Cronos Labs: Why first principles matter

Cronos Labs: Why first principles matter

My experiences working with entrepreneurs are shaped by my past experiences in investor relations, fundraising, advertising, venture, and innovation.  

Accelerators have been a core part of my experience and have evolved with the Web3 space to provide support and mentorship, to capitalise on opportunities and provide equity and funding through their networks to early stage projects.

Working in accelerators has taught me that first principles are fundamental to a project’s success, and a 360° perspective is especially important when choosing when to invest or work with a team. Cronos Labs’ accelerator is the Web3 ecosystem accelerator of the Cronos chain, launched to help developers build new projects and strengthen the future of Web3 within the Cronos ecosystem. As part of the Cronos accelerator selection process, we shortlist and interview upwards of 40 teams before we select between 6-8 teams for each cohort.

Why 360°?

Firstly, having a holistic viewpoint is important when interviewing founders and projects. As with most start-ups, success is strongly correlated with the strength of the Founder’s vision and the team's ability to listen, evolve and adapt to change to deliver their product to market. It is important to have a panel that represents many different aspects of business and entrepreneurial skill sets, backgrounds and experiences.

Diversity of thought and questioning our own assumptions has been a key selection tool for accessing early stage start-ups, in order to make sure that we are not creating bias shaped by our team's experience.

Innovation requires everyone to identify where their own mindset or knowledge base may be limiting their vision; this is also important advice for founders and entrepreneurs.  It is easy to become rigid in your thinking rather than listening to different viewpoints, especially when adapting to changing markets.

At Cronos, we provide a rigorous framework for projects to improve their product iterations, widen their vision and product problem solving skills through our accelerator programme. First principles thinking is about examining every possible known assumption of a problem and creating a solution from the ground-up.

For us these principles, stand out as indicators of success among early stage web3 founders and project teams:

  • High conviction/Strong viewpoints:  Having strong or polarising opinions on a team tends to mean founders will stand out. In a world that is increasingly polarised, we find having strong conviction or belief on a team is a sign they have the ability to stand out from the crowd.
  • Leading from the Front: The Founder’s resilience and tenacity is key to project success and tends to make projects better able to pivot or adapt as circumstances change.  Strong founders question everything, do not make assumptions and create a team culture where questions are encouraged.
  • Utility is King: The Founder & team are focused on solving a real pain point and can demonstrate the project’s usefulness to consumers. Using first-principles thinking can help product creators to make faster and more accurate decisions.
  • Traction: Teams can demonstrate how they intend to gain traction with consumers (non-crypto or web3 natives) to test and learn what works to access these markets and drive engagement. Innovation is obvious when it comes to traction because we can see how the solution fundamentally solves a problem or pain point for users and this in turn creates traction once launched.

The current cohort teams are pioneers in Web3, covering decentralised finance, blockchain games, and SocialFi. They are located globally in various locations, spanning from Vancouver to Seoul.Our invite-only Demo Day will take place on the 26th July 2023, an exclusive opportunity to hear from our selected founders, pitching to investors, building at the intersection of AI and Blockchain on Cronos. The founders are located globally in various locations. To apply to attend:

Charlotte Kapoor

Charlotte Kapoor

Charlotte Kapoor is Head of Innovation at Cronos Labs, a blockchain startup accelerator that focuses on DeFi and blockchain games, and on the development of the Cronos chain ecosystem.