Car González
April 4, 2023

Fueling Bitcoin's Future: Highlights from SATSx Startup Day 2023

04/04/2023 10:19 AM - Fueling Bitcoin's Future: Highlights from SATSx Startup Day 2023

SATSx Weekend 2023, hosted at PlebLab, celebrated the thriving Bitcoin community in Austin, Texas, and its significant growth. Building on the momentum generated by local community efforts in prior years, this edition of SATSx attracted over 300 passionate attendees throughout the weekend.

On Friday, March 17th, SATSx Startup Day 2023 was an ideal platform for startups to pitch their ideas to a diverse audience of developers, investors, and builders. Each participating startup had an hour to explain and showcase its concept, fostering a collaborative and supportive atmosphere.

The event featured three thought-provoking startup panels:

  1. "Building Your Bitcoin Startup" with Ted Thayer and Shawn Yeager, moderated by Car.
  2. "Fundraising AMA" with Michael (Oshi) and Keyan (Stacker News), moderated by PlebPoet.
  3. "Building in a Bear Market" with Santos (Zebedee), Austin (Synota), and Nick (Galoy), moderated by PlebPoet.

The following startup panels are now available on Emeralize. Additionally, the event was enhanced by surprise guest speakers like Mills from Bitcoin Park in Nashville and Gary Leland from BitBlockBoom.

To complement the event's engaging content, attendees enjoyed a delectable selection of BBQ from local K&C Cattle and Chef Johnny Ochoa, reflecting the spirited essence of Austin, Texas. SATSx Startup Day 2023 showcased the immense potential of community-driven initiatives to empower and elevate Bitcoin startups.

SATSx Startup Day 2023 talks were presented in the following order:

Opening of Startup Day by Car González: Car reminisces about the inception of SATSx, a platform conceived to bolster Bitcoin startups, projects, and developers in Austin. Identifying a pressing need for a specialized space for these trailblazers, PlebLab launched the inaugural SATSx event in 2022 with a humble hackathon. This event sparked a handful of successful projects, which have since evolved into flourishing Bitcoin enterprises.

Aware of Bitcoin startups' obstacles when seeking visibility, Car emphasizes the value of providing a platform where these ventures can capture attention. In its second year, SATSx 2023 expanded to encompass a startup day preceding the hackathon. Car remains optimistic about the burgeoning Bitcoin community in Austin and envisions the event growing in scope and impact.

Keynote by Super Testnet: In Super Testnet's keynote, he examines the dangers of free and open-source software (FOSS) while acknowledging its benefits. They emphasize the potential risks for developers and users, such as co-opted projects, as exemplified by Jonas Salk's polio vaccine. The speaker suggests defensive patents as a possible solution but acknowledges that they may lead to closed-source software. Super also identifies six dangers of FOSS development and proposes mitigations for each:

  1. Code theft - Mitigation: defensive patents, copyrights, or embracing code theft as flattery and a sign of value.
  2. Lost profits - Mitigation: selling branded software, offering consultancy/support, or providing paid services built on free software.
  3. Patent disputes - Mitigation: creative design and coding to avoid patent infringement.
  4. Code copiers - Mitigation: viewing code copying as a compliment and indication of value.
  5. Unpopularity - Mitigation: creating software for personal needs and friends and remembering FOSS projects need marketing.
  6. Code blowing up - Mitigation: continuous skill improvement and learning from experienced developers for better code. 

During the Q&A, Super addresses maintaining unwanted software, legal issues and warranties in FOSS, and the significance of persistence in achieving success.

Arc by Christopher David:Christopher presented his innovative project, Arc, a cutting-edge chat application built upon the Nostr protocol. He elaborated on Nostr's decentralized nature, resistance to censorship, and unwavering focus on privacy. The Nostr protocol's versatile potential extends to various applications, including social media, messaging, and content-sharing platforms. During the presentation, Christopher highlighted several burgeoning projects within the Nostr ecosystem, acknowledging that most of them are in the nascent stages of development. He expressed enthusiasm for developing a Nostr-based chat application that seamlessly integrates micro-apps between them. Additionally, he announced the availability of Arc's first version in beta for Android and iOS users.

BTCRETAILX by Doug: Doug showcased BTCRetailX, a versatile retail management system that transcends traditional point-of-sale functionality. With 20 years of experience in the point-of-sale industry, including work with major corporations like Microsoft and Intuit, Doug designed the system to help business owners manage sales, inventory, employee permissions, and time cards, among other features.

Bitcoin's legalization inspired BTCRetailX in El Salvador and aims to support the grassroots adoption of bitcoin in emerging markets like Central America, South America, and Africa. The affordable and user-friendly system is in Spanish, hardware-agnostic, and compatible with various platforms, including Android, iOS, Linux servers, and PCs. It supports multiple payment methods, including traditional credit cards and cryptocurrencies. The target market for BTCRetailX is broad, and the system has been beta-tested by existing clients, improving speed and intuitiveness.

Doug discussed the revenue potential and various income streams, such as subscriptions, credit card transaction residuals, service support, private label licensing, and remittance services. He highlighted the untapped remittance market, particularly for Latin American communities sending money to countries like El Salvador, Mexico, and Honduras.

Plans include building a reseller program, rebranding, UI/UX redesign, integrating QuickBooks Online, WooCommerce, NFC Bolt cards, and partnering with Oshi for gift card systems. Doug's company, BTCRetailX, has two full-time developers and one part-time developer, and they aim to grow and scale the business. Doug acknowledges potential challenges in the remittance market due to varying money-transmitting laws across states. Open to partnerships and ideas, Doug also considers utilizing Nostr for messaging as a cost-effective alternative to SMS. 

Eden3D Printer: Max Sikorski, CEO and founder of Eden3D Printer unveiled his company's innovative approach at PlebLab Startup Day. Eden3D Printer focuses on helping people turn their ideas into tangible products using 3D printing hardware. With a suite of offerings, including hardware, vertically integrated farms, and a design studio, Eden3D Printer enables customers to create their products quickly and efficiently. One of the unique features of the Eden3D Printer is the NFC chips embedded in prints, which allows customers to verify product authenticity and other critical details. Max shared his vision of integrating Bitcoin and the Lightning Network into services, allowing customers to pay for products using satoshis.

During his presentation, Max demonstrated the 3D printing process and encouraged attendees to explore 3D printing with an affordable, beginner-friendly printer. He discussed the different styles of 3D printing machines and their benefits and disadvantages, including the potential for engineering-grade materials and multi-material printing. Max also highlighted the challenges of post-processing for additive manufacturing and the potential for 3D printing to revolutionize the manufacturing industry by producing customized, high-quality products quickly and efficiently.

Max emphasized the potential for 3D printing to impact the construction and automotive industries by enabling the printing entire vehicles out of metal. He also discussed the possibility of machines that can interact with users before the model is printed, drawing on his experience in the industry and advice from VC and incubator firms. During the Q&A session, Max addressed when 3D printing could become as common as a Coke machine, stressing the importance of maintaining the machines' calibration to ensure optimal results. Overall, Max's presentation was an insightful and engaging exploration of the exciting potential of 3D printing technology.

Mutiny: Paul presented Mutiny, a browser-based Bitcoin wallet that prioritizes privacy, incorporating features such as coin join and offline lightning receive. The team aims to introduce a stable coin using DLCs, without relying on an actual coin. Mutiny began as a project at PlebLab and evolved into a full-fledged company. The team emphasized the importance of building a wallet that follows Bitcoin best practices and is user-friendly. They use LDK as a foundation for their project and plan to charge fees for DLC and stable sat services, offer a premium Mutiny Plus product, and coordinate coin joins. Mutiny is open source, and the team plans to build a community around it. The roadmap includes an open beta in July and a 1.0 release after they feel confident about the product's security. The team focused on Rust as a backend language to handle scaling issues and discussed the challenges of binding Rust into a UI framework. Paul also discussed Mutiny's development, a privacy-focused wallet with an intuitive user interface that will have native mobile apps. They aim to automate privacy best practices to address privacy and usability concerns.

Emeralize: Santos founded Emeralize, a newly launched educational marketplace that allows users to buy and sell resources using Bitcoin. The platform's primary goal is to provide learners with fresh and exciting content while enabling educators to share their creations and earn directly from their audience. The automatic withdrawals to their lightning address make the process seamless. Emeralize is expected to encourage more educators to utilize the lightning network as the demand for Bitcoin developer education grows. Santos, a passionate educator, designer, builder, and leader at Zebedee, created Emeralize. Users can develop educational content by registering an account on the platform while earning Bitcoin. In addition, Santos is also the VP of Strategy at Zebedee, a fintech company specializing in the gaming industry. Santos emphasizes the importance of generating unbiased ideas and selecting the top three hypotheses based on their complexity, utility, business value, and innovation factor.

Furthermore, he highlights the significance of productizing the concept, defining specifications, designing flows, sketching the flows, wireframing with Bootstrap UI kit, and creating a prototype before starting to build. Santos provides a template and a range of Lightning UX flows to make integrating rewards, split payments, and deposits easier. Santos also invites participants to a workshop on building and integrating with Zebedee's APIs.

YopakiFrancisco Chavarria and Carlos Chida, founders of Yopaki, emphasized the importance of understanding Mexico's cultural and financial history when building a Bitcoin-only platform in the country. They highlighted the high fees charged by traditional remittance services. They explained how Yopaki plans to provide a cheaper, more accessible way for Mexicans to send money back home using Bitcoin. They also discussed the challenges of navigating Mexico's 200-page fintech laws and expressed that companies typically must have a large legal team or be friends with those in power to succeed. Yopaki plans to develop and strengthen the bridge between Bitcoin and communities in Mexico and the US through education and partnerships with prestigious institutions such as UNAM, Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Tecnológico de Monterrey, and ITAM. They aim to launch a closed beta by Q3 and have a public launch by Q4 in 2023, with plans to educate people in Mexico about Bitcoin through a pilot program with schools. Yopaki ended with one more thing and announced that Mexico's first Bitcoin block party is happening in CDMX soon.

Zaprite: Nate, an advisor of Zaprite, introduces the non-custodial Bitcoin invoicing platform. He explains the new features in version 2, which include separating invoices and checkouts, creating payment links for various use cases, and a preview button for invoices. Nate also shows how to customize payment options, including lightning-based options and Bitcoin, and create invoices with tasks and contacts. The Zaprite V2 platform is in beta and will launch soon. Nate also demonstrates various features of Zaprite V2, such as selecting different payment methods for different invoices, sharing invoices via a public link, and connecting to multiple payment methods such as Strike and Ibex. Nate also touched on upcoming features, such as recurring invoices, discounts, premium payments, and teams, and discussed the potential for Zaprite to integrate with QuickBooks and Shopify. Throughout the presentation, Nate answered many questions from the audience about the Zaprite V2 platform's features and how they work.

In conclusion, SATSx Weekend 2023 was a resounding success, celebrating the dynamic Bitcoin community in Austin, Texas. The event highlighted the immense potential for community-driven initiatives to empower and elevate Bitcoin startups, projects, and developers, and we anticipate even more growth and innovation in the future. We hope to see you all at next year's SATSx Weekend and Startup Day, where we expect even more groundbreaking projects and inspiring collaborations. A heartfelt thank you to our gracious sponsors, whose support made this event possible and played a vital role in fostering innovation and promoting the growth of the Bitcoin ecosystem.

Car González

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