When BLOCKCHERS launched the second open call in January 2020, we couldn’t have predicted just how strange the second year would truly be. With a lot of experience that made us all richer, we coexisted with Covid-19, we got a new coordinator of the project in the middle of a pandemic and we learned more about blockchain than we could have ever imagined!
The second and final year of the project came to an end. The project’s 2nd open call closed on the 13th of March 2020, in which BLOCKCHERS receiving 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, the coordinator of the project, stated that the second round was a challenging one because the use cases selected, varied greatly from each other, each one had a different application in a completely different area, which made the selection process very difficult. He also said: “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. Despite everything, they worked hand-in-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-on 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 participated in the Paris Blockchain Week Summit 2020 (PBWS), in which the 12 teams had to present what was achieved during the use case implementation phase months.
The winners of the second round were announced in a major online BLOCKCHERS event on 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 during the final pitch competition, making sure the teams were equipped with industry tools, advice, and professional techniques during the implementation, specifically due to Innomine‘s and Zabala‘s stellar mentoring and coaching efforts with the 12 teams.
Based on each individual teams performance at the final pitch competition, which was judged by 3 members of the jury, combined with 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 improves 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?