20 Blockchain-Focused Startup Accelerators as Unconventional as the Technology

December 21, 2017     By : Elena Mesropyan

As the blockchain-focused community of entrepreneurs expands worldwide, so does the ecosystem aimed to support and nurture top-performing solutions. Being FinTech-focused is not enough – experienced professionals are branching out to blockchain-focused entities, incubating and accelerating development and deployment of DLT-based solutions across industries.

20 Blockchain-Focused Startup Accelerators as Unconventional as the Technology

Adel

Adel is a global cryptocurrency community that is self-regulated, self-sustained, and offers its own economic ecosystem with the Adelphoi token. Its community focuses on creating, developing, and implementing use cases involving blockchain technology that covers a wide range of digital and physical industries. Projects are chosen by the community and successful ventures are either reinvested in for further growth or issued as rewards to Adel’s stakeholders.

In this ecosystem, the Adel Board will act as an advisor by providing guidance to its community. Leadership is appointed to utilize the highest level of expertise, integrity, and due diligence.

Bank of England FinTech Accelerator

Bank of England FinTech Accelerator works in partnership with firms working with new technology to explore how FinTech innovations could be used in central banking. The Bank of England’s work on distributed ledger technologies and machine learning has highlighted areas for further exploration, so the bank is particularly keen to advance its understanding of quantitative and qualitative machine learning solutions and to conduct a more detailed exploration of privacy in distributed ledger networks.

The Bank of England is looking for firms to join it in working on a time-limited PoC in the following areas: big data analytics, privacy in distributed ledger systems, and XBRL data storage.

BitHub by Space Kenya Networks

BitHub.Africa is a commercial blockchain accelerator that is driving the adoption of blockchain technology and solutions across Africa. The accelerator’s focus is developing innovative and relevant solutions using blockchain technology.

BitHub provides analytical, development, maintenance, and support services for organizations interested in deploying blockchain solutions. BitHub also trains and hosts blockchain developers at its hub in Nairobi, creating the best pool of expertise in this area across the African continent.

Block Chain Space

Block Chain Space is a focused startup accelerator for talented visionaries creating disruptive solutions to real-world problems using blockchain technology.

Block Chain Space is a connected environment conducive to creativity and collaboration, combining mentoring and coaching sessions from industry experts. Staying true to the global, ubiquitous reach of blockchain technology, Block Chain Space developed a multi-location 12-week acceleration program to help its participants benefit from the technology’s disruptive potential.

Blockchain Business Camp Tokyo

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) has been actively working to attract foreign companies to raise international competitiveness and bring about further growth for the capital city by promoting the creation of a more business-friendly environment for overseas businesses and startups. In October 2017, TMG announced the “Blockchain Business Camp Tokyo” accelerator program for foreign companies that possess advanced blockchain technology in areas such as transactions, securities, IoT, supply chains, and the sharing economy. The TMG aims for this intensive three-month program to generate groundbreaking innovation.

In addition to having Tokyo-based, leading Japanese companies that are involved in fields – such as transactions, securities, IoT, supply chains and the sharing economy – serve as mentors at the camp, the opportunity to connect with investors, Tokyo-based businesses, and others will also be provided. Furthermore, the technologies and services of the foreign companies participating in the program (about five companies) will be advertised for an extended period (*) using digital signage located around Shinjuku and Tokyo stations in the heart of Tokyo, and support will be extended to foreign companies that decide to establish their business in Tokyo.

Blockchain Business Solution Accelerator by Deutsche Bank

Blockchain Business Solution Accelerator by Deutsche Bank offers:

  • Industry Partners & Business Development. The program connects startups with leading industry partners willing to collaborate with innovative ventures. Selected partners organize dedicated advisory sessions and specific activities with each startup while considering possible pilots, business development agreements, and investments.
  • Mentorship & Workshops. Startups can attend workshops held by the bank experts covering key themes such as Business Strategy & Development, Communication & Marketing, Coding & Dev, UX & Design, and Legal & Fundraising. Startups can also meet with entrepreneurs, investors, managers and business leaders from the banks’ international network.
  • Accelerator Team. During the program, startups are provided with a full-time dedicated team that works closely with them. The team is made of: Accelerator Director, Program Manager, Program Assistants, and Operations Manager. These people take care of the teams’ stay and organize weekly meetings to monitor progress.
  • Working Spaces, Room & Board, Food.
  • Seed Investment & Demo Night. Every team receives €20.000 in cash with a possibility for further investment from the H-FARM Investment fund at the end of the program. After four months of acceleration, startups are invited to pitch at Demo Night to an international audience made by business angels, investors, companies, and journalists.
  • Tech Partners. Deutsche Bank provides access to hundreds of perks, free or discounted services. The value of these offers is more than €450.000.
  • International Opportunity. Deutsche Bank is one of the key members of the GAN (Global Accelerator Network). Once a startup takes part in the banks’ acceleration programs, it gains access to GAN Services: remote mentorships sessions, tech partners, and temporary desk space in other accelerators. Startups also have visibility to international investors.

Who should apply? Startups working on blockchain technology-based solutions that can impact the following areas:

  • Commercial trade
  • Supply chain & logistics
  • Manufacturing
  • Payments (B2B)
  • Legal & IP
  • IT (Cloud/Fog Technologies)

And the following industries:

  • Automotive
  • Food & beverage
  • Energy, oil & gas
  • Construction & real estate
  • Finance (trading, protocols, exchange platforms, etc.)
  • Insurance

Blockchain Trust Accelerator

In June 2016, New America, the Bitfury Group, and the National Democratic Institute announced the launch of the Blockchain Trust Accelerator Institute, a platform that will connect blockchain-based pilot concepts with the technologists, governments, and funders in order to deliver better governance outcomes and social impact. The Blockchain Trust Accelerator will help match promising pilot proposals with the civic expertise and technical partners needed to produce software that can be successfully scaled to address social and governance challenges.

The Blockchain Trust Accelerator initiative is managed through New America and focuses on locating, matching and supporting individuals from the technology, business, academia, governments, and philanthropy spheres to deploy pilot programs using blockchain technology.

Boost VC

Boost VC is an institutional fund to commit to funding blockchain companies. The fund is looking for companies that are using the technology for settlement of contracts where they can eliminate middlemen, confirmation of identity with both personal and fraud prevention, and providing transparency of information to end-users. Boost VC runs two accelerator programs every year and invests up to $50k in exchange for 7% of the company.

Chicago’s Bitcoin Center

Launched in July 2015, Chicago Bitcoin Center became the first Bitcoin incubator launched at 1871, Chicago’s hub for digital startups, to serve as Chicago’s key resource and center of gravity for blockchain-based technologies. The Chicago Bitcoin Center works to foster a new wave of technological innovation on the blockchain and is dedicated to education, innovation, and development of blockchain-based technologies.

In addition to the office space in the Chicago Bitcoin Center, incubator companies receive access to mentorship by leading Bitcoin entrepreneurs, technologists, and investors. The Chicago Bitcoin Center also provides a full suite of public relations and government affairs services to member companies.

Coin Apex

Coin Apex is a New York-based incubator that builds products integrating cryptography, software, and technology. Coin Apex has the structure in place to bring forth value in areas from giving guidance on regulatory compliance to building out specific programming projects. The company can offer a full scope of services from advising to implementation, and evaluates its role in projects on a case-per-case basis, keeping in mind what is best for potential clients, partners, and customers.

Coinsilium

Coinsilium is an accelerator that finances and manages the development of early-stage blockchain technology companies. It does this through its consortium of investors, industry thought leaders and executive managers. Based in London, Coinsilium’s focus is on driving innovation in FinTech and blockchain technologies, enabling businesses to take advantage of growth opportunities. Coinsilium’s shares are traded on the NEX Exchange Growth Market, the primary market for unlisted securities operated by NEX Exchange, which is a Recognized Investment Exchange under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.

DC Blockchain Center by 1776 and the Chamber of Digital Commerce

In September 2016, the Chamber of Digital Commerce and technology incubator 1776 have partnered to launch the DC Blockchain Center to serve as Washington, DC’s entrepreneurial resource for technology providers and governments investing and innovating in blockchain-based technologies.

The DC Blockchain Center at 1776 is the first blockchain incubator in Washington, DC. It’s focused on helping regulators and government agencies, including state, federal and international, understand the potential benefits of blockchain technology, and public sector use cases, and to provide a forum for the public and private sectors to collaborate.

Digital Currency Group

Digital Currency Group (DCG) builds and supports Bitcoin and blockchain companies by leveraging its expertise, network, and access to capital. Based in New York City, DCG has been an active seed investor in the digital currency industry with over 70 investments in 20 countries.

Distributed Vision

Distributed Vision is a business incubator and advisor. From landscape analysis to proof-of-concept development, the company facilitates business and technology workshops, training and presentations. The central thread running through all interactions is the startup in the context of disruptive technology. Distributed Vision helps with technical and non-technical understanding, sandboxing, and incubation.

The organization guides entrepreneurs through key decisions: does the business go for a distributed database versus a blockchain, a public or a private blockchain, an off-the-shelf protocol or a self-build and more.

IBM Blockchain Accelerator

The IBM Blockchain Accelerator is a fee-based engagement designed to advance new blockchain network founders towards the goal of a successfully working blockchain solution.

The Accelerator provides guidance, support, and technical expertise to guide the development of new blockchain solutions while considering the ecosystem of users and partners who benefit. The accelerator targets not just technology, but the legal and business considerations of establishing new blockchain networks.

IBM is looking for candidates with an interest in constructing a production blockchain network on The Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric. The Accelerator will be looking for strong teams that have the capabilities to deploy a blockchain production network on an accelerated timeline.

The IBM accelerator provides:

  • Coaching and support from IBM’s Blockchain experts who have contributed to Hyperledger Fabric and Hyperledger Composer to help founders architect and develop their network to its full capabilities.
  • Access to the IBM Blockchain Platform so that founders can get started developing, governing and operating your business network.
  • Access to IBM’s pre-built blockchain software assets to save teams weeks of development effort.
  • Opportunity for co-marketing with IBM to position members of participants’ consortium as technology leaders and promote their blockchain network.
  • Coding and architect reviews to keep participants’ network build moving at a fast pace.
  • Founder learning sessions with a curriculum designed to complement existing experiences.
  • Design Thinking Workshop in the IBM Blockchain Workshop to help explore and design the “to-be” state of startups’ use case process using blockchain.
  • Opportunity for a six-week MVP build-out with the IBM Blockchain Workshop.

Outlier Ventures

Outlier Ventures co-develops blockchain startups with entrepreneurs, corporate venturing partners, consortia, and accelerators because the company believes blockchains are about networks, not platforms. Outlier Ventures is actively building an ecosystem of partnerships to rapidly innovate and scale well-funded startups with great teams of seasoned professionals.

Outlier Ventures Ltd is the research and commercial arm of the venture platform which tracks over 30 blockchain use cases at any one time on behalf of Outlier Capital LLP. It serves as an incubator and accelerator engaging venture partners including entrepreneurs, startups, and corporate partners to qualify problem-solution fit, build product-market fit, and scale companies.

Satoshi Studios

Satoshi Studios is an incubator for blockchain startups in Southeast Asia. All the selected companies move to New Delhi, India, for a three-month intensive program (April 2017–June 2017) where they’ll get access to awesome mentorship, hands-on sessions with blockchain experts, a great office space, and a great living space where they’ll work with other blockchain enthusiasts from Southeast Asia. The incubator invests $50K in exchange for 8%–15% of equity.

SparkChain Capital

SparkChain Capital is an early-stage VC fund focused on investing in the leading blockchain and cryptocurrency innovations across the world. The fund is powered by SparkLabs Group, which is comprised of SparkLabs accelerator network, Asia’s premier startup accelerators; SparkLabs Global Ventures, a leading seed-stage fund; SparkLabs Ventures, a localized early-stage fund (Series A & B) in South Korea; SparkLabs Capital, a late-stage investment vehicle. SparkLabs accelerator network consists of SparkLabs Korea (Seoul), SparkLabs China (Beijing and launching Shanghai, Chengdu, and Shenzhen), SparkLabs IoT & Smart Cities (Songdo, South Korea), SparkLabs Taipei, and SparkLabs FinTech (Hong Kong).

Synechron’s FinLabs

Synechron, digital, business consulting & technology services providers, based in New York, runs three innovation labs – focused on blockchain, AI, and InsurTech. FinLabs acts as an innovation hub for the company allowing its clients to touch and feel the latest digital technologies. Visitors can do everything from role-playing the customer journey through a typical digital engagement scenario in order to understand the impact of beacons, drones, biometric authentication and virtual reality, to prototyping around new technologies like blockchain. The blockchain-focused innovation lab aims to help companies accelerate their own blockchain projects.

Synechron’s Blockchain Accelerators are working applications that demonstrate how blockchain can solve real-world operational problems. They accelerate clients’ integration and deployment program. Synechron has created process frameworks and application code for six industry and process blockchain accelerator solutions.

ZhongAn Technology

ZhongAn, China’s online insurance giant, launched ZhongAn Technology, an incubator aimed to explore technology innovation to ZhongAn and its external partners through its “ABCD” plan, focusing on four main areas: artificial intelligence, blockchain, cloud computing, and data-driven tech. ZhongAn Technology will roll out its services on a blockchain cloud platform called Anlink.

ZhongAn Technology, together with more than 20 business partners from various sectors, has established Shanghai Blockchain Enterprise Development Alliance, the first industry-driven blockchain-focused body in China to promote the development and business applications of blockchain technology.

ZhongAn Technology has adopted the technology of Ethereum, the blockchain-based decentralized network, in its platform and partnered with Fudan University School of Computer Sciences and Technology to set up a “blockchain and information security laboratory.” This is the first joint laboratory between a university and a company focusing on blockchain technology in China.

Find a comprehensive overview and detailed information on accelerator programs and incubators in MEDICI, FinTech’s Global Knowledge Network.

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Elena Mesropyan
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Elena Mesropyan

Global Head of Content at Let's Talk Payments
Elena is a research professional with a background in social sciences and extensive experience in consumer behavior studies and marketing analytics. She is passionate about technologies enabling financial inclusion for underprivileged and vulnerable groups of the population around the world.
Elena Mesropyan
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