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Colosseum launches Accelerator Program and hackathon series to support Solana developers

Despite down market conditions over the past year, Solana has continued prioritizing its grassroots developer community.

Colosseum launches Accelerator Program and hackathon series to support Solana developers

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Colosseum, a new organization focused on attracting, accelerating, and investing in new projects for the Solana ecosystem, has announced its official launch today. The organization is headed by former Solana Foundation Head of Growth Matty Taylor, former Slow Ventures Principal Clay Robbins, and Nate Levine, an ex-Stripe software engineer.

According to a press release shared with Crypto Briefing, the organization will focus on building and accelerating the Solana Foundation’s hackathons. Colosseum will continue the momentum started by the Solana Foundation since its first hackathon in 2021. In the past three years, these hackathons have attracted over 60,000 developers from more than 200 countries, with over 4,000 projects launched and $600 million in venture capital funding raised by hackathon winners.

Solana’s recurring hackathons have become among the largest in the technology industry based on participant volume, project output, and downstream investor interest.

Colosseum has also begun working on an Accelerator Program with plans to provide $250,000 in pre-seed funding to select hackathon winners. The first Colosseum-hosted hackathon kicks off on March 4, 2024, with a projected 2-3 hackathons annually.

“Colosseum is focused on increasing global developer and founder participation in order to find the next wave of breakout startups that bring the world onchain,” shares Matty Taylor, co-founder of Colosseum and former Head of Growth at Solana Foundation.

Despite down market conditions over the past year, Solana has continued prioritizing its grassroots developer community. It registered 83% year-over-year new developer growth in 2023. Recent hackathons Grizzlython and Hyperdrive attracted record participation levels, becoming the largest-ever events held in the crypto industry.

Colosseum intends to build on this developer momentum. Its launch aligns with Solana Foundation’s ongoing efforts to grow its builder base despite difficult industry conditions.

The past success of Solana’s hackathons has been a boon for the ecosystem. Events have activated developers to build real-world products on the blockchain. Of the 4,000 projects shipped, many winners have gone on to raise venture funding, including leading organizations such as Realm, Grape, and Apricot. This reflects the viability of hackathons for turning concepts into functioning startups.

Colosseum’s planned Accelerator Program for providing pre-seed funding fills a crucial gap. Historically, many hackathon participants have faced challenges turning their ideas into businesses given limited follow-on capital access. By selecting participants focused on solving real problems and aligning them with investor guidance and runway, the accelerator aims to further the commercial success of these events.

Developers worldwide may register to participate in upcoming Colosseum hackathons through their signup portal.

The launch represents a doubling down on Solana’s grassroots, bottom-up approach to blockchain development. If past events are any indication, Colosseum will tap into this motivated builder community to drive Solana’s next wave of ecosystem development.

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