As we get closer to the end of 2020, the B-hub consortium reflects on the past year of activity. What have we achieved and what are our objectives for 2021?
What are our main missions?
Support to European blockchain startups to create tomorrow’s unicorns
B-hub runs an acceleration programme that provides startups with services to: fine-tune their business models and growth strategies, address IPR and legal challenges, meet potential clients and investors, better access public funding schemes, and approach the European market through cross-border collaborations.
Raising awareness about blockchain use and implementation towards companies and public actors
B-hub aims to train private and public actors in blockchain, as well as create matchmaking opportunities with innovative startups. Blockchain training sessions take place in the five partner countries of the project to present the technology and its uses in different verticals.
Animation of a pan-European community around blockchain
B-hub for Europe’s activities benefit a broad audience of European innovators. Blockchain startups, experts, enthusiasts and implementators, partner projects and institutional supporting actors make the B-hub community. Our public events, webinars, articles, mapping activities and social media presence contribute to connect blockchain ecosystems in Europe.
How did we achieve on them ?
Blockchain startups are at the core of B-hub for Europe
Since the beginning of the project, we have interacted with blockchain startups in our five partner countries and beyond. Partners have run mapping actions towards startups aligned with project objectives; leading to the creation of 68 startup sheets on our website. A number that will grow with our continued mapping activities in the coming months.
In July, we were launching B-hub’s first open call for acceleration services. 99 startups applied to participate, of which 30 of high-potential were selected. Our first batch of open call winners represent seven different European countries: Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Spain.
“Very happy and proud to get Europe on the landscape for Digital Identity services for their citizens together with B-hub for Europe and the other great companies & startups.” reacts Oliver Naegele, CEO of Blockchain Helix, one of the startups selected for the B-hub programme.
The acceleration program started in October 2020, enabling winning startups to get high-value counselling and development opportunities.
Startups benefit from dedicated visibility space on B-hub communication channels, to ensure maximum exposure to potential partners and institutional actors. Take for instance Blockchain Italia and HeHop, which have recently featured on our News page for their award-winning blockchain solutions.
Blockchain training sessions held in France, Lithuania and Romania
Since October, six training sessions have taken place around Europe. More than 100 representatives of SME, industrial groups, public administrations, research centers and public agencies were trained to the basics of blockchain technologies and led to better understand how blockchain could be implemented in their sectors or organizations.
Feedback from participants has been very positive. In Romania, half of private sector participants trust blockchain can be implemented in their sector; and 70% of public servants feel enthusiastic about blockchain adoption in public services.
“We have realized the opportunities offered by the new technology and we will consider it for our future projects.” indicates Dorin Recean, ex-Minister of the Interior of Moldova and participant to B-hub training sessions in Romania.
In France, participants were particularly satisfied with the content of training sessions and animation (with a satisfaction rate of 100%), and 85% of participants wish to be involved further in blockchain activities organized by B-hub partners.
Since the project start, the B-hub consortium has organized 15 physical and online events; and has been featured as speaker in 4 more. To this day, we estimate that the B-hub project has reached more than 900 people.
In one of our most popular event, Massimiliano Dragoni, Senior Policy Officer of the European Commission (Digital Innovation and Blockchain at DG CONNECT), presented an overview of ongoing and future EC initiatives for startups.
In November, we have been thrilled to register the 3,000th visitor on B-hub website. On top of presenting our main activities, our website serves as a valuable resource database restituting mapping and research activities carried out with blockchain stakeholders along the project life such as Blockchain use cases, country focuses and startups mapping.
In addition, B-hub has built synergies with several other EU-funded projects and counts with a vivid social media community of more than 700 followers.
“After ten months from our official launch, our blockchain community in the five ecosystems is growing. We have attracted 100 European startups to our call and we are now running our acceleration programme with 30 dynamic young companies offering innovative blockchain solutions. With a set of decentralised services and specialised expertise, we are supporting their business growth and market access strategies. Matchmaking opportunities with corporates and public administrations in the five target countries are also part of our support programme. Do not miss to follow us and be informed on our upcoming initiatives. We will look for more startups in the next months” – Antonella Vulcano, B-hub project coordinator and Director of INNOVA Srl
What is in our agenda for 2021?
Second and last open call for acceleration services
Blockchain startups will be invited to apply for a customized and expert programme featuring counselling on growth strategies, marketing, internationalization, IPR/legal challenges; introductions with potential partners (industrial groups, public administrations) and investors; support to find public funding; and visibility opportunities. Read about why you should apply.
Free blockchain training sessions for private companies and public actors
B-hub partners continue to organize training sessions to introduce blockchain technology, its uses, and enable participants to understand implications in their sector. Interested? Apply to attend in Italy, Lithuania, France, Romania and Germany.
Efforts made to both accelerating startups for growth and raising awareness about blockchain, will converge in Matching Labs. We will encourage collaboration between blockchain startups, and companies and public agencies interested in integrating blockchain in their operations.
Expert panels in regulation
Research all along the project life will be complemented by expert roundtables on regulatory issues. These activities aim to contribute to European regulatory efforts in the blockchain domain.