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The Sandbox Announces $50million Investment in the Sandbox Metaverse Accelerator Programme

The open metaverse is set for considerable redevelopment as The Sandbox Metaverse Accelerator Programme plans to invest in 30 to 40 blockchain startups a year; granting up to $250,000 for each participating startup. The programme’s top performers will also receive SAND and LAND grants, along with follow-on investment and access to high-profile mentors.

The Sandbox, the decentralised gaming metaverse and a subsidiary of Animoca Brands, has committed $50million to the venture accelerator Brinc, for The Sandbox Metaverse Accelerator Programme.

With the first cohort scheduled to start in Q2 2022, The Sandbox Metaverse Accelerator Programme is a dedicated track within Launchpad Luna, the accelerator launched in mid-2021 as a partnership between Brinc and Animoca Brands. The new programme aims to accelerate 30 to 40 startups a year over a three-year period.

The Sandbox co-founder Sebastien Borget
Sebastien Borget

“Disruptive moments are a great time to start a new business,” says the Sandbox co-founder Sebastien Borget. “We’ve launched this accelerator to fuel the next wave of innovation, supporting a diverse array of entrepreneurs as they create jobs and build new tools, platforms and services for the metaverse. Creativity, utility, and curiosity — these are the skills for the metaverse generation.”

The programme has been organised to invest in, mentor, educate, and support startup development, while also providing access to potential partnerships and business development opportunities across the growing networks of The Sandbox, Animoca Brands, and Brinc. The programme is specifically 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 programme will receive an initial investment of up to $250,000 each. The Sandbox will also provide further grants of up to $150,000 in SAND tokens to the best performers, as well as LAND grants. Startups that demonstrate traction post-programme will also be able to apply for follow-on investment from The Sandbox, Animoca Brands, and Brinc.

The core directive of The Sandbox Metaverse Accelerator Programme 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, collectables, culture, entertainment, gaming, media, content, and streaming, are encouraged to apply.

Participants are also set to enjoy access to on-the-ground mentors. Aside from Yat Siu from Animoca Brands, Sebastien Borget from The Sandbox and Manav Gupta from Brinc, mentors to the programme include Holly Atkinson, former head of Metaverse Technology at Boson Protocol, Holly Liu, co-founder of Kabam, Janine Yorio, chief executive officer of Republic Realm and Leah Callon-Butler, director of Emfarsis and columnist at CoinDesk.

Aside from its impressive mentor lineup, the programme has also partnered with a collection of entertainment partnerships including 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.

Commenting on the partnership and the launch of the Accelerator programme, Borget comments: “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 realise 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
Yat Siu

Siu added: “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 programmes that support founders to innovate in and scale up the creator economy.”

Gupta closed with: “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, collectables, 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 democratise 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.”

Author

  • Tyler is a fintech journalist with specific interests in online banking and emerging AI technologies. He began his career writing with a plethora of national and international publications.

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