It would appear that NFT 2.0 is upon us. After the hype and the early airdrops that enabled some to buy Range Rovers and others to sell their over-inflated souls, the dust has settled and the industry is moving on up.
As ever, it’s almost impossible to pick winners in a New World that render even the most prescient visionary insensible, but there are signs that the sector is beginning to address glaring deficiencies in our skewed analogue society.
Last week was International Women’s Day and aside from the shameless social media virtue-signalling from those (men) who benefit each day from the disparity, it shines a light on all of our sisters, daughters and mothers… and is arguably a more important day than this Sunday’s (UK) Mothers Day.
While these landmark days are important, others are busy trying to breach the disparity gap by doing something about it, not just having a ridiculously overpriced Sunday lunch and receiving overgrown flowers.
This is the point where NFTs and the similarly ridiculous over-priced venture capitalist worlds meet. The depressing numbers can be found anywhere on the internet or with ChatGPT 4 – nobody wants to give women founders money.
The current VC model excludes women and minorities due to unfair selection criteria and unconscious bias, so please be introduced to Thousand Faces, an alternative to funding for women in a more inclusive and transparent way using the collective intelligence of community and NFTs.
It describes itself as a ‘community-based investment club helping female entrepreneurs build sustainable businesses’.
Set up by two sisters who were originally from Iran and now based in Paris, the Ashari sisters know that being a woman and an immigrant from an emerging country means the chances of receiving funding are even lower. That’s why Thousand Faces exists.
In its mission to democratise funding for the marginalised and excluded, Thousand Faces leverages original NFT artwork and a vibrant Web3 community to be the first source of funding for entrepreneurs around the globe to launch companies that make the world a better place.
Lifelong membership is open to holders of Thousand Faces original NFTs and founding membership is reserved for members cleared for the membership AllowList. Minting is now open at https://mint.thousandfaces.art/.
Coinciding with International Women’s Day, last week the company launched its Demo Day where 10 female-led businesses pitched for a chance at one of five spots in the final month of its Female Founders Accelerator Program.
The Female Founder Accelerator Program is a three-month program that brings together experts in different fields to deliver a startup curriculum designed exclusively to support and foster female founders building early-stage businesses supporting Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
The curriculum covers business classes crucial to startup success, including business plan creation, team building, leadership, marketing and sales, branding, product development, finance, legal support and fundraising, as well as classes that support wellness and emotional well-being.
The program, which received 222 applications from 76 countries, is now entering its final stage of one-on-mentorship, first selecting a top 10, and finally top five from 30 projects that were announced in January.
“We’re ecstatic at the response to our first Female Founder Accelerator Program and the calibre of the projects that pitched for placement in the final five,” said Moojan Asghari, co-founder and CEO of Thousand Faces.
“These women leaders are not only dedicated visionaries but inspiring humans who are already creating a better world.
“Together, we’re committed to supporting and uplifting all of these women leaders in their endeavours and we can’t wait to see how their futures unfold.”
After the ten finalists have been culled down to five, the top three are selected by an expert panel of jurors from Thousand Faces’ Founding Member board, and the final two being named by the Thousand Faces community of more than 200 hundred members and investors.
An awards ceremony, planned for April 7, will reveal program winners receiving cash and in-kind prizes. The top three winners will take home grants between 10,000 and 50,000 Euros. The awards will be sponsored by Web3-based gaming platform The SandBox, Web3 domain registrar Unstoppable Domains and French public investment bank BPI France.
“We believe the metaverse should drive positive impact both in virtual and physical worlds and raise awareness for various social, educational and environmental causes,” explained Sébastion Borget, COO and co-founder of The SandBox.
“That’s why we are supporting the Thousand Faces project, to foster more women empowerment and strive to bring more inclusivity and diversity in Web3, to build a future owned by its users and more opportunities for women in it.”
So, as NFT 1.0 fades into the distance as lost souls and Range Rovers drive off to their respective sunsets, NFT 2.0 promises much more and, like Thousand Faces’ mission, it may even save the world, or at least make it a much fairer one.