Algorand Europe Accelerator

    The Algorand Europe Accelerator program is a collective initiative between the Algorand Foundation, Borderless Capital and Eterna Capital. The program is designed to support blockchain start-ups and entrepreneurs in building decentralized applications on Algorand blockchain with an emphasis on Europe.

    The Application period for the program was October 15th, 2020 - December 18th, 2020 and the number of applications received exceeded 200.

    The Algorand Europe Accelerator Program commenced in January 2021 and culminated with the Algorand Europe Accelerator Demo Day on April 29th, 2021, with the eleven startups selected presenting their project pitches.

    Algorand Europe Accelerator Demo Day

    On 29th April 2021, eleven projects from Algorand Europe Accelerator took the virtual stage to present their pitches to a room of leading investors and industry experts. The featured projects are creating valuable solutions spanning Payment, Lending, Infrastructure, IoT and Network-driven Platforms - all built on the Algorand blockchain.

    Payments

    1. 1

      State of the market

      The payments industry is facing substantial disruption driven in part by the explosion of e-commerce exchanges. Recent years have highlighted security and decentralization as key factors in revolutionizing the payment landscape.

      With the adoption by payment giants such as PayPal, blockchain-based payments are poised to become increasingly mainstream for merchants and consumers. 

    2. 2

      Problem, Benefit

      Problem: Conventional banking services have the reputation to be slow with long delays in processing payments. On top of that, payment processes are very intricate and involve multiple stakeholders (e.g., merchants, interchange, payment gateway) which intakes an array of avoidable /unnecessary fees.

       

      Benefit: Fueled by blockchain technology, the decentralized payment arena is seamless, secure and scalable. It provides alternative payment options that are transparent, cheap and easy to execute, disrupting areas such as transcontinental payments, trade finance and peer-to-peer commerce.

    3. 3

      Cohort start-ups in category

      The 2021 cohort boasts three start-ups that are solving payment-related matters through solutions like B2B settlement scheme, digital payment frameworks and decentralized loyalty programs:

    Payscript

    Payscript is a payment orchestration framework simplifying digital payment acceptance and crypto spending to remove barriers to crypto adoption.

    ZTLment

    ZTLment is a B2B payments infrastructure solution that helps SMEs streamline and overcome barriers related to cross-border trade via embedded fintech and enterprise-grade blockchain.

    Fidly powered by Smart-Chain

    Fidly is a dedicated SaaS platform that uses the Boost digital currency for cities & local shops to facilitate traceability, security and transparency of charity donations

    Lending 

    1. 1

      State of the market

      The year 2020 marked the year of Decentralized Finance (DeFi), which saw its user base explode to 1.4 million and the Total Value Locked in DeFi projects hit over $49 billion, 50x its level in a single year.

    2. 2

      Problem, Benefit

      Problem: Generating income on your savings via traditional banking solutions has become a serious challenge recently with unattractive interest rates. Retail investors find it difficult to compound their money through a deposit scheme. 

      Benefit: DeFi protocols allow for a neo-banking experience. Their users can participate in lending and borrowing activities, deposit money into a savings account and trade complex financial products among themselves. Lending on DeFi protocols can offer them alternative sources of returns with as high as 8-10% yield on certain “stable” digital assets.

    3. 3

      Cohort start-ups in category

      The 2021 cohort in the lending category is Blockchain Italia introducing AlgoLend.

    AlgoLend

    Blockchain Italia is introducing AlgoLend, an algorithm-based money market protocol running exclusively on the Algorand blockchain. It enables users to accrue interest on their deposits and borrow assets by collateralizing the deposit. 

    Infrastructure   

    1. 1

      State of the market

      As the digital asset ecosystem continues to grow, the need for even more scalable and secure underlying infrastructure to support new applications is essential. The implementation of new infrastructure will spur wider adoption of existing and new use cases.

    2. 2

      Problem, Benefit

      Problem: Current layer-1 blockchain protocols remain in a difficult balancing act of scaling their networks to become faster and more efficient, all while remaining secure and decentralized. While Algorand solves for each of the factors in this “blockchain trilemma”, there is still a lot of work to be done before the infrastructure is ready to endure increased demand.

      Benefit: As the ecosystems surrounding these layer-1s continue to grow, various solutions to prevailing issues, such as interoperability between chains, scalability, and security will be introduced. The implementation of these kinds of solutions will be incredibly important as various communities race to build applications that attract wider audiences.

    3. 3

      Cohort start-ups in category 

      The 2021 cohort boasts three start-ups in the Infrastructure category.

    STOKR

    STOKR is a primary issuance marketplace for security tokens, introducing the tokenization of alternative assets and traditional financial assets to further scale the Algorand ecosystem.

    Ockams

    Ockams is building a cross-chain NFT publishing platform to showcase the features that a developer can build into their NFT and highlight the differences between the platforms to which the user is publishing their NFT.

    BlockSwap Network

    BlockSwap Network is bringing fixed income products to Proof-of-Stake assets, incentivizing existing collateralized interest operators and Proof-of-Stake token holders by making collateralized interests available to all with a stable source of income through fixed income products.

    Network-Driven Platforms

    1. 1

      State of the market

      As the popularity of peer-to-peer solutions continues to mount, initiatives that focus on the user as the core of the value proposition have become steadily more prevalent. Certainly, we have seen this first hand with the 1,785% exponential growth of the NFT market this year, bringing art and collectibles to the masses. 

    2. 2

      Problem, Benefit

      Problem: At the heart of Big-Tech and conventional financial institutions lies a prevalence of non-negligible barriers to entry for the consumer (e.g. investment thresholds or other non-financial requirements like technical knowledge). With this asymmetric access and opaque financial incentives, today's consumer finds it difficult to actively participate in such markets and bear the investor badge. Rather he or she remains a mere spectator who interacts passively with the ecosystem.

      Benefit: Network-based solutions provide a bridge between users and founders through various community incentives and reward programs. These solutions are democratizing in nature as they give communities a voice as well as opportunities to be engaged and hold participatory power.

    3. 3

      Cohort start-ups in category 

      The 2021 cohort boasts three start-ups in the Network-Driven Platforms category.

    Kontinuous Capital

    Kontinuous Capital is a blockchain asset manager built on Algorand, Kontinuous helps established UK brands continuously raise capital from their community via an ‘Invest Now’ button n their website.

    ArtSquare.io

    ArtSquare.io is a fine Art & Collectibles tokenization platform relying on the Blockchain to allow users to buy and trade art like stocks on the financial market.

    Cortex

    Cortex has created an integrated Crypto mobile app ‘Dopamine’ facilitating interaction, information flow and transactions on a single platform.

    IoT

    1. 1

      State of the market

      The concept of enabling different technologies to communicate with each other is not a new one, but the implementation of blockchain technology has the potential to connect the world and give back to people ownership of their data.

    2. 2

      Problem, Benefit

      Problem: The current landscape of big tech and telecom players making waves in IoT is concentrated in nature, with a select few companies like Amazon, Oracle, and AT&T.  These large entities are currently driving network growth in ways that are optimal for their business models, whereas the introduction of additional competition from public blockchain-based solutions would benefit the overall space and lead to faster growth.

       

      Benefit: The implementation of blockchain into IoT solutions allows for increased transparency, scalability, and security. Distributed ledgers like Algorand are easily auditable, allow for the processing of tens of thousands of transactions per second, and is one of the most secure networks in the world. We stand to benefit from utilizing this technology as it will drastically optimize the way that information is distributed from machine to machine.

    3. 3

      Cohort start-ups in categor

      The 2021 cohort includes NetObjex as a start-ups in the IOT category.

    NetObjex

    NetObjex is a data marketplace platform for smart cities and Connected Enterprises that enables tracking, tracing and monitoring of digital assets through the use of IoT, AI and Blockchain technologies.

    For further information on the program go to Algorand Europe Accelerator or you can contact the Algorand Europe Accelerator team here. You can follow all the community updates through the program's Twitter and LinkedIn channels.