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*UPDATE: OC Entrepreneur Chosen as Mentor

Bian Li, Founder, The Hungry Lab

The founder of an Irvine incubator has been selected as a mentor for the Decentralized Impact Incubator. Bian Li, founder of The Hungry Lab, which works out of the WeWork co-working space in Irvine, will mentor teams that participate.

Winning teams will have the opportunity to showcase their solutions in front of investors, NGO’s, philanthropists and charities at the Blockchain for Social Impact conference in Washington, D.C. on June 1.

It’s a six-week program to create and prototype blockchain-based solutions to social and environmental challenges around the world. During that period, participants will form teams, design business models, draft proposals and code.

Blockchain is a record of transactions spreading across the internet, as more people use cryptocurrencies. It also has other applications, like copyright protection, “smart” contracts and digital passports. Blockchain is a decentralized network, in encoded form, where each participant sees who you do business with, cutting out the need for a middleman.

Mentors like Li will guide teams throughout the process. A cash prize of $50,000 will be split among the best teams in each category with $10,000 for the winners and $2,500 for the runner-ups. The categories are: hardware, democracy, agriculture and refugees.

It’s sponsored by the Blockchain for Social Impact Coalition, which incubates, develops and implements blockchain products that address social and environmental challenges across the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. It focuses on sectors like financial inclusion, supply chain, identity & vulnerable populations and energy & environment.

The coalition is an initiative of ConsenSys, with HQ in Brooklyn, a venture studio primarily focused on building applications and platforms on Ethereum, an open-software platform based on blockchain technology.

Teams need to register to join before Apr 9. Sign up here:


Registration and Team Formation:‌ through April 9th

Competition:‌ April 9th – May 21st

Judging:‌ May 21st – June 4th

Winners Announced:‌ June 4th

For an insightful article on designing for Blockchain, see here:

The Hungry Lab is a global advisory, incubator and launchpad for startups and social enterprises. Li has more than12 years of public and private sector experience in food, finance, fashion & international development across Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas. She is a global corporate development and value-chain strategist specializing in complex projects at the intersection of finance and operations. Previously, she was the director of planning at the World Food Prize foundation, where she convened world leaders, CEOs, philanthropists, international development agencies, scholars and farmers on a global stage to confront the most compelling challenges facing sustainable food, agriculture and global hunger alleviation. She’s currently on the board of Occams, an advisory firm to small and mid-sized businesses, with HQ in NYC.

About The Author

Deirdre Newman is a long-time journalist, who's covered OC startups for a few years.

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