BlockStart is offering to fund blockchain partnerships targeting SMEs. The funding comes from the EU Horizon 2020 program, which invests in research to improve Europe’s competitiveness. This is the third round of of calls.
Until 26 May 2021, startups can apply to BlockStart’s Partnership Programme, partner with end-user SMEs, and receive up to €20,000 to validate and pilot their blockchain solutions.
BlockStart is a pan-European blockchain/DLT acceleration programme. Its main objective is to facilitate mutually beneficial partnerships between blockchain/DLT solution providers and end-user SMEs.
In its 3rd and final Open Call, BlockStart is looking for early and growth-stage blockchain/DLT startups from all over the EU and H2020 Associated Countries. This 3 stage-immersive acceleration programme (Ideation Kick-off > Prototype > Pilot) will manage a fund of at least €265,000 aimed at financing blockchain/DLT technologies in the fields of fintech, ICT and retail, with selected startups receiving up to €20,000 equity-free funding per pilot.
This programme will provide startups with access to a variety of perks, including equity-free funding, access to piloting opportunities, mentorship, and exposure to investors and advisors.
The selected startups will go through a 6-month programme that starts with the Ideation Kick-off (a match between at least 10 end-user SMEs and 20 or more solution providers), after which the top 10 technology providers are admitted to a 4-month Prototype stage aimed at supporting the blockchain/DLT product/market fit. During the 2-month Pilot stage, the 5 (or more) startup finalists 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., end-user SMEs). At the end of the programme, selected startups will have the chance to pitch to a large audience of investors, stakeholders, startups and others at BlockStart’s Demo Day, planned for February 2022.
How to apply
Any European or H2020 Associated Country startup that works with blockchain/DLT 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 26 May at 5pm CET (Brussels Time).
For more information on application criteria and how to apply, you can go to blockstart.eu and consult our FAQ section. BlockStart will also organize 2 Q&A Webinars for future applicants on 14 April and 12 May 2021 at 11am CET (Brussels Time) and you can save your seat here and here.
Collaborating with end-user SMEs
One of the main objectives of BlockStart is to encourage collaboration between end-user SMEs and potential blockchain/DLT specialists, as technology providers, and to promote knowledge about the benefits and opportunities of these technologies.
Only SMEs operating in the fields of fintech, ICT and retail are eligible and should through a dedicated open call for SME adopters, by filling in a dedicated online application form.
Selected SME adopters will benefit from up to €4,500 equity-free funding and will have the chance to implement blockchain/DLT pilot solutions with the startups that have gone through the 3rd previously described BlockStart Partnership Programme. Applications for end-user SMEs are expected to have 2 cut-off dates – the 1st one for participation at the Ideation Kick-off and the 2nd one for piloting blockchain/DLT solution at the programme’s Pilot stage. The deadline for the 1st cut-off date is 6 July 2021 at 5pm CET (Brussels Time).
The BlockStart Consortium
BlockStart is run by a team of 3 partners: Bright Pixel, an early-stage VC investor, CIVITTA, a leading innovation management consultancy in Eastern and Central Europe, and F6S, a global tech founders’ community. This project is funded by European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme, under grant agreement No 828853.