Ernst & Young has announced six startups will participate in its first-ever startup contest focused exclusively on blockchain.

Over a six-week period beginning next week, the firms will work with mentors from the “Big Four” accounting firm to build products focused on digital rights management and energy trading.

The founder Ernst & Young’s Startup Challenge, Jamie Qiu, said that the selected startups represent his firm’s belief that the potential benefits of blockchain expand beyond the financial sector.

Qiu described the challenge’s dual focus:

“These two key areas are ripe for change and we believe blockchain has the potential to bring about notable enhancements in productivity and transparency.”

The selected startups include Adjoint, BitFury, BlockVerify, BTL Group LTD, JAAK and Tallysticks.

Over the course the six week program, the startups will work with mentors at Ernst & Young’s Canary Wharf, London, offices to build products aimed at ensuring intellectual property rights can be more easily managed and to make it easier for new business models to evolve in the energy trading space.

Mentors include Oliver Thomas, Viacom’s director of strategy and digital; Graham Davies, PRS for Music’s director of Strategy and Digital; Matt Phipps-Taylor, head of insights and innovation for PPL; and Peter Walesby, Discovery’s vice president of finance.

This third annual Startup Challenge is the first to focus exclusively on blockchain applications, with last year’s cohort working to build new supply chain technology.

Concluding 20th October with a demo of the products, selected prototypes will be given additional opportunities to develop their pilots with its support, Ernst & Young said.

Image credit: James W Copeland / Shutterstock.com

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