EY Startup Challenge To Focus on Building Blockchain Solutions

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The EY Startup Challenge is returning with a focus on building Blockchain solutions for two key industry challenges, digital rights management and energy trading. The EY Startup Challenge is a mentorship-driven programme designed to unlock new solutions, helping accelerate the product and business development of disruptive technology startups.

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During the six week programme, the six selected startups will move into an innovation hub in the office space of a technology accelerator in Canary Wharf, London. They will have access to a selection of mentors from EY and EY’s clients, a series of educational workshops, and regular contact with market leading businesses. The programme ends with a showcase day on 20th, October 2016 where the startups will demonstrate the solutions they have built. For the first time, the startups will produce prototypes that will give potential clients the opportunity to interact with their products. 

Steve Varley, Chairman and Managing Partner, EY UK and Ireland, says:

“As one of the most globally integrated professional services networks, we work with some of the world’s largest organisations to help them tackle their most pressing issues. The EY Startup Challenge is a hugely important initiative for EY and brings together our people, our clients and other industry professionals to help exciting young startups with their innovative ideas. The EY Startup Challenge helps to develop and refine solutions and builds business relationships that continue well beyond the end of the programme.”

Tackling digital rights management through Blockchain

Today’s media world is characterised by more content, in more formats, being consumed on an ever-changing mix of platforms. Media companies are looking to improve their investments in content, make better use of their current assets and better assess risks. To take on these issues, EY is looking for startups with Blockchain technologies that can address the following areas:

  • Tracking and visibility of content rights as it is created and incorporated in works
  • Access and control over content to ensure that the user has rights to view or use the content
  • Making and receiving payments for use of proprietary content to content ownerS

Making energy trading more transparent and less complex through Blockchain

Energy trading is a highly complex sector, where transparency of the supply chain and liquidity is critical to a successful global marketplace. While a large proportion of global trading activity is relatively routine and simple, complex long term contracts are also a feature of the sector. Despite developments to bring technology into the sector, trading in energy and commodities remains a fundamentally manual and complex process, and this can create a lack of transparency and inefficiencies that increases risk and operational costs.

Blockchain technology has the potential to help energy trading organisations transform the way trades are created and settled, driving down costs and increasing the speed and reducing the risks in the market. This could provide greater confidence and boost liquidity in the marketplace.

Jamie Qiu, Founder and Lead of the EY Startup Challenge, EY says:

“We are very excited to be holding a third EY Startup Challenge in London after two successful programmes here and one in Berlin. This time, we are looking for startups using Blockchain that have a beta product launched, have some seed funding, and are looking for access to clients and customers in order to continue to grow and develop. If you are one of these startups, we would love to hear from you.”

Key Dates

Applications are now open for startups with a 14th August deadline for submissions. After the application and selection of six startups, the programme will begin with an induction day in early September and the challenge will commence formally on 12th September, running for a total of six weeks.

To apply for the EY Startup Challenge, please follow the link 

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About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com, and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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