Ethereum incubator ConsenSys Mesh announced its latest funding initiative for blockchain-backed projects on Thursday: TachyonX, a novel program designed to infuse early-stage startups with millions of dollars in collective seed capital without requiring them to pass through the curriculum and bureaucracy of a traditional accelerator.
TachyonX will accept applications on a rolling basis from any technical project, no matter how early-stage, that is “solving real-world problems” via blockchain. Though Mesh and its parent company ConsenSys are deeply tied to the Ethereum ecosystem, projects building on any Ethereum Virtual Machine-compatible blockchain are welcome to apply to the program. (Disclosure: ConsenSys is one of 22 investors in Decrypt, which was incubated within ConsenSys Mesh before spinning out in 2022.)
Winning proposals will receive a $150,000 investment from Mesh in return for 4% equity in the project; selected founders will also have one-on-one access to a suite of mentors who will help get their projects off the ground quickly.
Such mentors already confirmed to be participating in the TachyonX program include ConsenSys CEO and Ethereum co-founder Joe Lubin, Gnosis co-founder Stefan George, Gitcoin co-founder Kevin Owocki, Aztec COO Lisa Cuesta Bunin, and Coinbase Ventures head Shan Aggarwal, among others.
“Our goal with TachyonX is to create a program that will be the first stop for founders building in Web3,” ConsenSys Mesh Head of Marketing Diana Richter told Decrypt. Web3 is a term used to describe the industry of decentralized web technologies, particularly blockchain.
“The transparent terms were designed to make the process as straightforward as possible for founders,” she added.
The TachyonX application, only 18 questions long, is already live. Richter anticipates that the program will accept between eight and 10 projects in its initial cycle, which will likely occur between now and the fall. ConsenSys Mesh previously ran Tachyon, a more traditional tech accelerator program, for over five years; Mesh plans to reboot that initiative next year.
TachyonX was shaped in part, according to its creators, by consistent feedback from Web3 founders who sought quicker access to capital and direct mentorship in order to build as quickly as possible—as opposed to the slower-moving, holistic educational curriculum provided by more traditional tech incubators and accelerators.
“Founders get a check early on and access to a mentorship network to help them as they build,” Richter said. “They can focus on building their business.”
In addition to requiring selected projects to hand over 4% of their equity to ConsenSys Mesh to participate in the program, those projects will also need to grant the incubator a pro rata token right to insider token allocation.