NEAR, an open-source platform for decentralised applications, has launched its first India-focused NEAR India Accelerator programme to support Indian startups innovating or looking to develop applications in the blockchain space. The accelerator will look to identify and back impactful products that solve real-world problems while strengthening the Indian blockchain ecosystem.
Woodstock Fund, a DLT- focussed multi-asset investment fund, and Fracton Ventures, a prominent Web3.0 focused Japanese investment and development platform, have joined the accelerator as investment partners and go-to-market access partners respectively.
NEAR is a decentralised development platform that is built on NEAR Protocol, a public, shared, developer-friendly, proof-of-stake blockchain. It is said to be a highly scalable, cost-effective platform for developers to build decentralised applications on.
NEAR’s India Accelerator will offer startups up to $200K in funding, along with mentorship from global experts in the blockchain and startup space, go-to-market access to the NEAR and Woodstock Fund’s expansive ecosystem along with marketing support to innovative startups with impactful solutions built on the NEAR protocol for real-world problems. Fracton Ventures will provide go-to-market support in Japan and will open up opportunities for the participating startups in the Japanese blockchain ecosystem.
The three-month-long programme is open to creators, innovators, startups, and developers from India working on projects that are past the proof-of-concept phase to build unique and creative products utilising digital assets and blockchain technology.
The registration window will be open from Tuesday, May 4, 2021, till June 20, 2021, which will be followed by three rounds where 50 teams will be shortlisted in the first cohort, 15 teams in the second, and finally five teams in the final cohort that will present their solutions on the final Demo Day.
Among blockchain startups in India, several are cryptocurrency exchanges. However, others are utilising the technology for governance applications such as storing land and education records or conducting elections in a corporate setup.
In December last year, India’s crypto and blockchain startups were invited to apply for the second cohort of the StartupToScaleUp accelerator, being run by The GAIN (Global Accelerator for Innovation Network) and supported by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
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