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‘The key element is understanding the business problem at hand, both from an internal perspective and from the clients’ perspective,” says Joanna Zielonka of, as she keenly describes some of the core tenets to her company’s success. Months after opening its offices in 2017 at Almere, already has an ancillary office in Kielce, Poland — developing software solutions and tech infrastructure for clients big and small.

Not your usual software development house

Founded last year, Joanna Zielonka established as a way of marrying her 11 year experience of providing professional and legal services at Accenture with her gripping interest in new blockchain and smart-contract platforms. Her 10-person team consists of blockchain literate UI/UX developers, testers, and seasoned delivery managers to overlook the software development process from end-to-end. Specifically, the company specializes in ‘smart contracts’: a blockchain-based framework that serves to fully automate the contractual process; in addition to developing commercial tech solutions in house and with other fintechs. “Smart contracts are paperless,” remarks Joanna as she counts the virtues of the groundbreaking technology. “It also offers unsurpassed security and efficiency benefits, that will create paradigm shifts.”

However, she feels that her company’s holistic, experiential method of approaching her clients’ problems is what truly sets apart from the competition.

“We preach and practice design thinking at all stages of the development process,” explains Joanna. Drawing wisdom from her own experience in software delivery, she believes that understanding the clients’ ‘business case and value’ is paramount in simplifying the clients’ request and ultimately, delivering an effective solution that is relevant to the clients’ overall business goals. This philosophy underlies the company’s unique trial-and-error approach in producing several mockups/experiences according to the clients’ needs.

Casting a wide net

Owing to their versatile business proposition, boasts a diverse clientele that stretches from financial services firms to less tech-savvy SMEs. Their broad client base also partly mitigates any intensity deriving from direct competition in the blockchain and smart contracts space where solution providers tend to be fairly specialised.

Joanna is vocal about her appreciation of the unique qualities that smaller clients bring to the table. “Small companies tend to have fantastic business ideas, and bolder stances about innovation and change,” she notes fondly. When working with small companies, tries to foster a partnership that exceeds the basics of a customer and business: by helping them bring it to the market and leveraging on their networks.

Full steam ahead

When inquired about the company’s ambitions, Joanna prefaces her answer by stating that the direction of growth should ultimately be prioritised over the speed of growth. “From a solution perspective, I believe we will continue to steadily expand on partnerships and adding next to the current FX Trading- and Smart Contracting solutions, more products to our roster,” she adds. She also predicts that her team will swell to 15 people by the end of the year. However, their focus remains firmly on Europe in the meantime, with their eyes on the UK, Belgian, Dutch, and Polish markets.

She ends with some pragmatic observations on the financial services landscape, with an emphasis on the increasing regulation, digitisation pressure and ultimately, competition. She expects GDPR to have a significant impact; on tech but especially on the client end of things. “What wouldn’t change in the long run would be the need for constant innovation and digitisation for future generations of consumers, specifically in security and AI,” she says as she reaffirms her convictions. “With that perspective, we will double down on their role on developing solutions in blockchain and security from an information perspective, while encouraging equal participation from all stakeholders”.

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