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New blockchain accelerator attracts Amazon and Deloitte

Amazon, Deloitte and Fidelity are reported to be among 20 ‘blue chip and crypto firms’ that are partnering with IDEO CoLab to launch a blockchain accelerator dubbed Startup Studio.

IDEO CoLab is a subsidiary of the California-based international design and consulting firm IDEO and launched a distributed web incubator in February this year. Crypto data firm Messari, the Ethereum Foundation  and the Stellar Foundation are also reported to be among the 20 partners.

Ian Lee, managing director at IDEO CoLab Ventures, said that under the initiative each of the partners will host acceleration programmes to provide enterprising blockchain entrepreneurs and firms with the tools and funding required to further the “development, adoption, and impact of blockchain technology.”

According to the firm, blockchain gives “users greater access, ownership, and control” over their identities and financial lives, but remains “highly unusable for the average person.” Most facets of the technology, from wallets to key management, and distribution mechanisms to custodianship, are “wide open” to be improved upon, it believes.

However, it also anticipates that advancements being made in blockchain have the potential to develop into “billion – or even trillion – dollar opportunities”.

On the agenda

The Startup Studio programme aims to help blockchain start-ups with one-day workshops focusing on areas such as product design, user testing, hiring, finance, law and engineering.

Amazon is likely to provide resources on building and deploying services on top of its Amazon Web Service (AWS) infrastructure, according to Lee.

Deloitte’s contribution is likely to focus more on the accounting, tax and structuring aspects for blockchain firms, while Fidelity’s centre for applied technology will help them explore, accelerate, test and partner on “compelling new opportunities” in the financial services sector, he added.

“We believe we’ve found a sustainable model to support early-stage entrepreneurs, and that our approach and value will lead the best founders to deepen their relationship and align incentives with us,” said Lee.

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