The Collective D.A.S.A (Decentralised Autonomous Startup Accelerator)

Hey Nembers,

Sean here, the COO and co-founder of Collective Campus.

We’re a Corporate Innovation Consultancy, Accelerator Program and have our roots in Tech Coworking.

Some of our corporate clients include: ASAHI beverages, Clifford Chance, Village Roadshow, Fox Sports, and more.
Some of the startups who have called us home include: UBER, Zomato, Coinjar, Booktopia, Canya and Horizon State.

We ran Australia’s first:
LegalTech accelerator with Mills Oakley
VR/AR accelerator with Village and Microsoft
PropTech accelerator with Charter Hall

Now we want to take our accelerator programs to the blockchain, and build it on NEM.

But first, we’d like as much feedback from the community as possible to shape our thinking, as we believe this project has far reaching opportunities beyond our programs alone.


We see the D.A.S.A as having four primary goals:

  1. To be a source of quality, vetted and investible blockchain startups
  2. Financially incentivise all accelerator ecosystem contributors (founders, equity holders, coaches, service providers, mentors, program managers and investors)
  3. Democratize access to early stage startup investment
  4. Create a secondary market for these early stage investments, thus making them liquid

The problems we’ll aim to address are:

  1. The vast majority of ICOs do not justify the amounts and raised, and when they do, lack the skills to effectively execute on the vision. Ie, 46% of successfully funded ICOs from 2017 have already failed or are missing in action.
  2. Startup mortality rates are high. It is hard to pick winners on an individual basis without expertise and a large investment in time.
  3. Traditional accelerators are physically constrained, and do not have repeatable, scalable mechanisms to incentivise their ecosystem contributors effectively.
  4. Investing in early stage startups is generally limited to high net wealth or sophisticated investors.

Our current proposal is to create the Accelerator, on the NEM blockchain, which will be powered by a combination of XEM and its own utility tokens, tentatively called TCT (The Collective Token).

TCT is the Utility token that represents participation and voting rights within The Collective DASA. Mentors and participants within the ecosystem will also be compensated in TCT for their efforts in assisting the startups. Fund raising rounds for the Collective DASA are conducted in TCT, with these being sold to those wanting to fund and participate in accelerator intakes.

Taking the following Accelerator cohort as an example, let’s say we want to give each startup $100K worth of value (a combination of XEM & TCT) in exchange for an equity stake in their business, or an option on their future token sale.

The DASA would:

  1. Conduct a fundraise, by selling TCT for XEM, in order to seed each of the startups.
  2. Set aside a portion of funds raised for Accelerator operations, as well as an amount of TCT to incentivise the ecosystem (mentors, coaches, contributors, service providers).
  3. The startups would undertake the Accelerator (after a stringent selection process) and be provided education, contacts, mentorship and coaching.
  4. Mentors and coaches spend more time and effort as they are incentivised to do so.
  5. Successful startups in the cohort conduct successful fundraises of their own.

Would love the community’s thoughts, comments and questions as we continue to work on the model before formally submitting for community fund consideration.

We’re creating a pretty amazing team across startup development, venture capital investment, and smart contract development. If you’d like to get involved as well - give me a shout.

Sounds really interesting, Sean. Can I ask what stage startups you are most looking to support in this model? So for example your post mentions seed fundraising but are you also planning to target projects entering Series A funding? Uhhhh asking for a friend…

1 Like

Cheers Matt.
I think working with blockchain startups gives us the opportunity to work with a range of startup maturity levels.
Pragmatically speaking however, pre-ICO startups would get the most value out of our accelerator programs, and vice versa.
Down the line we could look to run “scale-up” focused programs as well, but would then need to consider what we get in return for the funding we provide.

1 Like

Excellent Sean, thanks!

Hi Sean, the idea looks very exciting, although, have you done the research if your token model doesn’t fall under securities? Of course I fully understand that everybody wants a flexible and effective way of fundraising and supporting great projects and ideas but the reality is harsh. I hope you have a strategy how to avoid being thrown under regulations? Because there are many: Securities (“Utility token that represents participation and voting rights” - it can be held as shares), Collective investment (“Fund raising rounds for the Collective DASA are conducted in TCT, with these being sold to those wanting to fund and participate in accelerator intakes” - it can be seen as collective investment tool), again securities (“let’s say we want to give each startup $100K worth of value (a combination of XEM & TCT) in exchange for an equity stake in their business, or an option on their future token sale.” - it can be seen as fund units or also shares).

In any case, it is a great idea worth workin on and I wish you all the best!

1 Like

Thanks for words of encouragement Andrius.

The question of securities is definitely something we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about - and will continue to do so.

Our current thinking is to separate the Accelerator utility token with a compliant security token down the line, which will represent the DASA’s funds under management.

We’ve still got some work to do to ensure that when we go for a token raise of any kind, that we’re clear with our language. Working on this as we speak.

Our intention is to run the initial accelerator programs with the utility token only, to prove out the system - it’ll be used purely as an incentive mechanism to reward contributors to the startups, without representing ownership of any kind.

If you’ve come across any similar token models we should explore I’d be interested in having a look.