BlockStart Open Call #3 for blockchain/DLT developers and SME adopters of blockchain technology 

BlockStart has launched its 3rd and final Open Call. During the info session, BlockStart 2nd Q&A Webinar on the 12th of May 2021, this funding opportunity for blockchain startups and end-user SMEs was analysed by experts in the field. From SCALE UP we firmly believe that this 3 stage-immersive acceleration program is a unique chance for EU startups and H2020 Associated Countries to validate and pilot their blockchain ideas. SMEs working in the fields of fintech, ICT and retail can apply to BlockStart´s Partnership Program until 5 pm (CET) on May 26, 2021 and end-user SMEs until 5 pm (CET) July 6, 2021.

BlockStart is a 6-month acceleration program divided into 3 stages (Ideation kick off – Prototype - Pilot), that aims at fostering blockchain adoption among startups and SMEs in retail, fintech and ICT sectors. The main goal of this H2020 project is to facilitate business-focused, and mutually beneficial partnerships between blockchain startups (solution providers) and SME adopters (end-user SMEs). In order to finance blockchain / DLT technologies, this initiative is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program, with a total fund of €265.000.

The advantages that this initiative provides to startups in the short and long term are innumerable. During the info session, the following five benefits were highlighted. First of all, the possibility of receiving up to 20.000€ equity-free grants for each blockchain solution provider and up to 4500€ for each end-user SME.

On the other hand, there is also access to personalized mentoring, training and additional resources by BlockStart and external experts. This second point is of great relevance since the consortium of this program has several external experts in the blockchain and DLT domains that help and provide added value to the award-winning companies. Moreover, the SMEs can benefit from market validation, as it is a programme that helps fine-tune, test and demo the solution with real users.

Fourthly, there is also access to piloting opportunities and implementations in potential clients and the approach and matchmaking with advisors, stakeholders and investors. Finally, SMEs will always have the benefit of being able to promote their business both within BlockStart and in other external events.

Regarding the 6-months program, during the webinar it was explained how Blockstart´s acceleration programme will work and proceed. During the Ideation Kick-off (27-28 July online) at least 20 blockchain startups will be selected, and solutions will be presented to 10 end-user SMEs, as well as an evaluation by business and technical experts. This will provide €1000 grant for blockchain startups and €1500 grant for end-user SMEs.

During the Prototype Stage (August-November) at least 10 blockchain startups will be selected to further develop their solution towards product/market fit. Moreover, Blockstart and external experts’ mentorship will be available through virtual meetings. The blockchain startups will benefit from a total of € 15000 grant. Finally, through the pilot stage (December -February 2022) they will select at least 5 blockchain startups and 20 end-users SMEs to implement the solutions. In addition, the Demo Day (February 2022) will be a unique opportunity to promote solutions to potential clients, investors, stakeholders, founders, CTOs, Business Developers or Innovation managers. Blockchain startups will receive a €4000 grant and end-user SMEs a €3000 grant.

We, in SCALE UP, appreciate and applaud this initiative, which can mark a before and after for many small and medium-sized companies. We firmly believe that both the largest corporations, as well as startups and SMEs must be consistent in their work, effort and innovation so that they can continue to grow and accelerate in a field so competitive not only at the European level, but also worldwide. Entering the world of Blockchain is, without a doubt, one of the best options. Through this program it is expected that startups target clear economic and societal impact, market potential, European dimension, cross-sector / border business scalability, and define a clear exploitation strategy / business plan and commercial milestones.

We highly encourage you to submit your proposal. You can apply here.

If you are interested in BlockStart´s Open Call #3, do not hesitate to watch the record of the interactive webinar to learn all the guidelines and procedures!