EY Startup Challenge Blockchain Pilots Set to Shake up Media and Energy industries

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EY has presented three Blockchain-focused startups with awards following the conclusion of this year’s EY Startup Challenge.

Following a day of pitches, product demonstrations and an audience vote, awards were given to The Bitfury Group for ‘Best Pitch’, JAAK for ‘Most Innovative Pilot’ and Adjoint for ‘Most Investable Pilot’.

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The EY Startup Challenge is a six week programme aimed at helping entrepreneurs develop their pilots through access to EY and client mentors, a series of educational workshops, press exposure, and regular contact with market-leading businesses.

This year’s challenge focused on Blockchain solutions for digital rights management (DRM) and energy trading. All the solutions that were designed during the challenge will be further developed with the support of EY.

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

“Media and energy are two sectors where we expect to see the most disruption over the next few years and Blockchain is a reality that can transform these two industries. We are looking forward to continuing our work with these fantastic entrepreneurial businesses over the next couple of months and helping them accelerate and commercialise their solutions.”

The Blockchain pilots that were developed during the EY Startup Challenge are as follows:

Adjoint: Developed a platform that allows institutional clients to easily compose and use smart contract templates that can be deployed securely and confidently on the Blockchain, without any technical expertise.

Blockverify: Developed a technology which provides a Blockchain solution for companies to prove exactly where their products are in the supply chain at any given time. It also allows businesses as well as end consumers to trace the source, establish authenticity and prove ownership of their purchases. Specific applications include value chain traceability for Biofuels.

BTL Group Ltd (TSXV:BTL): Designed a prototype around ETRM (Energy Trading Risk Management) Auditing and Portfolio reconciliation for energy companies to use. This allows for automatic portfolio reconciliation, more controlled regulatory compliance and faster exposure of mismatching trades.

Tallysticks: Developed a product which leverages the functionality of Blockchain technology to automate the purchase order to invoicing to payment workflow processes. This not only helps with managing risk but also with reducing error and fraud.

The Bitfury Group: Developed a Blockchain software platform for digital rights management.

JAAK : Developed an operating system for content which allows content and media owners to convert their ever-growing repository of media, metadata and rights into “Smart Content”. This automates much of the admin and manual effort involved in managing, maintaining and delivering media across the digital supply chain using self-executing smart contracts and verified transactions on the ethereum Blockchain. 

Rahul Gautam, Partner and Head of TMT Advisory Services, EY UK and Ireland says:

“We brought together some of the most sophisticated media companies in the world and the most innovative startups in London to develop Blockchain pilots that can help the media industry handle the challenges it is faced with in the digital age. Today’s DRM systems were developed for a business model that was relevant 20 years ago, and weren’t set up to process the over one billion songs downloaded each year. Blockchain has the potential to handle such scale and complexity and I am very optimistic about the role it can play in DRM in the future.”

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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