Binance Labs is excited to accept Fall 2021 applications for its Incubation Program, which showcases the most promising blockchain projects and BUIDLers worldwide. The incubation program offers seed funding to the selected projects along with hands-on technical assistance, office hours, mentorship, networking opportunities, and the tools needed to kickstart the product development and commercialization process. It is geared towards helping projects become essential parts of the Binance ecosystem. From projects on Binance Smart Chain and DeFi to trading infrastructure, Binance Labs looks for innovative projects to increase mainstream crypto adoption around the world—find out what’s new in the latest program and apply today!
To learn more, please refer to our article: Apply Now for the Fall 2021 Edition of the Binance Incubation Program
Here are the frequently asked questions you may want to know.
How to apply?
What is the application process? How long will it take? What is the deadline for application? When will the projects know the results?
The application period is from today until Aug 18, and the review process will last until the end of August. All project applications will be carefully reviewed and selected applications will be invited to interviews on a rolling basis. After all applications are reviewed, offers will be sent out in late August and the program will officially start in September.
What are the requirements for joining the program?
We encourage innovative projects at any stage to apply for the program. Please refer to the investment section for more details on the investment valuation range. We also require selected teams to develop their product independently without outsourcing any development work.
What are the tips for showcasing the strength of the projects?
Please be as descriptive as possible in your application. Your application should showcase your motivation, understanding, expertise, and ideas.
Some optional but beneficial steps include a working demo or MVP to help us understand your concept and an optional 1-minute self-introduction video.
Can one team submit two project ideas?
While we understand some innovative technologies may have many different use cases, we suggest your team focus on the ideas they are most passionate and confident about. This will also help us better understand the core motivations of the team.
How many people should the team have before applying? Can a single person apply for the program too?
This program is open to seed-stage projects, which often only have 2 or 3 co-founders. Single founders can apply for the program as well, but from our experience, projects generally experience healthier growth when there is a co-founder to share the work. For a single founder, they have to be savvy in both business and technology.
What if the project team has a great idea but lacks technical expertise?
This program requires the team to independently develop their product throughout the program duration without outsourcing the development work. The program will be able to provide some technical advice and feedback, but ultimately the product team must be the core developers.
Does the team need to be incorporated before applying?
No, the team does not need to be incorporated before applying.
Can project teams that have applied in the previous seasons apply again?
Yes, projects which have applied in the previous seasons are welcome to apply again. Please feel free to point out the experience you have accumulated and how the team is more well-equipped to develop a better product.
If the projects have participated in another accelerator/launchpad program, can they still apply?
We encourage all innovative projects at any stage to apply for the program. Please refer to the investment section for more details on the investment valuation range. Please also let us know and include any legal documents (if necessary) for our review.
Can project teams submit another application if there are any business updates since the first one?
Please email us any business updates since your initial application at firstname.lastname@example.org. This will help us better manage our data and your application status. You will only need to submit a second application if there are major changes to your project—like a change of business focus or team, and please kindly indicate the details for our reference.
Can project teams apply if their ideas are to improve Binance’s existing products?
Absolutely, we are excited to hear about your ideas to improve Binance’s existing products and we will be more well-equipped to help you with your project.
Can a non-crypto project team apply for the program?
Yes, our main focus is in crypto and blockchain, but we are open to all types of innovations and products. Please refer to Q20 for more details. Your project will be reviewed equally with the criteria stated in Q22.
For this season, we are also encouraging applications from exchange infrastructure projects and products such as KYC-related products and technology, new on-chain analytic products and technology, and secured/encrypted SMS/email delivery solutions.
Who can project teams contact to ask for the latest update?
Due to a large number of applications, we are not able to provide individual feedback and updates to each application. Only selected applicants will be contacted for interviews. Please be patient and we promise to thoroughly review each application.
Do project teams need to have a working product or prototype before applying?
Having a demo or prototype certainly helps us understand your idea and capabilities, but we also accept applications with just the product idea as well. Applicants with just the product idea can compensate with stronger business and technical expertise, experience, and capabilities.
Can project teams request meetings with the incubation program operators? How can I know more and communicate with the program operators?
Please feel free to contact email@example.com. However, due to a large number of requests and questions, only serious inquiries will be answered.
Review & Selection Criteria
Who will be reviewing the applications?
All applications will be reviewed by the Investment and Research teams, they will come up with a score independently for each application based on the team, product idea, and technology as well as potential culture fit. Teams with the top scores will be selected for a round of interviews where other business and technology leaders from Binance will be involved to assess the applicants’ ideas and capabilities. The final class of incubatees will be selected based on the overall score, feedback from the interviewers, and approval from the investment committee.
Can project teams build on blockchains other than Binance Smart Chain?
Yes. We encourage all innovative projects to apply for the program, but we may just have stronger connections and networks within the Binance Smart Chain for introducing various successful projects to the incubatees as users and partners. We will also be able to provide more help if the project decides to build within the Binance ecosystem suite of infrastructure such as Binance Mini-Program and Binance Pay.
Do projects get an advantage by applying early?
The selection and review process will be performed on a rolling basis, early applicants will get interview opportunities earlier which may help them leave a deeper impression to the reviewers and interviewers. However, offers will only be sent out after all applications are reviewed and processed. Although it helps to submit your application early, we recommend you prioritize the quality of your application over speed.
What are the applications or sectors the program is focusing on?
We are particularly interested in projects that are creating consumer-facing dApps and potential Mini-Programs, payment & remittance solutions, social trading products, DeFi applications, scaling solutions, games, NFT, DAO governance, social network, mining optimization solutions, and algorithmic stablecoin solutions. In addition, we would also want to focus on infrastructure projects and products such as KYC products and technology, new on-chain analytic products and technology, and secured/encrypted SMS/email delivery solutions. We are open to any other innovative ideas as well.
Do projects get feedback on application results?
Unfortunately, due to a large number of applications, we are not able to get back to each application and provide feedback. However, we promise to review each application carefully and diligently.
How do we choose which project to be in the program and fund?
Here are a few of the key factors we take into consideration:
- Team: Does the team have any business and technical expertise for their product idea? What is their motivation for solving the market problem? Are they passionate about their product idea? What experience do they have? How well will they fit into our program?
- Product idea: What is the problem that they are trying to solve? How big is the market size? What is the business model? How is the competitive landscape? Do they have a prototype yet?
- Binance ecosystem support: What kind of support can Binance provide to the projects? How well can we help them?
When will the interviews be scheduled?
Interviews will be scheduled on a rolling basis. Once applications are reviewed, we will contact the selected teams to arrange an interview. Don’t worry if there’s no invitation within a few days of submission since there is usually a large number of applications for our team to process.
Can a project still apply and be selected if they have already raised seed funding? What is the stage of the project that would be selected?
Yes, we accept applications from projects at different stages. However, we generally have an investment valuation range. Please refer to the investment section for more details. Projects that only have the product idea may need to bridge the gap, depending on the team’s capabilities and experience.
What if the projects are building something more long-term and require more capital funding?
We also encourage long-term builders to apply for the program. We understand that innovative technologies may take more time for research and development. As long as the idea and the roadmap are clearly described in the application, it will not be a disadvantage. If the product proves to be promising and it requires more funding, participating in this program would help introduce the project to Binance and other investors for further investments.
Does the program only select projects that are planning to issue tokens?
No, we are indifferent to projects that may or may not plan to issue tokens. We place significantly more value on the team’s capabilities, product idea(s), and technology.
Does knowing someone at Binance help?
Feel free to include your contact in the application. We will communicate with your contact as an extra source of reference, but it may or may not help with your application.
How soon will the decisions be made?
Offers will only be sent out in late Aug after all applications are reviewed. The application opens from today until Aug 18.
How many projects will be selected?
We have not set a fixed number of slots but since this is a selective program focused on helping the best projects, the number of available slots will be very limited.
How much does the incubation program invest? How much investment will the projects get from Binance?
This program does not have a fixed valuation and investment consideration since there are always different cases where flexibility leads to the best outcome. We will send out different investment terms to selected projects that will typically involve seed funding for a 20% stake based on post-money valuation up to US$3 million.
Will you fund projects with the same ideas/competing in the same market?
From our experience, there will always be multiple worthy projects that tackle the same market problem. We will select and fund projects that are competing in the same market, but we will respect the business competition and will set up firewalls related to information sharing. Ultimately, if the market problem is a big enough issue, there will be enough space for multiple great projects offering different solutions to the users.
What is the expected investment horizon for Binance?
Unlike some investment funds, Binance does not have a set mandate of investment horizon and does not rush projects for investment returns. We believe projects need time to build their product and find their product-market fit.
Will the project teams get follow-on investments from Binance?
Follow-on investments will depend on the progress of the projects and the team’s performance during the incubation program. Binance does not want to miss out on opportunities to support and invest in innovative technologies and products. On the final presentation day of the program, the projects will also get an opportunity to present their ideas and products to investors, including Binance.
What is the valuation range for investment?
The seed investment of this program will generally involve a 20% stake based on post-money valuation up to US$3 million.
What is an incubation program?
The program offers seed funding to the selected projects along with hands-on technical assistance, office hours, mentorship, networking opportunities, and the tools needed to kickstart the product development and commercialization process. This program is geared towards helping projects become essential parts of the Binance ecosystem.
How is this program different from other incubator programs?
This program empowers blockchain and cryptocurrency entrepreneurs to build their projects with the support of the Binance ecosystem. Binance has expanded its ecosystem throughout the years into different areas, providing experience and a strong network to help projects prosper in the cryptocurrency space.
What happens during the program?
During the 10-week program that runs from September to November, project teams will get help from business and technical experts from Binance to develop their products, and learn about different topics such as tokenomics design, marketing, and entrepreneurship, etc. The projects teams will also develop a close relationship and learn from each other through constant engagement and interaction. On the final day, they will present their project ideas and product on BUIDLers’ Day to a panel of investors including Binance and the press.
When will the program start and how long will it last?
The program will start in September and last for 10 weeks. After the program ends, the project teams will become investment companies of Binance.
How will the program work across different regions?
The program will be virtual, and we will organize online meetings and calls to fit the teams' schedules. There may be some scheduling rotation if there are timezone conflicts.
What are the privileges of joining this program instead of raising and building on their own? How will this program help the projects?
There is no right or wrong approach. This program provides a strong kickstart for projects that want to build meaningful products within the blockchain and crypto space, especially if they are building within the Binance ecosystem. Being selected for this program also provides you with seed funding and connections to business and technology leaders from Binance.
Are there any notable alumni?
There are various projects from previous seasons that have already issued their tokens and rolled out their product to the market, some of which are listed on Binance. Some notable projects include Injective Protocol, Marlin Protocol, SafePal, Perpetual Protocol, Tellor, PhishFort, Dune Analytics, Cere Network, and many others.
Will the project teams get publicity from the program?
On the Open Day of the program and the final BUIDLers’ Day, the project teams will be introduced to the public as the incubatees of the season. There may also be additional opportunities to present and participate in various Binance events such as Binance Blockchain Week Conference.
Who are the mentors of this incubation program?
We will introduce business and technology leaders from Binance who are able to help the projects develop their product, and also provide help on topics including but not limited to technology infrastructure, tokenomics design, marketing, etc.
What will happen after the program ends?
After the program officially ends, the projects become investment companies of Binance. There will be continuous and regular communication with the project teams for any feedback and assistance they may need. Project leads will build valuable connections with leaders from Binance, and we will also continue to refer helpful contacts and connections to the project teams when suitable.
Does getting into the program translate to getting listed on Binance?
Unfortunately, no, a listing is a different process and project teams will have to develop their products and tokens up to standard before they are listed on Binance. However, mentors from this program will be able to offer advice on tokenomics, networks, and product design that can help projects reach quality standards quicker. Project teams may get priority in listing review, but ultimately the projects and products still have to gain sufficient market traction and user adoption for listing on Binance.
For any other questions, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.