Meet the Web3 startups participating in OWC's 4th accelerator cohort
Updated: Sep 20, 2022
The cohort includes companies advancing wallet security, NFT utility, peer-to-peer lending, gaming, and cross-chain liquidity, representing the next wave of innovation in the Web3 economy.
September, 16th, 2022: Open Web Collective (OWC), a blockchain and digital assets venture firm, today announced the startups selected to participate in Cohort 4 of its accelerator program. Through the accelerator, OWC aims to empower early-stage technical founders to be great business and community leaders.
The OWC Accelerator helps participating founders validate, build, and de-risk their ventures by defining and growing KPIs, community building, developing product-market fit, and fundraising. During the program and beyond, OWC connects these promising pre-seed Web3 startups with leading investors, mentors, and corporate partners to advance them to the next stage of growth.
Since OWC’s founding in 2020, 26 accelerator alumni companies have raised over $315M USD in venture funding, with one company achieving unicorn status and 4 more achieving centaur status (>$1B and >$100M valuation, respectively). OWC has taken part in the origin story of 1Inch.io, NYM Tech, Upshot.xyz, and more – and expects great things from this talented new cohort.
The following startups were selected to participate in the 12-week Cohort 4, culminating in a Demo Day (RSVPs open):
Company Name: Via Protocol
What it does: Unifies all cross-chain bridges and other routers.
Founders: Serafim Korablev, Dan Okhlopkov
The Pitch: Through its intelligent routing system, Via Protocol’s cross-chain liquidity aggregation solution can automatically scan over 70 DEXs across 25 networks, and 26 of the most popular cross-chain bridges to let users securely swap tokens on the fastest and cheapest routes. Via grants users the ability to seamlessly move tokens between ecosystems - even if there is no direct bridge - by aggregating more routers, bridges, and chains than any other cross-chain router to ensure users can find the most efficient, secure routes, with the most liquidity and cheapest fees, to swap their tokens across chains.
Company Name: Gridlock
What it does: A distributed crypto wallet that makes blockchain ownership easy and safe.
Founder: Derek Rodriguez
The Pitch: Gridlock uses threshold signature cryptography to form a distributed storage network capable of securely storing encryption keys, protecting from both loss and theft. Gridlock does this by splitting your private key into five pieces which are then distributed among friends, or guardians. The main benefit is that no one can sign a transaction without your share of the key and majority approval. All devices not in this network are not allowed entry without your permission, and all pieces of the key are useless alone.
Company Name: Hashstack Finance
What it does: Fast, 3rd party-free loans on the blockchain
Founders: Vinay Kumar
The Pitch: Hashstack Finance is a zk-native money market protocol allowing anyone, anywhere around the world to borrow up to three times their collateral in BTC, BNB, USDC, USDT, completely permissionless without the need for trusted 3rd parties. Their unique platform provides under-collateralized loans, compartmentalized deposits & loans, transparent dual-liquidation mechanisms to blockchain borrowers worldwide, 24% savings interest on deposits with 3-month commitment periods to lenders, and 4.28x more on your collateral in comparison to Compound, Aave, MakerDao for borrowers.
Company Name: NFT Price Floor
What it does: A Coingecko-style data hub and analytics platform for NFT collectors
Founders: David J. Garcia, Nicolas (Nico) Lallement Tallo, Agustin (Agus) Perez Pala
The Pitch: NFT Price Floor indexes, curates, and sorts NFT data with a clean and intuitive UI so users can acquire the latest market insights, manage their digital asset portfolio, and make informed decisions about their next investment decision.
Company Name: TokenChamp
What it does: An online arcade where your NFTs are the main characters in the games.
Founders: Scott Balaban, Erik Stein, Sam Fuhrer, Christian Desrosiers
The Pitch: TokenChamp adds utility to NFTs by awarding cash prizes to players’ digital wallets for their participation in games and tournaments.
Company Name: Black Sheep Gaming
What it does: A web3 platform that enables users' revenue from blockchain games and metaverse assets without direct gameplay or ownership of in-game NFTs
Founders: Cyril Zilberbord, Nick Orlovsky
The Pitch: Black Sheep Gaming’s Web3 platform connects GameFi and NFT investors, digital assets and asset operators in the metaverse economy. Their community includes over 500 top gamers who average a monthly salary of $1200 from gaming, through the strategic infrastructure of guilds, gamers, NFT holders and curators, rewards are passed along via gaming packs and pools.
Company Name: ExxaVerse
What it does: A cross-chain game built on the Unreal Engine.
Founders: Joshua Margulies, William Schneider
The Pitch: ExxaVerse implements peer-to-peer wagering, AAA-quality graphics, and digital real estate. Their own digital currency, $EXXA, will be used for the in-game NFT marketplace and match entry fees. ExxaVerse players battle each other by selecting one of six gladiator classes, selecting and customizing weapons, and updating player stats including armor, health, strength, critical chance, range, and more to provide a truly immersive and unique gameplay experience.
“We believe the OWC Accelerator is a great opportunity for the development of the BSG product because of OWC’s strong focus on scaling early-stage Web3 projects, and their extensive network of Web3 ecosystem partners, advisors, and investors that facilitate growth. We are confident in OWC’s laser focus on teaching founders top practical skills covering tech, product, legal, marketing, community management, and fundraising," said Cyril Zilberbord, Co-founder of Black Sheep Gaming. Added Serafim Korablev, Co-founder of Via Protocol, “We are excited to join OWC’s first-class Web3 accelerator, and become a part of this community.”
The OWC Accelerator is hosting an open Demo Day on October 19, 2022. OWC’s demo days garner hundreds of attendees and are notable for having keynote speakers like CoinFund Founder Jake Brukhman and Greenfield One Partner Felix Machart. This year, OWC’s demo day keynote will focus on crypto’s current macro outlook and latest innovations, with a presentation from an industry thought leader ahead of founder pitches. RSVP here to attend.
About Open Web Collective
Open Web Collective (OWC) is a venture firm focused on blockchain and digital assets. Launched by and spun out of NEAR Protocol, OWC is deeply rooted within the crypto and blockchain ecosystem and is partnered with some of the industry’s leading Web3 companies and entrepreneurs.