In November 2022, Acme Innovation and Wavia launched Collider, an accelerator-conference hybrid bringing together founders, advisors, mentors, and investors to advance early-stage music, gaming, and creative IP startups operating in or developing Web3 deployment.
Acme’s goal for Collider was simple: to create “collisions” between a diverse cohort of 18 value-aligned companies and over 50 advisors to help each startup innovate, grow, and succeed. Collider’s first cohort of 18 included companies like OneOf, Single, and Absolute Labs and ranged from Web3-native companies to Web2 companies looking to adopt Web3 technology. The advisors and panelists included a myriad of investors, strategists, and serial entrepreneurs like Bill Tai, Alexandra Dumas, Justin Abernathy, Gil Weisblum, and more.
“I came here without any preconception and I’m so positively surprised…[Collider] has changed my thinking already significantly.” - Lin Dai, Founder of OneOf
Following a welcome party on Sunday evening, the program kicked-off with four days of compelling panels, activations, and performances. The conversations covered a broad range of topics, including how founders can lead with values, build using Web3 technology, go to market, advocate for artists and creators, and, ultimately, raise funding.
At the end of the first full day of sessions, Lin Dai (founder of OneOf), made an illustrative comment about his experience: “I came here without any preconception and I’m so positively surprised… [Collider] has changed my thinking already significantly. I heard a dozen use cases I didn’t even think about for NFT users. And all of you [Collider participants] have put so much thought into what this technology can possibly do, it makes me think about how to tailor our product to fit your product.”
Throughout Collider, each founder had the opportunity to showcase their company and connect and strategize with the advisors and investors attending alongside them. During Collider’s Solve For sessions, founders leveraged the collective expertise of the group to problem solve solutions for the biggest issues facing their companies. Yasmeen Drummond, investor at Nima Capital, spoke about the opportunities that sprouted at Collider: “Everyone is so excited to do partnerships with each other. We have 90 portfolio companies in the Web3 space, all of whom are super open to collaboration. There’s been at least 10 people I’ve met here that we’d want to partner with. Everyone is in that same boat of wanting to build with each other, invest in each other, or create partnerships that can bring users to each other's platforms.”
“Everyone is in that same boat of wanting to build with each other, invest in each other, or create partnerships that can bring users to each other's platforms.” -Yasmeen Drummond, Investor at Nima Capital
One of Acme Innovation’s core principles is to build tools for artists with artists and creators in the room. To that end, Collider featured participation and performances from two incredible artists: Maria Finkelmeier and Ark Woods. Maria–whose performative art company MF Dynamics was part of Collider’s cohort–performed original compositions on her marimba, paired with digital visuals tracked from her movements.
Ark Woods, a recording artist Acme has worked with for the past several years, spoke on a panel about artists’ perspectives on the current creator economy, and performed an electric set of his funk-infused hip-hop on the final night of the in-person kick-off. After several days of intensive learnings, breakthroughs, and collisions, everyone gathered around the stage and danced into the night.
“There’s a lot of liftoff that can come from meetings and environments like [Collider] because there’s just good people wanting to help each other out.” - Ian Anderson, CIO of Wisdom Gaming
After a rewarding five-day immersion, Collider has only just begun. The accelerator will continue with a series of online sprints to focus the cohort companies on their go-to-market and fundraising strategies and culminate in a demo day with Acme’s investor community.
Ian Anderson, CIO of Wisdom Gaming, gave an apt comparison, describing Collider as a liftoff: “There’s a lot of liftoff that can come from meetings and environments like [Collider] because there’s just good people wanting to help each other out. And that might be the most awesome thing about this.”
From all of us at Acme Innovation and Wavia, thank you to everyone who made the first Collider successful. If you have any interest in participating in a future Collider as a cohort company, advisor, or investor, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.