EY Starup Challence - Applications are open

Seize the Blockchain

Join the EY Startup Challenge 2016

We believe the solutions to some of today’s most pressing challenges lie in emerging technologies.

The EY Startup Challenge explores some of these exciting new technologies in a mentorship-driven programme designed to unlock new solutions, helping accelerate the product and business development of disruptive technology startups.

As one of the most globally integrated professional services organisations, we work with some of the world’s largest organisations to help them tackle their most pressing issues. The Challenge draws on this network, bringing together our people, and leaders from our clients and other industry professionals to help startups refine their product and develop their business, creating opportunities for their business to grow in a relationship that continues after the programme ends.

We are looking for blockchain startups

For the next EY Startup Challenge we will work with six blockchain startups over six weeks to explore how blockchain technology can be used to tackle two specific industry challenges. Together we’ll refine their product and produce prototypes to pilot with EY and our clients.

We are looking for blockchain startups with the ambition and drive to take on this challenge, in an area they may not have considered before. Read on to find out more.

watch the launch video to see what’s planned for this year


For the six week programme, we are looking for startups who have already built a beta solution and are:

  • Focused on developing working blockchain solutions and prototypes, with applications in the media, entertainment and energy sectors
  • Able to base themselves in our central London location
  • Ready to tackle the challenge by taking on feedback from EY’s clients and mentors
  • Seeking to develop business and collaboration opportunities with EY and its clients

Why apply?

We believe that by working collaboratively our combined influence is greater than if we act individually. By drawing on our and our clients' experience and networks, we provide the successful startups with:

  • Mentorship and customer feedback from EY's leaders, clients, investors and other industry professionals
  • Training seminars focused on enterprise selling, business development and customer acquisition
  • Dedicated shared work space and facilities in a collaborative central London location for the duration of the programme
  • Access to EY’s professional services experience
  • Networking opportunities through educational and community events.
EY Starup Challence - This years programme

This year’s programme

This year the programme will focus on building blockchain solutions and prototypes.

We will help the startups as they pursue opportunities to pilot these solutions with our people and clients. During the six week programme, startups will have access to EY and client mentors, a series of educational workshops, press exposure, and regular contact with market-leading businesses. The programme ends with a showcase day on 20 October 2016 when the startups will demonstrate their solutions.

The Challenge

This year, we explore the application of blockchain solutions for two industry areas:

  1. Digital rights management for media and entertainment sectors
  2. Energy trading for the power and energy sectors.

1. Digital Rights Management

The world for media enterprises is increasingly complex and dynamic. Today’s media world is characterised by more content, in more formats, being consumed on an ever-changing mix of platforms.

Media companies are looking to improve their investments in content, make better use of their current assets, and better assess risks. To take on these issues, we are looking for startups with blockchain technologies that can address:

  • Tracking and visibility of content rights as it is created and incorporated in works
  • Access and control over content to ensure the user has rights to view or use it
  • Making and receiving payments for use of proprietary content to content owners.

2. Energy Trading

Despite developments to bring technology into the Energy sector, trading in energy and commodities remains a fundamentally manual and complex process, putting organisations leading to low transparency and inefficiencies, which in turn increase risk and operational costs.

Blockchain technology could help energy trading organisations transform the way trades are created and settled, driving down costs, increasing the speed of trade, and reducing their risk in the market. This could provide greater confidence and boost liquidity in the marketplace. Our blockchain start-up challenge will focus on:

  • Counter-party identity verification
  • Deal creation and confirmations, e.g. through smart contracts
  • Back-office processes, e.g. settlements.

Key Dates

After application and selection, the programme will begin with an induction day on 7 September and the challenge will start on 12 September, running for a total of six weeks.

Induction day

Mentors and startups meet and are on-boarded to the programme

Week 1

Ideation and validation of prototypes and solutions to be built

Week 2-5

Build, test and iterate solutions and prototypes with ongoing mentor feedback

Week 6

Finalise prototypes and solutions for showcase and piloting

Contact Us

If you are a corporate, a potential mentor, or have questions, please email us.

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