“I guess the only other thing is that I’m a fun guy and I want to have fun. I want to make it fun. I want people to feel like this is a celebration, versus this looming need to scatter and figure stuff out. I want this to be creative and freeing, and I really want to celebrate the people that bring great value to the table. I want to make them rock stars, and kind of allow Constellation to be the hidden giant behind the scene. Let us work on our technology, and let’s make everybody else shine.“
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