Apr 20, 2023 - Economy

DivInc to launch blockchain accelerator program

Illustration of a plant shaped like a cog being watered by a watering can

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Austin-based DivInc, a startup accelerator that supports young companies founded by women and people of color, announced Thursday that it will focus its next program on blockchain technology.

Why it matters: Cryptocurrency enthusiasts and their venture-capitalist backers — all mostly men — have raised tens of billions of dollars to create web3, the third generation of the internet being built on a foundation of cryptocurrency and blockchain tech. Critics worry about who it's leaving behind.

  • Building new technology and an online world without diverse founders risks replicating the same biases that exist in the physical world, according to a recent report from Boston Consulting Group.

State of play: It's DivInc's first accelerator dedicated to startups in the blockchain and web3 world, and an effort to elevate the voices of underrepresented founders in the buzzy space.

Details: The DWeb for Social Impact Accelerator will offer programming, one-one-one meetings with entrepreneurs and resources to understand decentralized tools and technologies to founders.

  • Up to 10 companies will be accepted to the 12-week program, which will run from September through November.
  • Each company will receive $10,000 in seed funding upon completion.
  • Startup founders can apply on DivInc's website.

What they're saying: "Our goal is to see our creative tech economy founders playing a major role in building high-growth companies and benefitting from the emerging DWeb and web3 for the greater good," DivInc CEO Preston James said in a statement. "This partnership with [Filecoin Foundation for the Decentralized Web] is a huge leap forward in that pursuit.”

Between the lines: Despite the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX late last year, cryptocurrencies are still touted as the future of finance, though they will likely face more scrutiny from regulators.

Worth noting: CoinDesk's Consensus conference returns to Austin this year, bringing together throngs of crypto enthusiasts for programming around blockchain, crypto, web3 and the metaverse.

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