You might have already heard of Blockchers, a project co-funded by the European Union, which aims to facilitate the revolution of Distributed Ledge Technologies (DLT) across startup and SMEs in Europe.
This year, 12 innovative European startups were selected by the Blockchers jury to advance take part: Vottun, Vestigia, Bettergy, Orvium, DEIP, Join, Minespider, asvin, Apio, Datafund, HOPU, Datarella.
The project partners are:
from Spain. Zabala is an international advisory firm focused on promoting and growing innovation as a key competitive factor for their clients.
from Hungary. Innomine Group offers European innovation and funding expertise focusing on international, highly complex research and development projects, primarily in the information technology and communications (ICT) sector.
from Germany. FSBC is a think tank and research centre which investigates implications of the blockchain technology, crypto assets and distributed ledger technology (DLT) for companies and their business models.
from Spain. Alastria is a non-profit association that promotes the digital economy through the development of decentralized ledger technologies/Blockchain.
The 4 project partners jointly and immensly worked to support these 12 startups to succeed, develop solutions with DLTs for their validation process and to gain end users/use cases. Throughout this project, they are also supporting the creation of a ’smart’ regulatory framework for the EU and the development of policy recommendations.
How does Blockchers work?
BLOCKCHERS is a 4-stage process: open call – immersion – implementation – recognition. This process allows the selected startups and SMEs working on emerging technologies to adapt to common use cases, while implementing and validating their processes within a realistic setting/scenario. In parallel, many lessons and insights are learned by the selected SMEs across several verticals, via recommendations, best practice mentoring and technical and business training.
At the begining of this year, in January 2020, Blockchers launched their 2nd Open Call and spread the news of Blockchers to all EU Member States. Having got more familiar with many European Blockchain organizations and startups, as well as being visibile in high level international events, they recieved 103 applications from SMEs across 28 European countries.
From these 103 applications, an international evaluation jury selected the top 18 SMEs to go forward to the Immersion stage of the project. This phase helped the 18 selected startups clearly define their common ’Use Case’, and culminated in a ’Blockathon week’ which was organised to prepare first mock-ups of the applications. During this final week, the startups underwent a technical analysis, took part in personalised individual coaching sessions coordinated by the innomine group, and participated in a final ’demolition pitch contest’, where the international jury selected the best 12 projects to go forward to the next stage.
In the next Implementation stage, the startups were supported to fulfill their KPIs, having access to dedicated coaches and mentors, a technical Blockchain infrastructure ready to be used, and a different set of training modules. During this challenge, the two key firms guided the startups accordingly: 6 groups were mentored by Zabala Innovation Consulting and 6 startups by innomine group.
During the last 5 months, Zabala and innomine organized regular, bi-weekly coaching sessions in order to track everyone’s progress. The groups were able to highlight their key challenges and difficulties which the coaches from Zabala and innomine were dedicated to help solve. Furthermore, Alastria offered several possibilites to attend international events in the startup world and organized match-making events with various investors aiming to get international visibility for all the teams. The Frankfurt School of Business Blockchain Center offered professional and essential online courses in the field of Blockchain/DLT on several different levels, with the aim of sharing knowledge and support for the teams with technical tools.
Where is Blockchers heading?
Now, Blockchers find itself in its last stage – Recognition. Every startup within the programme successfully fulfilled their KPIs from the implementation stage, and therefore, each contendor has the opportunity to win a prize. Each project funded will receive up to €50k, depending on the stage reached in the incubation process, based on the approval of different milestones or KPIs and their final pitch.
For now, the Blockchers project will continue to work with the best 12 teams – until the Final Pitch Contest which will be held on the 10th December, 2020, as a session of the Paris Blockchain Summit. After this event, the 2 final winners will be announced on 15th December, 2020.
To stay up to date with the Blockchers project, follow them on social media, and check out their website.