The Smart Dubai Office has announced the results of the first Blockchain Challenge at the Dubai Design District (D3), awarding a total of $45,000 to the most promising solutions using Blockchain technology from 21 international startups.
The winning start-ups now have an opportunity to pilot their products in Dubai and contribute to the Dubai Blockchain Strategy which was announced by the Smart Dubai Office and the Dubai Future Foundation in October 2016 with an objective to make Dubai the first Blockchain-powered city by 2020.
Dr Aisha bin Bishr, director general of the Smart Dubai Office, congratulated the winners for their role in the Dubai Blockchain Strategy, saying the results demonstrate what is possible when people and cities work together.
“The Dubai Blockchain Challenge has engaged with the most innovative start-ups across the globe, to push the boundaries of what is possible when we embrace emerging technologies to improve lives,” she said.
“The young men and women who participated in the Dubai Blockchain Challenge are contributing their valuable experience to achieving the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to make Dubai the happiest city on earth,” she said. “Their breakthrough solutions will mean better city experiences for everyone in the very near future.”
Abraham Cambridge from Sun Exchange took the first place prize of $20,000. Mark Balovnev from Educhain was placed second and won $15,000. The third prize of $10,000 went to Scott Austin from Everledger.
The following participants also got special recognition due to their promising ideas –Hamsa Warfa from BanQu, Fadwa Mohanna from miCity and Hasan kurtulus from Copyrobo.
“There is no better way to ensure a bright future for the people of Dubai than to foster innovation as a means to encourage innovators to register unprecedented successes,” said Wesam Lootah, CEO of the Smart Dubai Government Establishment.
“The Blockchain Challenge marks another important milestone for our Dubai Blockchain Strategy, which seeks to execute the leadership’s vision to make Dubai the first city in the world to conduct all of its government transactions using Blockchain technology, and to upgrade government services and ensure customer satisfaction.”
The Smart Dubai Office and 1776 launched the Dubai Blockchain Challenge in February 2017, calling for international start-ups with game-changing applications of Blockchain technology, in any industry, to contribute to the Dubai Blockchain Strategy.
“The Blockchain Challenge is one part of our collaboration with Smart Dubai Office in achieving its goals by connecting them to startups who have solutions for the challenges they face. At 1776, we empower startup ecosystems and help institutions and corporations harness the ecosystem to solve complex challenges,” said Evan Burfield, cofounder and CEO at 1776. “Through UNION, 1776’s digital platform, we were able to issue a call for solutions and identify startups that would benefit from participating in the challenge and working directly with SDO on their businesses.”
After reviewing hundreds of applications, 21 startups were short-listed and flown to Dubai from 18 cities from 15 countries including Sweden, United Kingdom, South Korea, Netherlands, Canada, Ukraine, Brazil, New Zealand, Vietnam, Belgium, USA, France, UAE, Italy and South Africa. The start-ups participated in a two-day workshop and pitch competition, facilitated by Smart Dubai and 1776, to select the most impactful Blockchain solutions for Dubai. The submitted ideas span Blockchain applications in a wide range of topics from energy, real estate, asset management, payments, education, healthcare, and supply chain management to social behaviour.
The Dubai Blockchain Strategy is co-founded by Smart Dubai in collaboration with Dubai Future Foundation. Under the strategy, Smart Dubai is driving the implementation of the emerging technology, in line with its mission to embrace technology innovation to make Dubai a more seamless, safe, efficient and personalized city experience, to achieve the three pillars of the Dubai Blockchain Strategy: Government efficiency, industry creation and thought leadership.