Establishing the building blocks of success

  • Local blockchain company ubloquity, founded in July 2021, has had a stellar 18 months. Building on a successful round of seed funding where it secured more than £2million from early investors, the firm went on to sign an exclusive contract with Fujitsu to be its smart border blockchain partner.

    Ineke Rentmeesters, ubloquity’s Chief Operating Officer, has been part of the core team since its inception, bringing with her more than 15 years of experience as an IT Program and Project Manager, responsible for managing complex global IT projects. Before moving to the UK, Ineke worked for IBM in Belgium, delivering projects for clients including the Government Customs and Excise Departments, the European Commission, NATO and the UN.

    Having recently been awarded the Women in Business Award for ‘Outstanding Innovation – Small Business’, we caught up with Ineke to find out more about how her global experience is benefitting ubloquity and what lies in store for the blockchain company this year.

    Paving the way

    “2023 is set to be a radical year for ubloquity,” says Ineke. “One of the biggest issues facing companies and organisations today is how to prove something is what it says it is. Our blockchain enabled ‘PAVE’ platform effectively authenticates and creates trust by capturing and storing immutable data. We Prove, Authenticate, Validate and Ensure integrity across complex supply chains and so PAVE was born!”

    When you consider that the UK imports and exports around £1 trillion of goods each year with the outside world, ubloquity’s ability to safeguard trust ticks a huge box for businesses, government, regulators and organisations who all want to make trade as frictionless as possible.

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    “One such example of this type of technology in action is our collaboration with Fujitsu, Entopy and B4B where we have helped create a smart border solution – Atamai Freight. Atamai Freight enables goods to move seamlessly and securely by verifying the integrity of road freight throughout its entire journey. By unifying and mapping all elements of the supply chain on a single digital platform, Atamai ensures the most complex customs procedures are completed automatically – saving time and money – and providing customers with accurate arrival times for their goods.”


    Ineke explains that ubloquity has been able to marry the agility of a start-up with the star power of a fortune 500 company to drive forward innovation that has captured and secured leading contacts.

    “The ubloquity leadership team hails from other incredibly successful businesses and our seed investors were hand-picked by our founders and CEO for their diverse sectorial and technical background, ensuring that we have the expertise and experience of much more seasoned firms. This strong foundation gives us the confidence and market leader mindset to succeed.”

    Ineke’s own background is similarly diverse having lived and worked in Nairobi, supporting organisations including the European Commission, NATO and the UN. She says her time here allowed her to develop her own leadership skills.

    “As a linguist, I have developed a strong analytical mind, and a skill to translate the message so that the communication passes in the most effective way from source to target, be that from language A to language B or from tech to business, from executive to junior and vice versa.” Explains Ineke.

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    “I am grateful for my time at IBM where I grew in my career, learning great skills as well frameworks and best practices on how to develop and deliver software in an agile way, or how to lead a multicultural diverse team. That foundation from a big corporate organisation has been really helpful to define the structures in ubloquity and to distil from my corporate experience, the ubloquity way of doing things.

    “Working in an international environment also creates a cultural awareness, a curiosity and an open mindset to understand and see beyond your own culture, how others deal with challenges and find creative solutions. The capacity of seeing the potential in something and repurposing it by bringing it a different context is exactly what we at ubloquity call: connecting the dots In Kenya, that jua kali mindset of the people has made them the most creative recyclers I have met. The tech start-up scene and wider tech ecosystem, or 'Silicon Savannah’, is fascinating. There, for example, co-working spaces and innovation hubs were standard long before Covid-19 made us in Europe rethink the office model.”

    Empowering people

    Now with a team of sixteen across the UK, Ireland and Europe, ubloquity has quadrupled in size since it was founded. Ineke says the company’s ability to attract strong talent is in part down to its culture. “We embrace smart people and smart processes to create trust through technology. Colleagues are given the freedom and flexibility to manage their own time and projects, but safe in the knowledge that they are in a collaborative and supportive environment. We have regular ‘scrum’ meetings, 1-1 coaching and mentor sessions and make sure to avoid micro-managing at all costs!”

    Indeed one of Ineke’s mentees - Ellen Marks, Agri Tech Manager – was recently named ‘Young IT Professional of the Year’ and credited the empowering environment at ubloquity to her successful career development to date.

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    “For me, mentoring works in a bi-directional way. I learn as much form our young talent as I hope they learn from me. At ubloquity we recognise that age, title, or diploma is not constraining. It is your passion and curiosity for how we can use technology to make this world a better place, that matters. Mentoring is about listening and guiding., not about what you would do as a senior. My best mentors did not tell me what to do but made me continuously aware that I need to understand for myself why this and not that. My colleagues roll their eyes if they hear me ask why, but in the end they see why the ‘why’ is important to make sure we are aligned on our vision, our true North, and how to get there.”

    The year of blockchain

    For ubloquity, 2023 is the year that blockchain becomes mainstream. “For a long time, it felt as if blockchain has been more of a buzzword rather than actually understood, but as its application become more widespread, people’s understanding has deepened,” says Ineke.

    “From monitoring food from farm to shelf, to tracking good cross-border, blockchain is becoming more mainstream. In a world when cybercrime, and food fraud is on the rise and fake news is commonplace, working with a technology that literally creates trust is incredibly refreshing, and thankfully every business we work with agrees.”

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