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Season 3 of Binance Labs Incubation Program: Week 7 & 8 Recap

2022-01-27

Main Takeaways

  • Season 3 of Binance Labs Incubation Program reaches its last two weeks, with the nine incubation projects building their skills and knowledge further with valuable mentorship from industry leaders

  • In weeks 7 and 8, leaders of Animoca Brands and Perpetual Protocol were invited as mentors

After taking a 2-week break for the holidays, Season 3 of Binance Labs Incubation Program is back in full force!

Binance Labs, the venture capital arm and innovation incubator of Binance, has been organizing Season 3 of its Incubation Program since November 2021 to support promising projects in the blockchain space. As week 8 comes to an end, the remaining task left for the nine incubation projects would be to showcase their progress and traction during the highly anticipated BUIDLer Day.

Mentorship is a core component of the Binance Labs Incubation Program. The weekly fireside chat sessions were specially organized to give the nine incubation projects ample opportunity to hear the insights and receive valuable advice from industry leaders. The learning does not stop, even in the final two weeks of the Incubation Program. Leaders from Animoca Brands and Perpetual Protocol led the fireside chat sessions in weeks 7 and 8 respectively. 

Week 7: Levelling Up the Standards of Blockchain Projects with Animoca Brands

Co-Founder and Chairman of Animoca Brands, Yat Siu, led the fireside chat session for week 7. Founded in 2014, Animoca Brands is an established leader in digital entertainment, blockchain, and gamification. Operating as both a publisher and an investor of blockchain products, Animoca Brands boasts an impressive portfolio which includes virtual Metaverse startup The Sandbox. The Financial Times ranking of High Growth Companies Asia-Pacific 2021 includes Animoca Brands. 

A visionary in the gaming and blockchain industry, Yat Siu shared about his career journey and gave guidance on how to enhance blockchain projects to reach the highest standards. In particular, Yat Siu shared that the best projects have an inclusive community and are supported by data science. 

1. Create a sense of belonging within the community

In line with decentralization, many blockchain startups want their community to be self-run. Building a sense of belonging is extremely important here. As shared by Yat Siu, the key to building a strong-sharing community is to focus on the culture, beliefs and values of the community. Such projects represent the value of the community and are likely to do well. In the case of Sandbox, which is a subsidiary of Animoca Brands, Yat Siu shared that the followers are united in their belief that people can own a piece of land in the Metaverse. This sense of belonging within the community helps to build resilience and empathy amongst one another. 

2. Push the boundaries of your project with data

Data science is an important tool in all Web2 companies, and Yat Siu believes that the same can be expected in the Web3 world. From his observations, the most successful gaming companies are open-source because they collect more information, and these can be used for analysis and predictions. Data science is an extremely powerful tool to understand social behaviours and predict trends. When integrated with Web3 and the Metaverse world, Yat Siu believes that the data would produce many insights and expand our knowledge. The network effect would be really great. 

Week 8: Building a Successful Startup with Perpetual Protocol

The final fireside chat session for Season 3 was led by the Co-Founder of Perpetual Protocol, Yenwen Feng. Perpetual Protocol is the developer of a virtualized liquidity pool that is determined algorithmically and enables liquidity for markets with no makers.  It is also the largest derivatives DEX by daily trading volume, with an all time volume of over $17B and more than 3M trades executed. Prior to Perpetual Protocol, Yenwen was also the co-founder of a few crypto projects and consumer-facing startups.  

As an alumni of the Binance Labs Incubation Program and a seasoned entrepreneur with deep involvement in the DeFi space, Yenwen Feng gave advice to the incubation projects on navigating the blockchain industry as a startup. His valuable advice can be captured through two simple tips. 

1. Understand the market and find a product market fit 

The success of Perpetual Protocol did not come overnight, evident from how the team had to adapt or change their plans on multiple occasions. After they graduated from the Binance Labs Incubation Program, they realized that it was not a good time for fundraising and decided to focus on DeFi building instead. They failed countless times, but learned from these moments and grew. Their decisions ultimately paid off, with Perpetual Protocol able to fit a product market fit equipped with a highly supportive community. Yenwen Feng reminded the incubation projects to constantly work on improving their product. In the case of Perpetual Protocol, they recognize the competition coming from CEXs and are actively using different techniques with better capital efficiency and risk management. 

2. Mastering the art of fundraising 

Similar to the wider FinTech industry, many blockchain and crypto projects are seeking to plug gaps in the market in novel and innovative ways. Often, projects that want to turn their ideas to reality will consider fundraising. “How can we become better at fundraising?” is a question that many founders grapple with. In response, Yenwen Feng emphasized the importance of practice. Coming up with a pitch that is exceptional and stands out from the crowd takes ample time and effort. In fact, he recommends experimenting with different ways to explain the product in order to find one’s competitive edge. He also shared the importance of finding investors that care about the long-term strategy. These investors tend to be supportive of longer-term milestones and would be valuable for the project’s development. 

Preview of BUIDLer Day

In the past 8 weeks, the nine incubation projects have learned from the best and most experienced leaders within the blockchain industry. The immense progress which the incubation projects have made were evident during the recent BUIDLer Day, conducted on January 25th. Curious to know what happened during the BUIDLer Day? Fret not, an update is coming really soon.

In the meantime, do refer to the following blog posts for the previous bi-weekly recaps:

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).