January 31, 2019 12:45 AM

The university’s accelerator wants to help entrepreneurs pursue blockchain ventures.

UC Berkeley recently announced that it has formed a blockchain-focused accelerator called, appropriately enough, Berkeley Blockchain Xcelerator. Launched as a joint venture among the university’s Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology, Blockchain at Berkeley, and the Haas School of Business, the new accelerator is intended to support early-stage blockchain projects by providing them with resources and connecting them with industry experts.

The application for the accelerator’s spring 2019 program opened on Monday, January 28. Typically, a program will consist of a 12-week accelerator experience, which takes “the founders [of a project] through crucial elements of building a technology startup.”

Program participants will have access to Berkeley’s ostensibly vast network of entrepreneurs, investors, and others as mentors and advisors. These professionals will help participants prepare for demonstration day.

Professor Ikhlaq Sidhu, founder and director of the Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology, expressed enthusiasm for the accelerator:

“UC Berkeley, Silicon Valley, and the Bay Area have become the worldwide hub for the development of blockchain technology. Currently, there is a lot of hype in the space, but we believe that this new accelerator will give innovators the tools they need to separate hype from reality and pursue ideas that solve pressing business problems and create valuable new ventures.”

Blockchain-focused accelerators have become common as interested entrepreneurs continue to flock to the cryptospace. Besides Berkeley Blockchain Xcelerator, intensive training and educational programs have popped up all around the world, from Paris’ Chain Accelerator, which says it’s the largest blockchain accelerator in Europe, to Singapore’s Tribe Accelerator, a program supported by the Singaporean government.

Dani is a full-time writer for ETHNews. He received his bachelor’s degree in English writing from the University of Nevada, Reno, where he also studied journalism and queer theory. In his free time, he writes poetry, plays the piano, and fangirls over fictional characters. He lives with his partner, three dogs, and two cats in the middle of nowhere, Nevada.

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