The Sandbox and Brinc’s $50 Million Open Metaverse Accelerator Program Looks to Fund 100 startups

Matt Swayne
sandbox
Sandbox and Brinc partner on a metaverse accelerator program.

PRESS RELEASE — The Sandbox, a leading decentralized gaming metaverse and a subsidiary of Animoca Brands, has committed$50 million ( US) to Brinc, a leading global venture accelerator, for The Sandbox Metaverse Accelerator Program, which will target 100 startups to enhance the open metaverse.

With applications now open and the first cohort scheduled to start in Q2 2022, The Sandbox Metaverse Accelerator Program is a dedicated track within Launchpad Luna, the accelerator launched in mid-2021 as a partnership between Brinc and Animoca Brands. The new program aims to accelerate 30 to 40 startups a year over a three-year period. The program will invest in, mentor, educate, and support the development of promising startups and projects while also providing access to potential partnerships and business development opportunities across the growing networks of The Sandbox, Animoca Brands, and Brinc.

The new program is looking for startups that can enhance the open metaverse, who will be evaluated on their traction, technical expertise, and ability to deliver unique experiences. Startups accepted into the program will receive an initial investment of up to US$250,000 each. The Sandbox will also provide further grants of up to US$150,000 in SAND tokens to the best performers, as well as LAND grants. Startups that demonstrate meaningful traction post-program can also apply for follow-on investment from The Sandbox, Animoca Brands, and Brinc.

The core directive of The Sandbox Metaverse Accelerator Program is to support the launch of new startups that can contribute to the growth and expansion of The Sandbox ecosystem by building unique experiences and populating the platform with fresh creativity and new content. Pioneering blockchain startups in the fields of art, collectibles, culture, entertainment, gaming, media, content, and streaming, are encouraged to apply. Accelerated startups will be empowered to contribute to The Sandbox’s rapidly growing ecosystem and actively engage with its existing and growing user base. Online applications are now open at: brinc.io/metaverse.

The Sandbox Metaverse Accelerator Program will support the open metaverse built on shared values and through open, transparent, decentralized governance. This will replace the current paradigm of closed platforms thanks to powerful network effects, creating a more sustainable digital future.

High-profile mentors supporting the program — alongside Yat Siu (Animoca Brands)Sebastien Borget (The Sandbox), Manav Gupta (Brinc) — include: Cathy Hackl (CEO of Futures Intelligence Group), Holly Atkinson (lead blockchain developer at The Sandbox), Holly Liu (co-founder of Kabam), Janine Yorio (CEO of Republic Realm), Leah Callon-Butler (director of Emfarsis and columnist at CoinDesk), Pavel Bains (co-founder of Bluzelle), Serena Tabacchi (director and co-founder of Museum of Contemporary Digital Art), Susan Cummings (CEO of Petaverse Network), Yam Karkai (co-founder of World of Women), and Yingzi Yuan (founder and builder of Metaverse Summit). Web 3.0 leaders from Altitude Games, Binance, Dragonfly Capital, Republic Crypto, and True Global Ventures will also provide mentorship.

The Sandbox metaverse aims to revolutionise how people interact in their day-to-day lives, including how users interact socially, shop, or consume entertainment. Recent partnerships with The Sandbox include Snoop Dogg, who owns virtual land in the metaverse and will give users VIP access to concerts, events and dedicated digital items; Atari, the pioneer of arcade games that has seen recent success as a global gaming brand with RollerCoaster Tycoon, who will introduce IPs from its portfolio to the Sandbox metaverse; and Skybound Entertainment, who brought The Walking Dead game experience to the virtual world.

Brinc continues to invest and support startups in the open metaverse, which represents the new digital frontier. Key areas of focus include entertainment, education, and inclusivity through a more equitable digital economy. The new program will support startups by integrating sustainability, inclusion, and equitability into their business models.

Partnership Commentary

Sebastien Borget, co-founder of The Sandbox and chairman of the Blockchain Gamer Alliance, said: “The Sandbox’s Metaverse Accelerator is a major expansion of our ongoing commitment to support the next generation of metaverse entrepreneurs. With imagination, ideas and hard work, startups from all over the world can realize their visions and drive societal impact by creating more opportunities for everyone. We’re especially eager to support underrepresented founders in their ambitions as they explore the infinite possibilities offered into The Sandbox ecosystem.”

Yat Siu, executive chairman and co-founder of Animoca Brands, said: “The open metaverse will not be owned by any single entity and thus presents an incredible opportunity to create a participatory and collaborative nonzero-sum environment based on openness, equitability, user governance, and digital property rights. We’re proud that our partnership with Brinc is powering accelerator programs that support founders to innovate in and scale up the creator economy.”

Manav Gupta, founder and CEO of Brinc, said: “We believe the metaverse is not just a destination but a new way of talking about an equitable and more sustainable future. For example, as digital experiences develop, we will find ourselves having fewer reasons to emit carbon to travel for work or play. We may even reduce purchases of physical world products (art, collectibles, merchandise, etc.) that usually have highly unsustainable means of production and are major contributors to climate change. New metaverse startups and Web 3.0 technologies have the potential to not only develop new ways to work and play, but also to democratize access to financial services, education and entertainment. We believe that for the metaverse to thrive, we need developers and content creators to thrive — and this accelerator provides the perfect platform to enable them to do so.”

About The Sandbox

The Sandbox, a subsidiary of Animoca Brands, is one of the decentralized virtual worlds that has been fueling the recent growth of virtual real-estate demand, having partnered with major IPs and brands including The Walking Dead, Atari, Rollercoaster Tycoon, Care Bears, The Smurfs, Shaun the Sheep, and Binance. Building on existing The Sandbox IP that has more than 40 million global installs on mobile, The Sandbox metaverse offers players and creators a decentralized and intuitive platform to create immersive 3D worlds and game experiences and to safely store, trade, and monetize their creations.

For more information, please visit www.sandbox.game.

About Brinc

Headquartered in Hong Kong, Brinc is a leader in global venture acceleration, operating 18 multidisciplinary accelerator programs in seven countries. Brinc accelerates startups focused on Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain technology, artificial intelligence, connected hardware, drones, robotics, clean energy and food technology, all within a sustainability mandate.

Brinc has a portfolio of 200+ companies with founders from over 35 countries. Brinc also supports corporations with investment services, distributed innovation strategies, sourcing of new startups and technologies, as well as venture-building Web 3.0-enabled businesses. Global corporations (Manulife, Huawei, Schneider Electric, Puma, Batelco, Merck, Omantel, Linrun Group, Zhihui Park), government organizations (Hong Kong Science Park, NEOM, MBRIF, Guangdong Soft-tech Park), tertiary institutions (HK City University, National University of Singapore) and leading venture funds (Artesian, LeverVC, Tamkeen, EDB) have all run programs with Brinc. In 2021, Brinc launched a series of venture funds to invest in high-potential early stage companies through accelerators and provide LPs with a dedicated innovation platform and access to Series A+ co-investment opportunities.

Learn more about Brinc: www.brinc.io and Brinc’s commitment to developing sustainable systems.

About Launchpad Luna

Animoca Brands and global venture accelerator Brinc launched Launchpad Luna in mid-2021 to identify, mentor, and invest in promising blockchain and non-fungible tokens (NFT) startups that are shaping the future of the Web and driving digitalisation. The Launchpad Luna accelerator collaborates with world leading platforms, brands and mentors to identify and foster Web3 & NFT innovation in the fields of culture, art, entertainment, media, gaming, streaming, collectibles, insurance, finance, data management and DeFi. The first cohort invested in 27 startups across these verticals.

About Animoca Brands

Animoca Brands, a Deloitte Tech Fast winner and ranked in the Financial Times list of High Growth Companies Asia-Pacific 2021, is a leader in digital entertainment, blockchain, and gamification. It develops and publishes a broad portfolio of products including the REVV token and SAND token; original games including The SandboxCrazy Kings, and Crazy Defense Heroes; and products utilizing popular intellectual properties including Formula 1®, Disney, WWE, Power Rangers, MotoGP™, and Doraemon. The company has multiple subsidiaries, including The SandboxBlowfish StudiosQuiddGAMEEnWayPixowlBondly, and Lympo. Animoca Brands has a growing portfolio of more than 150 investments in NFT-related companies and decentralized projects that are contributing to building the open metaverse, including Axie Infinity, OpenSea, Dapper Labs (NBA Top Shot), Yield Guild Games, Harmony, Alien Worlds, Star Atlas, and others. For more information visit www.animocabrands.com or follow on Twitter or Facebook.

Learn More: https://blog.brinc.io/animoca-brands-and-brinc-launch-nft-accelerator-launchpad-luna-7e7490c0805e

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