Polygon Founder-Led Web3 Accelerator Beacon Hosts Inaugural Demo Day
New York City, New York, 12th January, 2023, Chainwire
Early-stage web3 accelerator Beacon held its first Demo Day of the year with 13 projects pitching live to over 300 top venture capitalists.
Beacon, positioning itself as the most founder-friendly accelerator started by Sandeep Nailwal (an accomplished web3 builder in his own right), hosted its inaugural Demo Day today. Graduates of Beacon’s first cohort presented their ideas on various sub-sectors of the crypto-economy, such as gaming, infrastructure, decentralized lending, and developer tooling. This group, known as Cohort 0, was described as “the MVP of Beacon” by the program’s core contributor Sandeep Nailwal, co-founder of the Polygon blockchain. Looking ahead, Nailwal plans to expand the program by running two Cohorts of 20-25 companies twice per year.
The three-month accelerator program is run biannually, in spring and fall, and Nailwal believes Cohort 1 will have a similar 1% acceptance rate to its predecessor. The program lasts twelve weeks, with founders selected into the exclusive program attending weekly talks from top builders in web3 and receiving consistent individual coaching from Beacon’s core contributors. The application deadline for Cohort 1 is January 31, with the next program getting underway in April. For each startup in the upcoming program, Beacon will make a standard $250,000 investment, with an $8m post-money valuation for each company in the program.
In addition to investors from Sequoia, Lightspeed, Electric and Accel, mentors in the Beacon program include Magic Eden CEO Jack Lu, Anagram Co-Founder Lily Liu, Halborn co-founder Rob Behnke, YGG Co-Founder Beryl Li, Polygon Zero co-lead Brendan Farmer, among others.
As well as running its web3 accelerator program, Beacon has built in-house software, dubbed Lighthouse, to connect founders and investors. Lighthouse provides a custom platform for potential backers to assess projects and arrange introductions as well as for founders to access preferred deals from vendors and review job applicants to Beacon companies. Investors interested in gaining access to the Lighthouse platform can signal their interest here.
Demo Day was an opportunity for Cohort 0, which attended the accelerator’s remote-first, 12-week program in Q4 of 2022, to showcase and pitch their projects live to over 300 top investors in web3. The majority of teams in Cohort 0 were focused on building cross-chain applications.
Speaking on the collection of founders in Cohort 0, Nailwal reflected, “I’ve been so tremendously impressed by the perseverance and dedication of the founders in this cohort. Amidst all of the market turmoil during the middle of the program, our founders committed to rolling up their sleeves and building through these extremely challenging conditions. The dedication exhibited by our founders gives me great confidence that individuals in Cohort 0 will go on to build the next unicorns in web3.”
Cohort 0 comprises 15 companies hand-selected from over 1,000 applicants, 13 of whom graduated on Demo Day. Of these startups, there were 29 founders hailing from nine countries and 13 cities. The vast majority of projects in the cohort are at seed stage, with the exception of Community Gaming, an eSports platform currently at Series A.
Those full list of companies graduating from Cohort 0 can be seen below:
Company name: Arcana
What it does: Web3 toolkit for developers
Founders: Mayur Relekar, Aravindh Kumar
The pitch: Arcana wants to help supplement the technological stack for developers with tools to help build secure decentralized applications (dApps). Its core tools include user authentication, storage of data on its decentralized network and access control. The platform aims to provide developers building applications on “almost any chain” the ability to leverage its services and tools.
Company name: Blinkmoon
What it does: Game development studio
Founders: Hugh Behroozy, Hajeir Mazinani
The pitch: Blinkmoon is building an independent gaming development studio to focus on the growing web3 sector. Prior to this, its team members helped create the visuals for “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Game of Thrones,” as well as worked on gaming franchises like League of Legends: Wild Rift, NBA, the Dead Rising and Rainbow Six, to name a few.
Company name: ChapterX
What it does: Web3 event experience
Founders: Chase Guo
The pitch: ChapterX is a web3 event experience platform that aims to provide organizers the ability to transform their events into unique experiences. The startup provides options to engage attendees through either physical events or customizable virtual worlds in the metaverse with aspects like decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) governance or GameFi. Users can also convert their 2D NFTs into 3D avatars through its re-skin system and discover new worlds and join communities through its network.
Company name: Colexion
What it does: GameFi ecosystem
Founders: Abhay Aggarwal
The pitch: Colexion is a card-based GameFi ecosystem that aims to bring Web 2.0 games into the web3 ecosystem through fantasy-focused content. Its system, Colexion Core, provides a host of services like minting, marketplaces, bridges, wallets and more to help traditional games navigate the web3 world. The company is focused on the Asia-Pacific region and has over 15 million active users across more than 10 nations, according to its website. Colexion is backed by Polygon, Brevan Howard, Jump Capital, Symbolic Capital, Firestarter and GSR.
Company name: Community Gaming
What it does: Esports platform
Founders: Chris Gonsalves
Stage: Series A
The pitch: Community Gaming aims to be an all-in-one esports competition platform that offers infrastructure to industry players. The platform is backed by Ethereum- and Solana-based blockchain payment technologies and provides players, organizers and game developers tools to create, facilitate and participate in esports tournaments. It also provides users the ability to monetize their gameplay by completing quests, a daily content engine for earnings and game discovery.
Company name: Cubist
What it does: Web3 developer tools and infrastructure
Founders: Ann Stefan, Deian Stefan, Riad Wahby, Fraser Brown
The pitch: Cubist is a developer tools and infrastructure provider that aims to bring today’s software engineering practices and security to web3 builders. Its toolkit focuses on providing safer and more secure options so developers can build, test and deploy easily across multi-chain and cross-chain dApps. Its founders include a former fintech COO and computer science professors from Carnegie Mellon University and UC San Diego. The team members have spent their careers retrofitting security for real-world systems and have collectively published over 80 research papers on related topics like computer systems, programming languages, security and cryptography.
Company name: FastLane Labs
What it does: MEV solutions for Ethereum-based blockchains and rollups
Founders: Alex Watts, Jordan Hagan
The pitch: The FastLane protocol focuses on generating revenue for validators, increasing effectiveness for algorithmic traders and reducing the stress on network participants when overwhelmed with redundant transactions without the need to install or manage custom software on validating nodes. The protocol aims to reduce transaction spam and improve the overall Ethereum network health by monetizing propagation bottlenecks in the layer-2 blockchain Polygon and distributing the rewards to validators involved.
Company name: Meta Apes
What it does: Web3 game
Founders: Taylor Shim, Nicholas Carr
The pitch: Meta Apes is a free-to-play and win-to-earn mobile web3 game built on the BNB Application Sidechain (BAS). Players have the ability to build their own cities and communities while competing and exploring others to win the “race to space.” The game aims to combine traditional gaming elements like massively multiplayer online (MMO) strategies and web3 elements such as in-game currencies. The team has worked at places like Ubisoft, Gameloft, Zynga, AppLovin and Epic.
Company name: Mystic Moose
What it does: Web3 gaming developer
Founders: Mike Levine
The pitch: Mystic Moose is a web3 platform, gaming studio and publisher that was formed by a team of gaming veterans who have worked at Activision, LucasArts and Electronic Arts. Its first game, Planet Mojo, was built on top of its scalable backend platform Sumatra and is a browser-based server of interconnected games. Its auto chess game, Mojo Melee, is currently in alpha playtesting and plans to launch fully in the first quarter of this year on browsers and mobile. The studio is backed by Animoca Brands, Republic Crypto and Polygon Studios, among others.
Company name: Nillion
What it does: Web3 infrastructure
Founders: Alex Page, Andrew Yeoh, Andrew Masanto
The pitch: Nillion is a web3 infrastructure startup focused on securing storage, computation and fragmentation of data on the internet. “Nillion is a deep technology infrastructure project,” Andrew Yeoh, the company’s founding chief marketing officer, previously told TechCrunch. “While blockchains decentralize finance, Nillion aims to decentralize everything else and the rest of data.” The founders include ex-Uber, Indiegogo and Hedera Hashgraph employees, as well as executives from Coinbase and Nike. The company raised more than $20 million in December 2022 from over 150 investors in a “conscious decision” to prevent concentrated ownership, Nillion CEO Alex Page said in a statement.
Company name: Davos Protocol
What it does: Stable asset lending protocol
Founders: Varun Satyam, Julian Hayward, Filipe Gonçalves
The pitch: Davos Protocol is home to its stable asset, DAVOS, which is stabilized by its monetary policy that balances yield generation and price stability on a weekly basis by leveraging liquid staking, according to its website. It provides users the ability to borrow DAVOS using liquid staking tokens as collateral. Users can also supply stable asset pairs to provide liquidity, yield farm and earn rewards. The team aims to promote blockchain technology in mainstream adoption by incentivizing borrowers and stakers through its protocol. Its strategic partners include Polygon and Ankr.
Company name: Timeswap
What it does: Decentralized lending and borrowing protocol
Founders: Ameeth Devadas, Harshita Singh, Ricsson Ngo
The pitch: Timeswap is a decentralized lending and borrowing platform as well as an automated market maker (AMM) protocol powered by Polygon. Its key features include flexible interest rates and collateral factors so users can have the flexibility to decide their risk-return profile as well as allowing users to create any Ethereum-based ERC20 token pool by providing the proper liquidity. Since launching in August 2020, the platform has done over $4 million of lending, borrowing and liquidity volume on its protocol without any token incentives, according to a post from August.
Company name: Ylide
What it does: Decentralized protocol for wallet communication
Founders: Ignat Shapkin, Kirill Zubkov, Danila Simonov
The pitch: Ylide is a decentralized protocol for wallet-to-wallet communication that allows multichain messaging, data storage into smart contracts and end-to-end encryption. It also has its own mail client as well as tools for developers to integrate communication features into their projects, “as easily as building a Lego set,” the team said.
Beacon is an early-stage web3 accelerator program for promising startups. Launched by Polygon and Symbolic Capital co-founder Sandeep Nailwal, the program supports web3 founders with financing and mentorship, with the aim of identifying projects that serve real-world needs. The 12-week program runs twice per year.
Learn more here: https://www.0xbeacon.com/