Partnership Web3

Empowering Web3 Startups: A Success Story with NEAR Foundation and Startup Wise Guys

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In a nutshell

NEAR Foundation invited Startup Wise Guys to support new startup teams coming out of a hackathon on their further journey and ensure their longevity. The existing product “online pre-accelerator” was adapted for the particular client needs and supplemented with web3 focused curriculum elements. 9 startups successfully graduated and 2 of them acquired their first paying customers.

Fact box:

Timing

February 2023 - April 2023

Goal

Increase success and longevity of the winning projects from the MetaBUILD III hackathon, support them entering the market and acquiring first paying customers.

Solution

Startup Wise Guys standard 8-week pre-accelerator program was complimented with Web 3 sessions on Product Validation, Smart Contracts and dApps, Tokenomics and web3 legals, thus helping startups from this specific vertical in building MVPs and preparing them to do sales and fundraising.

Outcome

9 out of 18 onboarded teams successfully graduated the accelerator program, all teams received training on securing funding and launching products to market. During the program, 3 startups successfully launched their products, and 2 acquired their first paying customers. Startup Wise Guys tailored their program to the web3 vertical and collaborated with the NEAR Foundation for essential blockchain expertise. The program received an outstanding satisfaction rating of 9.4 out of 10 from the graduating teams.

Context

​To support the web3 startups that emerged from the METABUILD III hackathon, the Near Foundation partnered with Startup Wise Guys to establish a specialized web3 program. The hackathon, conducted in 2022, aimed to foster the development of innovative web3 solutions within the NEAR ecosystem. Typically, teams formed during hackathons have a short lifespan, with many solutions fading away within six months. Recognizing the need to help these teams navigate the challenging “death valley” period and successfully bring their products to market, the NEAR Foundation chose Startup Wise Guys to conduct a dedicated pre-accelerator program with a focus on web3.

 

The program was built upon the existing standard pre-accelerator framework provided by Startup Wise Guys, but with the inclusion of web3-specific experts and educational resources. By leveraging this tailored approach, the Near Foundation aimed to equip the participating startups with the necessary tools and knowledge to thrive in the web3 space. As a result, a total of 18 web3 startups were successfully onboarded into the program, with 9 of them successfully graduating and progressing towards their market launch.

having participated in the Startup Accelerator Program, I can confidently say that it has been an incredibly valuable and insightful experience for both my team and me. The program provided a comprehensive curriculum, fantastic mentorship, and a supportive environment that has contributed immensely to our growth as entrepreneurs.

One of the most remarkable aspects of the program was the well-designed curriculum that covered essential topics such as business model development, financial planning, and go-to-market strategy. The workshops and presentations were engaging, interactive, and packed with actionable insights that we could apply to our startup immediately. This has enabled us to strengthen our business model and better understand our target market.

Ahnaf Alfariza

Founder and CEO of Geovox

Startup Wise Guys role in the project

  • Adjust Startup Wise Guys’s standard pre-accelerator program to the web3 vertical with the client.
  • Collaboration with the client to select the list of participant teams.
  • Educating and supporting startups in the development of their projects.
  • Attracting new and working with existing program partners and mentors.
  • Running an online pre-accelerator program for the duration of 8 weeks.
  • Project management.

Results

9 startups were actively engaged and graduated from the program. 3 of them launched to the market, and 2 already acquired their first paying customers. The program met its goal to help web3 startups launch, sell and fundraise and therefore strengthen the NEAR ecosystem.

Startup Wise Guys have also leveraged their General Partner network to help startups set up key milestones and roadmap for even further development, as well best performing startups have been included in the investment pipeline and can be eligible for being accepted in the full time accelerator program that also provides pre-seed investment.

We are pleased with the collaboration with the Startup Wise Guys team and their promptness in jumping in and adapting their curriculum to a new vertical, specifically web3 in our case. Support programs like these have a significant impact on the ability of early-stage startups to persist in developing their solutions after a hackathon, preventing them from giving up during the initial challenges of the entrepreneurial journey. Undoubtedly, it is an excellent tool for nurturing an entrepreneurial ecosystem.

NEAR team

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