Connect with us


Shaping the future of Web3: An interview with Techstars’ Pete Townsend

Delve into the insightful experience and views of Pete Townsend, a renowned figure in the startup and Web3 ecosystem.



Source: Cointelegraph

As an integral part of Techstars, a global seed accelerator known for its significant investments in over 250 Web3 startups, Pete Townsend offers a unique perspective on what it takes to succeed in this rapidly evolving space.

His expertise spans from identifying promising startups for accelerator programs to fostering entrepreneurial success through tailored mentorship. With a keen eye on the latest trends and the ever-changing landscape of technology, he shares his thoughts on various aspects of Web3, including gaming, fan platforms, stablecoins, and the importance of a robust startup network.

Cointelegraph: Techstars has invested in more than 250 Web3 startups, with Chainalysis, valued at $8.6B, and Arweave being some of the standout names. Can you shed some light on the core criteria you consider when selecting startups for your accelerator programs?

Pete Townsend: When investing at the pre-seed level, the most important criteria is the strength and adaptability of the founding team. We also want to see the founders focused on solving a problem for a huge market and have good traction with acquiring users from that market.

Their progress with the product is critical as well, but sometimes, we invest in founders in spite of their product or idea because we truly believe in those founders’ ability to execute (and pivots are the norm!).

Specifically in Web3, we want to understand how the founders are helping to build the decentralized internet, whether they’re building a tokenized economy or a centralized business, and how they’ll drive the onboarding of the first one billion users of Web3.

CT: Mentorship is a cornerstone of Techstars’ approach to fostering entrepreneurial success. How do you ensure that the mentorship provided aligns with each startup’s unique needs and challenges?

PT: We pair startups with mentors who have relevant industry experience and expertise. There is a consideration of the startup’s current challenges, strategic goals, and mentor strengths.

Regular check-ins and structured feedback sessions ensure the mentorship remains in sync with the evolving needs of the startup. With our Web3 program, we’re doubling down on mentors who can sell, build products, or fundraise in Web3.

CT: With your recent investments in startups like JR Studio and SonX, one can’t help but notice the emphasis on gaming and fan platforms. Is this, in your view, a key factor in driving widespread Web3 adoption?

PT: Absolutely. Gaming and fan platforms showcase the potential of Web3 to transform everyday activities with more immersive, rewarding experiences. By tapping into these sectors, we’re not only diversifying the blockchain ecosystem but also fostering use cases that could lead to mass adoption due to their widespread appeal.

This is just one of our three strands, however, as GameFi and fan platforms are generally centralized businesses driving Web3 user onboarding, and we’re also investing heavily in Web3 projects focused on decentralization and tokenized economies.

CT: Techstars has recently backed DLTPAY, a stablecoin-centric DeFi wallet offering Web3 payments on the EVM layer-2 ecosystem. Are stablecoins on the path to becoming the standard for e-commerce and international money transfers?

PT: Stablecoins may become the killer app for crypto, and adoption is growing beyond their popularity as a settlement asset on centralized crypto exchanges. We’re seeing tons of propositions for the use of stablecoins behind the scenes of international remittance platforms.

With enhanced regulatory regimes in the works for stablecoins globally, we expect that USD-based stablecoins will soon become an option for eCommerce, especially in lesser-developed markets with inflationary pressures.

CT: The cross-pollination of ideas is often cited as a benefit of being part of the Techstars network. Could you share any collaborations or insights that emerged from the interaction between different startups within the Techstars ecosystem?

PT: One of the most exciting aspects of the Techstars network is the opportunities it creates. We’ve had portfolio companies collaborate with each other, leading to a new approach to user experience that leverages the strengths of both technologies.

For example, Protico’s universal chat interface from our Techstars Web3 class of 2023 is now integrated into a number of their fellow class participants’ platforms.

CT: The Techstars Web3 Accelerator operates mainly through online sessions with occasional in-person interactions. Given the momentum behind remote work, is it likely that more Techstars programs will align with this format?

PT: Web3 is global and borderless, and so is Techstars Web3, Although most of our program content is delivered virtually, we do meet up in 3 cities around the world for a week at a time at the beginning, middle, and end of the 13-week program.

Beyond the Web3 factor, we also operate the program this way so that founders can get the most out of the Techstars experience even if they cannot relocate for the duration of the program. We modeled our Web3 program format after Techstars’ successful Techstars Anywhere Remote Accelerator, so we’re not alone with this format.

CT: Lastly, what advice can you offer to emerging startups and entrepreneurs aiming to secure a spot within the Techstars network, and where can they submit their applications?

PT: My advice is to focus on building a robust founding team, having a clear and scalable business model, and a product that solves a genuine problem uniquely. Applications can be submitted through the Techstars Web3 website, where you’ll find detailed information on the application process and program specifics. We look forward to seeing how you plan to make a mark in the Web3 space!

Looking ahead, the potential of stablecoins and the integration of Web3 technologies in sectors like e-commerce and international money transfers present exciting opportunities for innovation and growth. Pete Townsend’s advice to emerging startups is invaluable in this regard: prioritize a solid team foundation, a scalable business model, and a unique problem-solving approach.

Disclaimer. EmporioNFT does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you with all important information that we could obtain in this sponsored article, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor can this article be considered as investment advice.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Tu dirección de correo electrónico no será publicada. Los campos obligatorios están marcados con *