Bitcoin exchange Safello, bitcoin-based debit card creators Atlas Card, and Blocktrace, which seeks to provide blockchain solutions to the insurance industry, began the 90-day Barclays Accelreator program in London today.
Safello CEO Frank Schuill response to the news was, “The selection of Safello, Atlas Card and Blocktrace by Barclays Accelerator, at the very least, signals increased curiosity in the cryptocurrency space.” He continued:
That is already a major improvement from when we first started with Safello in 2013. We are moving from dismissal to curiosity. Now it is our job to take it to the next level.
Techstars, backed by over 75 venture capital firms, sponsors this incubator. Startups from over 60 countries applied for this session; 10 startups won admission.
According to Schuill Barclays was “heavily involved” in the selection process, as 20-30 members of the Barclays team conducted the final round, a question-and-answer session.
Some have done this before
Each startup gets $20,000 from Techstars and intense sessions in networking, mentoring and development. The workshop ends with a June 22 public demo day.
At least one startup knows the drill. Atlas Card participated in Tribe 4’s tenure in Boost VC’s startup accelerator.
Then there’s Blocktrace. Simon Edhouse, its co-founder and director of strategy, explained his company hopes to assist in minimizing jewelry-related insurance fraud by providing a ledger for diamond identification and transaction verification for various stakeholders, from insurance companies and policy holders to claimants and law enforcement agencies.
Edhouse said acceptance into the Barclays Accelerator program has been a “real honor,” adding:
[It] represents a significant opportunity for us not only because of the immediate high level of attention focused on the solution, but also due to the abundant opportunities for quality mentoring and access to a range of prospective investors and the wider Techstars global network.
Good for sponsor
Barclays chief design officer Derek White appreciates the benefits of exposing his company to the spirit of innovation that the startups represent.
Many of the teams enrolling today are exploring technologies that could particularly help transform the ways banks operate so I’m keen to see how their ideas develop.
Barclays will demonstrate this commitment on both sides of the pond, as the New York-based version of the Barclays Accelerator is accepting applications.
Image via Flickr by Jonathan Waller