Tech + Startups
Breaking Down Barriers: How Lonch Enables Entrepreneurs to Kick Start Products for Free
The startup Lonch offers innovation, builds success, and looks ahead, always, to the next challenge.
But there is one driving force that informs everything Founder and CEO Christopher Gulliver does as he works to instill this vision in his team.
“Authenticity drives everything we do,” Christopher said. “From our day-to-day interactions inside and outside of the company to our long-term vision, we believe people do their best work when they’re passionate, and that your passion is at its peak when you’re truly yourself.”
Lonch is a social marketplace where royalties are earned in return for sharing trade insight, skills, and connections. By providing digital office space, Lonch allows contributors from around the world to connect and collaborate. This generates a merit-based, collaborative platform that reduces barriers and encourages innovation.
The Lonch team prides itself on its independence and rebellious streak. But at the same time, the startup knows that anything worth building requires teamwork.
“Our most prized asset is our talent network of passionate innovators, trailblazers, and adventure seekers,” Christopher said. “Everything we do at Lonch is about shared goals and big ideas, and these things are driven by empowerment and connection. Collaboration is at the core of everything we do. Come as you are, and join us on the journey.”
Driving much of Lonch’s innovation is its crowd investment platform.
With no upfront costs, this feature allows for the contribution of skills to create and launch innovative products. Lonch provides entrepreneurs with infrastructure and tools that reduce risk and uncertainty, so they can focus on product creation, development, and delivering the product to market.
“You can think of it like sweat equity, or the stereotypical startup founders working out of their garage. Nobody makes money until the product makes money. But with Lonch, you don’t have to take on a bunch of debt or deplete your life savings to take your shot.” Christopher explained.
Leveraging Web 3.0 technologies, Lonch employs blockchain and smart contracts to tokenize user contributions in the form of project-specific royalty tokens. These tokens represent royalties to be paid to the token bearer. Royalty tokens can also be sold directly to users, to raise capital for the product, and exchanged in a token marketplace.
These tokens track contributions – or more accurately – impact, and allow Lonch users to earn revenue when a product generates revenue. Royalty tokens can also be traded on the Token Exchange, which allows users to diversify their portfolios.
“We offer a different take on how people work,” Christopher said. “Specifically, as entrepreneurs, we have to be Jacks and Jills of all trades. We have to ‘wear many hats’ because our teams are so small. We want to embrace this mindset for our platform, and instead of listing ‘roles’ for people to join an endeavor, you list ‘hats and skills’ needed for your product to be successful.”
“Then, people can come in and wear one or more of those hats, sometimes stretching and learning new skills in the process—something that can be difficult to do in today’s business, but which remains critical for both personal and professional growth.”
Lonch offers an end-to-end solution: bring products to market at no cost during a critical period of development—until they start making money.
The entire operation revolves around a standardized process that establishes trust—that you will get what is due to you if the product succeeds. Also pivotal is the ability of users to think big but create on a personal level with products for smaller niche markets—less than $5M Life Time Value (LTV)—that would otherwise never be funded.
The cream in this coffee is the appeal that Lonch holds for Gen Z and millennials.
“Gen Z and millennials feel disenfranchised with the business world as it stands. They want more ownership of what they’re creating,” Christopher said. “They know their contributions have value, and they want more of a stake in the success of what they’re creating.”
According to the Census Bureau, the number of freelancers in the U.S. is forecasted to reach 90.1 million by 2028. Gen Z chooses freelancing in 53% of cases and 71% of employees in the United States are planning to freelance in 2023. And therein lies the on-ramp to Lonch.
The appeal for Gen Z and millennials lies in the freedom that Lonch offers—the freedom to determine what you want to work on; how you want to work on it; and when and where you want to work on it. Lonch also offers the freedom to move from one product to another or work on multiple products simultaneously.
“Lonch offers the ability to take control of your future by converting your skills and experience into future downstream revenue streams,” Christopher said. “This effectively generates your future investment portfolio—which can afford you even further freedom.”
Added Christopher, “Lonch offers the opportunity to learn on the job, stretch and grow. We believe people have more to offer than just their job title, job titles are so cookie cutter that it misses the unique parts, where our passion comes from.”
The tools that Lonch users rely on include:
- A professional network that allows users to connect, engage, and share progress and learnings.
- Crowd validation for entrepreneurial product ideas.
- A Talent Marketplace, from which teams can be built.
- Crowdfunding mechanisms.
- Referral/attribution tools for user acquisition.
- Collaboration tools to track work, communicate (chat/voice/video), and collaborate in real-time on products.
Priorities for this community also include the creation of a non-toxic, diverse, and inclusive culture of authenticity and accountability.
“Our emphasis on community, sustainability, and social responsibility is what sets us apart,” Christopher said. “Our primary goal is to foster a supportive environment where creative individuals can share their insights, skills, and connections.”
Visit lonch.io to learn more and join their early adopter program.