Crypto exchange giant Binance is making headlines for another initiative aimed at fostering growth and innovation in the blockchain sector. Known for charitable programs and government partnerships, this time the company is launching 8 new blockchain labs to fund and educate entrepreneurs and early-stage blockchain teams.

Binance Labs Incubation Program is a 10 week on-site program aimed at aiding blockchain developers. The San Francisco chapter launched its first batch blockchain projects yesterday and ended with an invite-only BUIDLers Day where 8 project teams (out of 500 initial team applicants) pitched to 150 top investors from Silicon Valley.

Each of the teams received $500,000 in seed funding to develop their project in advance of the pitch along with access to resource, mentors, and guidance from the Binance Labs Network.

More than five hundred projects applied for Season 1 of the Incubation Program within the span of four weeks. Following an intensive review process, which required consensus among all members of the Binance Labs team, eight projects were selected.

Each startup received $500,000 in seed funding and direct access to a vast range of resources, industry leaders and mentors through the Binance Labs network, and seven out of eiht projects have already shipped working products with three of those signing paying customers.

“We will continue to grow the ecosystem and support top projects to build a solid service,” said Changpeng Zhao, Founder and CEO of Binance.

The projects will also have the chance to pitch onstage at the Binance Conference being held January 21-22, 2019 in Singapore.

Binance Labs also announced plans to host its next incubation program across five continents, in Berlin, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, Lagos, San Francisco and Singapore.

While the incubation program allows Binance to uncover leading emerging technologies in the blockchain space, it also helps participants understand the correct product-market fit for their projects.

“There are two problems we have seen in the ecosystem, which helped inform our design of the program: a lack of product-market fit in many blockchain projects, and the market hype that distracts founders from BUIDLing. With the incubation program, projects can focus on shipping a working product or service with product-market fit as quickly as possible,” said Ella Zhang, head of Binance Labs.

Robert Yau who is the founder of Path, one of the incubated projects, stated:

“When I first heard about the Binance Labs incubation program and I was invited to apply, I read about the folks who were on the team and how Binance had grown so quickly in a short amount of time. It was a no-brainer for me to join.

Since joining, I’ve realized that a key part of the program has also been the different mentors we had access to. You have different opinions, different strategies, and unique ways of thinking. The projects who were in the incubation covered the entire spectrum as well, which is great about Binance since the focus is not just on technology itself, but across the global spectrum.”

Project teams had mentor opportunities from founders of projects like Trust Wallet and Earn.com which have been acquired by Binance and Coinbase respectively, and participants also had access to weekly talks from industry leaders such as Binance CEO CZ.

The eight startups launched by Binance are:

Akio Labs – The easiest way to get insights from blockchain data
Deaux – Teespring for prediction markets
Decore – Gusto for crypto native companies
Injective Protocol – The New Standard for Decentralized Exchange
Nym – Building a secure, private future for the internet
Path – Plaid for Crypto
SafePal – The Easiest & Most Affordable Hardware Wallet
Torus – Frictionless logins for Dapps

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