Inside BlockStart Universe

From the European Blockchain Convention we are honored to share our interview with João Fernandes, Coordinator of BlockStart and Investment Analyst at Bright Pixel, about his journey helping blockchain startups introduce their solutions to the market.

BlockStart supports blockchain and DLT startups & developers with big ideas and the passion to make them happen.

Visual of João Fernandes elaborated by EBC team


A story by
Marta G. Roqué

What is BlockStart’s mission?

BlockStart is an accelerator aiming to promote partnerships between blockchain startups and end-user SMEs in fintech, ICT and retail sectors. In addition to this more direct approach to foster blockchain adoption in Europe, it also aims to elucidate intermediaries, policymakers and the extended community about the huge potential of this technology, via the organization of events, creation of reports and development of Do you need blockchain?, a tool allowing entities to assess, in less than 15 minutes, the applicability of blockchain to their activities and needs.
The BlockStart consortium is a strong partnership of 3 partners: Bright Pixel, an early-stage VC investor, CIVITTA, a leading innovation management consultancy in Eastern and Central Europe, and F6S, a global tech founders’ community.

What is the current state of BlockStart? How many startups have you worked with?

For the past 2 years, BlockStart has supported, through its first 2 acceleration programmes, 40 blockchain startups and 43 SME adopters, resulting in 34 successful pilot implementations. 
Now, in our 3rd (and last) acceleration programme, 24 blockchain startups have started their journey towards product-market fit, with over 20 SMEs expected to engage in pilots until February 2022. Companies interested in testing our top 10 blockchain solutions are more than welcome to apply to the last call for SME adopters, open until the 10th of November. 

Image via BlocKStart website

How does BlockStart help blockchain/ DLT startups to introduce their solutions in the market?

The startups participating in BlockStart (selected from more than 300 applicants, coming from over 30 countries) engage in a 6-month programme which aims to boost their product and business development through equity-free funding (up to € 20,000 per startup), mentoring (from business and technical experts), exposure at pitch events and conferences, matchmaking with investors and other partners and, above all, facilitating the piloting of their blockchain solutions in potential customers.

Tell us about your startups

The diversity of startups participating in BlockStart, with solutions ranging from supply chain, mobility and finance, to entertainment, energy and agriculture, combined with the interest from over 100 potential clients, clearly showcase the versatility and relevancy of blockchain technology. 
Though all projects deserve to be further explored, we can’t avoid emphasizing the 10 finalists from our first and second acceleration programmes, whose progress and pilots where presented in Demo Day 1 and Demo Day 2 events.

Where does the funding come from?

BlockStart is fully funded by the European Commission, through Horizon 2020, a programme that has been supporting many other great projects, devoted to the promotion of blockchain in Europe, like Block.ISBlockchersBlockpool and TruBlo, only to name a few. 

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Published September 13,  2021, Barcelona