When we launched our second open call in January 2020, we had not guessed yet how strange this second year of Blockchers would be. We have had a great deal of experiences that made us richer, we have coexisted with Covid-19, we got a new coordinator of the project in the middle of a pandemic and we have learnt more about blockchain that we could have ever imagined.
The second and final year of the project has come to an end. The 2nd open call of the project closed the 13th March 2020, in which Blockchers received more than 111 finalized proposals via F6S.com from 28 different countries. From those 18 amazing and very professional teams were successfully selected, and after the first round and a pitch contest competition, only the best 12 teams continued in the project.
Néstor Etxaleku, coordinator of the project, stated that this second round was a challenging one, because the use cases selected, were very different from each other, each one had a different application in a completely different area, which made the selection process very difficult. He also told: “All the startups have worked very well, we are really proud of the selection, because it shows how hard they have worked all these months. Besides everything, they worked hand-by-hand with the coaches and we want to thank them for their participation and work”.
The coordinator explained: “It has been a challenge to hop as a new coordinator of the project in the middle of a pandemic. I would have liked to create more physical interactions between the startups and the partners of the project, but on the other hand, we have had a lot of participation and willingness by the selected entities to cooperate and we have created a bidirectional relation that has helped us all”.
From the 9th to the 10th of December BLOCKCHERS participate in the Paris Blockchain Week Summit 2020 (PBWS). in which the 12 teams had to present what was achieved during the months of the use case implementation phase.
The winners of the second round were announced in a major online Blockchers event the 15th of December that counted with the participation of two high entities from the EU Commission, Pascale Foujols and Pierre Marro, from the EASME and DG Connect, respectively, and the partners of the project.
All the teams performed very well on the final pitch competition, we could make sure that the teams did a great and professional job during the implementation.
Based on the performance of the final pitch competition, which was judged by the 3 members of the jury, and the results of the implementation phase evaluated by ZABALA and Innomine, the following two teams have been awarded:
1st prize of 17K euros to Vestigia (Spain), for the creation of a certificate Blockchain system that evaluates the real water footprint and improve the sustainability companies’ activities in the strawberries, tomato and horticulture related to water consumption.
2nd prize of 13K euros to Minespider (Berlin) for their use case Threadcounts, in which they have set up an end-to-end traceability solution for their sustainable towels. Starting with EC’s organic cotton producers in Turkey, to the cotton in their processing facilities and then the finished towels to the retail store.
What is next?
In these troubled times we have learnt what resilience means, in words of Etxaleku, “the situation has changed a lot in only a year, and I think that we have all used the word resilience during this period, myself included, but at end, we end the project happy with the work done besides everything”.
We are so pleased that we could meet these fantastic teams thanks to the Blockchers project and were able to help them achieving success.
The project will end in January, hopefully, with a final event on the European Parliament, in which the project pretends to transfer the learnt knowledge to the high-end entities of the Government.