Polygon Founder Unveils Web3 Accelerator Beacon

Noted venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) has a price-innovation cycle thesis that essentially says that crypto bull markets attract buyers, while bear markets make room for developer innovation that increases optimism – and eventually, asset prices.

Building Web3 projects is a difficult task even in the best environments, but there’s a new founder-built accelerator that wants to help founders build and connect to potential investors.

Beacon was created by Polygon co-founder Sandeep Nailwal, and the small management team includes Uri Stav (formerly Chief Security Officer of CoinDesk parent Digital Currency Group), Prateek Sharma (former Sequoia Capital vice president) and Kenzi Wang, who founded venture capital firm Symbolic Capital with Nailwal, amongst others.

"We’re creating Beacon because, as a network of web3 founders and operators ourselves, we’re 100% committed to this idea of bringing the next one billion users into this space. With everything happening in the news, we know the odds are stacked against us,” Nailwal told CoinDesk in an email. “However, if we can support the best founders and accelerate projects serving real customer needs, adoption will happen – it’s inevitable.”

The accelerator’s first remote-first, twelve-week cohort kicked off in October with more than 30 founders from 15 companies across decentralized finance (DeFi), infrastructure and consumer applications. Mentors to the cohort included Magic Eden CEO Jack Lu, Yield Guild Games co-founder Beryl Li and CoinFund partner Evan Fang.

Beacon hopes to stand out from other accelerators by building in-house software that can connect founders and investors. Beacon has already built a custom platform for potential investors to review projects, learn more about founders, view video pitches and request introductions. On the founder side, Beacon is working on a social network to help founders and alumni stay connected.

Beacon’s inaugural program will end with a live-streamed Demo Day in January where founders will pitch to more than 300 Web3 investors.

Read more: Polygon Founder’s Crypto VC Firm Raises $50M Fund