Public blockchain network Nervos has launched a virtual incubator for early-stage startups building decentralized applications (dapps).
Dubbed CK Labs, the incubator will fund startups developing their dapps on Nervos’ platform and introduce the products to major crypto investors to help bring products to market. The firm thinks the incubator can help further develop its own two-layer blockchain platform, too.
CK Labs comes a few months after the open source network pledged to award $30 million in grants to development teams that help Nervos improve its layer one infrastructure.
“There are still many more infrastructure improvements to come, but the launch of CK Labs marks the next phase of Nervos as we start expanding the network’s utility with dapps and Layer 2 solutions,” Kevin Wang, co-founder of Nervos, told CoinDesk.
The firm will initially allocate $5 million to help the startups bring their products to market while providing them with access to major crypto venture capital firms including Polychain Capital, Multicoin Capital, Dragonfly Capital and 1confirmation.
According to Nervos, any startup with an existing minimum viable product could apply for, and potentially receive, up to $100,000 in equity-free capital plus join a four-month program designed to help the teams get a deeper understanding of the Nervos’ infrastructure and the resources needed to launch or scale products on the network.
Founded in 2018, the San Francisco-based Nervos has raised over $100 million. It secured a $28 million Series A funding led by Polychain and Sequoia China in July 2018 and a $72 million token sale in November. Its two-layer open network aims to maintain as high a level of security as the Bitcoin network, while increasing scalability through a side chain.
Meet the new boss
CK Labs will be headed by Ben Morris. Morris comes from Status, an Ethereum-based messaging platform where he headed its incubator program. He led investments into Matrix, Pixura and LeapDAO, three startups focused on improving the scalability of Ethereum-based networks.
Before that Morris worked as Head of Treasury Specialists at Thomson Reuters out of Dubai and was eCommerce business development manager at Bloomberg from Singapore.
“The CK Labs program was specifically designed to accelerate teams focused on ushering in the first wave of adoption,” Morris said. “Given the versatility of Nervos, we want to invite founders from all business verticals to apply.”
The firm said applications for the first batch of CK Labs are now being accepted. The program will run several times every year with two to four teams each to ensure they get personalized support.