EU-Funded Acceleration Project, LEDGER, Offering Support Services and Up to €200k Equity-Free for Blockchain Data Governance Projects

The EU-funded acceleration project, whose first Venture Builder is already making strides towards transforming digital governance in Europe, is now looking for the next group of developers, researchers and entrepreneurs to apply for their 2nd Open Call.

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Pan-European acceleration program for human-centric solutions LEDGER has kicked off its second open call – aimed at innovative projects building blockchain and other DLT supported solutions for data governance. 

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So far, the European Commission has invested more than €80 million in blockchain projects for societal use. By 2020, the European Commission expects to allocate around €300 million to blockchain initiatives like LEDGER. 

The final 16 selected teams will access a Venture Builder programme of 12 months receiving DLT software support and training, technological and business mentoring and other enabling benefits up to €200.000 equity-free funding.

“Our venture builder will provide mentorship, guidance and direct grants of up to 200.000 euros to each of the 32 projects building decentralised solutions, where citizens retain control over their data”, declared Xabier Chao, Project Coordinator of LEDGER and CIO at FundingBox, at the start of the acceleration project, whose first cohort of 16 projects is now already well underway. 

Applications will be accepted until Friday, 31st of January 2020 at 18:00 CET.

Granted by the European Commission (EC) and distributing €3,2 million in this open call,  the programme aims at making data a common good, owned by citizens, where the wealth created by data-driven platforms is equally distributed. This approach will lead towards both, a more open, robust and interoperable Internet and more supportive social innovation.

LEDGER’s first 16 projects in July 2019 at the Welcome Bootcamp in Amsterdam 

“We are focusing on 5 verticals: Health, Finance, Collaborative Economy, Public Services, and Energy”, confirmed Géraldine Andrieux, CEO of Blumorpho.

The Strategic Research and Innovation work programme reflects the scope and details of the projects the programme is looking for.

“Selected teams will develop a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) where privacy-by-design, openness and data governance are at the core of their value proposition”, pointed out Jaromil Roio, CTO of dyne.org.

LEDGER promo video (1st Jury day in May  2019)

LEDGER is part of the EC’s Next Generation Internet initiative, and also aligns with European Blockchain Partnership (EBP) objectives. 

“The Next Generation Internet initiative will reverse the Internet paradigm and recognise the value of humanity in technology”, said Roberto Viola, Director-General of the European Commission’s DG Connect during the Digital Assembly 2018 in Sofia (Bulgaria).

LEDGER is a consortium led by FundingBox (Poland, Spain and Denmark) in partnership with Dyne (Netherlands) and Blumorpho (France and Germany).

  • LEDGER ensures data sovereignty and eliminates the concentration of data in a few proprietary platforms by accelerating 32 bottom-up experiments on human-centric values (privacy-by-design, reliability, trustworthiness and openness as core values) and 6 verticals (Health, Finance, Media, Public Services and Energy plus a generic one ‘Open Disruptive Innovation). The project hopes to overcome non-technological (admin burden, searching costs, the bias in grant distribution, lack of use cases, user awareness, access to finance, lock-in, entrepreneurial discovery and regulation gap) and technological barriers (lack of standards, lack of playground environments and access to knowledge).
  • LEDGER ́s architecture relies in mission-oriented, market pull, entrepreneurial discovery, smart funding and open- technology.
  • LEDGER will build on EC projects related to data governance: DECODE, D-CENT and PIE NEWS. 400 teams will be activated to develop the best applications that will run through a Minimum Viable Product Builder including mentoring and access to the Distributed Ledger Technology from DEVUAN.org.
  • Up to 200k euros for the best teams will get startups ready for Venture Capital, pre-Initial Coin Offering and/or crowdfunding. LEDGER partners complete the community building, discovery, tech transfer and sustainability cycle. FundingBox – European leader in Financial Support to Third Parties will attract startups from its 15.000 members platform. DYNE will bring researchers and developers from its 10.000 members. Blumorpho will engage Researchers (7.200), Entrepreneurs (7.400) and investors (800) to guarantee sustainability. Linking with other ecosystems adds to 110.000 people incl. 60% of potential Human Centric Innovators. 80 evaluators and 40 State-of-the-Art experts will develop alternative models that preserve wealth created by data-driven platforms that are equally distributed.

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LEDGER’s goal is to transform Europe into the world-leading human-centric and data sovereign Entrepreneurial Union.

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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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