Zug – Switzerland’s Crypto Valley has been on some people’s radar for a while now. But with ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) on everyone’s lips, there is even more attention being drawn to this region.
And now there is the Blockchain Competition (#blockchain4insurance) added to the mix. This first-of-its-kind event aims to attract the top ideas and applications of blockchain. The top prize is $100’000 (no strings attached) and the top three entries win free office space for an entire year.
The Competition is attracting more than just startups too. The cream-of-the-crop of Swiss universities have also joined in the initiative. Lucerne University of Applied Sciences (HSLU), École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and ETH Zurich as well as Zurich School of Management and Law (ZHAW), University of Applied Science in Business Administration (HWZ) and Germany’s University of Konstanz have all lent their support to the Blockchain Competition.
Given the current shortage of blockchain-trained developers and the rapid growth of new blockchain startups, it’s only natural that institutions of higher education would work together to promote new technology and new business – and get a better grip on the latest trends in the fast-paced world of IT.
And this cooperation ultimately benefits startups as well. As Christine Parlour, chair of the University of Cal-Berkley Haas School of Business recently pointed out in an interview, “It’s hard to open a jar of pickles with only one hand.”
The Competition is the brainchild of two Zug-based firms – Lakeside Partners AG and inacta AG, both of whom are at the forefront of the push to establish Crypto Valley as a “go-to-place” for new companies in the blockchain space. Says Ralf Glabischnig, Managing Partner at inacta, “This area has always been good for business with favourable tax laws and minimal regulation, but with the Competition we think the Crypto Valley ecosystem will really take off, with talent, energy and innovation all in one place.”
In the life insurance company Pax, the main sponsor of this year’s edition, the Competition has an industry partner that shares this vision. “The future is in technology – for insurance as well. The Competition continues Switzerland’s long tradition of innovation and we firmly believe that innovation is good for everyone, most of all the customer,” adds Pax CEO Peter Kappeler.
Already the competition has attracted applications from as far away as Japan and India. The deadline for entries is 30 July with the final winner set to be announced in a special ceremony in Zug on 22 November. (Inacta/mc/ps)