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Pussy Riot, Ex-Bloomberg Reporter Join ‘Seed Club’ Crypto Accelerator

www.coindesk.com 22 September 2021 22:48, UTC
Reading time: ~3 m

Seed Club, an incubator for community-centric crypto projects, has announced a new slate for its six-week accelerator program.

Among the teams in the Seed Club accelerator’s third “cohort” are the Russian art collective Pussy Riot, Cherie Hu’s crypto-conscious media brand, Water and Music, and the music blog Tiny Mix Tapes, which shut down at the beginning of 2020 and is now pursuing a second life on the blockchain.

Also in the cohort is the reporter Matt Leising, who recently left Bloomberg after a 17-year tenure. His project, Tinsel DAO, will hunt for “crypto-based” intellectual property to turn into movies and TV shows. On Twitter, Leising said the venture is part of a new company called Decential Media.

Seed Club models itself after the prominent startup incubator Y Combinator, but specializes in education and development around social tokens – cryptocurrencies dedicated to galvanizing and governing online communities. The idea is that owning a social token makes you a member of a collective, and keeps you financially invested in its long-term success. It’s not unlike a co-op model, in that each member has a stake.

Seed Club’s accelerator program is essentially a boot camp for building a tokenized community, with biweekly coaching sessions and mentorship opportunities. In the way that Y Combinator gets equity from its startups in exchange for capital, Seed Club gets a 3% cut of its projects’ tokens.

The crucial difference is that Seed Club doesn’t actually make a monetary investment in its accelerator projects – so, for now, these nascent communities are just getting the boot camp.

Social tokens on the rise

Social tokens have grown popular over the past year, as decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and crypto social clubs like Friends With Benefits have provided a model for structuring businesses on the blockchain. Earlier this year, the LA-based record label Leaving Records used a social token called $GENRE to play around with new paradigms for music and ownership.

Keeping tabs on tokenized communities has become a business model in and of itself: just last week, a group called Forefront raised $21 million for newsletters and other media products that track the wide world of social tokens. Carlos Gomes, Forefront’s founder, is a Seed Club alum.

Read more: Crypto Media Company Forefront Raises $2.1M to Cover World of Social Tokens

Seed Club inductee Cherie Hu, whose paid newsletter Water and Music covers the intersection of tech and entertainment, told CoinDesk that establishing a crypto-based community is a “natural next step” for her brand.

“We have a vision for a new kind of trade publication for the entertainment business that can better leverage the collective knowledge and expertise of our readership to drive our research and reporting, while building a community that gives readers a chance to learn from and collaborate with each other,” she said in a statement.

This summer, Seed Club said it raised $2 million from the likes of Aave founder Stani Kulechov, crypto investor Packy McCormick, and Andreessen Horowitz alum Denis Nazarov, who’s now the driving force behind the crypto-backed blogging platform Mirror.

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