The Swiss Blockchain Federation has launched the NTN Innovation Booster – Blockchain Nation Switzerland. The multi-year program is co-funded by Innosuisse, the Swiss Innovation Agency, and aims to support the creation of concrete ideas and startups. It comes at a time where a new Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) regulation is implemented in Switzerland, positioning the country at the forefront globally in this emerging industry.
Across four stages, the NTN Innovation Booster – Blockchain Nation Switzerland now allows for the support of projects imagining novel and scalable use cases of Blockchain technology at a grassroots level. The Swiss Blockchain Federation serves as the leading house of this project, working closely with several consortium partners in realizing such a groundbreaking program. In particular, the goal of this Innobooster is to connect larger firms and incumbent Blockchain companies with startups and innovators to develop promising prototypes and business models.
In its approach, the Swiss Blockchain Federation emphasizes an inclusive innovation process and pursues an open-source culture. Heinz Tännler, President of the Swiss Blockchain Federation and Government Councillor of the Canton of Zug, is quoted as follows: “As a pioneering nation in Blockchain technology, we have a responsibility to embrace a broad range of diversity criteria. The Swiss Blockchain Federation already looks forward to reviewing the project proposals of many talented women and men from every region of Switzerland.”
Consortium Funded by Innosuisse
The Swiss Blockchain Federation is partnering with five consortium partners from the blockchain industry and academia in implementing the NTN Innovation Booster – Blockchain Nation Switzerland:
- The Lucerne School of Computer Science and Information Technology at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Lucerne (HSLU) is the first of its kind at a Swiss university of applied sciences. On its new Zug-Rotkreuz Campus, some 900 Bachelor’s and Master’s students as well as 1,200 participants in continuing and executive education programs benefit from its varied services and programs.
- The Institute of Information Systems and Networking at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI) – Department of innovative Technologies – carries out teaching and applied research activities in the information and communication technology domain. It is an ICT research institute with a strong expertise in applied computer science as well as data and network science.
- CV VC AG is an early-stage venture capital investor with a focus on startups that build on Blockchain technology. In addition to the venture capital investments, the company operates an own incubator and ecosystem business under the CV Labs brand, consisting of co-working spaces, advisory and events.
- CV Labs offers startups and entrepreneurs two primary services, the CV Labs Incubator and CV Labs Coworking space.
- Trust Square AG provides a space for innovative ideas to flourish. With disruptive technologies as the common denominator, Trust Square connects entrepreneurs, early-stage ventures, businesses, investors and academics and allows them to pursue their visions in an open, versatile and diverse environment. In 2019, Trust Square organized the biggest Blockchain Hackathon (#SBHACK19) in Switzerland.
SBF Innovation Cycle
The NTN Innovation Booster – Blockchain Nation Switzerland has developed a methodology, the so-called SBF Innovation Cycle. This process is structured across four stages:
- Ideation: As a first stage, the NTN Innovation Booster – Blockchain Nation Switzerland will soon manage a virtual platform where challenges and calls for proposals are shared. Innovators can then submit and describe their project ideas, allowing for a transparent and collaborative ideation process.
- Hackathon: The next component involves a hackathon, where initial ideas are further developed into prototypes or more fledged-out business models. In all likelihood, this hackathon will be conducted in a hybrid format, allowing for both virtual and physical contributions. More details will be announced in due course.
- Corporate Acceleration & Events: Central to the NTN Innovation Booster – Blockchain Nation Switzerland lies the notion of connecting corporates with innovators. This stage of the SBF Innovation Cycle focuses on helping Swiss companies identify and find solutions to areas where blockchain technology might be applied.
- Incubation: To ensure the transition from vague project idea into an incorporated startup, the venture capital investor CV VC will accept several select projects per year into their well-established incubation program.
We are calling on startups, students, and anyone interested to help us explore new applications of Blockchain technology. Our NTN Innovation Booster – Blockchain Nation Switzerland will soon be launching ideation challenges, hackathons, and incubation programs. Watch this space and visit our website at blockchainnation.ch.