Imagine a nascent Far West town during the gold rush. There is demand for a saloon, a barber, an hospital, a bank, a grocery store, a tailor... There is a need for roads, telegraph cables, water pipes, stagecoaches… Everything.
The clients are already waiting for the products to be built, waiting to pay handsomely with the gold they just extracted from the mountain. Even basic versions are considerably better than nothing as a starting point in absence of competition. Even the Sheriff understands that.
But there are not enough entrepreneurs to build these products. Few people had the courage to make the trip ("Too late!" "Not a proper career!" "Too expensive!"), and many of the early joiners in the space are either freedom lovers who don’t want to embark into entrepreneurship, or rich already, or both.
It’s way easier to succeed in a young world where ideas are abundant, rules are simple and good entrepreneurs scarce than in an established world with heavy competition and scarce opportunities.
This is exactly what’s happening currently in Crypto. And the 1,5 trillion $ of value created in a few years by the industry makes the physical gold rush look like a lemonade stand in comparison.
Le Crypto Fellowship is an experiment led by two VC firms, Frst (French seed specialist) and Fabric Ventures (crypto specialist) aimed at creating a new generation of crypto entrepreneurs in France.
Le Crypto Fellowship will be giving 10 ambitious technical people in France €100k each to live, learn and experiment for a year. No previous crypto experience is required and the only catch is that if you end up building a company we will own 7% of it and may later ask to invest an additional €700k on pre-defined terms (final ownership of 20%).
The €100k ticket provides 12 months' runway: €50k salary (€71k incl. taxes), plus €29k to cover expenses (lawyers, computer, Ethereum fees…)
The idea is to spend the first 2-3 months learning and playing, without consciously looking for a “startup idea”. If this learning and playing is done with sincerity and passion you will end up living in the future and quickly notice what is still crucially missing.
Building will come naturally.
You will learn 99% by yourself from online resources: Twitter, Reddit and Stack Overflow, but we will give pointers to save you time.
To allow everyone to share their progress or struggles, and to problem solve with Frst and Fabric Ventures.
For knowledge sharing between cohort members.
With legendary crypto entrepreneurs and investors.
After the first 3 months the Discord group and Meetups will keep going, while the group Zoom will turn into regular 1-1 Office Hours with Frst and Fabric Ventures partners.
The law doesn’t permit investing directly into individuals, so we will ask each fellow to create a company. It will have to be a French one, to allow us to standardise the paperwork. We could have chosen Delaware as Y Combinator does, but France is cooler.
Here is how it will work. The reason for which we are running Le Crypto Fellowship is clear and there is no ulterior motive.
At company creation, you will receive a first ticket of €100k in exchange for 7%. It will be structured in BSA Air (French equivalent of US SAFE) "post money" and will convert at Series A. This way, the BSPCE (stock options) you will grant to cofounders and early employees won't dilute the 7% (Series A will be defined as a round supra €3m).
Option for the Fellowship to add €700k within 12 months and grow to 20% total ownership(which means a €5m post money valuation for this second ticket). Still in BSA Air, for the same reasons.
The BSA Air documentation will encompass elements of Shareholders Agreement, including the following:
If we can't determine that everything crypto-related you do during this period is owned by the company, the schema can't work, it consequently has to be written. Same logic applies if you decide to close the "company" and open a new crypto-related one just after
Until the 12-month option expiration, external financing rounds will be conditioned to Frst & Fabric approval (because it's not supposed to happen)
No constraints on how you spend the money and what you do
No constraints on how much BSPCE you emit and to whom you grant them (because it doesn't dilute us thanks to the BSA Air mechanism)
No prior Crypto knowledge is expected, but people able or learning to code will have a head start.
People already running a company are welcome to contact us, but not for the program.
We will start doing interviews and extending offers before the deadline.
We expect to have everything signed by summer break and to start the program on September 1st 2021.
Frst is a seed-focused fund designed to be the best possible partner for the first months of the most ambitious French entrepreneurs. We provide money, seed-stage expertise and network, and don’t lead Series A to align interests.
Why are you doing this program?
Can I apply as a team?
Can I apply if I’m not based in Paris ?
Why are you so interested in Crypto? To me it means Bitcoin and drugs
I know nothing about crypto, can I apply?
Are there requirements in terms of age or education?
Will the program be held in French or English?
Can I apply if I already have a company or product?
Can I apply if I am still a student and won't be available full time per se?
Can I apply if I prefer to join an existing company?
Are the terms flexible? Should I hire a lawyer to negotiate?
I won't be available by September, can I still apply?
I have questions, how can I contact you?