The AppWorks Accelerator FAQ (for founders applying to AW#25)

Founded in 2010 by Jamie Lin, AppWorks Accelerator is a startup community created by founders, for founders. We are committed to fostering the next generation of entrepreneurs in Greater Southeast Asia and to accelerating the region’s transition into the digital era. 

Every six months, we take in founders trailblazing on the frontiers of web3 / DAO, AI / IoT, and Southeast Asia, equipping them with the necessary resources, mentorship, and guidance to get their ventures off the ground. 

We know there are many considerations for founders when applying to an accelerator. That’s why we’ve created an FAQ page to help you decide whether or not AppWorks is suitable for your startup. 

As of May 11, AppWorks Accelerator #25 is open for applications. You can find important information about the Accelerator experience on our main page.

The FAQs

1. What do I need to know before joining an accelerator in Taiwan during COVID-19? What is AppWorks doing to help founders make the most out of the accelerator before it’s completely safe to travel and congregate? How are you helping founders deal with the impact from the pandemic?

The world has seen nothing like the COVID-19 pandemic, and we can confidently say that no founder we know had this on their disaster mitigation plans. But the experience of being a founder is all about learning and adaptation, even when things look dire. We are here to support you to do just that, no matter the circumstances. 

Since 2020, AppWorks has designed a hybrid online-offline program with a variety of online activities for both local founders in Taiwan and international founders abroad. As the majority of the population is fully vaccinated in Taiwan, the government is likely to ease the COVID-19 restrictions soon. We will be adjusting online & in-person activities dynamically based on the COVID-19 situation, and make sure that founders have the best experience during the program. At the same time, we also encourage founders participating in AppWorks Accelerator to vaccinate as soon as possible to protect themselves and reduce the risk of infection.

Currently, up to six hours of online and offline sessions per week are provided, ranging from office hours with AppWorks Partners to meetings with mentors and peer founders from all over the region. Such meetings include founder mentoring sessions with veterans of the technology industry who have launched startups from zero to one, and even listed several IPOs. You can rest assured that you will get to meet hundreds of investors, journalists, corporate executives, and other partners who can make a positive impact on your founder journey through our hybrid activities.

If you’d like to leverage AppWorks to test out the Taiwan market or set up a technical team during the pandemic, we can still provide suitable introductions to our network through online activities. However, based on our experience, we recommend that founders invest the necessary time and effort after the government eases the travel restriction to personally understand Taiwan’s market and environment if you are interested in doing business in the country.

We will continue to monitor visa and travel restrictions in a timely manner and update you accordingly throughout the application process. It is likely that by the time AW#25 starts in September, travel restrictions will have loosened up, making traveling to Taiwan much easier. We know that physical face-to-face engagement is still extremely effective for building strong relationships, and thus encourage founders who are vaccinated to visit Taiwan and attend the accelerator in person for the most optimal experience.

2. Why wouldn’t AppWorks admit founders working outside of web3 / DAO, AI / IoT, or SEA? 

We believe that AI and blockchain are based on the good foundation that the internet has built, and the extended data applications and the decentralized model will be a huge disruption that founders must leverage in the next decade. As more talents and energy are pouring into web3 / DAO startups, the blockchain space will create something so immense that will ultimately transform traditional presence in finance, commerce, entertainment, and beyond.

At the same time, SEA’s digital revolution is well underway, with a young, ever-expanding, and increasingly affluent middle class driving brisk economic growth across the region. SEA also features one of the world’s largest populations at over 650 million people, many of which are digital natives and early adopters of technology, lending itself as a hotbed for entrepreneurship and innovation. 

Therefore, this is the focus of our attention for now. In the last 10 years, we’ve seen the popularity and penetration of mobile internet. If you want to seize the opportunities in the next decade, think about how to leverage these key areas to create the future. 

3. How can AppWorks Accelerator help a web3 / DAO founder?

Since we started accelerating and investing in blockchain teams in 2017, we have witnessed the incredible growth and promise of decentralization and its applications in permissionless, trustless, and transparent digital value storage and transfer. Compared to 5 years ago, the web3 world is now much bigger and more mature, with various chains, wallets, exchanges and the likes, serving as the infrastructure with lots of quality development tools available, allowing founders to run lean, experiment, and launch disruptive projects fast. The creation of DAOs is also one revolution that has helped create community-driven organizations enabling participants to have skin in the game.

As our web3 community has grown, so have the opportunities for partnerships, knowledge exchange, and founder-to-founder support. We recognize that developer communities and network effects are critical for web3 / DAO startups, and AppWorks provides this community as a unique value-add for our web3 / DAO founders.

As a web3 / DAO founder, you can expect these from joining AppWorks Accelerator:

a. Grow with one of the largest web3 founder communities in Greater Southeast Asia

Entrepreneurship is a lonely journey. After starting your own business, most of your friends and family won’t understand the ups and downs you’re experiencing as a founder. If you can share these experiences with fellow founders who are as capable and determined, who understand when you encounter setbacks, you will be more motivated to continue. In addition to about 50-60 other founders accelerating together in the same program, we will hold frequent alumni gatherings where you’ll meet many alumni who have gone through the 0 to 1 stage. 

The web3 ecosystem within the AppWorks community now consists of 93 active teams with a total of 181 founders. These extraordinary web3 startups include Blocto (AW#19), a mobile portal to the blockchain world featuring seamless integrations with different wallets and web browsers; Lootex (AW#20), a digital marketplace that runs NFT auctions; and Pendle (AW#20), a DeFi yield-trading protocol that enables the tokenization and trading of future yield.

As one of the most flourishing web3 founder communities in the region, we can help support founders working on web3 products / DAOs who want to learn the ins and outs of entrepreneurship through introductions of resources and connections in the startup ecosystem. Moreover, founders can learn together with fellow founders as driven as you about tokenomics, DAO, and community-building.

b. Stay ahead of the game as the ecosystem rapidly evolves and access to premium development partners

In web3, startups developing on the right public chain and working with the right partners can help create synergies and accelerate scaling. Within the AppWorks web3 ecosystem, 90+ teams have developed their products on various public chains, including Ethereum, Solana, Terra, Cosmos, and so on. If you are a founder building on these chains, you can always find a connection within our ecosystem.

AppWorks is proactively building a vibrant ecosystem for web3 startups to explore and connect with each other. We are one of the investors in the public chain Flow, developed by Dapper Labs, the creator of CryptoKitties and NBA Top Shot. If you are interested in developing a new business model on Flow or the chance to talk to various stakeholders in the Flow ecosystem, you can receive more direct resources and support from AppWorks and Flow’s collaboration. Founders building things on Flow Chain will be able to enjoy support from Dapper / Flow Team with Flow token grants.

At the same time, AppWorks builds partnerships with essential development tools, platforms, and cloud services such as Animoca Brands, Alchemy, and AWS to make sure that blockchain startups gain adequate support to grow.

4. What does AppWorks look for in applications?

When AppWorks reviews applications submitted by founders, we pay special attention to a founder’s North Star. Some questions that might help you think about whether AppWorks is a good fit for you: 

  • Why do a startup?
  • What problem do you want to solve and why?
  • What do you believe fundamentally needs to exist in this world that doesn’t already?
  • What kind of future do you want to create and how will you get there?
  • What have you already done to demonstrate your commitment to tackling this problem?

AppWorks Accelerator’s online application covers about 30 topics related to team background, product/service, business model, market analysis and more. It is very detailed and requires time to complete. It also includes a required one-minute self-intro from the founder (CEO).

5. Does AppWorks Accelerator cost anything?

No. AppWorks Accelerator has always been free for founders. We will not charge rent or service fees, nor will we require any form of compensation, such as sweat equity, tokens, options, revenue, or profit-sharing. Our exclusive mission is to help founders. 

6. We need funding now, can we get investment by joining AppWorks?

The short answer is you will have much better access to us than non-AppWorks accelerated teams. We will discuss with you and help you figure out at this stage of your startup’s journey, if capital can significantly enhance its strength and competitive advantage, and/or there are other more burning issues, e.g. product-market fit, go-to-market strategy, co-founder recruiting, speed, etc. Any AppWorks founder is welcome to start a discussion with us on fundraising anytime. We will do our best to advise and support you with US$212 million in total fund size. 

Please note, AppWorks Accelerator will never require teams to accept our investment before joining the accelerator, nor will teams ever need to provide any form of equity or revenue / profit share in return.

7. I am not a technical founder, or I need to find an engineer to help scale my idea, can I still apply?

Yes, you can. In a manner of speaking, you have come to the right country. 

Taiwan graduates over 25,000 hardware and computer science engineers each year and is world-famous for the engineering and computer science mastery that has boosted the quality of international companies like Apple and Acer in hardware and Google and Microsoft in the software category, to name but a few. 

We strongly recommend founders who come to Taiwan check out the country’s vast human talent resources. Part of the founder journey will be about learning how to hire, and there is probably no better place in Asia to do that engineering hiring than here. 

8. My service (or product) has not yet started to make money. Can I still apply?

Of course! There probably isn’t a better time to learn in an accelerator than as a founder just starting out. This period before a founder has built a startup into a scalable business model with  Product-Market Fit is called the “seed stage”. During this period, founders always need more than funding; they need a variety of entrepreneurial-related insights, inspiration from other founders, and room for trial and error. AppWorks Accelerator was built to provide these, and more. 

9. I already raised a Series A / I’m profitable, is AppWorks right for me?

The most important thing for us is to identify where a founder is in their journey.

Reaching a funding goal can be a cause for celebration, but it’s also a relatively minor part of the growth of a founder. So many more things can go right or wrong, even with a funding round. There are many other facets to master. When we admit founders into the program, it is because we have carefully considered what they need as a founder, and how our resources and network, and Taiwan’s unique market and supply chain position in the world, can help them grow. 

Joel Leong and Henry Chan at ShopBack had already built a business model and received seed funding in 2015 when they launched in Singapore, before they came to AppWorks Accelerator #13 in 2016. 

Joel told us that had the team known about Taiwan’s massive US$ 42.2 Billion GMV a year e-economy and how it made it possible to figure out crucial e-commerce and engineering solutions for them, they would have made the move to Taiwan sooner. It demonstrates that funding rounds and business model maturity do not limit founders to learning something new.  As long as you think that AppWorks can help you in the entrepreneurial learning process, you should apply. 

10. Since I am not a Taiwanese citizen, can you help me obtain a proper visa?

International founders admitted to AppWorks Accelerator, according to your qualifications and needs, AppWorks can help with your application for the Gold Card or Entrepreneur Visa in Taiwan. This enables founders from overseas to concentrate on work in Taiwan without having to travel abroad to sort out troublesome visa issues. We have professionals at the Accelerator who can offer advice on this process. 

The Taiwanese government resumed processing Gold Card applications in March 2022. We encourage international founders who are interested in setting up a company in Taiwan to apply for the Gold Card and explore the Taiwan market in-person.  

AppWorks will closely track the government policies and provide adequate support as the policy changes. 

11. Do I have to set up a company to join AppWorks Accelerator?

Not necessarily, but we would recommend an overseas founder to set up a Taiwan office, especially those of you that are B2B facing. This may better enable you to find business partners and negotiate commercial agreements later. AppWorks has professional accounting and legal specialists who can assist in handling procedures for landing in Taiwan.

As Andrew Jiang, co-founder of Soda Labs (AW#17) told us, when you take the time to physically show up in the market, you get “10x the attention and focus of potential customers and partners” you seek in your business development process. 

12. What is the difference between applying during the first round vs. the final round? 

The application period is split into two intakes, with interviews and admissions facilitated on a rolling basis. Based on past experience, teams that submit their application earlier tend to have a higher chance of being admitted, and are also immediately granted access to all the resources that AppWorks Accelerator has to offer.

We hope the above FAQ can help you clarify your questions about AppWorks Accelerator. If you seek more clarity, please write to: and we will try to answer your questions.

If you’re a founder working on web3 / DAO, AI / IoT, or Southeast Asia, you’ve come to the right place! Applications for AppWorks Accelerator #25 will be open until Jul 21, 2022.

Flow Launches $725 Million Ecosystem Fund to Drive Innovation Across the Flow Ecosystem

Editor’s note: We’re thrilled to join Flow Ecosystem Fund to provide developers with support in building applications on the Flow blockchain through investments, FLOW token grants and in-kind support. The press release from Flow is below:

・a16z, AppWorks, Coatue, Greenfield One, Liberty City Ventures, Union Square Ventures and other global firms to support Flow developers through investments, FLOW token grants and in-kind support.

・Largest joint ecosystem fund to fuel next-generation of applications.

Flow, the Web3 platform powering next-generation games, apps and digital assets including NBA Top Shot and NFL All Day, announced a new $725 million Ecosystem Fund designed to hypercharge innovation and growth across the Flow community.

The largest joint commitment made towards any blockchain ecosystem, the Ecosystem Fund participants will provide existing and future developers with support in building applications on the Flow blockchain through investments, FLOW token grants and in-kind support.

Participants include industry-leading firms that have backed several of the most successful Web3 companies, such as a16z, AppWorks, Cadenza Ventures, Coatue, Coinfund, Digital Currency Group (DCG), Dispersion Capital, Fabric Ventures, Greenfield One, HashKey, L1 Digital, Mirana Ventures, OP Crypto, SkyVision Capital, Spartan Group, Union Square Ventures, and Dapper Ventures.

“We are thrilled to see such a strong vote of confidence in the Flow ecosystem from some of the world’s leading investors in Web3 through their commitment to this Fund,” said Roham Gharegozlou, CEO of Dapper Labs. “With their active participation and support, the Ecosystem Fund has the opportunity to become a real game-changer for the 7500+ strong and fast-growing developer community in the Flow ecosystem.”

With a focus on enabling more distributed and equitable Web3 opportunities to developers around the globe, participants will focus on providing support for gaming, infrastructure, decentralized finance, content and creators. The resources are expected to be used by developers for product development, product scaling, team expansion, user acquisition and general operating expenses.

“The Ecosystem Fund is an opportunity to power the next generation of developers across the global Flow community,” said Dan Rose, Chairman of Coatue Ventures. “Coatue has already backed multiple companies building in the Flow ecosystem including Dapper Labs, Crypthulu and Faze Technologies, and we are excited to play an active role in enabling more Web3 opportunities.”

In addition to financial support, the developers in the Flow ecosystem will be able to leverage expertise via informational events, office hours, accelerators & incubators, subsidized office space and similar initiatives. For example, investors will provide Flow teams office space in cities such as Berlin (Greenfield One) and Asia (for AppWorks Accelerator program), and Liberty City Ventures will be providing two scholarships for college students to work on Flow-related projects. As a Venture Partner for Bybit and BitDAO, Mirana Ventures will also help catalyze strategic collaboration opportunities for Flow projects.

“As web3 accelerates and sophisticated app developers search for the best platforms, Flow is perhaps the best decentralized blockchain built for the scale, security, and ease of use most modern startups need to succeed.” said David Pakman, Managing Partner at CoinFund. “The Flow Ecosystem Fund will be a huge accelerator of innovation and growth on the platform and we at CoinFund are excited to work with this talented community to help drive innovation and growth.”

Originally developed by Dapper Labs to create more efficient, secure and scalable proof-of-stake blockchain experiences, Flow is an open-source, developer-friendly and energy efficient blockchain built for consumer applications. With global partners including the NBA, NFL, UFC and Dr. Seuss; unicorn developers such as Animoca and PlayCo; and emerging projects such as Genies, Fancraze and Cryptoys, Flow has seen daily transactions triple since September 2021 as it has grown into the leading blockchain for non–fungible token (NFT) sales by number of NFT transactions. 

To learn more about Flow and the Flow Ecosystem Fund:

About Flow

Flow is the blockchain designed to be the foundation of Web3 and the open metaverse, supporting consumer-scale decentralized applications, NFTs, DeFi, DAOs, and more. Powered by Cadence, an original programming language built specifically for digital assets, Flow empowers developers to innovate and push the limits that will bring the next billion to Web3. Created by a team that has consistently delivered industry-leading consumer-scale Web3 experiences including CryptoKitties, Dapper, and NBA Top Shot, Flow is an open, decentralized platform with a thriving ecosystem of creators from top brands, development studios, venture-backed startups, crypto leaders, and more.

For more information:

【If you’re a founder working on web3 / DAO, AI / IoT, or Southeast Asia, you’ve come to the right place! Applications for AppWorks Accelerator.】

專訪黃朝秋 (BSOS 執行長),用 Blockchain 連結實體資產,將是另一個更寬廣的賽道

Antony Lee, Communications Master (李欣岳 / 媒體公關總監)

負責媒體與社群溝通相關輔導。加入 AppWorks 前有 18 年媒體經驗,是台灣第一批主跑網路產業的記者,先後任職《數位時代》副總編輯、《Cheers 快樂工作人》資深主編、SmartM 網站總編輯。畢業於交大管科系,長期關注媒體產業變化,熱愛閱讀商業與科技趨勢、企業與人物故事,樂於與人交流分享,期許自己當個「Internet 傳教士」。

2018 年成立的 BSOS 灣谷科技,是台灣在區塊鏈這個典範轉移中的早期參與者之一,成員來自金融及網路產業菁英,專攻供應鏈 FinTech。BSOS 透過提供 Web3 的技術與解決方案,活化供應商與企業客戶間的應收帳款,為供應商提升營運資金的時效和彈性,促進實體資產的數位化及價值流通效率,為產業供應鏈賦能。BSOS 在 2021 年進入企業以太坊聯盟 (EEA) 規格制定工作小組,與全球頂尖開發者共同制定企業區塊鏈標準,也獲得 CB Insights 旗下區塊鏈產業分析平台 Blockdata 評選為「全球區塊鏈 35 家潛力公司」,並在同年申請加入 Wistorn Accelerator 緯創加速器,成為第一屆的校友。

BSOS 是共同創辦人暨執行長 Daniel 黃朝秋再度創業。在創立 BSOS 之前,Daniel 曾擔任 Cheetah Mobile、ASUS 及電商集團軟體產品負責人,並在 2015 年創立 AI 語音通訊新創  OneTalk,後來獲得全球最大第三方輸入法公司 Kika Tech 收購。對於他致力於用區塊鏈技術,顛覆供應鏈 FinTech 的創業旅程,以及參與緯創加速器的收穫,並對往後創業帶來哪些價值,AppWorks 特別採訪 Daniel,將他一路上的心得分享給創業者,以下是重點整理:

Q: 在區塊鏈這個領域,最吸引、最能驅動你創業的原因是什麼?

A: BSOS 是 2018 年成立的,在區塊鏈這個領域,我們創業的時間不敢說很早,但我覺得也不算晚。BSOS 是我第二次創業,在此之前的 2008 到 2018 年約莫十年中,包含創業或是更早的工作經驗,我都在 Internet 領域的相關公司,這段時期,剛好完整經歷了 Mobile Internet 起飛,在 2012 年整體產業進入流量紅利期,然後逐漸紅利消失、邁入成熟這一段週期。2018 年決定再度創業時,我最深刻的感受,就是我們過去那種 Internet 車庫創業的時代已經過去了。

倒也不是說 Mobile Internet 完全沒有機會,而是這個產業太集中化了,它變成是一個資本驅動較多,然後更集中少數科技巨頭的產業。對於沒有太多資源,那種還沒有辦公室,只能先在車庫裡、靠幾台電腦創業的新創,機會已經沒有那麼多。過去做出個小 App,只要有需求、用戶參與度夠高,基本上有許多流量自然成長的方法,很容易做成一個 Business,但這個時機已經過去了。

所以,當我在 2018 年決定再度創業時,就是要去找一個科技巨頭不是那麼容易切入的領域,而區塊鏈、Web3 是當時不錯的選擇。事後也證明,從 2018 年到現在,多數科技巨頭也都想切入區塊鏈、Web3,也不是說真的不行,但在這個領域,這些科技巨頭就失去了過往的統治能力。


Q: 從 2018 年到現在,雖然市場與大環境有起有落,但整體來說,區塊鏈發展得越來越蓬勃,有越來越多機會浮現,為什麼會選擇專注在供應鏈 FinTech 這個賽道?

A: 我們會把自己的定位再放寬一點,就是要用區塊鏈技術,去解放實體世界資產的流通性,打開我們官網的第一句話,就是「Liquidize Real-World Assets with Blockchain」。區塊鏈最核心的應用,就是拿來做價值交換,不管是比特幣、以太幣或是其他區塊鏈資產,過去幾年來,已經充分驗證了價值交換這件事情,但除了這些,還有更大的一塊是 Real Assets,它在傳統上很多價值是不容易被表彰、創造流通性。

每一個供應鏈上,就有很多這樣的資產,過去的流通性,是沒辦法像區塊鏈一樣,用一套帳本去跟全世界流通,我們希望解決這樣的問題,因為它的量體更大。過去近兩年來,整體加密貨幣資產的市值,在 1.5 到 3 兆美元之間變動,而現在全球光是卡在供應鏈的應收帳款就有 40 兆美元,這還光只是一個 Real Assets 的類別,目前在這個世界上,絕大部分的財富價值,都還鎖在實體中,一部分在 Web1 或 Web2 上,只有極少的比例在 Web3 上流通,一旦這個水龍頭打開,會產生更大的影響,我們預期未來如果能將這些資產映射到 Web3 上去交換、產生流通性,對真實世界的貢獻與價值將非常巨大。

Web3 不是企業數位轉型

Q: 既然稱作供應鏈,某種程度上,它就是一個自成一格、相對封閉的體系,每一個都有很深的 Domain Know-how,如何說服那些擁有自己供應鏈體系的大企業,開始擁抱 Blockchain?大企業為什麼需要用一個新創的 Solution?

A: 對!這也是我們過去四年來,一直在這邊走得跌跌撞撞的原因。後來我們有一個體悟:Web3 的打法,絕對不能用企業數位轉型這個角度來思考,那樣只是把 Web3 的技術,強行套到 Web2 世界的邏輯裡,做到後來還是 Web2 的格局。如果只是要把資訊數位化,其實不需要用到區塊鏈,這樣企業還比較可控、效率更高。

因為 Web2 和 Web3 之間,有中心化和去中心化的差別。我們也曾嘗試參與過 Web2 的企業專案,了解他們有什麼需求,進而用區塊鏈的方式去滿足這樣的需求和系統,實際運作下來,發現這樣是行不通的,因為 Web3 有 Web3 的作法,不該去做數位轉型,而是要做價值交換和流通,這才是核心。

我會從兩條不連續的成長曲線來思考這個問題。如果順著第一曲線走,企業會進行數位轉型、流程優化,最後走到斷點,企業是不可能就到此為止然後跳下懸崖,所以第一曲線的終點,就是 Web2 的天花板。我們行業內常有人開玩笑,區塊鏈一開始不可以跟實體的世界,或是傳統的流程綁得太緊,否則「區塊鏈的應用落地即墜毀」,這個背後是有幾分道理的。

我們認為 Web3 必須從第二曲線的底部開始走,只有當創造的價值,來到超越第一曲線天花板一段距離後,還在第一曲線的人,才會願意放棄原本的做法,直接跳過來,從 Day 1 就按照 Web3 的規則走,也就是不管以前的規則是什麼,就跳過來用 Web3 的規則去做事情,其實很多 DeFi 應用就是這樣的,並沒有去參考銀行怎麼做,不會去了解什麼單子、要什麼欄位,讓彼此串接的資訊格式不要跑掉,直接就跳過採用 Web3 自己的新作法。在這背後,可能會提供參與者更高的資本報酬、打破原本的交易門檻、較少中心化介入的摩擦,甚至提供參與治理的機會,這些都是 Web2 做不到的。

要怎麼走出這一段,是所有 Web3 項目的共同命題,關鍵挑戰在於怎麼維持生態的流通性?很多 Web3 項目靠的是發幣補貼,這方面實體資產就有優勢了。因為它原本就具有實體價值的支撐,但同時也代表,它的資產波動幅度沒那麼劇烈,我們必須透過一些機制,使資產可以分別滿足穩健型和風險型的購買者。所以回到問題,如果要企業擁抱區塊鏈,我認為關鍵還是在經濟模型的設計,從治理層面,直接激勵參與者,因為趨利,自然而然投入生態、做出對生態有益的事。

Q: 如果直接從代表 Web3 的第二曲線出發,呈現在你們 Pipeline 上選擇的供應鏈客戶會長什麼樣子?

A: 根據我們實際走過的經驗,我相信 Web3 這邊的順序,會非常顛覆我們過去做 Web2 的三觀。過去,Web2 企業,要先把應用場景做好,延伸出的價值才可以被流通、才有流通的價值,Web3 則是先有流通性,再利用這個流通性回去創造應用場景。這樣的例子很多,各種 XX to earn 都可算是這個模式,例如,先發 NFT 頭像,再去發展社交的功能,有這個資產的人,就會衝進去玩後來才做的遊戲,然後 Play to earn,參與度會比 Web2 更高,因為他有更多經濟上的動機,這聽起來很顛覆三觀,就是先創造流通性,再從流通性去激勵。 

回到供應鏈客戶上,具備數位化到一定程度以上的企業,對我們接受度比較高。因為畢竟是要把實體的資產與區塊鏈串接,它中間需要一個類似 Oracle 的機制,供應商是否有這筆應收帳款,其實就是一個 Oracle,只是會比較複雜一些,需要更多方的確認。

參加緯創加速器,獲得供應鏈管理的 Insight

Q: 歷經了這些創業經驗後,為什麼會在 2021 年、BSOS 創業的第三年決定申請參加緯創加速器?

A: 最主要的原因,是我們希望透過參加緯創加速器這段時間,給自己一個實驗 PoC (Proof of Concept) 的機會,因為這和我們自己去開發客戶很不一樣。自己找的客戶,可能在被拒絕後,因為客套或是其他原因,不會跟我們講真正拒絕的原因,這可能會讓我們走火入魔,因為劃錯重點而要多繞很多路,進而浪費很多時間,這對新創、尤其是區塊鏈的新創,是非常奢侈的浪費,另外,一旦被對方拒絕後,短期內我們也很難再回去拜訪對方,針對被拒絕的原因,追問更多、更深入的問題。

在參與緯創加速器這段期間,就完全不是這樣。他們會跟我們分享更多思考與決策的脈絡、真正的需求是什麼,然後提供滿多的機會,讓我們去重複修正跟提案。若沒有參加加速器,我們很難從緯創這種規模、產業的企業身上,獲得這樣的經驗。比起其他提供給新創的資源,我覺得能獲得這樣的 Insight,是我們參加最大的收穫與價值。

Q: 在供應鏈管理上,可能光是層層往上敲門與提案的過程,就遍體鱗傷了吧?

A; 這過程的確很花時間。我們透過參加緯創加速器,與緯創集團各事業單位媒合,最後是跟緯穎合作。剛開始,我們覺得應該就是派位專員層級的人來與我們對話,但其實是副總經理層級親自參與,這真的是很難得的事情,每次的討論會議,Joe 副總 (緯穎科技副總經理焦裕洲) 都有參加,提供不少 Insight 給我們。

也是因為參加緯創加速器,讓我們驗證了供應鏈應收帳款,這個問題是真的存在。對中小型供應商來講,這些問題要如何被解決,背後有一些脈絡,而我們會有一個比較深層的理解。另一方面,就是要如何創造核心買家、最後要付款的這個人,他可以有哪些動機願意參與,這將是整個系統設計比較大的關鍵,而不是讓效率更高的數位化流程等這些事情。如果再往未來多看一點,其實這就是 Web3 項目得以成功的武器,Web3 最重要的事情,就是創造大家的動機,讓對這個生態系有貢獻、把事情做好的角色,都能從中獲得有形或無形的獎勵。

Q: 以你實際參與緯創加速器的經驗,對於未來也想要申請加入企業垂直加速器的創業者或新創,有哪些提醒或建議?應該有哪些心理準備或期待?

A: 我很鼓勵新創圈的朋友,若技術或服務的應用場景符合、需要進行 PoC,都應該爭取這樣的機會。在心態上,我覺得參與這類企業垂直加速器,不要只是抱著把東西賣給大企業的目的,一定是能從對方的建議與回饋中,找出產品或服務可以調整和優化的地方,實際參加的這段時期,在產品、技術或是商業模式上,要預留可以修改的空間,這和推廣業務非常不一樣。



Q: 展望未來,BSOS 下一階段的創業目標是什麼?

A: 我會把創業至今分成三個階段,目前正在第三個階段。第一階段大約是 2018 到 2020 年,我們主要提供技術服務和中間層工具,投入大量資源在聯盟鏈及相關工具的研發,因為許多優秀的人才,我們入選了企業以太坊 (EEA) 的規格制定小組,也是全球唯一同時被三大聯盟鏈 R3、Hyperledger、Consensys Quorum 認定為技術夥伴的公司,這樣的技術力,即便放到國際上,都是領先的。

第二階段大約是 2021 年,我們建立了 Real Assets 的 Oracle,打造出 SUPLEX 這個產品,一端接鏈下系統、一端接區塊鏈智能合約,將實體資產鑄造成鏈上資產。因為我們創業最重要的目標,就是打造一套鏈下資產映射到鏈上的機制,並且創造一套遊戲規則,讓所有參與者都能在做好某件事情後,獲得具體的好處。

第三階段的目標,則是為生態系建立一套激勵系統,創造源源不絕的流通性。我們思考的還是Web3、DeFi 的方向。從 2020 年 DeFi Summer 到現在,可以看到各種 DeFi 創新百花齊放,但我覺得第一個週期大概已到尾聲了。我們現在看到所有的 DeFi 借貸協議,都是超額抵押的概念,一旦幣價下滑,就是在鏈上被清算掉,回到一個根本問題:如果有 150 元的資產,為什麼要拿去抵押借 100 元?這不是真的缺錢,而是要做資金操作、做槓桿,把借來的錢再投入資本市場去滾錢,它很好,能夠創造流通性、創造一個價值兌換的體系。

但從金融發展史的視角來看,這個模式的概念上比較類似當鋪,還是非常初期的金融模式,宏觀來看,借貸 DeFi 未來還有很大的發展空間。接下來金融的發展,應該是要借錢給真正缺錢的人,或是借錢給要去生產或創造的人,讓這些創造者把這些錢花掉,而不只是到金融市場滾一圈再回來,應該是要在產生實質價值的商品跟服務後,讓這些價值可以再回到區塊鏈的世界。這是我們努力的目標,把錢借給真正需要的人,把錢拿去做生產、創造。Real World DeFi 是 BSOS 的下一個目標,這也是激勵參與者、創造流通性的關鍵機制。國際上已經有一些協議正在萌芽,我們會善用 Web3 的 Money Lego 特性,去展開協議之間的合作與串連。

【歡迎優質 AI、物聯網、雲端、資安、教育與醫療新創加入 Wistron Accelerator

給新手創業者,關於募資的 5 個提醒

Joseph Chan, Partner (詹德弘 / 合夥人)

加入 AppWorks 前,於 CID (華威國際) 服務長達 11 年,協助 CID 完成兩支基金共 5.75 億美金的募集,長期負責該集團共 14 支創投基金的投資人關係與營運管理,並帶領團隊完成 CID 自有基金管理系統的建置,曾評估過的創投案件超過 200 個。加入 CID 前,曾服務於台灣少數 Nasdaq 掛牌公司和信超媒體,擔任網路與系統部門主管。台大農機碩士,日語是母語。




1. 尋找一位創業者導師

對新手創業者來說,應該去做最有價值的一件事,或者說,在創業時就該做的第一件事,就是為自己尋找一位具有創業經驗的導師。這樣的導師,走過你正在走的路、經歷過你正在經歷的事,並知道如何與早期投資人訂定投資協議 (Term Sheet) ,這絕對是創業旅程中最給力的貴人。在尋找客戶時,導師可以成為幫你大力宣傳與背書的推廣者,而在尋找潛在支持者時,又可以幫你篩選適合的對象。

請記得,不只是投資人要對投資的新創進行盡責調查 (Due Diligence),被投資的創業者,也該對投資人做這件事。因為並非所有投資人都一樣,都是好的投資人、都能站在雙方皆有利的立場協助新創,創業者有可能在簽約後的某一個時刻,才赫然發現有些投資人名不符實或言行不一。


2. 注意募資的時機

對任何啟動募資流程的新創團隊來說,最重要的因素就是時機,可以這麼說,時機就是一切。站在投資人的角度,總是希望在最具前景的領域,投資最具前景的新創。新手創業者應該在獲得 Traction、簽下新客戶,或是當 MVP (Minimum Viable Product) 得到市場驗證時,就開始啟動募資流程。創業者展示出的成果,以及吸引外界對新創成長的期待越少,投資人為了消除不確定性,願意提供的募資條件就越差,除非你過往已有成功的創業經驗或是出場紀錄。從更宏觀的角度來看,創投傾向投資於正在發生的典範轉移,所以隨時準備好這個問題:為什麼投資人現在要投資?為什麼是你? 

3. 聘請高明的律師

另一個經常困擾新手創業者的問題,是尋找優秀的法律顧問。在發展中市場,創業者通常無法只靠律師,就可以談判出最佳利益。事實上,除了舊金山灣區 (Bay Area) 之外,新創產業的規模或收益,都不足以支持聚焦在此領域的專業律師族群獲得更好的報酬,因此在新興市場中,創投的投資案,通常不會是律師行業的最優先業務。在為創業者建構募資的交易過程,律師通常只是短暫性的功能角色,重點只在為客戶贏得一些紙上的內容,一旦交易完成,律師就會將重心移往下一個客戶。


4. 了解 Vesting (股票授予) 的價值

新手創業者最常誤解的條款之一,則是 Vesting (股票授予) 協議,指創業者必須在一段時間後,才能永久持有的股票,通常為 4 年。許多創業者問我,為什麼需要 Vesting 機制?通常是因為擔心投資人可能會在這過程中,嘗試更換創業團隊拿下主導權。Vesting 是一種業內普遍的實務作法,作為一種機制,可以在創業者和投資人之間,建立起共同著眼未來的激勵和一致性,因為投資人希望創辦人能長期參與公司的經營,以獎勵他們對公司的貢獻,Vesting 也可避免當創業者生涯規劃發生變化,不得不離開公司時,造成局外人持有大量股權、進而產生經營亂流的情形。

我發現與 Vesting 相關的問題,最常出現在只有一位創辦人的新創,當中存在重大的關鍵人物 (Key-man) 風險;擁有多位共同創辦人的新創,往往會有 Vesting 條款。如果沒有 Vesting 條款,突然決定中途離開的共同創辦人,將可以很容易帶走他們的股份。我就看過這樣的例子,由於一位共同創辦人決定跳槽,40% 的股權對經營毫無貢獻,其他共同創辦人與投資人,在公司所有權上幾乎沒有迴旋調整的空間。關於創辦人 Vesting 更完整的解釋,可參考這篇文章

5. 警覺非常見的條款


還有更多對創業者不利的條款。有些投資人,可能會強制要求創業者做出不公平的保證,例如,要求創業者對預期之外的課稅,或是隨後的公司費用承擔個人責任。基本上,創業者不需要對誠信 (Integrity) 或受託人義務 (Fiduciary Duty) 以外的相關問題負責。然而,非常見條款通常是針對非常見的情況而制定,每筆交易都各有不同的背景與條件,因此,創業者請務必全面了解自身的狀況,並相對應地調整條款。

更值得注意的,在創投更加稀缺的新興或前沿市場,一些投資人 (通常是某些來自傳統背景的投資人),在股權結構上,可能會將創業者視為替投資人打工的員工,只擁有相對少數的股權,決策權在擁有多數股權的投資人手上。當然,的確有創業者需要投資人提供這種程度的參與或引導,但在多數情況下,這類的投資人,通常會對公司運作的每一個細節進行微觀管理,在創意自由、彈性與控制上,幾乎沒有留下足夠的空間給創業者。身為創業者,要先了解你希望是哪一種投資人投資你。



歸根究底,投資協議只是一個創業者與投資人之間的合作框架。對創業者來說,更重要的是能否了解未來 5 到 10 年內,直到幫助他完全退場前,必須要與這位投資人綁在一起,最好是充分合作,否則也不要互相拖累,進而以此為考量來設定條款。過去 10 年中,台灣和東南亞的創業者,財務知識有顯著提高,投資人普遍也已遵循了全球實務準則,為了贏得更多競爭的投資案,過去常見的過時苛刻條件多半消失了。

AppWorks,我們期待與創業者從早期展開合作 (所以才叫之初!),引導新手創業者更全面了解投資協議,並確保創業者能因此獲得更為長期的成功。對投資人與創業者來說,投資協議不應該是個我贏就代表你輸的零和賽局,隨著生態系更加成熟,市場自然會過濾掉那些不良條款,進而發展出更健全的投資人與創業者關係,促進更多優質的投資與創新。(本文由 AppWorks 合夥人詹德弘撰寫、媒體公關總監李欣岳編譯,原文為:Five Fundraising Tips for First-time Founders)

【歡迎所有 Web3 / DAO、AI / IoT 以及目標 Southeast Asia 的創業者,加入專為你們服務的 AppWorks Accelerator

Photo by Razvan Chisu from Unsplash

L.A. Music-Tech Startup trac Raises $2.5M to Create the Operating System for Artists’ Careers, Bridging Web2 and Web3

Editor’s note: We’re thrilled to join trac’s mission to support artists and creators bridge web2 and web3 world. The press release from trac is below:

trac, a music-tech company, announced it has closed a $2.5 million pre-seed round led by Lagos, Nigeria-based Zrosk Investment Management—with participation from AppWorks, InfinityVC, Calm Company Fund, Dapper Labs, as well as key angels including Roham Gharegozlou and Siqi Chen. trac will use the funding to scale the business and increase its market reach while expanding its engineering and operations teams.

Founded in 2020 by tech and marketing leader Cardin Campbell, trac is a one-stop-shop for artists to monetize and manage every aspect of their careers so they can build more sustainable financial futures. trac first launched by giving artists free music distribution on platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, Youtube, and Tidal—and is quickly adding on other integrated products to create the ultimate artist stack, bridging Web2 and Web3. The company will soon begin creating decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) for artists that will run on their own unique artist tokens that incentivize engagement.

“Artists shouldn’t have to worry about technology—what’s a blockchain, an NFT, or even how to work a crypto wallet. They should have a platform at their fingertips that they can trust that is always innovating and creating opportunities for them to monetize their passion,” said Campbell, who has held past global marketing and technology roles at world-class companies over the course of his nearly 20-year career including Intel, Nike, Expedia Group and most recently Peloton—in addition to being a singer, songwriter, and producer earlier in his career. “This capital allows us to continue to scale as we gain more trac(tion).”

trac’s capital raise coincides with the rise of self-releasing artists who are leading streaming music’s growth and as technology has led to major labels being outpaced by the independent sector. 

“The recording industry is ripe for disruption and has been for years. It’s an industry where many artists struggle with building a fanbase and monetizing their career,” said Samson Esemuede, Chief Investment Officer at Zrosk. “We were captivated by Cardin’s passion and his vision for tokenizing the music industry, that not only solves these age-old problems but finally flips the industry right side up. In addition, as Afrobeats is becoming one of the biggest cultural exports from the African continent, trac provides the sort of infrastructure that ensures that the value generated from such exports is extracted by the people responsible for creating them.”

About trac

trac is an artist monetization platform. We provide the virtual infrastructure every artist and their teams need to easily monetize their content, name, and likeness directly with their fans. Our long-term vision is to tokenize the economy around the artist, using smart contracts and the blockchain to help them sell their music, build their brand/community and track their impact more effectively and efficiently.

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