By Pete Townsend, Managing Director, Techstars Web3
Builders gotta build, and build better.
This was our rallying cry when Hugh McGirr and I opened up applications for the Techstars Web3 2023 cohort about six months ago, and wow, did we find a great bunch of builders.
Putting your head down and building for users, focusing on the fundamentals and building for the long term is the space we play in. We sought out founders who signaled (whether they knew it or not!) that they were prepared to build for the long term, and we looked at nearly 750 teams to find our top 12.
After months of preparation, interviews, data crunching and due diligence, we finally kicked off the Techstars Web3 accelerator class of 2023, and our decision to go find 12 fantastic founding teams building in the midst of crypto winter has been totally validated.
This class of genuine, focused builders has been nothing but inspiring to lead, since we kicked off on April 3rd. Whenever I see a group of founders leaning in and engaging with every Techstars mentor we put in front of them, I get even more excited about the lifetime journey we’re on with each of them as investors, advisors, confidantes and in a number of stories not yet written; friends.
Hugh (Investment Principal) and I have assembled an all-star team to work with our founders, including Ops Lead Virginia Sanchez, Entrepreneur-in-Residence Laura Walsh, Chief Commercial Officer in Residence Filippo Chisari, Token Economist in Residence Simon Bowles, Counsels-in-Residence Andrew Tzialli and Mary Hennessey.
In a perfect setting for initiating relationships, we kicked off week one in Dublin, with the benefit of inviting locally based mentors to engage the group during one special day of in-person Mentor Madness office hours.
And while the program is largely online, we will be taking the show on the road twice more! We’ll hit up London mid-May (15th-19th) and Toronto & New York City at the end of June. If you would like to connect in any of these locations, we would love to hear from you.
The deep pool of mentors that we built last year including web3 experts, serial entrepreneurs, ecosystem connectors, investors and advisors is now even deeper, as the web3 global network just keeps growing. We’ve curated our 300 mentors to increase the likelihood of founders and mentors forming high-quality relationships during our Mentor Madness period.
This is just the beginning for these 12 web3 founding teams but when Hugh and I set out to build our 2023 web3 cohort, one of the key criteria we set for the companies we’ve invested in was “working with those enabling the next wave of growth in the decentralized internet and in tokenized economies”.
Depending on whether they were building a centralized company, or had plans to decentralize over time, we assessed companies differently during our selection process.
Each one of these 12 founding teams embody decentralization in their own way, whether they’re building web3 companies, communities or economies and we ended up with a good balance of each. We found these founding teams all over the world from Taiwan to the West Coast of the US, and they’re building web3 infrastructure, ‘DeFi Mullets’, DAO tooling and creator ecosystems.
Meet the companies!
TrustWare - Secure, recoverable, non-custodial crypto vault that connects users in a social network for sharing value. Founder location: USA
TogetherCrew - Some web3 communities fall apart under pressure, others come together stronger. TogetherCrew exists to help build and grow communities by ensuring members and stakeholders create together. Founder locations: Spain, India & UK
SonX - Community platform that allows superfans to subscribe to their favourite musicians via a monthly membership fee unlocking fan-only ticketing, exclusive audio content and digital and physical collectibles. Founder location: UK
SaveChain - The borderless banking app. Self-custody 'stablecoin-only' wallet with banking interface for the global underbanked, with the option to open a FDIC-insured bank account for non-US residents. Metamask meets Revolut. Founder location: USA
Quest- Data infrastructure enabling organizations to leverage user data in a privacy-preserving manner to unlock powerful user experiences. Founder location: USA
Protico - Enabling web3 chat on apps in seconds for enterprises that want to migrate business and engage customers at the web3 level. Founder location: Taiwan
Peerkat - Taking the pain out of web3 for users, developers and brands by using deep data science to provide unique insights into digital collectibles. Founder locations: UK
Ospree - Digital asset compliance infrastructure for centralized and decentralized entities. Founder locations: Singapore & USA
OLTA - For creative coders, directors and studio teams who make interactive art that audiences can explore and participate in, Olta brings the essence of change and of ownership to art and story. Founder location: UK
MintyCode - Decentralised IP marketplace, helping software creators who contribute to open source, by protecting their copyright and opening up new monetisation strategies. Founder location: UK
Loki.code - For anyone lacking the technical capacity to build smart contracts, Loki.code provides a workspace where users can create smart contracts safely and easily by dragging, dropping, and connecting code blocks and using ready-to-deploy smart contract templates. Founder locations: Italy, UK, USA & Brazil
JR Studio - Gaming backend as a service platform giving indie developers and small teams the superpowers to manage multiplayer, web3 gaming, data, analytics and operations. Founder locations: Netherlands, Brazil & USA
If you’d like to learn more about the Techstars Web3 class of 2023, please feel free to reach out to either me (at firstname.lastname@example.org) or to Hugh (email@example.com). In the meantime, you can get a quick look and connect to each team here.
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.