April 10, 2017, marks the opening call for entries into Lakeside Partners’ Blockchain Competition – Switzerland’s biggest blockchain startup contest. Lakeside Partners is an associated group of entrepreneurs who “invest in early stage companies that have game-changing potential in their sector and their market.” The group is a natural fit for hosting the blockchain contest, #BLOCKCHAIN4INSURANCE, which has a specific focus on insurtech.
Insurtech relates to insurance the way that fintech relates to finance: it encompasses all current technological advances set to disrupt the insurance industry. The team that wins the competition will receive $100,000 USD and one year of free private office space, to be hosted at Lakeside Business Center in Zug, Switzerland (Crypto Valley). Additionally, the first place team will receive a year of hands-on coaching from industry experts, entrepreneurs, investors, and more. They’ll also get a presentation slot at InsuranceCom 2018 and three exclusive opportunities to apply their “skills for a successful business lunch.”
There will also be awards for second and third place, but those teams will not receive any money. They will still get office space for a year in Zug but in a shared office zone (as compared to the first place winner’s private office). Second and third place will both have business lunch opportunities, and second place gets a year of hands-on coaching from experts, while third gets to attend workshops with experts.
There are a few terms and conditions for entry: 1) teams must be open to entrepreneurial collaboration and able to build a business; 2) teams must have a willingness to accept support and to learn; 3) teams must have an “international mindset,” as well as a passion for scaling and growth; and lastly, 4) teams must be willing to establish a foothold in Zug. However, 100% of the rights to work entered in the competition will remain with the participating team.
Interested participants have until July 30, 2017, to submit their applications. The contest’s jury of blockchain and tech experts will review all submissions until the deadline. In September, the jury will select the top 50 submitted ideas and nominate those teams for advancement. They will be invited to a pitch session and interview. Then, in October, the jurors will narrow the teams down to the top ten, which will be invited to the finals in Zug. Those top ten will be presented in the Theater Casino Zug, where they will live pitch to the expert panel of jurors. Only the top three will be crowned winners.
Accelerators, incubators, and competitions are fantastic ways to bolster the blockchain ecosystem. Giving young teams with fresh ideas a chance (and a grant) to make their ideas a reality will only bring benefits to the industries most primed for disruption.