BLOCK START 2nd OPEN CALL: a new funding opportunity for blockchain startups and end-user SMEs 

Are you part of a start-up or an SME operating in the fields of fintech, ICT and retail? Are you seeking for funding to support your company’s scale up and development? Then don’t miss the opportunity to apply for BlockStart’s Partnership Programme! You can receive up to €20 000 to validate and pilot your blockchain solutions.

If you have been recently following banking, investing, or cryptocurrency you may be familiar with “blockchain”. Understanding Blockchain technology is essential for anyone dealing with a transaction to know for sure what happened, when it happened, and to confirm that other parties are looking at the same thing without the need for an intermediary to provide guarantees, and without the need to reconcile the data later. The two terms “blockchain” and “DLT” are often used interchangeably and to understand blockchain, it’s important to understand Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) — the framework that underpins it. DLT is a decentralized database coordinated by multiple participants, across multiple nodes. Blockchain is a type of DLT where transactions are recorded with an immutable cryptographic signature called a hash. The transactions are then organised in blocks and each new block includes a hash of the previous one, chaining them together, hence why distributed ledgers are often called blockchains. Blockchain technology is the solution for businesses to avoid high costly and complex system of transactions, human error or fraud, inefficiency and frequent delays & losses. The transaction holder has the power to move anything of value freely and instantly without intermediaries thus eliminating or reducing paper-based processes, the need for intermediaries, accelerating transaction times and increasing efficiency and transparency.   

BlockStart is a pan-European DLT / blockchain partnership program that has launched its second Open Call. It is seeking seed-, early- and growth-stage DLT / blockchain startups from across the EU and H2020 associated countries. BlockStart's primary goal is to facilitate goal-oriented, business-centered and mutually beneficial partnerships between DLT / blockchain solution providers and end-user SMEs. The partnership programme intends to encourage collaboration between end-user SMEs and potential DLT / blockchain specialists, as technology providers, and to promote knowledge of the benefits and opportunities of these technologies. Looking at the finances, the partnership program has received funding from the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme and will coordinate a € 265 000 fund with selected startups receiving up to € 20 000 in capital-free funding per pilot.

To have a clear idea of the funding target group, the partnership program will provide startups operating in the fields of fintech, ICT and retail with access to a variety of benefits, including capital-free funding, access to piloting opportunities, mentoring and exposure to investors and advisors. The selected startups will participate in a 6-month program starting with the Ideation Kick-off (a meeting between SMEs end users and solution providers), after which the most successful technology providers are admitted to a 4-month prototype phase aimed at supporting the DLT / blockchain product / adapting to the market. During the 2-month pilot phase, startups working with blockchain and other DLTs will have a unique opportunity to validate their solutions and refine their products, grow their business and work closely with potential customers (i.e. SME end users) - to identify the DLT / blockchain solutions that best meet the market demand.  

Any European or H2020 Associated Country startup that works with DLT/blockchain technologies in the fields of fintech, ICT and retail is eligible as a participant and should fill in an online application form at F6S platform.

Deadline for applications is September 30th at 5pm CET (Brussels Time)  

For more information regarding BlockStart, please click here.