We have launched a new accelerator program called Base Camp. Why are we doing this and why should you apply?
Well, we advise, invest and support the development of technologies for an open data economy. This is a mission, not just an investment strategy. We frame this open data economy in our Convergence Stack model: a set of privacy-protecting, peer-to-peer, and open-source technologies that will decentralize the cloud and unbundle the Internet platforms.
Building an open data economy cannot be achieved with just passive investing. As an LLP we invest our own money. If the objective of the organisation isn’t to return x multiple to limited partners then why limit ourselves to the same structure and activities. This gives us more freedom to innovate around what it means to be an investor in this space. So we are innovating. We are working with corporates through our Convergence Alliance. We are speaking to Government and regulators. And we are not limiting ourselves to a particular stage of investing. We will continue to invest and advise in seed-stage business through our incubator, but we will also support projects at a later stage and with a public token and Base Camp continues this theme by aiming to support pre-seed businesses.
Today, there is a massive knowledge and funding gap for founders that maybe just have an MVP. In 2017 and early 2018 some of these projects were turning to initial coin offerings (ICOs) to get money, but for many of those that did raise some money, the knowledge and networks offered by institutional investors were missing. Over the last 6 years, we have developed expertise in areas like crypto-economics, network growth, and customer acquisitions strategies that we think will be extremely valuable to founders. Base Camp looks to fill the early-stage funding gap and support great founders that share our mission.
An important criteria beyond mission alignment is value alignment. The Internet platforms that now dominate the web didn’t set out to eradicate privacy but they are the result of business model-based incentives and a lack of diversity in thinking. I am convinced that if we want the next billion dollars businesses to be different then we need to support founders with different values and don’t see the world as a zero-sum game to win. I want to see founders who want to have a positive social and environmental impact, and making money is a consequence of that rather than the primary objective.
As Andrew McAfee, co-author of Race Against the Machine said: “The world is one big data problem.” If this is the case, then data rights are the new human rights. An open, and fairer, the data economy is not just a business challenge, it is one of the biggest social and economic challenges of our time. If you share our mission and share our values we want to hear from you.
Take a look at the program details here, and if you are still not sure if the program is right for you, or that you might be too early or too large in your journey for Base Camp, message me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s chat.
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