The Algorand Foundation, the research body behind smart contract protocol Algorand, has selected 11 startups for its inaugural accelerator program, a move that could enhance innovation on the emerging blockchain network.
The 11 startups selected by Algorand Europe Accelerator are focused on payments and lending, infrastructure, network solutions and the Internet of Things. The accelerator program runs for 12 weeks, from Feb. 1 until late April. Each participant receives 15,000 euro ($18,100) in seed funding from blockchain fund Borderless Capital.
Massimo Morini, the Algorand Foundation’s chief economist, said:
"Following the success of our Asia Accelerator Program, I’m excited about the launch of the Algorand Europe Accelerator. Europe is crucial for Algorand’s growth, and London is an important startup hub and a crucial financial center.”
The payment and lending startups involved in the accelerator program include ZTLment, Payscript, Smart-Chain and Blockchain Italia.
STOKR, Blockswap Network and Ockams were selected for the infrastructure category.
Cortex, Kontinuous and ArtSquare.io round out the network-driven platform category, Algorand said.
The lone IoT company to be included is the data marketplace platform NetObjex.
The inaugural accelerator program received 200 applications, according to Nassim Olive, partner at Eterna Capital u2014 a global blockchain fund that partnered with Algorand.
As Cointelegraph previously reported, the Algorand Foundation announced its accelerator program in October 2020 as a way to spearhead Algorand-based application development in Europe, which is viewed as a critical fintech hub. As part of the program, successful initiatives will be eligible for up to $500,000 in follow-up investment from both Borderless Capital and Eterna Capital.
Algorand is often compared with other major blockchain protocols like Cardano, Tezos and Ethereum. It’s currently the smallest of the four, with a market capitalization of around $808 million.