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dLab + Emurgo: Accelerating Decentralization

We’ve been working on this for awhile now, and I’m excited to finally be able to share it. Here we go:


(New York City, 11 October 2018) — SOSV, the early-stage VC that runs leading deep-tech startup accelerators such as HAX (hardware), RebelBio and IndieBio (life sciences), Chinaccelerator (Asian market entry) and Food-X (food tech), in partnership with EMURGO, the commercial venture development arm of the Cardano blockchain ecosystem, jointly announce the launch of dLab/emurgo, a new startup accelerator and venture studio. The New York City-based program will focus on distributed ledger technologies including DLT protocols, blockchain infrastructure, decentralized applications, and distributed ledger technologies. .

dLab/emurgo will combine EMURGO’s deep expertise in commercial blockchain development and the strength of the Cardano ecosystem, with SOSV’s best-in-class acceleration processes, investment consortium, and ability to help companies bring innovative technologies to market rapidly.

“Blockchain and its attendant technologies have the potential to radically change the ways we think about trust, money, work, assets, data ownership, and more,” said Sean O’Sullivan, SOSV Managing Partner. “But like other deeply transformative technologies, we’ve seen both hope and hype thus far. dLab is a deep technology program that builds and nurtures high-potential founders and startups who have the talent and ambition to build the critical building blocks of this ecosystem along with the first-to-market killer apps. The era of ICO-hype is over, and it is past time to build startups of the utmost quality with proper governance and management to achieve the radical changes we all hope and know can be achieved.”

The new program is designed to be protocol agnostic and multi-disciplinary, and startups focused on any variant of distributed ledger or blockchain technologies are welcomed to apply. EMURGO’s partnership means that startups building for the Cardano ecosystem receive several material advantages, including access to Cardano development and policy partners.

“We’re excited to be working with Emurgo on this program. Cardano has taken an exceptionally thoughtful research- and design-driven approach to the development of their third gen blockchain, with a multi-layer protocol and a consensus algorithm that’s been peer reviewed by leading academics. We believe that this level of technical scrutiny and the focus on formal verification will be a requirement for many mission-critical applications,” Nick Plante, Program Director of dLab said. “Together we will work to expand Cardano’s reach and use cases, while ensuring that startups have their choice of robust, scalable networks on which to build.”

The partners are seeking startups addressing problem areas including core infrastructure services, autonomous organization management, virtual goods, wallets and usability, financial instruments, oracles, developer tools, identity and reputation, security, and other novel applications that promote transparency, data ownership, and decentralization.

Benefits of attending the program are substantial:

* Each startup will receive three and a half months of intensive programming.
* Seed capital investment of up to $200,000, plus significant in-kind support.
* Up to $600,000 in free partner services and perks.
* Additional legal, human resources, marketing, and technology services will be available through an established network of mentors and program partners.

Companies and their founders will benefit from mentorship opportunities with SOSV and EMURGO’s extensive network, exclusive events, and participate in investor showcases.

Applications are now open for the first dLab/emurgo program, starting at SOSV’s Manhattan offices in February 2019. Within weeks of the application deadline of November 30th, five startups will be selected to participate in the program.

In addition to the five selected accelerator startups, dLab will also award five fellowships for research and technical fellows, who will be funded for a full calendar year to explore new topics in decentralization and distributed ledger technologies. Successful candidates will work closely with dLab staff, selected startups, and EMURGO, developing novel concepts for research, community, education, and commercialization.

“I’m deeply excited about the launch of our joint accelerator with SOSV. The blockchain industry is still in nascent stages and we can do no better than to actively and deliberately support the very best of teams, tackling the most debilitating of problems with the most ingenious of solutions. ,” said Manmeet Singh, CIO for EMURGO. “Though countless blockchain teams have raised insane funding, they’ve ignored the fundamental nature of building a startup or a business which hasn’t changed. Our partnership with SOSV is aimed at bringing this mindset back to fundamental realities and help realise the genuine potential of this technology. By helping establish the dLab dedicated blockchain program, we expect many new opportunities to launch on the Cardano ecosystem, and also to the broader blockchain technology landscape.”

Startups, entrepreneurs, researchers, and developers can apply for the dLab/emurgo program now by visiting https://dlab.vc.

At SOSV, we’ve been funding blockchain innovations through the lens of our existing programs (Chinaccelerator, MOX) since 2015 (and I’ve been personally involved in Bitcoin and DLT projects since late 2011). Along the way, we’ve been fortunate to work with several incredible entrepreneurs and to help build startups with real impact, including BitMEX, one of the world’s largest Bitcoin exchanges. Now it’s time to take our commitment to this ecosystem to a new level, and we’re delighted to have found a likeminded partner in EMURGO, who shares our values and this vision of transforming the landscape with open, decentralized systems.

The most interesting applications for DLT are still way, way ahead of us, and we’re looking forward to working with a new group of entrepreneurs and developers to build startups that explore the nature of trust, identity, governance, and transparency. Are you working on a blockchain startup? Or are you a researcher or a developer with interest in decentralization and blockchains? Join us.

We’re accepting applications for the accelerator as well as the Cardano program fellowships through the end of November.



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Nick Plante

immanentizing the eschaton 💥 early-stage vc, web3, and r&d at @dlabvc 🌲 ~panluc-midrex