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UC Berkeley launches blockchain accelerator for early stage startups

Thu, 14 Feb 2019, 04:27 am UTC

The University of California, Berkeley has launched a new accelerator to support startups working on blockchain technology.

Called the Berkeley Blockchain Xcelerator, the accelerator aims to support early-stage projects in blockchain by providing knowledge and connections to industry experts and resources to entrepreneurs and founders.

Selected teams will gain access to the vast resources of UC Berkeley and Silicon Valley, as well as receive expert industry guidance to create high-value blockchain startups.

“With such a nascent technology as blockchain, we see that a lot of subject matter experts and people making an impact in the blockchain space are students,” said Gloria Zhao, president of Blockchain at Berkeley, the first and most-established student run blockchain organization.

“Blockchain at Berkeley strives to foster the entrepreneurial spirit in our students, so we are excited to help lead this initiative and assist the next generation of blockchain innovators.”

The initiative has been launched as a joint venture between Berkeley Engineering’s Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology, Blockchain at Berkeley, and the Haas School of Business. It has also been sponsored in part with generous support from the Berkeley X-Lab Fund, a venture capital fund focused on making strategic investments in UC Berkeley’s blockchain ecosystem.

The 12-week accelerator program will take the founders through crucial elements of building a technology startup. Portfolio companies will also receive access to office space, funding and partnership resources.

Those interested can send their applications until February 28 for the spring 2019 batch.

The Haas School of Business at the University of California has partnered with Ripple’s University Blockchain Research Initiative. Last year, it launched a blockchain research programme which focused on technical, business or legal opps/smart contracts, and regulatory issues.

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