Other tech

Two ex-Deloitte partners are rewriting the rules for backing web3 and blockchain projects

- June 17, 2022 2 MIN READ
Ben Wylie
Ben Wylie
Sixtree founders Ben Wylie and Yamen Sader have left their roles at big four consultancy firm Deloitte Australia to launch their own “engineering for equity” startup, Lab Eleven. 

It marks a full-time return to entrepreneurship for the duo six years after Sixtree, a software engineering shop, was absorbed by Deloitte in 2016, and they took on partner-level roles in the firm.

Their idea is that web3 and blockchain entrepreneurs bring their ideas to Lab Eleven, and utilise its horsepower and engineering expertise in exchange for equity or tokens. The duo said they are taking a calculated risk leaving Deloitte but Wylie said they felt it was time to “get back on the tools” as startup founders.

“We’re putting our own effort, heart and soul behind this movement, and we are thrilled to now be part of accelerating towards a web3 future,” he said.

Sader said that he sees great potential in web3 but told Startup Daily the jury is still out on which way things will go as further use cases unfold.

“As a developer and as an end user, I was impressed by how far blockchain technology has come,” he said.

“With the speed and low cost of modern blockchains, it is possible to create the experience users expect these days. This was a lightbulb moment, and we were only able to see opportunity from there.”

“I’d love to see web3 making a real world impact, and for Lab Eleven to have played a role in that. Our secondary goal is to give back to the blockchain community, and to be leaders in educating and building hundreds of blockchain careers.”

Yamen Sader

Wylie said their model is intended to overcome the two key challenges to getting web3 and blockchain products to market – capital and talent, with Lab Eleven acting like an early-stage investor.

“We aim to partner and co-invest in a handful of web3 projects each year and, as a result, grow a stake in web3 businesses we are proud to have helped build,” he said.

““We’ll be working more with web3 founders and investors to offer a Solana delivery partner that co-invests to bring innovative web3 ideas to market. With the crypto world being a little turbulent, anonymous and unpredictable at times we hope we’ll be seen as a safe, proven and invested pair of hands.”

The company intends to train, enable and certify talented software engineers “to create the globe’s most highly credentialed Solana development shop “.

The pair hope to also play a role in contributing to Australia’s strong standing in the world of blockchain and web3.

Sader argues that Australian enterprises are largely putting off thinking about it “as the technology is still nascent and adoption is low.”

“But like with other breakthrough technologies, adoption is slow until it’s fast, and when it arrives for web3 it may be too late to respond,” he said.

“It’s time to start thinking about this potential future now.”

Lab Eleven is currently taking expressions of interest from startups and innovation groups needing extra engineering horsepower to productise and scale.