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Season 3 of Binance Labs Incubation Program: Week 1 & 2 Recap

2021-11-27

It has been two weeks since Season 3 of the Incubation Program by Binance Labs has commenced. So far, the nine incubation projects have been given ample opportunities to learn and grow through dedicated mentorship.

Main takeaway

  • Binance Labs has successfully kicked off Season 3 of its Incubation Program, with nine incubation projects across different sectors of the industry

  • For 2 weeks, the incubation projects have received mentorship from the leaders of Polygon, DoraHacks, and Zokyo

Binance Labs, the venture capital arm and innovation incubator of Binance, is currently running Season 3 of its Incubation Program to support promising projects in the blockchain space.

An integral part of Binance Labs’ Incubation Program is mentorship. Through regular weekly fireside chat sessions and workshops, the nine incubation projects are able to interact with and learn from industry leaders and mentors. In the past two weeks, the leaders of Polygon, DoraHacks, and Zokyo had speaking opportunities with the projects.

Week 1: Building Strong Foundations with Polygon

During the first weekly fireside chat session, Binance Labs invited Co-founder of Polygon, Sandeep Nailwal, as a mentor. Polygon is an Ethereum side-chain solution that was incubated by Binance Labs during Season 2 of its Incubation Program. Polygon has proven itself to be a market-leading solution and has successfully scaled over 3000 dApps. 

As an alumni and leader within the blockchain industry, Sandeep Nailwal shared about Polygon’s journey and the lessons his team learned along the way. He emphasized the importance of building strong foundations, and his advice can be encapsulated in three simple tips. 

1. Have a clearly defined goal

Blockchain projects prosper when the team has a clearly defined goal in mind. Product development and business operations are geared towards achieving this goal, and it keeps the team focused and motivated. For Polygon, its mission has always been to become the most adopted network. This mission has kept them going and remains enforced to this day. 

2. Provide a smooth user experience

Adoption is a commonly used metric to measure the success of blockchain projects. To that end, Sandeep Nailwail shared that a smooth user experience is the most effective and sustainable way to improve adoption. Users and developers seek solutions that are effortless for themselves, and providing a top-notch user experience plays a huge role in providing that. 

3. Attract senior leaders to facilitate scalability

The blockchain and crypto industry moves at a very fast pace. Many entrepreneurs and start-ups find themselves overwhelmed and overstretched when their demand explodes. While this can often be viewed as a ‘happy problem’, it is important that investments are made into attracting talents, especially within the senior leadership level. In the long run, having a talented team with respected leaders would increase the scalability and adoption of the products and services. 

Week 2: Improving Brand Marketing with DoraHacks

In the second week, a workshop on marketing and user acquisition was conducted by a mentor from DoraHacks, a long-term partner of Binance and co-organizer of Season 3 of the Incubation Program. DoraHacks is a global hackathon organizer and boasts one of the world’s most active Web 3.0 developer communities. Thus far, Dora’s infrastructure for quadratic governance of their developer communities has been used by over 20 mainstream Web 3.0 ecosystems.

DoraHacks has achieved much success in creating a community and ecosystem which supports Web 3.0 developers. Mysterious Man (an anonymous name), the mentor who led the workshop believes that marketing plays an important role in the success of blockchain projects. During his workshop session, Mysterious Man offered advice on building a successful marketing strategy. 

1. Leverage the power of community

DoraHacks is a testament to the power that a vibrant community can bring to blockchain projects. As shared by Mysterious Man, DoraHacks views community engagement as an integral part of their business. Having a community-centric approach has allowed them to collect millions worth of grants and donations. In the same way, Mysterious Man believes that other blockchain entrepreneurs and start-ups should find ways to actively include their community within their processes. 

2. Build meaningful partnerships

Building meaningful partnerships is an important aspect of every good business operation. Naturally, blockchain entrepreneurs and start-ups should dedicate the time and resources needed to establish a friendly relationship with all stakeholders, including other industry players, their user base, and the media. Creating brand awareness, especially within the blockchain space, can be hard as the industry evolves very quickly and new players emerge all the time. These partnerships would go a long way in helping to establish and cement the brand’s presence within the space and in people’s minds.

3. Create and be part of the latest trend

Social media has added a new dimension to marketing campaigns. Trends come and go very quickly in this new age, and it is extremely important for blockchain entrepreneurs and start-ups to keep up with the latest trends. To increase brand awareness, there needs to be infusion of the latest trends, be it memes or various social media challenges. Blockchain entrepreneurs and start-ups should even consider going one step further and create their own trends. Change is a constant, especially within the blockchain industry, and marketing campaigns should adapt accordingly. 

Week 2: Developing Secure & Reliable Projects with Zokyo

CEO and Founder of Zokyo, Hartej Sawhney, led the fireside chat session for week 2. Founded in 2016, Zokyo is an end-to-end security resource that is dedicated to bringing cybersecurity into the blockchain space. In 2019, Forbes ranked Zokyo (formerly called Hosho) as the #1 smart contract auditor.

Backed by a talented team consisting of world-renowned hackers, cryptographers, and engineers, Zokyo is experienced in discovering vulnerabilities within blockchain projects and assisting in fixing them. Hartej Sawhney guided the incubation projects through the process of creating secure projects, and offered handy recommendations to them. 

1. Allocate sufficient time for multiple audits

Before projects can be confidently rolled out to users, blockchain entrepreneurs and start-ups should ensure that multiple audits are conducted. This would help identify vulnerabilities within the code that might compromise the security and reliability of the project. As projects are getting increasingly complex, it is best if the project can be audited in-house first, before a third-party auditor is engaged. Each audit takes 2 to 3 weeks and sufficient time needs to be budgeted for this vital process. 

2. Be transparent with the community

Good auditors would analyse every aspect of a blockchain project, including tokenomics. At times, there is a need for the tokenomics to be changed. Such changes would directly affect the community. It is very important that any changes made are communicated clearly and transparently to the community. The greatest mistake would be to ‘ghost’ them and leave their questions unanswered. 

3. Measure and track growth 

Growth analytics is an important aspect of every business, and blockchain projects are not exempted from it. Projects should measure their rate of growth over time using a variety of metrics. Aside from providing greater clarity on the project’s development, growth analytics is also useful to prepare for fundraising rounds. Projects have to reach a certain level of growth before they can conduct the first, and subsequent, rounds to raise money. 

Incubation Project Updates

9 incubation projects participating in the Incubation Program are continuously developing their products and here are some updates Binance Labs and the incubation projects would like to share.

Block Ape Scissors is continuously communicating with the community; reaching 12K followers on Twitter, running a Discord AMA for users, sharing updates through YouTube videos. On top of that, Block Ape Scissors sold out the entire collection (10,000 NFTs) of Gamester NFTs in less than 12 hours. 

The TVL (Total Value Locked) of the smart tokens (the tokens created on Mint Club protocol) increased 5 times from the week before, 500+ smart token projects were created during the week and the MINT token price increased by more than 100%. A new project will be launched soon on top of Mint Club protocol, called 1s. market, which is a time-based token marketplace. Through 1s. market, users will be able to create a time-based token with any Twitter link by using the Mint Club smart contract.

GAT Network will add new features for users on the NFT Market Minted Vodka. With the new changes, the UI will be more clean, versatile, powerful and responsive. Also, all users’ NFTs will be displayed on all supported chains with detailed views to trade or send an NFT. To celebrate new milestones, GAT Network launched a giveaway event that users can participate here.

SkyArk Studio hit 3,000 followers in just weeks of its Twitter channel launch. Through the Twitter channel, users can keep up-to-date with the game’s progress, and SkyArk Studio will also include details on future token presales, giveaways, and sneak peeks. Also, the website, game teaser video, and whitepaper will be released soon.

Bird announced its brand new type of NFT, the Analytics NFT, also known as aNFT, going cross-chain. The aNFT is the first NFT that incorporates a user’s unique wallet history into the generative algorithm and trait assignment. With an aNFT, your on-chain behaviors become part of the NFT minted from Bird’s custom NFT platform.

Copycat Finance reached a new all-time high at $0.54 with a growth rate of more than 54x after officially joining as a Binance Labs portfolio, bringing a new all-time high market capitalization of over $10 million. Also, Copycat Finance launched a new pool “$30M Diamond Hand Program”, which is specially designed for giving benefits to all the beloved Copycat diamond hands. 

Preview of Week 3-4

There are many other amazing sessions waiting for the founders of incubation projects, including a fireside chat with the CMO of Binance, Yi He.

Follow Binance Labs on Twitter to stay up-to-date with the Binance Labs Incubation Program and other initiatives. For those who are interested, application for Season 4 of the Incubation Program is now available here

Disclaimer: The incubation projects are in collaboration with Binance Labs only. Binance exchange currently bears no responsibility and is not connected to any of their future release of tokens (if any).