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We were accepted to the accelerator of our dream: CollectifDAO story

Graph Paper Capital selected us! It's the accelerator, backed CEO of Protocol Labs. And HUMANS helped us to become part of it!
Full name
11 Jan 2022
5 min read

What we are building

We started building CollectifDAO in November 2022. It’s a non-custodial liquid staking protocol built on top of Filecoin network, allowing users to 'stake' FIL and receive clFIL (Collectif Filecoin) in return. The staked FIL is then distributed among storage providers who use the capital to expand their mining operations.

Who we are

Our team comprises five members, each bringing unique expertise to the product. I, Bach, have been actively involved in the Protocol Labs network and the Filecoin community since its launch in 2020. Meanwhile, my co-founder, Kirill, became an active member of the Filecoin community in early 2022, with prior experience in the Solana and Ethereum communities. Additionally, our team includes a skilled business development manager focusing on Asian markets, native in Chinese, a talented product designer, and an expert in financial modeling.

Why we joined HUMANS

Our biggest problem was the lack of knowledge on how to talk to customers effectively. Though we had our own product assumptions and positive community feedback, we needed genuine customer input to identify actual pain points of our users. What’s more, we also lacked clarity on how to express our unique value proposition and competitive advantages, so we had to work on that too.

Before joining HUMANS, I wondered if the experts there would truly be worth it. But from just the first week, it became an amazing experience: we easily connected with advisors, who are experienced Web3 experts, had follow-up meetings, and built lasting relationships with them. HUMANS provided the guidance and support we needed, making it a simple and smart choice to join.

Back Adylbekov, Co-founder of CollectifDAO

What we gained

  1. From Customer Communication Improvement to Popularity

With the help of Valerie Tetu, GTM at Lido Finance, we developed a strategy on how to communicate effectively with customers. As an early-stage company, we knew we had to go after the  distribution. So, we focused on understanding where our potential customers are, what products they currently use, and how to make them choose ours. And while being a part of HUMANS, we engaged a lot with Filecoin storage providers to gain valuable insights and improve our product.

As a result, we got super popular in the space of storage providers, which brought us several partnering integrations. Notably, we successfully integrated with one of the biggest Filecoin storage providers, which holds around 6% of the network.

  1. Partner Pipeline Development

We discovered that many of our potential customers are utilizing Coinbase, Enkrypt wallets, and some corporate clients are using custodians. So again, with the help of Valerie, we started working on a business development pipeline, enabling us to establish relationships with potential partners.

We're currently in the process of establishing these connections one by one with centralized staking providers, custodians, etc. to make sure that within the next 6 months we’ll be able to integrate with centralized players. That will help us widen the distribution for our potential clients, allowing them to stake their filecoins and get yield on top of that.

  1. Competitive Advantages Improvement

One of the major challenges we faced was expressing our unique value proposition and competitive advantage. Our market has up to 15 different competitors, including one with significant hype in the Filecoin community. What we really needed was a clear way to explain to potential customers what sets us apart from other products and makes us superior in the Filecoin market.

Valerie's assistance was invaluable in addressing this issue. She helped us determine how to effectively communicate our strengths in our content and overcome communication challenges when reaching the Filecoin audience. She shared successful strategies used in Lido Finance, which we are now implementing with ourselves.

  1. Business Development Process Assistance 

We had a discussion with Ivan Manvelov, Business Development Lead at Lido Finance, on how to build up a business development process on our side. That was really insightful for us, as we wanted to understand the mindset of institutional investors. Ivan shared his knowledge on what concerns bigger capital allocators facing while making a decision to stake, and what should be the focus when it comes to building long-term relationships with such players.

  1. Founders-to-Founders Support

We’ve also established connections with several founders who’ve been members of the HUMANS community. For instance, Vlad Sadkov, the founder of eesee, provided us with valuable advice on company establishment, while also facilitating an intro to Roman Buzko from Degoverned, from whom we could get additional assistance and guidance on establishing a corporate entity. 

What sets the HUMANS program apart from any accelerator is their genuine passion for your startup and what you're creating. It feels like they're right there with you, battling through the tough times and celebrating the victories.  

HUMANS isn't about standardized and pre-calculated solutions. It's all about you, and the journey you're on. They help you navigate a unique path that aligns with what you're aiming to achieve - which is a real game-changer when you're hustling for achieving product-market fit.

HUMANS is packed with a diverse range of experts, who are really looking to help your company succeed. And it makes it much easier for any founders to follow-up and build relationships with them.

What it leads to

We were accepted to the accelerator we dreamed of — Graph Paper Capital. It was a great opportunity for us, as it's the accelerator, backed by deep technical LPs, including the CEO of Protocol Labs. And HUMANS helped us to achieve it.

Who helped us