1. Please tell us about you, your name, position in the project, your credentials, etc., so that we can introduce you.
I’m Grace, Co-founder of ICPort, in charge of our platform's project team support function. I’m from an IT project management background (i.e., my previous work experience includes United Nations and IT advisor company in the U.S.).
2. What attracted you initially to Blockchain?
My college roommate is a founder of a DeFi project and introduced me to the Blockchain space. What attracted me most were the creative ideas bouncing around in this community and the wide variety of blockchain applications, ranging from traditional finance and healthcare to new concepts such as metaverse. Also, I’m pretty excited about the potential for the Web 3.0 applications to reshape the World Wide Web based on blockchain technology entirely.
3. Of all the platforms you could have chosen, why did you decide to build on the Internet Computer?
We picked IC as it’s still in a relatively early stage compared to other public chains. There are still many start-up projects with exciting ideas but may not have the funding or operational expertise to go to the next level. Also, IC runs at internet speed with unlimited scalability capacity, which is an ideal environment for Web 3.0 projects.
4. How long has your company been established, and what is your business model based on?
Our project was launched in late 2021. We are an accelerator and provide funding as well as a comprehensive package of operational supports (e.g., product development, marketing, token economics, etc.) to start-up projects. Our business model is to source promising projects (in relatively early stage) and provide them with seed money and operational support and get returns when these projects ramp up.
5. What makes your company marketable, and what will ensure its long-term success?
We have a few competitive advantages compared to other accelerators in the market. First, we are backed by reputable VCs and can easily secure funding for our portfolio projects, even in a bearish market. Second, we developed a standardized project assessment tool based on years of experience in crypto project operations and leveraged diligence expertise from our advisors, who worked at traditional financial institutions. This tool enables us to identify the projects that truly have the potential to succeed in the long run. Third, we have an all-star in-house tech team of previous Hackathon winners and can provide seamless support to start-up projects. Last, our long-term vision is to be a decentralized accelerator in the era of Web3, allowing everyone with qualifying skills and/or resources to participate in the acceleration business and get compensated.
6. What challenges have you faced while building your company?
We are kind of slow in onboarding new projects as we are a relatively new project ourselves, and thus sometimes it isn’t easy to convince a new project to enter our acceleration pool. But I’m confident that the situation will improve soon as more projects “graduate” from our acceleration pool and as we increase our exposure to the community by sponsoring and/or hosting various events (e.g., Hackathon, Roundtable, etc.)
7. What overall vision do you have? Do you have a roadmap? If so, what does it involve?
Our mission is to create a decentralized and transparent accelerator that brings growth to the Web3.0 ecosystem, where everyone can find their roles, contribute, and get compensated.
8. What advantages do you believe you have over other competitors?
Refer to response to No.5 above
9. Tell us about the team
We are a team of 10+ people spread across different time zones to provide support to projects globally. Our BD and operations teams are based in New York and San Francisco. We also have some tech and operations team members in China to service projects in Asia Pacific.
Our team members came from diverse backgrounds. Some of their previous work experience include Standard Chartered Bank, PWC, Ogilvy, Google, PayPal, and other internet giants. Our programmers are skilled in multiple programming languages, including Rust/Solidity/MOTOKO.
10. What advice do you have for anyone working in the same space as you?
ICPort expects to be an integrated decentralized accelerator platform of Web3 to monetize your advantages on ICPort. You can show your insights and opinions on projects on ICPort Dashboard if you are a professional project analyst; you can get returns if you can provide the resources needed for a project or complete relevant work. So I hope you can find like-minded partners in the ICPort community and help develop startups.
11. What other projects building on the Internet Computer are you most excited about?
I’m primarily interested in the GameFi project as I’m a gamer. Also, I think there could be a lot of exciting interactions between GameFi and metaverse, which will completely change the landscape of gaming.
12. Do you have any plans to collaborate with other projects building on the Internet Computer?
We have established partnerships with many projects on IC; some of them are significant players in their own market. We plan to leverage their expertise when providing support to our portfolio projects. For example, we know Dfinity Community is an expert in marketing and community building and will send projects in need of marketing support to DC.
13. Do you have any token sale planned for the future? If so, when? Can you give details?
We have a token sales plan for the future. Timing will be dependent on the market dynamics and our investor’s preferences. Before token sale, we use NFT badges which act as tokens and have rights and benefits similar to tokens. We have two types of NFT badges: the OG badge is for our investors, and the contributor badge is for anyone who contributes to our platform by participating in various events (i.e., roundtable, social media, mentorship, etc.) hosted by us.
You can follow us on Twitter to get updates on various methods to win contributor badges.
14. Tell us about your partners, if there are any?
We are partnered with Dfinity Community to provide marketing and community support to our portfolio projects. In addition, all of the projects in our portfolio are our partners, and we do see surprisingly good opportunities for the portfolio projects to complement each other. For example, we have an NFT project and a Decentralized Domain Name project. They are talking to each other to do promotion events at the product level - when you buy a domain name, you receive a free NFT and vice versa. Last, we are partnered with some VCs and public chain funds to share deal sources, but I’m not able to reveal their names.
15. What are your short and long-term achievements and targets?
We will accelerate more projects soon and accumulate more resources to support these projects in the short term. We are expanding our networks to exchanges, institutional investors, KOLs, service providers, and community members.
For the long term, we want to create a data pool of all promising Web3.0 projects and expand the decentralized nature of our platform by inviting anyone qualified to provide their skillset to help projects and receive compensation, which will be facilitated by DAO governance tools that we are developing.
16. Give us some details about your roadmap
17. Provide us with all your social media handles and websites
18. What is your acceleration workflow?
It starts with a quick intro call between the project team and us to learn about the team and their project. Then we will ask the teams to fill out a standardized assessment which will give us insights on things such as team profile, the stage of the product, strength/weakness, and what it needs most from us. We will send a draft acceleration agreement that lays out acceleration support plans and investment details if we find the project promising. Once the agreement is executed, we will proceed with the acceleration process, which usually takes three months and may vary based on project needs.
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