In addition to building industry-standard decentralized infrastructure, Chainlink is fostering the evolution of web3 at its international hackathons, the latest of which awarded more than $540,000 in prizes. In March, Chainlink advanced its objective to empower early-stage web3 startups with the launch of its Startup with Chainlink program, described by Chainlink Labs’ managing director of corporate development and strategy, David Post, as a blueprint that helps founders quickly navigate traditional red tape.
189 teams have already been accepted into the free program, where they’ll receive business, strategy, design, marketing, and technical mentorship from experts representing leading organizations such as Barclays, Paxos, IBM, Oracle, and Prysm Group. Exceptional teams are eligible to work with a network of top venture capitalists and technology providers including Blockdaemon, The Graph, Filecoin, Ceramic, LinkPool, Capbase, and Serotonin.
For developers who don’t know how to start turning their idea into a viable startup, Post recently published a video summarizing Startup with Chainlink’s top tips for early-stage web3 funding.
Identify what kind of funding you need.
Unlike traditional startups, which might raise several rounds of funding before launching, web3 startups are more likely to raise one or two rounds.
Secure pre-seed funding.
To get your idea off the ground, consider looking for pre-seed funding by searching for grants on Twitter or blockchaingrants.org, as well as decentralized crowdfunding through platforms like Juicebox or Gitcoin. Incubators, accelerators, and founder communities can be a source of funding as well as advice and expertise about how to develop your idea.
Identify what you want from your lead investor.
When embarking on an institutional round of funding, Post says selecting an investor is like selecting a business partner – you want a good personal connection and shared vision. “Don’t take the first money someone offers you, but be really systematic and thoughtful about which investors you work with,” he advised. He also suggests giving fewer investors a larger stake in your startup instead of pursuing a party round.
Identify what investors expect from you.
Post emphasized the extensive prep work that goes into meeting with potential investors. Founders should have an “encyclopedic knowledge” of their product, industry, and target market, but should be honest and upfront about what they don’t know. A good rule of thumb is that founders should always know more about their space than potential investors do.
Learn more about Startup with Chainlink and apply here.
Watch David Post’s video on early-stage web3 funding.