ICON (ICX) launches its first accelerator hub in San Francisco
The technical support is more important than the funding, and ICX Station has it covered.
If you build it, they will come.
The credo held very true for bitcoin, and equally true for Ethereum, but getting third-party developer traction has been a little harder since then, with more projects vying for a finite pool of talent and interest, and holding out more incentives than they used to.
Development funds, crypto-funded accelerators, bounty programs, platform-specific hackathons and more have since become the norm, and even the best projects need to offer a little something extra to attract developers to their projects rather than the competition.
Ethereum is big enough that its third parties are funding third parties to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, Ripple has invested heavily in this area on behalf of XRP with the Xpring VC fund, and IOTA set aside millions for third-party developers to be routed through purpose-built hubs like Ecosystem and bIOTAsphere.
Now ICON (ICX) is getting on board, opening the first of several ICON accelerators in San Francisco, with more "launchpads" as it calls them set to be opened in Seoul, Tokyo and Singapore next.
Anatomy of a springboard
The initiative as a whole is called ICX Station. These kinds of programs are designed to give developers and entrepreneurs the means to make rapid progress on applications designed for specific blockchain platforms – in this case ICON.
"Now is the time to start building," says San Francisco Launchpad Manager Scott Smiley. "ICX Station will help lead the future of blockchain-based businesses running on the ICON Protocol."
It's not just about funding and quicker development though. These kinds of programs might also serve as an especially important piece of infrastructure to keep essential developers deeply interested in a platform for the years it takes to go from hype to function.
"Every technology goes through a hype cycle, and we believe blockchain technology is no exception. However, people tend to overestimate the short-term potential and underestimate the long-term potential of nascent technologies," Smiley explains. "We truly believe in the disruptive potential of blockchain technology, and have built a state-of-the-art infrastructure. We seek high end, practical use cases and those that support the blockchain infrastructure we’re trying to build. In return, we offer a unique opportunity to build on one of the most advanced and scalable blockchains in the market."
"Projects accepted into ICX Station will be able to focus on what’s important, their project," said Daeki Lee, also a San Francisco Launchpad manager. "Launchpad managers from ICX Station will take care of the rest: making introductions to service providers like smart contract auditors, law firms, marketing firms, as well as fundraising support, technical support, white paper review, and code review."
The most important part
ICON's accelerators might work a little differently to most because they're actively focused on attracting entrepreneurs who want to build a blockchain business. Chosen projects will get up to $100,000 ICX equivalent in funding, but more importantly will also get access to a range of technical talent.
Experienced developers are one of the most in-demand but hard-to-find pieces of any blockchain project, and the simple lack of enough technical talent for all projects in the space is inhibiting the growth of the area. By effectively filling this gap, ICON might be in a position to see exceptionally rapid growth.
Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author holds ETH, IOTA, ICX, VET, XLM, BTC and ADA.