Cambridge Blockchain wins Onevest/Santander InnoVentures Distributed Ledger Challenge

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Santander InnoVentures, the $100 million fintech venture capital fund of Santander Group, in partnership with Onevest, a leader in the startup ecosystem operating CoFoundersLab and cambridge blockchain1000 Angels, have announced Cambridge Blockchain as the winner of its Distributed Ledger (DL) Challenge. Massachusetts based Cambridge Blockchain was among five finalists, selected from more than 100 applications, to pitch directly to the judging panel at the Challenge final in New York on 27th January.

The Cambridge Blockchain team will now receive a $15,000 cash prize to help it take its ideas forward in preparation for potential angel investment. They will also be given access to market and technology experts at Santander InnoVentures and its parent, the Santander Group, while Onevest will provide mentorship and guidance before presenting the winner to its 1000 Angels private investor community to pitch for ongoing funding.

Matthew Commons said:

“Winning is a huge endorsement for all our ideas and hard work,” commented Matthew Commons, Chief Executive Officer at Cambridge Blockchain. “The deep knowledge of the judging panel and the quality of the other finalists was amazing. We are really excited to now be working with Santander and Onevest to help us move our business to the next level.”

To ensure each applicant was reviewed carefully and that the most innovative were selected as finalists, entries were considered by a judging panel of industry experts. The panel, headed by Managing Partner at Santander InnoVentures Mariano Belinky, included Santander executives Julio Faura and Juan Jimenez Zaballos, as well as proven DL and blockchain entrepreneurs James Smith (Elliptic), Greg Schvey (TradeBlock), Peter Smith (Blockchain), Chris Larsen (Ripple) and Pascal Bouvier (experienced fintech VC and Venture Partner at Santander InnoVentures).

“We were extremely impressed by the quality of applicants entering the DL Challenge,” observed Chris LarsenChris Larsen, founder and CEO of Ripple and a member of the judging panel. “With Santander InnoVentures as one of our recent investors, I can say with complete confidence that Mariano and the team not only deeply understand DL technology, but also how to practically apply it to solve real world use cases today – Cambridge Blockchain should make the most of the expertise and technology now available to them.”

The DL Challenge finalists were, second placed Midasium – a real estate property management solution, third placed Ribbit.me – a loyalty and rewards solution, Coinprism – a clearing and settlement solution and ExiVest – a marketplace for private stock equity transactions.

Mariano Belinky sai:

“DL technology is a hugely exciting space in financial services currently – we’re thrilled to see so much innovation happening at startup level,” explained Mariano Belinky, Managing Partner at Santander InnoVentures. “The technology has great potential across various use cases, and we hope to ultimately adopt these to the benefit of Santander’s customers. We’re very excited to see how Cambridge Blockchain progresses and to offer guidance along the way.”

The DL Challenge is an open competition to encourage and support early stage startups using distributed ledger technologies in the financial services industry, aimed at startups worldwide. The Challenge seeks to identify and support innovative applications for using DL and blockchain technologies to improve the processes and operation of the banking industry.

About Richard Kastelein

Founder, Publisher and Editor in Chief of industry leading online publication, Blockchain News and co-founder and director at Blockchain Partners in London/Amsterdam/NYC. Kastelein is also an advisor with a number Blockchain startups doing ICOs including Humaniq.co where hs is interim CMO, DECENT.ch, Inchain, Chronobank, eGaas and others. He is regarded as one of the top journalists by the Blockchain and fintech communities – as is evident by his entry in the Top 150 Fintech journalists online and in the top 10 of the Blockchain Top 100 List.

As a prominent keynote presenter, he has spoken on Blockchain at events in Gdansk, Amsterdam, Minsk, Dubai, Antwerp, Eindhoven, Bucharest, Nairobi, Tel Aviv, Manchester, Brussels, Barcelona etc, where he helped spread the cause for Blockchain technology and cryptocurrency and, consequently, has built a notable network in the scene.

He’s also a director of a Dutch foundation called The Hackitarians and has run innovation events in London, San Francisco, Berlin, Amsterdam and other cities around the world on topics such Blockchain, Health, Energy, Internet of Things, AI etc.

In 2013, the European Commission appointed him as an expert for overseeing financing for emerging startups as a part of the European Commission’s 90 billion euro Horizon 2020 project, created in Brussels to promote innovation as a driving force of job creation and business ventures across Europe. He has also worked as an external expert for Innovate UK since 2012, judging startups for the UK government.

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