Cambridge Blockchain Wins Santander InnoVentures Distributed Ledger Challenge; Everledger Takes First Prize in Fintech Finals 2016 Pitch Competition

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Cambridge Blockchain Wins Santander InnoVentures Distributed Ledger Challenge - Image by Bradley Leimer via Twitter

Cambridge Blockchain, a startup that provides identity verifications tools, has won the Santander InnoVentures Distributed Ledger Challenge.

On January 27, eight blockchain startups competed for a US$15,000 grand prize and the opportunity to partner with Santander during the Santander Distributed Ledger Challenge in New York.

Cambridge Blockchain won the grand prize, followed by Midasium, the runner-up, and RibbitRewards, the third prize winner. Midasium presented its decentralized ledger for real estate, while RibbitReward pitched its blockchain-based reward program.

Cambridge Blockchain has built a permissioned data blockchain that connects to the legal frameworks needed for business and information management. The startup targets industries that have strong needs for identity verifications tools and aims to bring legacy systems online with new stabilities, savings and competitive advantages.

Triggered in November 2015, the Santander InnoVentures Distributed Ledger Challenge is a collaboration between Santander InnoVentures, the US$100 million fintech venture capital fund of Santander Group, and Onevest, a leading investment crowdfunding service for young startups.

Everledger Wins Fintech Finals 2016 Competition

The winning of Cambridge Blockchain came simultaneously with the announcement that Everledger has been named the “Best in Show,” winning the Fintech Finals 2016 pitch competition in Hong Kong.

24 finalists pitched on stage to an audience of fintech experts, professionals, enthusiasts and media. Everledger won the grand prize and a US$10,000 cash prize.

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Everledger Wins Fintech Finals 2016 Pitch Competition – Image via http://www.fintechfinals.com/

Everledger, a London-based blockchain startup, provides a permanent ledger for diamond certification and related transaction history, acting as verification for insurance companies, owners and law enforcement.

Prior to Fintech Finals 2016, Everledger won the BBVA Open Talent 2015 in September last year, and was rewarded with a €30,000 prize.

Three Best-In-Category trophies were also distributed at the Fintech Finals 2016 pitch competition:

  • Best Early Stage Start-up went to InvoiceInterchange from Singapore;
  • Best Growth Stage Start-up was won by Uniken from India; and
  • Best Mature Stage Start-up was won by 8Securities from Hong Kong.

“As one of the judges of the competition, I was impressed with the quality of the companies showcasing their solutions. It is very encouraging to see the whole innovation ecosystem looking for partnerships and opportunities to co-create,” Ruben Salazar, Vice President, Head Product Design & Development Asia Pacific, Visa, said in a statement.

“The fintech community in Asia is strong and very active with large and small firms collectively responding to consumer needs.”

Organized by NXT BNK and Fintech HK, the Fintech Finals 2016 was part of the StartmeupHK Festival 2016 and consisted in a two-day event in Hong Kong: a full day fintech conference on January 25; and a full day pitch competition with six “Side Summits” to go deeper into selected topics on January 26.

Sponsors of the event included Visa, BBVA Innovation Center, Startupbootcamp Fintech, Fintech Innovation Lab, and government partners StartueupHK and InvestHK.