Polkadot Head Ambassador Application: Max Rebol

Hello Polkadot,

I would hereby like to announce my candidacy as a Polkadot Head Ambassador. My name is Max Rebol and I am the co-founder and CEO of Harbour Industrial Capital, a Polkadot-focused VC Fund based in HK. In this post, I will discuss my background, past activities in Polkadot as well as future initiatives I plan to do as Head Ambassador.


Originally from Austria, I spent most of my career in the Greater China region. After completing my PhD in Shanghai, I worked at consulting companies in Shanghai and HK, focusing on investment research and due diligence. I subsequently worked six years in the research departments of two investment banks in HK (Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley).

First steps in Crypto

I learned about Bitcoin in 2015, and became active in the HK crypto community, participating in the early Bitcoin and Ethereum meetups in this city. I discovered Polkadot around the time of the private sale, where I participated myself with a small amount. Excited about Gavin’s vision, I quickly became somewhat of a spokesperson for Polkadot in HK crypto circles.

Harbour Industrial Capital

I co-founded Harbour Industrial Capital (HIC) together with Mario Altenburger in 2021. We are registered in the Cayman Islands and headquartered in HK. As of Q1 2024 our fund has an AUM of over US$10 million. We have raised this capital from private investors such as Family Offices, and subsequently invested it in over 20 Polkadot-based projects. The primary method of deploying capital were parachain auctions, as part of which we locked up DOT in exchange for a fixed amount of parachain tokens. More recently we have also made direct investment in Polkadot-based projects. Fund 1 held its final closing on 31 December 2023, and we are planning to raise a second fund later this year.

PolkaPort East

Together with Thibault Perréard and Vincent Chan I started PolkaPort East, a growth and IR initiative focused on HK and the Greater Bay area. The goal is highlighting Polkadot’s technology, bringing more projects into the ecosystem, and attracting more investors to deploy capital. We do this through a series of in-person events, such as monthly meetups, a fireside chat series with parachain founders, VC dinners and large flagship events such as Web3 Festival and HK Fintech Week. Our efforts were recognized by the Web3 Foundation in June 2024 as PolkaPort East was admitted to the Decentralised Futures program. (This also received significant crypto media coverage)

Summary of Polkadot Events

Over the past few years, I have participated many Polkadot-related events and activities, here my personal Top 20:

  1. Co-organizer of Polkadot booth at Web3 Festival (HK) and keynote speaker on Polkadot 2.0
  2. Organiser of the PBA Special with Björn Wagner at the China Club
  3. Speaker at Connected Capital by Google in HK
  4. Instructor of a course on Parachain Auction at the Polkadot Blockchain Academy
  5. Panel Moderator at Polkadot Day in HK
  6. Judge of the HK Web3Hack
  7. Winner of the TADS Award for Ecosystem Excellence in DeFi.
  8. Speaker and Panel Moderator at ParisDOTcomm
  9. Keynote speaker WOW Summit (HK)
  10. Panellist and interviewee at Polkaworld Summit (HK)
  11. Panellist at TeamZ Summit (Tokyo),
  12. Panellist/Moderator at Polkadot Pulse (Dubai)
  13. Panel host at Polkadot Fireside Chat at SoHo House (HK)
  14. Speaker on Blockspace Allocation at Sub0 (Bangkok)
  15. Panellist for Polkadot at GM Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City)
  16. Interview with the Business Case for Polkadot
  17. Interview with Polkadot Insider
  18. Organiser of the Polkadot Monthly Tai Kwun Meetup since 2023 (HK)
  19. Bounty Curator of the AMI Bounty for Polkadot
  20. Graduate of the PBA Founder’s Track in HK

More details and photos of these events can be found on my LinkedIn.

Why become a Polkadot Head Ambassador?

When I first heard about the Polkadot Ambassador program launched with Ref 487, I was immediately intrigued. It allows 21 individuals to step up and officially represent Polkadot at conferences, the media, and different communities around the world. In light of the decentralisation of Parity, I think this initiative is urgently needed to ensure Polkadot remains at the top of mind for developers, corporates, investors and policy makers. We cannot rely on Gavin and the Parity senior leadership alone for this.

Even though the roles and responsibilities in the new program are still not very clearly defined, I think a core pillar of the ambassadorship will be increasing awareness of Polkadot. This could be done in many ways, from local community building, technical education, introducing corporations to build on Polkadot, government liaison, and investor relations. An ambassador has to be able to speak in front of an audience – online or in person – and represent Polkadot in a way that gets people excited about the ecosystem. Our technology has a lot of potential, but compared to other ecosystems, Polkadot still lacks awareness. It should be the goal of the 21 Head Ambassadors to speak at different types of conferences, give media interviews and “be the face of Polkadot”.

Polkadot at Family Offices Summits

One of my first initiatives – if elected Head Ambassador – will be to organise a Polkadot speaker series at traditional Family Offices (FO) summits. These are targeted investment conferences for private investors with a net worth of at least $50m.

Polkadot has traditionally been well represented at Web3 conferences such as Consensus, Token49 or global ETH events. This is good and important, but when it comes to attracting new capital to Polkadot, this strategy has fallen short. We have so far neglected the investment conferences around the world (examples here) attended by FOs with limited exposure to Web3. As crypto gets mainstream media coverage, these FOs are actively exploring opportunities in the space and are ready to deploy capital. But we can’t wait for them to find us – we have to go to them, and speak about Polkadot on stage and in panel discussion. As a Polkadot Head Ambassador I am planning to do exactly that, aiming to bring significant new investment into the Polkadot ecosystem.

Why vote for me?

I decided to put myself forward as Head Ambassador, to have an official designation when speaking on behalf of Polkadot at conferences or in the media. If successful, I will work closely with the other 20 ambassadors, make sure our messaging is aligned, and jointly create the biggest possible impact for Polkadot. Our technology is second to none, but communication has to be improved significantly – as Head Ambassador I vow to be part of this.

Please vote and comment on the proposal on Subsquare: Head Ambassador Application: Max Rebol