Smart Dubai Office Blockchain Challenge

Smart Dubai Office Blockchain Challenge

If you’re a startup using blockchain technology to transform an industry, now is your chance to compete in the Smart Dubai Office Blockchain Challenge!

Take your company to Dubai to meet world-leading investors, network with VIPs, connect with customers and ultimately win a prize at the Future Blockchain Summit at DWTC.

What is the Smart Dubai Office Blockchain Challenge?

Dubai launched a city-wide Blockchain Strategy in October 2016 with the aim of becoming the first blockchain-powered city by 2020. Smart Dubai Office (SDO) and Union are looking for game-changing applications of blockchain technology in any industry. Blockchain has the potential to improve people’s lives, and Dubai is posed to be a leader in moving such applications forward.

The Dubai Blockchain strategy is based on three pillars.

  1. Government Efficiency: Implementing blockchain technology in government services
  2. Industry Creation: Supporting the creation of a blockchain industry through empowering startups and businesses
  3. Thought Leadership: Leading the global thinking on blockchain technology

The Smart Dubai Office Blockchain Challenge supports the second pillar, Industry Creation, and aims to discover the most innovative blockchain startup ideas from around the world, and bring them to pitch at the Future Blockchain Summit at DWTC.

Smart Dubai Office Blockchain Challenge 2017

In May 2017, Union and the Smart Dubai Office launched the Smart Dubai Office Blockchain Challenge. From an initial application pool of over 100, Union and SDO selected 21 startups from around the world participate in a a pitch competition hosted in Dubai. Representing 18 cities on 6 continents, three winners were selected to receive awards and connections to Dubai-based stakeholders.

First place winner

Capetown-based Sun Exchange is a blockchain powered marketplace where customers can purchase solar cells and have them power businesses and communities in the sunniest locations on earth.

Second place winner

Vancouver-based Educhain creates the first comprehensive academic passport of student achievement. It enables institutions to issue official digital credentials, creating happiness through empowering students to own their accomplishments throughout their learning journey.

Third place winner

London-based Everledger is a global FinTech company that uses the best of emerging technology including blockchain, smart contracts, and machine vision to assist in the reduction of risk and fraud for banks, insurers and open marketplaces.

About Smart Dubai Office

The Smart Dubai Office oversees and facilitates Dubai’s city-wide smart transformation with the aim of delivering efficient, seamless, safe and impactful city experiences for residents and visitors. The office realizes that at the heart of providing these experiences, is the city’s willingness to test and adopt new technologies.

In this context, Dubai aims to be a pioneer in the adoption of emerging technologies such as blockchain, which it recognizes has a major potential to transform city services.

  • Your startup must be implementing blockchain technology in its solution or product.
  • Your startup must be a for-profit business.
  • Your business must be a scalable product or service and in-market (MVP or pilots are fine but must fundamentally be beyond “idea stage”).
  • Your startup must have at least two team members.
  • Your startup’s product or service should be possible to implement in Dubai from a technical and legal standpoint.
  • Your startup must be willing to implement your product or service in Dubai.
  • Your startup must ultimately be enhancing the quality of life and city of Dubai.
  • Your startup must be less than 3 years old
Benefits of Competing
  • Finalists
    • Competing startups will receive pitch training by mentors and experts in Dubai
    • Competing startups will meet a Smart Dubai Office representative to support with remaining questions about blockchain initiatives in Dubai on Day 1 of programming
    • Competing startups will pitch and showcase to an audience of investors, venture capitalists, dignitaries, public and private sector representatives at the Future Blockchain Summit at DWTC
    • Competing startups will receive free travel and accommodations to and from Dubai
  • Winners
    • Winning startups will receive prize money based on placement
    • Winning startups will have meeting scheduled with the support of Smart Dubai Office with potential clients
The Competition Process

The Smart Dubai Office and Union will select Competing Startups for the Blockchain Challenge:

  • All companies must submit an application through the SDO Blockchain Challenge website by April 1st, 2018.
  • 15 startups will be selected as competing startups for the SDO Blockchain Challenge. The selected startups will compete at the SDO Blockchain Challenge in Dubai on May 3rd, 2018 at the Future Blockchain Summit at DWTC.
  • A panel of judges will select 3 startups from the competing startups as winners of the Blockchain Challenge.
Prize Packages

The three top winners of the SDO Blockchain Challenge will receive the following prizes:

  • First Place $20,000 USD
  • Second Place $15,000 USD
  • Third Place $10,000 USD
Judging Criteria

Judges will evaluate startups based on the following criteria:

  • Innovative use of blockchain technology
  • Size of market opportunity
  • The extent to which the product solves a problem for a particular target industry
  • A clear and strong market rollout plan
  • Traction (customers, revenues, users, etc.)
  • The extent to which the product increases efficiency and cost savings, and can be implemented effectively
  • A clear revenue model
  • A motivated and skilled team
  • Presentation skills
Competition Timeline
  • February 15: Blockchain Challenge Launch & Applications open
  • April 1: Applications close
  • April 7: Selected competing startups are notified and announced
  • May 1: Competing startups arrive in Dubai
  • May 2: Pitch training
  • May 3: Blockchain Challenge event
  • May 4: Competing startups depart from Dubai