The Stacks Foundation, the nonprofit organization stewarding the Stacks ecosystem, today announced it is launching the Stacks Accelerator to foster blockchain developer growth worldwide. The intense 3-month program is backed by a leading coalition of Stacks partners, including the Stacks Foundation, Hiro Systems, Freehold, and Daemon Technologies, which have committed an initial $4M USD to support more than one hundred early-stage crypto technology entrepreneurs with funding, mentorship, and access to the incredible community of Stacks developers.
A layer-1 blockchain designed to facilitate the user-owned internet, Stacks brings everything from non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to projects specializing in decentralized finance, or DeFi, to Bitcoin. By enabling scalable smart contracts for Bitcoin, Stacks offers builders a unique opportunity to create long-lasting projects on the most secure and valuable network among blockchains.
In addition to experienced builders within the Stacks community, the Stacks Accelerator will invest in startup teams interested in leveraging the Stacks protocol to further innovate on Bitcoin. Startups at any stage and funding level with at least two co-founders working full-time will be considered. The program extends up to $50,000 in funding to participating ventures ($25,000 upfront and $25,000 as part of the funding round), with additional funding and mentorship for startups continuing indefinitely thereafter.
The accelerator will take place online via a combination of workshops and bespoke, hands-on mentorship sessions. Currently, the mentor roster includes Eric Ries (author of The Lean Startup), industry heavyweights like Meltem Demirors (CSO of CoinShares), and special appearances from leaders across crypto, like Anthony Pompliano (Investor at Pomp Investments), Thomas France (Co-Founder of Ledger), Sergey Nazarov (Co-Founder of Chainlink), and more.
Additional mentors can be viewed on the website as they are announced, including from organizations such as Digital Currency Group, Princeton, Devpost, Gotenna, Techstars, Gitcoin, Startup Weekend, SOSV, Flipside Crypto, Dystopia Labs, and Internet Archive. Participating ventures will also have access to a potential user base and follow-on investors through the Stacks network of over 300,000 token holders, including leading investors such as USV, Lux Capital, Winklevoss Capital, and Zhen Fund.
Casey Taylor, VP of Network & Development at DCG said, “After years of network development, Stacks is giving way to decentralized apps that harness smart contracts to offer engaging experiences and powerful use cases. As a member of the Stacks Accelerator, DCG looks forward to supporting these projects and the wider effort to add functionality to Bitcoin. By building with Stacks, these teams are pioneering a generation of applications and services anchored to Bitcoin, expanding what was previously thought possible on the network and further unlocking the immense value in it.”
“With the Stacks Accelerator, we’ve created an offering that not only addresses the unique challenges of building in crypto but also supports teams solving real-world problems for end-users, which requires connections and knowledge from well beyond the crypto space,” said Mitchell Cuevas, Head of Growth at the Stacks Foundation. “With guidance from experts at organizations both inside and outside ‘blockchain’ that includes Union Square Ventures, Princeton, Chainlink, Digital Currency Group, Techstars, and others, founders will have direct access to a diverse and deep set of top tier resources.”
The accelerator is led by serial entrepreneur and author Trevor Owens, whose startups have raised over $100M in venture funding. Trevor founded the Lean Startup Machine and was one of the first advisors to the founders of Stacks when it began in 2014. An international team of crypto and technology company scaling experts is being recruited to support program companies.
“Our goal is to build the best network of founders, mentors, investors, and partners in the industry to give early-stage startups an unfair advantage when they go to market. Stacks already provides an incredible development platform and developer experience, so we’re leaning into that heavily to get this program off the ground,” said Trevor Owens, Managing General Partner of Stacks Accelerator.
The Stacks Accelerator application is available on the website, with the deadline for applying set for May 14. Teams will be accepted on a rolling basis, meaning that early applicants stand a higher chance of acceptance.