A team of blockchain experts and entrepreneurs has launched a blockchain accelerator program in Crypto Valley. The goal is to provide expertise and access to a global network.

Blockchain Propulsion has launched a new blockchain accelerator in Crypto Valley. Behind the program stands a team of blockchain entrepreneurs that will support startups with their expertise. The program is now open for applications. Among the backers are the Canton of Uri and the Canton of Zug as well as Switzerland Global Enterprise and Swissnex.

Access to global network helpful for fundraising

The founders of the program have started to work on the concept eight months ago. CEO Stefan Deiss says it wasn’t easy to find the right partners to support the program. Among the team are experts and entrepreneurs from various countries, which shows the program’s global aspirations.

The accelerator is headquartered in the Crypto Valley and runs “Propulsion Hubs” in Switzerland, Brazil, UAE, India, and China. The team also plans to expand to USA, Singapore, South Korea, and Japan.

Stefan Deiss says the global network of crypto hedge funds and international investors is a  key differentiation aspect of the program. He’s not wrong with that. Especially in terms of fundraising, global connections will help.

Raising funds locally, especially in Europe, has not worked out too well for many STOs and ICOs recently. In Q1 2019, the UAE was the leading jurisdiction for crypto fundraising, followed by Cayman Islands, Singapore, and Hong Kong. Raising funds in any of those countries will be difficult without connections. Thus, Propulsion’s international focus might be beneficial, especially for startups that aim at raising larger sums of money.

Always open for applications instead of roll-out in batches

The aim of the program is to onboard 100 blockchain projects over the next five years, across 15 to 18 hubs around the world. On the contrary to other accelerator programs, Propulsion will not offer access to a fixed batch of projects, but onboard them as they come. Deiss explains Propulsion has strict onboarding criteria and looks at quality over quantity.

So far, Propulsion has taken on three startups: 88 InsurTech, OriginalMy, and Polo Multimodal Pecem – The Smart City Chain.

Rodrigo Ventura, founder and CEO of 88 InsurTech, comments, “Through Blockchain Propulsion’s entrepreneur-based program and strong partner ecosystem, 88i benefits from niche expertise for its Fintech License application in Switzerland and access to the Propulsion Hubs worldwide.”

Expertise and networking, but no direct funding

The accelerator does not offer any direct monetary incentives. The program itself does also not receive any funding from its backers. Deiss explains that Propulsion looks at building a long-term relationship instead of only supporting early stage. Propulsion wants to help building and scaling the operation.

In exchange for providing their expertise, the program will charge “certain fees,” he says, for example a success fee on funds raised, ranging from two to five percent.

Although expertise and networking can add great benefits to any company, one of the main reasons why startups apply for accelerator programs is funding. Earlier this month, CV labs launched its incubator program, offering blockchain projects up to $125,000 in funding and access to more than 70 mentors. Most startups will knock on their door first.

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