Hong Kong-headquartered blockchain-focused game developer Animoca Brands and global venture accelerator Brinc have launched Launchpad Luna, a new accelerator program for non-fungible tokens (NFT) startups.

The program will identify, mentor, and invest in promising blockchain and NFT startups that are shaping the future of the web and driving digitalization. Launchpad Luna will also accept high-potential startups seeking to adopt blockchain and NFTs into their core business, according to a statement.

Applications are now open at www.launchpadluna.com.

The accelerator program will identify and foster NFT innovation in the fields of culture, art, entertainment, media, gaming, streaming, collectibles, insurance, finance, and data management; DeFi and additional verticals will be added in the future.

High-potential early-stage projects and startups around the globe that are accepted into the acceleration program will receive training, a launchpad, and a monetary investment of up to $500,000 (or equivalent) in exchange for equity and tokens.

“Launchpad Luna is an initiative that furthers our mission to enable a more inclusive digital economy and we are honored at the level of enthusiasm and support we have received from the global NFT community. Brinc’s presence and network significantly increase our pathways into Europe, the Middle East, and China, and we look forward to establishing a new ecosystem of accelerators and startups at the epicenter of regional start-up activity that will allow us to contribute to the shape of the future,” Animoca Brands Co-Founder and Chairman Yat Siu said.

“Given the rapid evolution of this market, startups need a support system to navigate the shifting landscape of platforms, chains, and go-to-market strategies, while investors need confidence that the projects they are backing have solid foundations and are ready for growth and scale,” Brinc Founder and Chief Executive Officer Manav Gupta said.

The new accelerator has extensive support from various mentors and corporate partners including AppWorks, Blockparty, Dapper Labs (the company behind CryptoKitties, NBA Top Shot, and Flow Blockchain), EllioTrades, Featured by Binance, Gabby Dizon (co-founder of Yield Guild Games), Harmony (ONE), Hedera Hashgraph (HBAR), Mai Fujimoto (Miss Bitcoin), Mateen Soudagar (DCLBlogger), Metakovan (Metapurse), Mindfund, Sebastien Borget (co-founder of The Sandbox and chairman of the Blockchain Gamer Alliance), Virtually Human Studio (creators of ZED RUN), WhaleShark, among others.

Launchpad Luna aims to shape the blockchain industry to embrace awareness of environmental concerns such as climate change. Admission to the program will be prioritized for climate-conscious projects that drive digitalization, that place emphasis on proof-of-stake protocols and sidechains instead of proof-of-work, and that have lower overall physical footprints.

Accepted entrants will receive training in optimizing a blockchain business to minimize energy use and carbon emissions. This is in line with Brinc’s plan to invest and support the development of more than 1,000 climate conscious startups in the next five years.

Startups accepted into the Launchpad Luna program will benefit from a unique combination of technical resources on product development, token design, fundraising, marketing, research, analytics support, and data management.

Startups will also receive support to help them scale all aspects of their businesses, including access to world-class mentors in the crypto world along with key exchanges, chains, marketers, and investors within the networks of Animoca Brands and Brinc.

Global NFT market surged to $2.5 billion in sales in the first half of 2021, up from $13.7 million in the first half of 2020, Reuters reported. According to a recent report by Nonfungible.com, the NFT ecosystem is now growing faster, appeals to increasing numbers of new users, and supports the highest average asset prices yet.

In early 2021, Brinc took over management of the investments into 50 AI-focused companies from Zeroth.ai, Animoca Brands’ accelerator for artificial intelligence startups. This collaboration laid the foundation for the new accelerator program as both organizations recognized a broader opportunity to scale value creation by leveraging each other’s expertise.

Brinc has made over 160 investments and is one of the world’s leading venture accelerators. Animoca Brands has invested in more than 60 businesses that are built around the use and/or trade of NFTs, and has launched various blockchain projects including The Sandbox metaverse and the REVV Motorsport token and platform.

Animoca Brands, which recently achieved unicorn status, develops and publishes a broad portfolio of products including the REVV token and SAND token; original games including The Sandbox, Crazy Kings, and Crazy Defense Heroes; and products utilizing popular intellectual properties including Formula 1 ®, Marvel, WWE, Power Rangers, MotoGP™, and Doraemon.

Animoca Brands’ portfolio of blockchain investments and partnerships includes Sky Mavis (Axie Infinity), Dapper Labs (CryptoKitties and NBA Top Shot), OpenSea, Harmony, Bitski, and Alien Worlds. Its subsidiaries include The Sandbox, Quidd, Gamee, nWay, Pixowl, and Lympo.

Animoca Brands hits unicorn status after completing $138.88M capital raise with second tranche of $50M

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