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Zilliqa launches US$5M fund to support startups

Zilliqa Senior Vice President of Ecosystem Development Han Wen Chua wants to help companies build innovative blockchain solutions. Image credit: Zilliqa
Zilliqa Senior Vice President of Ecosystem Development Han Wen Chua wants to help companies build innovative blockchain solutions. Image credit: Zilliqa

ZILHive, the ecosystem growth arm of Singapore-based high-performance blockchain platform Zilliqa, has launched a strategic annual investment fund of up to US$5 million for 15 promising companies building on the Zilliqa platform.

“ZILHive has always had big ambitions: to drive more open and inclusive finance and commerce gateways for communities and companies worldwide, and power the Web 3.0 era. We have now doubled our investment into high-potential startups and initiatives in service of this goal: guiding entrepreneurs right from the drawing board, seeding and nurturing them to become not merely a blockchain success story, but provide truly useful applications for people,” said Zilliqa Senior Vice President of Ecosystem Development Han Wen Chua in a press statement.

Building the ecosystem

This investment will be funneled through two new initiatives in the ZILHive ecosystem — ZILHive Incubator and ZILHive Ventures. These two initiatives serve to supplement the US$5 million already previously committed to grants, accelerator, and education initiatives in 2018.

To bolster ecosystem growth, ZILHive will essentially consist of five key initiatives: ZILHive Incubator, ZILHive Accelerator, ZILHive Ventures, ZILHive Grants, and ZILHive Education. Through these initiatives, ZILHive will be able to achieve three key objectives: developing a ready pool of technical talent to recruit from; providing venture-building programs to assist entrepreneurs at different stages of maturity; and funding the most promising ideas. The two new pillars of Incubator and Ventures will help ZILHive realize these objectives, making it a more holistic, effective and end-to-end program that benefits the entrepreneurs, the Zilliqa economy and in effect, ZIL token holders in 2021.

Aimed at budding tech talent and entrepreneurs, the ZILHive Incubator is a 14-week program that looks to match the best developers and industry professionals as they build innovative blockchain solutions on the Zilliqa protocol. The ZILHive Incubator is estimated to run from May 4-Aug. 10. Applications are currently open until April 26. 

The incubator will be tailored to the needs of both technical and non-technical participants which ensures that participants do not require prior experience with blockchain to get involved. Teams will develop their projects through mentorship sessions, masterclasses, and workshops. Outstanding participants will have the opportunity to showcase their projects to potential investors and industry partners at Zilliqa’s annual town hall event in August 2021. 

Supporting the next wave

To support more mature projects, ZILHive Ventures will look to focus on developing projects that are built using the Zilliqa protocol. The US$5M fund will invest between US$50,000 to US$500,000 into promising companies in exchange for equity, tokens, or a combination of both. The fund aims to invest in 15 companies annually from around the world.

The best projects hoping to further scale and seeking growth capital for expansion will be referred to Zilliqa Capital, the recently launched central business and investment hub aimed at investing in decentralized and fintech solutions to grow Southeast Asia’s fintech and emerging tech ecosystem. 

ZILHive’s new Incubator and Venture Fund bookends Zilliqa’s existing innovation lifecycle, offering holistic support to the next wave of global talent. ZILHive participants will be assisted from start to finish, from idea generation and business matching, technical and non-technical education, mentorship, capital support, to counsel on taking-to-market strategies, partnerships, and business development. 

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