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Techstars, Alchemist debut inaugural class of blockchain-focused accelerator program

Tony Zerucha

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Techstars, the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, and blockchain advisory firm Alchemist, have announced the inaugural class of their 13-week Alchemist Blockchain Techstars Accelerator, which will be hosted in New York.

The class includes Alkemi, AnyLedger, Autom(8), Blockade Games, Embleema, Gilded, Paperchain, Paperstreet, Trixta and Veracity Protocol. They were selected among hundreds of applicants based on which companies had the strongest founding team members, a deep understanding of the problem they are attempting to solve, and a large enough market to disrupt, Techstars and Alchemist said in a release.

“Successfully building a ‘traditional’ startup is hard enough, and blockchain startup founders face all the complexities of  traditional startups and then some, as these new models are being pioneered,” Yossi Hasson, managing director of the Alchemist Blockchain Techstars Accelerator said. “We’ve launched this blockchain-specific program in partnership with Alchemist to support blockchain entrepreneurs in their journey through this emerging industry, and engage a unique network of worldwide mentors with blockchain experience and expertise. Together, Techstars and Alchemist will work to advance this select group of extremely viable startups in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industries.”  

Alchemist Blockchain Techstars Accelerator will address key challenges that blockchain founders face when trying to build and scale their blockchain business, as well as give them access to over a hundred of the top minds in blockchain with mentors including: Alchemist founder and CEO Steven Nerayoff; Consensys CSO Sam Cassatt; Wachsman founder and CEO David Wachsman Ethereum core developer Lane Rettig; Monero project lead Riccardo Spagni; Everledger founder and CEO Leanne Kemp. Over the course of the program, founders will gain access to expertise in the nascent, yet rapidly growing, cryptocurrency and blockchain industries, focusing on blockchain infrastructure and protocol development, cryptocurrencies, security, and distributed applications across a variety of industries such as finance, IoT, education, real estate, retail, insurance, energy, health and wellness, and more.

“We’ve seen incredible advancements in blockchain and cryptocurrency over the last year, with development occurring across a wide range of industries,” Mr. Nerayoff said. “One of the pillars of our business is dedicated to connecting gifted blockchain entrepreneurs with the tools and resources they need to go-to-market with groundbreaking innovations. We are thrilled to be partnering with Techstars in order to build on our shared mission of helping promising blockchain startups build, fundraise, and drive adoption.”

The move to launch a dedicated blockchain accelerator in New York City acknowledges the specific challenges blockchain founders face when trying to build and scale their blockchain business, including complex regulatory environments, rapidly changing technology landscapes and token design. Building on Techstars’ experience, Alchemist is uniquely positioned to help this class of startups navigate these challenges, having been a partner for dozens of blockchain innovators including Ethereum, tZero, Lisk, Aion, and ZCash.

“We’ve seen a radical shift in how companies can potentially be built using blockchain technology,” Mr. Hasson added. “New funding models, business models, and organizational design models are being tested and implemented in an attempt to build a more open Internet and financial system. It would be a remarkable thing to see one, or even several of our first program participants completely change the way we do business.”

Applications opened for the inaugural class of the Alchemist Blockchain Techstars Accelerator in July 2018. Comprehensive rounds of in-person interviews and pitching processes were carried out to whittle the hundreds of applicants down to the selected top 10.

Tony Zerucha

Tony Zerucha is an alternative finance journalist with more than seven years experience in the space. The author of more than 1,000 articles, Tony was named LendIt's 2018 Journalist of the Year.

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