One of the main challenges confronting new blockchain start-ups is to find resources and expertise in supporting them so that they convert their ideas to viable and sustainable projects.Initiated by Toronto-based York University’s BlockchainHub, C-Lab was launched late to provide free space, in-house experts, networking opportunity, human resources, product building, beta testing, as well as funding opportunities. All the services are provided free of charge and help the community to grow here in Canada and internationally.
ISOC-BSIG Mohamed El Kandri, who is the program lead of the C-Lab team members, describes C-Lab as is the first peer-to-peer community based incubation program for Blockchain start-ups by The BlockchainHub at York University and supports visionary entrepreneurs providing disruptive solutions to real-world problems using Blockchain technology.
As for the steps required to take to benefit from the service, El Kandri indicates that C-Lab provides a 3-month-program to help entrepreneurs establish their venture, design their customer centric product, develop their blockchain solution and access investment options and grants.
There is a selection program that starts with an online application on the official website www.theblockchainhub.com, then the applications goes through a pre-selection process, the shortlisted applications are invited to pitch their idea in front of a selection committee of industry and academic experts to make the final decision after which the the winning projects get the support through an extensive program. At the end of the program, the start-ups are connected to a pool of investors looking for blockchain ventures.
It is noteworthy that unlike traditional venture capitals and other investors, C-Lab does not take equity in the start-ups it incubates and relies on the support received from the BEST Lab at York University and a community of advisors who committed their time to help the selected start-ups and provide them with expert advice and support. This is a non-profit project that aims at helping build the next blockchain real-life solutions to help the blockchain ecosystem thrive, which is expected in turn to help promote better use of technology for human development and progress.
C-Lab has already received applications of projects that aim at solving problems spanning different fields such as blockchain network scalability, education, digital media and energy. Those project demonstrate how blockchain technology can be disruptive in positive ways.
El Kandri indicates that while C-Lab was initiated as a pioneering Canadian initiative, it has received an overwhelming interest internationally, which is why there is an interest to expand its services outside of Canada and help the ecosystem grow globally.