Cronos, the first blockchain network that interoperates with both the Ethereum and Cosmos ecosystems, is taking the next step in its journey to fund next-generation blockchain efforts and support DeFi, and GameFi startups.
Today, the Crypto.com-backed Cronos announced the launch of a Cronos Accelerator Program to provide funding and guidance for early-stage blockchain projects and accelerate the growth of its ecosystem. The program was funded by the $100 million Cronos Labs Ecosystem Fund.
Developers and builders can take part in a 10-week program with a $100 million war chest. As part of The Cronos Accelerator Program, Cronos will provide investments of $100,000 to $300,000 in early-stage projects and additional grant funding for security audits, node services, and gas fees.
During the program, Cronos will also pair startups with mentors and provide weekly workshops on topics associated with protocol building. In addition, participating startups will be able to explore investment opportunities with Cronos’ VC partners.
The program also provides an excellent opportunity for blockchain projects that find themselves in the seed-pre-seed stage and are looking for funding, mentorship, growth, or a combination of the above. According to the announcement, The Cronos Accelerator Program will primarily focus on advanced DeFi, Web3 Gaming & Metaverse, and Infrastructure & Tooling.
The Cronos Accelerator Program includes additional grant funding for security audits, node services, and gas fees. In addition, the program will provide investment opportunities from established VC partners, marketing support, and access to the growing Cronos user base through social media channels, AMA webinars, and introductions.
The program also provides business advisory from Cronos Labs and industry mento and weekly 1-on-1 mentorship and networking with industry leaders, and introductions to Crypto.com ecosystem: DeFi Wallet, Exchange, App, and NFT Marketplace
Projects accepted to become part of the Cronos Accelerator Program will be matched with reputable industry mentors. Additionally, there are weekly workshops led by Cronos Labs and external subject matter experts. These workshops will cover various topics associated with protocol building. The Cronos Accelerator has a top-tier line-up of key partners who will be supporting projects in the Accelerator through investments, mentorship, and workshops. Partners include Mechanism Capital, Spartan Labs, IOSG Ventures, OK Blockchain Capital, AP Capital, Altcoin Buzz, Dorahacks, and many more to be announced at a later stage.
Cronos Managing Director Ken Timsit said that participating projects can expect to raise between $500,000 to $2 million in initial investments from Cronos labs and third-party investors.
Timsit adds: “Through Cronos Accelerator, we want to enhance the potential of projects that sincerely want to help grow the ecosystem by providing support in almost every area of their operations. In the current climate, it is more important than ever to put our heads down and start building aggressively. We are a top 10 blockchain via Total Value Locked at the moment, and are on track to reach the top 5 by the end of 2022.”
“We are looking for what we think Cronos users and, more broadly, the users of the crypto ecosystem, would be interested in, such as products that are easy to understand, easy to use and to unlock,” Timsit told CoinDesk.
Startup founders don’t have to come to the program with a fully fleshed-out project, Timsit said.
“Not all projects are fully formed, and it’s very unlikely that the project, in the end, is going to look like what the pitch deck looks like at the application stage,” Timsit told CoinDesk. “But what will make a difference is whether the founder and co-founders have a track record of figuring things out and delivering [products].”
Cronos VP Ella Qiang states: “After speaking with many projects in the industry, we realised that while many have high potential, they may not have all the tools they need to stand out and build sustainable tokenomics. We want to provide the necessary support for early stage projects and accelerate their growth on Cronos.”
The Cronos Accelerator Program is funded by the $100 million Cronos Labs Ecosystem Fund. There will be 3-4 cohorts per year, featuring an average of 10 start-ups per cohort.
Founded in 2021, Cronos is the first EVM-compatible layer 1 blockchain network built on the Cosmos SDK, backed by Crypto.com, Crypto.org and more than 250 app developers and partners. Our mission is to make it easy and safe for the next generation of crypto users to adopt Web3, with a focus on DeFi and GameFi.
Cronos has already skyrocketed to a top 10 position among all chains by total value locked and is used by >800,000 users, growing at 20% per month. Cronos is powered by the Cronos ($CRO) cryptocurrency, which powers an ecosystem of more than 50 million users worldwide. Cronos Labs is the ecosystem investment fund, web3 start-up accelerator, and incubator of the Cronos chain.