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Inaugural fellowship program designed to help Y Combinator alums validate, build and ship their next web3 project

Web3 is still in the very early innings, so it is critical to encourage experimentation and shared learnings to unlock the next level of web3 innovation.”
— Steven Chien, Co-founder and General Partner at Press Start Capital

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, USA, November 21, 2022 / -- Orange DAO, the builder and investor group made up of Y Combinator alumni founders and Press Start Capital, the pre-seed/seed stage venture fund focused on web3 gaming, metaverse, NFTs and entertainment, announced today the conclusion of the inaugural cohort of the Orange DAO x Press Start Fellowship.

Ten Orange DAO members participated in a ten-week fellowship program that culminated in a private demo day. Each fellow received $25,000 in grants, tailored mentorship and access to a close-knit community of like-minded builders. About half of the fellows secured funding during the fellowship, with several accepted into the next batch of top tier accelerators.

The Orange DAO x Press Start fellowship is a joint initiative by Orange DAO, the DAO for 1,300+ founders of Y Combinator-backed companies, and Press Start Capital, an early stage web3 gaming/entertainment venture fund. The fellowship program aims to bring more builders to web3, encourage experimentation, and support founders at the earliest stage.

“Orange DAO's mission is to empower DAO members to dive into web3 full-time and grow the web3 ecosystem,” said James Sinka, the Orange DAO fellowship program director. “Orange DAO selected Press Start Capital as its inaugural partner to expand the number of fellows and to deliver their unique expertise in Gaming, NFTs & Entertainment to fellows. It takes a village to raise a child, so we are excited to be partnering with Press Start Capital for our first fellowship.”

“The builders in Orange DAO are asymmetric, so taking early bets on them was a no-brainer. As such, we made this fellowship the most builder-friendly program in the space, offering community support, accountability and grant funding” James added.

“Web3 is still in the very early innings, so it is critical to encourage experimentation and shared learnings to unlock the next level of web3 innovation,” said Steven Chien, Co-founder and General Partner at Press Start Capital. “Orange DAO is the gold standard for builder DAOs, and as builders ourselves, we're committed to supporting founders at the earliest stage.”

“This fellowship uniquely fills the gap between weekend hackathons and accelerator programs,” Steven added.

Here are some of the fellows launching something new:

- Derek Chiang: “ZeroDev is an SDK for building web3 products that are easy for regular people to use. With ZeroDev, your users can use your application without having to install wallets or pay gas, while still maintaining full control over their assets. ZeroDev will be attending the Y Combinator Winter 2023 cohort.” [Check out ZeroDev here:]
-- Beginner-friendly web3 apps that feel like web2 apps will be critical in onboarding the next wave of crypto users.
- Rashid Aziz: “Basic is a web3 native database. A data network for developers to build performant applications while letting users retain ownership of their data.”
-- Data ownership is a key value proposition in web3, but we’ve yet to see an easy to use, fully decentralized database that puts control in the hands of their users.
- Richard Bronson: “Second Chance is a DAO network for the 70 million formerly incarcerated Americans, and their family/friends, to reintegrate into society."
-- The formerly incarcerated have a particularly hard time finding their footing in society once they’ve returned.
- Emerson Hsieh: “We’re building Crypto Towns and believe that web3 games will not look like web2 games with a crypto layer, just as mobile games are wholly different from PC/console titles.”
-- Web3 gaming tokenomics will push the boundaries of tokenomics, incentive design and consumer apps.
- Benjamin Huang: “Base Station is building a feed builder for web3. You can add accounts from twitter, lens, farcaster, filter their posts against specific parameters creating a feed with your unique perspectives.”
-- As web3 fills up with more noise, owners of NFTs and tokens are increasingly finding it hard to leverage the utility of these assets.
- Jeff Shaw: “Building a platform to assist DAOs in developing strong bonds among its members through virtual immersive happy hours that bridge the physical/virtual divide.”
-- As remote teams scale, cohesion and connectivity is put to the test.

About Orange DAO
Orange DAO is a group of over 1,300 Y Combinator alumni, working together to build and invest in the best companies in web3. Formed at the end of 2021, Orange DAO has raised $80M to date, mainly from two strategic investors: layer-one blockchains Algorand and Near. Orange DAO invests in pre-seed and seed stage web3 startups, but have created the fellowship to bring new opportunities to talented members still on the sidelines.

The Orange Fellowship program is a new strategic initiative that allows Orange DAO to invest in the most talented of its members, giving members an opportunity to jump full time into web3. This program enables new ideas to be tested and accelerates the founders’ journeys. Orange DAO is always seeking the best ways to support its portfolio companies, and now has an arm to extend that support to YC alumni who have been looking for an opportunity to jump into web3. Fueled from the recent fundraises, Orange DAO is embarking on an opportunity to put the most talented web3 founders in business.

About Press Start Capital
Press Start Capital is a pre-seed/seed stage venture fund focused on web3 gaming, metaverse, NFTs and entertainment. Our fund partners are experienced builders with multiple exits. We believe the best support for founders is a community of fellow builders - learning and helping one another.

As crypto eats software and gaming eats culture, now is the time to build a new Golden Age of Entertainment - where players participate in the creation and ownership of the games, stories and assets they cherish.

Press Start Capital’s “Multiplayer” strategy is to partner with quality organizations and groups to identify, fund and support promising founders who are building this new Golden Age.

Daniel Delson
Magnitude Inc.
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