[Short #135] Mastercard's Crypto Accelerator

PLUS: 💼 Web3 Recruiting Resources, Starbucks Odyssey updates

Mastercard’s Accelerator

A few months ago, I covered Disney’s 2022 accelerator participants and what it implies for the House of Mouse.

Yesterday, Mastercard announced a new cohort for their Start Path Crypto program. It seems like this is their fourth wave, with some notable names in previous classes:


The program provides a wealth of resources, along with the possibility of financial investment and/or acquisition down the road, which is similar to Disney’s strategy.


Who’s in this wave of startups? (taken from their announcement)

  • Digital Treasures Center (DTC) [Singapore] empowers merchants to pay, receive and transfer funds including card, cash and crypto, as well as process major currencies using DTC Pay. 

  • Fasset [Abu Dhabi] is an emerging markets digital asset exchange, pioneering Web3 use cases for the next billion to enhance the way people own, connect and share digital assets. 

  • Loot Bolt [U.S.] empowers organizations to build, grow and scale passionate communities by leveraging a Web3-powered social payments system. 

  • Quadrata [U.S.] uses privacy-preserving and Sybil-resistant technology to bring identity and compliance to public blockchains, while also lowering reputational risk. 

  • Stable® [Colombia] offers global remittances, peer-to-peer payments and card use based on a technology that stabilizes all global currencies, including stablecoins, safely and simply. 

  • TBTM (Take Back the Mic) Studios [Dubai] is building the world’s first blockchain-based media fintech, turning culture into currency by rewarding fans and compensating creators for building communities around great content. 

  • Uptop [U.S.] uses blockchain to create a clutter-free place for brands to control their customer relationships and for shoppers to receive fun, personalized rewards. 

Some themes from this class:

  • Focus is on fintech - This is an obvious, whether it’s DTC focused on payments or Fasset as an exchange.

  • Global focus - Unlike Disney’s accelerator, Mastercard is applying a global lens with their program. A majority of participants are based outside the US, and TBTM is based in Dubai with a focus on African countries.

  • All roads lead to finance - Outside of the pure finance plays (DTC, Fasset, Stable), Mastercard is looking at identity (Quadrata), community (Loot Bolt, TBTM), and loyalty (Uptop). Whether its content monetization, bounties for community growth, or identity verification for financial transactions it’s about money (and data) at the end of the day.

Will these companies become household names? Time will tell ⏳

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Layoffs + Web3 Job Resources

News around tech layoffs have accelerated, and that sucks 😢

Genevieve Roch-Decter, CFA @GRDecter

Layoffs announced in the last day: - Lyft 13% of workers - Opendoor 18% - Stripe 14% - Chime 12% - Twitter 50% - Morgan Stanley (% unknown)

5:44 PM ∙ Nov 3, 2022


As someone that has experienced being laid off, it’s a shock, along with many other emotions. I wrote about the experience a few years ago (my first piece of public writing!):

I Got Laid Off

From a glass half full POV, I do hope those impacted take a look at the Web3 space for opportunities. The industry has taken its own lumps (eg: Dapper Labs layoff), but it’s still a vibrant and beautiful ecosystem of opportunity.

For those that have been or know people who have been impacted, here are some Web3 job boards and resources:

Proof of Talent

Pomp’s Job Board


Gaby’s Job Board

Bankless’ Job Board

Web3 Jobs


Superteam Bounty Board

Dework Bounties and Grants

Stay strong, happy to chat if you’ve been affected 💪

Starbucks Odyssey updates

Got this in the e-mail inbox yesterday 👀

For those that are unfamiliar with Starbucks NFT loyalty program, check out my piece on it here. It’d be fun if I get into the beta, maybe I’ll turn into a die-hard Starbucks fan.

Also, interesting detail with the e-mail sender:

HelloWorld (rebranded to Merkle) is a loyalty agency that works with large brands.

Starbucks’ normal marketing e-mails seem to be in-house:

Is this an expertise thing, a resource thing, or a ‘if it works we’ll bring it in house’ thing? 🤔

See you next week! I’ll be at ETH SF this weekend. I look forward to sharing an inside look at a Hackathon and meeting interesting folks with a recap next week. I won’t be writing code, but I’ll be writing words 👨🏻‍💻

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