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Talent Protocol Origin Story: From Sabbatical to Startup

Talent Protocol is a startup that started during a sabbatical.

Pedro Oliveira, a successful startup founder in the HR Tech space, started exploring the intersection between blockchain and careers in early 2021. He knew that there’s a lot of undiscovered talent out there, but not an efficient way to incentivize people to find and support them early.

Society still looks at careers as a single player game, where only a few can win. However, social tokens have the power to transform careers into multiplayer journeys, where all players are rewarded for the role they play in someone else's success.

Tapping into the potential of web3 to rethink what talent means required a mission-driven founding team focused on the long-term. To lead tech, Pedro invited Andreas Vilela, an experienced engineer and founder of a coding school for kids. The last piece of the puzzle was a creative mind that could help tell this story, so Pedro challenged Filipe Macedo, a long-time friend who was also on a sabbatical, after a career in advertising.

Talent Protocol was officially founded on May 1st, which is Labor Day in the majority of countries worldwide. Labor is a great word that encapsulates the old world of work: a competitive and siloed space where employers run the show. When Talent Protocol succeeds, in the next decade we might all be calling May 1st “Talent Day” instead of Labor Day! A sign that talent is about ownership, cooperation, and composability.

Road to Celo Camp

Due to extremely high gas fees, launching a social token platform on Ethereum mainnet is unthinkable at this point. We therefore looked for an alternative solution toEthereum to launch Talent Protocol beta.

Choosing the right network came down to a value-driven decision, not a technical one. Talent Protocol and Celo are very aligned on the mission to ensure that web3 tools are borderless and readily accessible to all, not just the same privileged ones.

But it was the opportunity to participate in Celo Camp, a place for both inspiration and support, that led us to the Celo network.

Adding more value to professional relationships

Talent is like a little seed: when nurtured, it will flourish. However, without a support network, success is almost impossible.

Talent Protocol’s mission is to create the means and incentives for anyone in the world to discover, nurture and empower talent.

What We Built

Our private beta went live on the Celo blockchain on November 9, 2021, following a successful smart contract audit by Hacken. In less than a month, Talent Protocol launched 55 Talent Tokens and is now gradually distributing invites to the +5,000 people on the waitlist to buy tokens, access exclusive perks and earn weekly rewards (click here to join).

You can back Merlin André, a young biologist from Mozambique building organic farms with a social impact component for underprivileged communities. You can also support Abel Rodrigues, a climate activist from the Amazon Rainforest and co-founder of an ed-tech startup, or maybe you want to help Andrea Solomonides to become the future President of the Republic of Cyprus.

Talent tokens are an unbreakable bond, recorded in the blockchain, that brings deeper financial, social and emotional alignment between a talent and it’s early supporters.

In Season 1 Talent Protocol is focused on onboarding tech and knowledge workers. Artists, creators or other types of careers will only be included in future seasons, but are welcome to apply now.

What We Learned: Success is Collective

As a web3 project, Talent Protocol is rooted in the belief that openness and transparency are better for the world. That's why we're fully open-source, building in public, and on our way to become a DAO.

A strong community can come together to build a great product, but a great product might not always be enough to gather a community around it. We got excited by the tech, and couldn’t say no to the challenge, but we stayed for the people and the vibes.

Author: Pedro Oliveira, Co-Founder at Talent Protocol


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