Blockchain startups need to turn down the hype and focus on the beef, because the only thing serious investors are interested in these days is utility, utility, and—oh, right—utility.
There was a time when an entrepreneur only needed to insert the word “blockchain” into a pitch deck and then sit back and watch the venture capital pour in. But those days are long gone. And it’s not just startups—one only needs to look at Coinbase’s (NASDAQ: COIN ) recent rollout of its underwhelming NFT marketplace, which, far from halting the prolonged slide in the company’s stock price, may have actually accelerated its decline.
Investors have had their fill of blockchain-based projects that rely on liberal sprinklings of Magic Pixie Dust to hype their value. Instead, utility is now the buzzword that makes investors’ ears prick up, especially projects whose output will be something society will still find useful long after it loses interest in the latest crop of crudely drawn JPEGs.
But if it were that easy to pick winners and losers in the investment space, we’d all be sipping Mai-Tais on a white sand beach somewhere right now. One way to improve the chances of backing a winner is to choose projects led by entrepreneurs who have already demonstrated the ability to grow a business while avoiding countless pitfalls. As they say, there is no better teacher than experience.
That said, while entrepreneurs can gain much of their experience firsthand, having an experienced business mentor can be invaluable. That was part of the impetus behind the launch of tech startup incubator Satoshi Block Dojo, which aims to connect BSV-based projects with R&D partners early on to ensure they actually build viable products that a market is waiting for.
The eight startups that successfully emerged from Satoshi Block Dojo’s first cohort this spring are a diverse bunch, including some NFT/gaming companies (Buzzmint / Ninja Punk Girls), projects involving the metaverse (CosmosX), the art world (G&P), and holding companies . honest about their carbon offsetting efforts (Sattva Meta).
There are also projects aimed at the music industry (Soundoshi), the gig economy (+App) and the always tempting adult video sector (Sesire). A common thread that runs through these projects – beyond their belief in BSV as the platform of the future – is a desire to empower end users by offering a greater level of choice and a greater degree of control in how they conduct transactions. In other words, utilitywhich bodes well for these projects’ chances of breaking through to mainstream consciousness.
Another thing these Satoshi Block Dojo projects have in common is that they all got to pitch their projects to a captive audience of potential investors at the conclusion of the 12-week program. (A documentary about the proceedings is in the works.)
If you weren’t in London for the auspicious event and can’t wait for the video editors to do their work, don’t worry. A global opportunity awaits the principals behind several Satoshi Block Dojo projects who will give presentations about their respective efforts at the upcoming BSV Global Blockchain Convention, which runs from May 24 to 26 in Dubai.
A successor to the long-running CoinGeek Conference series, the BSV Global Blockchain Convention will (finally!) feature an in-person audience in addition to the global audience watching the free live stream of the event. So, no pressure to deliver a winning pitch, graduates Dojo.
Also present will be Satoshi Block Dojo Chair Craig Massey, who will provide insight into the type of startups likely to get the nod to participate in future cohorts. (Tip from co-founder Richard Boase: confidence, clarity and honesty are considered “green flags”, as well as focusing on projects that can scale to a size that investors will find compelling.)
Satoshi Block Dojo’s second cohort is set to start on April 30 and end at the end of July. BSV-based entrepreneurs who are interested in applying to become part of SBJ’s third cohort must submit their information by 1 August. Who knows? Maybe we’ll see you stand on stage at a future Global Blockchain Convention and demonstrate the utility of your product to an audience of potential investors.
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