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Binance launches an incubator program to develop early stage blockchain startups

Who needs VCs? The largest companies in the crypto world are continuing to build the ecosystem through aggressive investments of their own, as I forecasted at the start of this year. Binance , the world’s largest exchange, is the latest example. The company is marching beyond  a gargantuan $1 billion fund  it unveiled earlier this year after it  announced an incubator program  that’s focused on nurturing early-stage blockchain startups. The  Binance Labs Incubation Program was teased back in June when the company announced its fund, but now the company has taken off the wraps and provided more details — the venture is very aggressive. The program will take on around 8-10 companies per batch for a 10-week period, Binance Labs CEO Ella Zhang told TechCrunch in an interview, adding that the target is to hold one program per quarter. That frequency is unheard of, even by those who do incubators full-time, but there’s more. Binance Labs will hand out $500,000 to each program participant in exchange for a 10 percent stake in the business. Again, that’s a big effort compared to most other programs, although it is worth noting that Binance hasn’t decided whether that investment will be in fiat, crypto or a combination of both. Beyond money, the company wants to open itself up and allow participants to access the benefits of being the world’s top crypto exchange. That’ll include mentoring, technical advice, access to the Binance network and also support on non-technical organization-building activities like HR, admin and more. The maiden program will be held in San Francisco starting October 9 — applications to take part are open until September 14 . As is commonplace, the program will close with a demo day — the “BUIDLer Day” — which will see startups pitch to an audience of investors, media and other industry figures. Zhang explained that the focus on startups for the program is similar to the Binance fund. That, she said, includes projects focused infrastructure, public chain scalability, security, decentralized exchanges, wallets, custody, payment, coin stability, compliance, decentralized apps, gaming, virtual goods and more. Ideal candidates have not taken any investment yet since Binance is aiming to be the first check, said Zhang — who joined the crypto firm in May and was formerly an investment director with KPCB China

Binance launches an incubator program to develop early stage blockchain startups

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