$50m for 100 startups: The Sandbox announces the Open Metaverse Accelerator Program

By January 27, 2022The Sandbox
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The Sandbox Metaverse Accelerator Program

The Sandbox Metaverse Accelerator Program will support the development of the open metaverse by investing in 30 to 40 blockchain startups a year, up to US$250,000 in each startup. Top performers will also receive SAND and LAND grants, along with follow-on investment and access to high-profile mentors.

The Sandbox, a leading decentralized gaming metaverse and a subsidiary of Animoca Brands, has committed US$50M to Brinc, a leading global venture accelerator, for The Sandbox Metaverse Accelerator Program, which will target 100 startups to enhance the open metaverse.

With applications now open and the first cohort scheduled to start in Q2 2022, The Sandbox Metaverse Accelerator Program is a dedicated track within Launchpad Luna, the accelerator launched in mid-2021 as a partnership between Brinc and Animoca Brands. The new program aims to accelerate 30 to 40 startups a year over a three-year period.

“Disruptive moments are a great time to start a new business,” says the Sandbox co-founder Sebastien Borget. “We’ve launched this accelerator to fuel the next wave of innovation, supporting a diverse array of entrepreneurs as they create jobs and build new tools, platforms, and services for the metaverse. Creativity, utility, and curiosity — these are the skills for the metaverse generation.”

The program will invest in, mentor, educate, and support the development of promising startups and projects while also providing access to potential partnerships and business development opportunities across the growing networks of The Sandbox, Animoca Brands, and Brinc.

Program details:

  • Program: 3 months Lall virtual, launching Q2 2022
  • Investments: USD $150k-$250k equity investment, plus up to $150k in $SAND and potential LAND grants
  • Mentorship: Access to investors, corporates and mentors
  • Technical support: product and technology refinement to ensure market readiness
  • Fundraising: Investor-readiness and fundraising via Brinc and Animoca Brand’s network of investors
  • Commercialization: Access to partners, exchanges, influencers and early users and investors

The new program is looking for startups that can enhance the open metaverse, who will be evaluated on their traction, technical expertise, and ability to deliver unique experiences. Startups accepted into the program will receive an initial investment of up to US$250,000 each. The Sandbox will also provide further grants of up to US$150,000 in SAND tokens to the best performers, as well as LAND grants. Startups that demonstrate meaningful traction post-program can also apply for follow-on investment from The Sandbox, Animoca Brands, and Brinc.

The core directive of The Sandbox Metaverse Accelerator Program is to support the launch of new startups that can contribute to the growth and expansion of The Sandbox ecosystem by building unique experiences and populating the platform with fresh creativity and new content. Pioneering blockchain startups in the fields of art, collectibles, culture, entertainment, gaming, media, content, and streaming, are encouraged to apply. Accelerated startups will be empowered to contribute to The Sandbox’s rapidly growing ecosystem and actively engage with its existing and growing user base. Online applications are now open at: brinc.io/metaverse.

The Sandbox Metaverse Accelerator Program will support the open metaverse built on shared values and through open, transparent, decentralized governance. This will replace the current paradigm of closed platforms thanks to powerful network effects, creating a more sustainable digital future.

High-profile mentors supporting the program — alongside Yat Siu (Animoca Brands), Sebastien Borget (The Sandbox), Manav Gupta (Brinc)include Holly Atkinson (former head of Metaverse Technology at Boson Protocol), Holly Liu (co-founder of Kabam), Janine Yorio (chief executive officer of Republic Realm), Leah Callon-Butler (director of Emfarsis and columnist at CoinDesk), Pavel Bains (co-founder of Bluzelle), Serena Tabacchi (director and co-founder of Museum of Contemporary Digital Art), Susan Cummings (chief executive officer of Petaverse Network), and Yingzi Yuan (founder and builder of Metaverse Summit). Web 3.0 leaders from Altitude Games, Binance, Dragonfly Capital, Republic Crypto, and True Global Ventures will also provide mentorship.

The Sandbox metaverse is a new way to interact in daily life, including how users interact socially, shop, or consume entertainment. Recent partnerships with The Sandbox include Snoop Dogg, who owns virtual land in the metaverse and will give users VIP access to concerts, events, and dedicated digital items; Atari, the pioneer of arcade games that has seen recent success as a global gaming brand with RollerCoaster Tycoon, who will introduce IPs from its portfolio to the Sandbox metaverse; and Skybound Entertainment, who brought The Walking Dead game experience to the virtual world.

​​Brinc continues to invest and support startups in the open metaverse, which represents the new digital frontier. Key areas of focus include entertainment, education, and inclusivity through a more equitable digital economy. The new program will support startups by integrating sustainability, inclusion, and equitability into their business models.

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