According to reports, the Swiss National Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) is helping the blockchain business incubator Crypto Valley Venture Capital (CVVC) set up an office in South Africa. According to SECO, this move is in line with Switzerland’s policy of supporting private companies seeking to help African blockchain start-ups.

Fund successful applicants

According to a Swissinfo report, CVVC will fund the best blockchain startups “in South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, Congo and other countries”. The report added that the first five successful applicants will each receive US$125,000 (114,000 Swiss francs) from the incubator, and SECO will also invest more than US$270,000 in donations in the first year of the project.

In addition, the report also cited a representative of SECO to explain some of the goals of the funding program. To quote the representative of SECO:

This start-up funding aims to show that it is worthwhile to invest in African start-ups that develop blockchain-based solutions for the continent’s challenges. Such a positive demonstration can mobilize more private capital and create employment opportunities.

Project must demonstrate practicality

However, according to Gideon Greaves, managing director of CVVC South Africa Center, African blockchain startups applying for funding need to prove that their project can solve the challenges unique to their region. For example, to quote Greaves, the problem that immigrants face when sending money home is a challenge that can be solved using blockchain.

At the same time, the Swissinfo report stated that in addition to the incubation project, the Swiss Embassy and the University of Zurich will “establish a blockchain chair at the University of Johannesburg, jointly funded by Switzerland and South Africa.”

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