Virtual world project The Sandbox announced its Metaverse Accelerator Program, which will push the development of the open metaverse by investing $50 million in startups. The Animoca Brands subsidiary is partnering with the venture accelerator firm Brinc to target 30 to 40 blockchain startups a year.
The Sandbox Metaverse Accelerator Program will allocate up to $250,000 in investment to each potential project and give additional incentives to top-performing projects. The bonuses include The Sandbox (SAND) digital asset and LAND, digital real estate within The Sandbox’s metaverse. Apart from this, the best-performing startups will also have access to additional investment grants and high-profile mentors.
According to The Sandbox co-founder Sebastien Borget, the program is an expansion of its goal to support a new wave of metaverse entrepreneurs. Through this, startups across the world can make their ideas come to life. “We’re especially eager to support underrepresented founders in their ambitions as they explore the infinite possibilities offered into The Sandbox ecosystem,” he said.
Applications are now open, and the first batch of investments is scheduled to proceed by the second quarter of 2022. The program runs within Launchpad Luna, a collaboration effort by Animoca Brands and Brinc that aims to support the development of startups.
The program supports the development of an open metaverse, the metaverse that is not owned by any single entity. According to Animoca Brands co-founder and executive chairman Yat Siu, the open metaverse “presents an incredible opportunity to create a participatory and collaborative nonzero-sum environment based on openness, equitability, user governance and digital property rights.”
Apart from supporting businesses, the development of the metaverse may also help the environment in the long run. Manav Gupta, the founder and CEO of Brinc believes that “as digital experiences develop, we will find ourselves having fewer reasons to emit carbon to travel for work or play.” Gupta says that this can decrease the demand for physical products like art and merch that have unsustainable production methods.