Decrypt’s Art, Fashion, and Entertainment Hub.
According to an announcement shared exclusively in advance with Decrypt, following the successful approval of an ApeCoin community proposal (AIP-209), Forj was bestowed with the task of building the accelerator.
“We chose to launch on ApeCoin because it has the most collaborative and socially engaged community across Web3,” said Harry Liu, CEO of Forj. He told Decrypt that the idea is to drive more adoption for the Bored Ape Yacht Club-themed token, tapping into the hundreds of projects that are currently alive within its community.
Liu explained that the focus won’t be on early-stage projects but rather those already running. “We want to take projects from 1-2,” he said, adding that they need to have reached a threshold for them to be eligible.
Geared for NFTs in the music, entertainment, gaming, and the collectibles industry, Forj was a solid candidate because, Liu clarified, it has overseen dozens of projects with “proven track records”—along with its wide reach thanks to the Animoca Brands umbrella. Animoca is a prominent metaverse investor and video game publisher.
Liu noted that Forj has been heavily involved in the BAYC community over the past two years, “understanding what is most needed” during the grueling bear market.
Taking a pragmatic approach, he told Decrypt that even though bankroll is important, and the metaverse is down over the past couple of years, those still in the space are “high-quality products that are here to build.”
People aren’t here for the paycheck, he added, “but rather the culture.”
Liu says this type of platform is the first of its kind, wherein everything lies in the hands of the DAO, or a decentralized community made up of ApeCoin token holders who vote on various initiatives.
Whereas the ApeCoin DAO is a purely grant-based collective, the accelerator will provide a more comprehensive platform, supporting emerging projects through its services.
The Ape Accelerator will be two-pronged, according to the Forj team: the accelerator and launchpad. The former follows traditional startup acceleration models, including tokenomics planning and go-to-market strategy, among other ways to assist founders. The launchpad offers ApeCoin holders the possibility of supporting projects that are spawned from the aforementioned accelerator.
It will also offer projects the chance to raise funding through sales of digital assets to approved KYC’ed ApeCoin holders via the newly created launchpad. Depending on each project’s circumstances, target capital allocation will vary between $250,000-$1 million.
Although a Web3 accelerator is nothing new in the space, with a plethora of similar platforms launching recently, the idea of a DAO-controlled accelerator specifically focused on growing an ecosystem “at scale, is a new frontier,” said Liu.
And for him, launching this type of platform has two main aims at the end of the day: “It leads to mass adoption, and addresses the main struggles of the bear market.”
Edited by Ryan Ozawa.