R3 Venture Development—Why We’re Moving to a Tiered Program and What it Means for Blockchain Founders
At R3, we think a lot about how we can help accelerate adoption of enterprise blockchain technology. Part of this effort is centered around creating a robust ecosystem of talented entrepreneurs working on solutions in the space. That’s why we created the Venture Development program, an initiative aimed at supporting early-stage startups working on B2B applications using distributed ledger technology. If you read my last blog post, you’d see that we’ve gained a ton of momentum since the program started just one year ago.
In the last 12 months, we’ve learned a lot through our community of over 550 startups. We listened to what type of resources early-stage blockchain founders need most and when and how they want that support delivered. Entrepreneurs working on enterprise-focused, blockchain-based solutions are confronted with unique challenges compared to conventional technology startups. What are the best practices to build and deploy an enterprise-grade distributed system? How should we define governance rules and standards for a “competitive collaboration”? What is the best way to handle dispute resolution on an immutable record? The Venture Development team has spent the last year identifying the pain points within our community and creating revised programming to better serve these needs.
All of this work has finally culminated in our program refresh. In order to better serve our founders, we have decided to relaunch the Venture Development program with three new tiers: Community, Program and Fast-Track. At its core, our program remains focused on serving early-stage startups (pre-seed to Series A) working on enterprise blockchain applications.
The new Community Tier will allow us to reach a greater audience and broaden our ecosystem. Early-stage founding teams can join our Community program to get access to our Founders Slack workspace and monthly newsletter, invitations to our exclusive networking events and access to our community webinars and startup series.
Our Community program is open to founders at any stage of their Corda journey, even if they are currently building on any layer 1 platform. From there, founders can be invited to join our official Program tier, where they gain access to our self-serve Venture Development Portal, which hosts workshops and other educational content, a directory of our mentor network spanning 200+ industry leaders and technical experts from around the globe, and access up to $200K worth of perks from companies like Hubspot, DocSend, Stripe, Brex, Expensify and many more. Program participants will also get access to meet 1–1 with our advisors from our Mentor Network via office hours. They will also receive a discount for the Corda Developer Certification and an invitation to our monthly CTO roundtable where technical leaders gather and discuss key challenges and strategies around CorDapp development.
One of the most consistent pieces of feedback from our program participants has been around the value of our investor network and corporate partners. Fundraising and business development are the two most fundamental activities for startups in the go-to-market stage, and that’s why we’ve decided to create the Fast-Track tier to accelerate time to market for the most promising Corda startups.
The Fast-Track tier is an invite-only tier reserved for high quality startups with a MVP on Corda. This select group of participants have access to our global Investor Network through 1–1 meetings in our Investor Sprints and annual Demo Day. We will also be launching an Industry Roundtable series to regularly connect Fast-Track startups with our corporate partners for potential business development opportunities. Fast-Track startups will receive additional perks, including up to $100,000 in AWS credits and quarterly technical review sessions with our R3 internal engineering team. We will also work to support these companies in various marketing initiatives to further promote their success externally. For us, the Fast-Track tier serves as an opportunity to offer more hands-on support for mature Corda-based solutions and provide our R3 customers with exciting and relevant opportunities to further their Corda exploration.
We’re so excited about what’s ahead and all the ways we’ll continue to build out our program even further. Above all else, we promise to keep listening, testing and iterating to grow with our community and the evolution of this rapidly advancing technology.
Are you working on a project that could be eligible for our Venture Development program?
We accept startups into our community on a continuous basis. Sign up here to join.