EU funding available for blockchain startups targeting SMEs – Ledger Insights

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.

BlockStart Announcement

Note: Sometimes we publish the corporate announcement prefixed with a brief commentary. The content only represents the views of the organization involved.

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.

The offer

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 the 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.