By Isaac Kato, Managing Director, Filecoin Techstars Accelerator and Techstars Seattle
Today, it is my great pleasure and honor to introduce the world to the founders of the inaugural Filecoin Techstars Accelerator, which we are running in partnership with Protocol Labs, the creator of the Filecoin and IPFS protocols. Filecoin is one of the world’s largest and fastest growing decentralized storage networks, and our mutual goal is to support startups who are building their companies using the amazing innovations that Filecoin and IPFS unlock.
I was first introduced to the world of crypto in 2013, when I brought the Bitcoin miners to the green data center business I founded in Iceland, which enabled them to mine Bitcoin using 100% renewable electricity. And, I distinctly recall reading about the Filecoin ICO in 2017 and noting that it was one of the rare tokens of that era that promised real, meaningful utility, as opposed to solely ephemeral, financial gain.
Well, what was only a promise a few short years ago has become a staggering success. The Filecoin network exited 2021 with over 14 exbibytes of available storage capacity, 400 new applications, 3,600+ storage providers, and 7,000 developers from around the globe. To provide some context around just how vast the Filecoin network is, 14 exbibytes is roughly equivalent to 14,000,000 of the 1TB drives most of us have in our laptops. That’s a lot of storage capacity.
Equally exciting, Filecoin liberates our data and puts its control back in our hands. Filecoin’s decentralized approach to cloud storage means that the user has control of their data and associated data privacy. Filecoin will help to reduce or even ultimately eliminate the tyranny of data that the biggest tech titans currently exercise.
Filecoin also demonstrates the remarkable power of decentralized, token-driven networks to distribute the rewards of value creation to participants and contributors in an ecosystem, and not just to a small group of owners. The ramifications of this aspect of decentralized infrastructure are profound - they provide incentives for community participation, new modes of financing companies, organization and projects, and new distributed governance systems that previously were much more difficult, if not impossible, to create.
So, I am thrilled to introduce you to the twelve companies in the 2022 Filecoin Techstars Accelerator. They were selected from hundreds of teams currently building on the Filecoin/IPFS network and they represent some of the brightest, most ambitious and innovative founders I’ve ever met.
There are a few common threads across the twelve companies in this cohort.
They are all working to solve real problems or meet real needs, in both enterprise and consumer markets. There is no “crypto for the sake of crypto” here.
Several of these companies work with the theme of data liberation, allowing their users to manage, control, and monetize their data in unprecedented ways.
Many of them enable their communities and contributors to participate in the value creation that will result as their networks grow.
The founders in this cohort will benefit from the best of Techstars mentor-driven accelerator programs, which dramatically increase their chances of finding entrepreneurial success, combined with crypto-specific mentorship, network development, technical access, and investment via Protocol Labs and the global Filecoin ecosystem.
We can’t wait to see what they achieve - they’re going to change the world!
Bailport - multi-currency e-wallet using blockchain to facilitate low-cost payments to Africa.
Ecko - Ecko is a collaboration and fan engagement platform that enables artists to easily plan, create, and promote remarkable NFT campaigns.
Functionland - Creating the first Blockchain Attached Storage (BAS) hardware, Box and Fula Protocol to incentivize users and developers creating a free and secure internet for everyone.
Haiphen - Block-chain enabled threat detection for enterprise cybersecurity.
MerkleBot - Trustless robotics data-capture infrastructure unlocking new business models and compliance frameworks for robotics and industrial machinery.
MetaPals - Virtual companions that love to grow, and you'll grow to love.
Mint State Labs - Mint State Labs is an entertainment and gaming technology provider that helps creators easily build, distribute, and market blockchain powered experiences.
Peeranha - Decentralized question & answer platform that rewards users for their contributions in crypto.
The Bloop Browser - Web3 browser that uncovers and visually displays paths across the web for internet users to share with their community.
SharpShark - Copyright issuance and protection platform that seamlessly certifies and protects content originality.
StaTwig - Supply chain visibility solution that allows you to tokenize and track products in a multi-stakeholder supply chain network.
TransCrypts - Corporate data verification platform that automates the issuance of employment and income verification documents and ensures a source of truth with the blockchain.
The Techstars worldwide network helps entrepreneurs succeed. Founded in 2006, Techstars began with three simple ideas—entrepreneurs create a better future for everyone, collaboration drives innovation, and great ideas can come from anywhere. Now we are on a mission to enable every person on the planet to contribute to, and benefit from, the success of entrepreneurs. In addition to operating accelerator programs and venture capital funds, we do this by connecting startups, investors, corporations, and cities to help build thriving startup communities. Techstars has invested in more than 2,500 companies with a combined market cap of more than $200B. www.techstars.com
Protocol Labs is an open-source research, development, and deployment laboratory. Our projects include IPFS, Filecoin, libp2p, and many more. We aim to make human existence orders of magnitude better through technology. We are a fully distributed company. Our team of more than 100 members works remotely and in the open to improve the internet — humanity’s most important technology — as we explore new advances in computing and related fields. www.protocol.ai
Filecoin, the world’s largest decentralized network, allows users to store, request, and transfer data via a verifiable marketplace. Filecoin is completely open-source, enabling people from all over the world to participate. The Filecoin protocol runs on an advanced and novel proof system -- a combination of Proof of Spacetime (PoSt) and Proof of Replication (PoRep), to provide unmatched efficiency and reliability. Filecoin’s advanced technology provides a robust foundation to store the world’s most valuable data sets. An alternative to costly cloud storage, the Filecoin network offers efficiently priced and geographically decentralized storage, minimizing financial barriers, and allowing users to take advantage of its unmatched network capabilities. www.filecoin.io