Austria's Blockchainhub Graz and industry partners initiated a Blockchain Startup Contest with €15.000 in prize money to be doles out in two categories, software and hardware startups. The contest is still open for a couple more weeks – until October 31, 2016.
The entry requirements are quite low: every startup or idea that are not older than 2 years since the last pivot are allowed. And the concept does not necessarily have to use Blockchain technology, but you should enrich the ecosystem of decentralized technologies, e.g. by improving the robustness of the network (e.g. Parity while DDoS attack on Geth), or by using existing platforms to build on top of it (e.g. IOTA for IoT solutions). Also making todays platforms more decentralized (e.g. Bitsquare a decentralized Bitcoin exchange) or creating new networks which are independent from the world wide web (e.g. combining BlockchainID and decentralized storage) are possibly use cases you could apply with.
There are more benefits for participating teams and entrepreneurs, besides the chances of winning a prize:
- Feedback from an international expert jury
- Additional prices such as a Tesla-Weekend
- Possible access to test markets with the industry partners
- Possible access to funding
- Possible cooperation with one of the industry partners
- Increasing the visibility of the product or service
- Gaining reputation within the Blockchain ecosystem
An international independent jury will evaluate the projects according to the following criteria:
- Timing (traction, market interest, technology readiness, current market conditions)
- Team / Execution (the team, track record, presentation skills, developers at hand)
- Idea (problem solution, value proposition, existing competition, blockchain application)
- Business Model (scalability, market size, unfair advantage, revenue vs. cost)
- Social Impact (reduced fraud, better governance, wellbeing of people, higher transparency)
The main goal of the contest is to improve the awareness of the general public, academics and students, politicians and entrepreneurs about Blockchain technology and their manifold application possibilities. That was the reason to select a broad jury with different backgrounds, so that all ideas and applications will get the same chances to win, independent on the area they focus on.
The industry partners on the other hand do look out for interesting startups to cooperate and invest in. Therefore, they brought also special questions into the contest: The Energie Steiermark for example is one of the largest service providers in Austria, with the main focus on energy efficiency and innovative service offerings in the fields of electricity, natural gas, heating and mobility. They brought in two main interests: a blockchain based charging station provider for e-bike, e-motorbike or e-car and a solution for a peer-2-peer energy trading platform.
The last question to answer is: “How to apply?”
The application is via F6S-platform. Participants need a short presentation about their startup / idea and do have to answer a couple of questions to specific topics. A video with the founders, telling more about the idea they are working on is optional.
More information and the link to the application can be found on: http://blockchainstartupcontest.com/