Yesterday, IDEO CoLab announced the launch of its Startup Studio for Blockchain Entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs and startups will benefit from the expertise of over 20 organizations and protocols including Amazon, Deloitte and Fidelity. The company positions it as “unbundling” the traditional startup accelerator.
IDEO is a global design company. CoLab is IDEO’s platform for collaborative impact. It aims to encourage organizations to share ideas to drive widespread adoption of new technology.
The Startup Studio will help blockchain entrepreneurs and startups with product concept and design, through to testing and development. They will also be provided with networking opportunities, and advice on technical engineering, regulations and finance.
Participants can sign up to a wide range of workshops. These will address a variety of issues faced by entrepreneurs such as product validation, organization scaling, recruitment and brand design.
The Startup Studio creation stems from IDEO’s conviction that blockchain in industry is reaching a crucial stage in its growth. IDEO wish to help blockchain technology “realize its full potential and make the leap from millions of enthusiasts to billions of everyday users.”
They aim to achieve this by removing the main barrier to widespread industry adoption, which they consider to be a lack of collaboration and design thinking.
According to IDEO, design thinking involves identifying the desirability of a potential product, assessing its technological feasibility and whether it is economically viable. The primary driver is human-centred design, that is to say, identifying a human need, and then building a product to meet that need.
IDEO CoLab’s encouragement of blockchain innovation makes sense concerning other areas where CoLab is involved, some of which could benefit from the technology.
For instance, CoLab is looking at Smart Cities and how data collected in public space (on public WiFi, for example) can be stored securely.
They are also investigating improving trust and transparency in the financial sector. And CoLab has already invested and co-created with several distributed web startups.
The Startup Studio is already underway. Companies to have benefitted from the project include crypto exchange 0x, which has processed over $750 million in transactions, and dydx, which is leveraging blockchain to build a decentralized trading exchange.
Currently, the other Startup Studio partners consist of Atrium, Avanta Ventures, Blockchain at Berkeley, Brex, CoinList, CSAA Insurance Group, Electric Capital, Ethereum Foundation and ETH Global, GS Group, Hanwha, Messari, NEAR Protocol, Oasis Labs, Perkins Coie, she256, Stellar Foundation, Silicon Valley Bank, Tezos Foundation and TQ Tezos. More are expected to follow.