Last week Sony Network Communications announced it was launching a web3 incubation program in conjunction with the Astar Network. Astar Network is a multichain smart contract platform, one of the Polkadot blockchain’s parachains. It has already collaborated with NTT Docomo and partnered with Toyota for a hackathon.
The incubator will be run via Startale Labs, a Singapore company. It compares itself to ConsenSys, the blockchain firm started by Joe Lubin. One of the ConsenSys divisions has multiple partnerships with enterprises such as JP Morgan, Visa and Mastercard.
Recruiting for the incubator started on Friday, and it is expected to select 15-20 projects which will join the program in mid-March for around three months.
It aims to provide connections to high profile web3 firms, including Web3 Foundation and Alchemy, as well as technical and financial support. Participants get to take part in demonstrations with Sony Network Communications.
Various divisions of Sony already have quite a bit of web3 experience. There’s potential for blockchain for in-game assets, and Sony PlayStation filed a patent on the topic in November 2022. There has also been quite a bit of pushback by the established gaming sector, but not so much in Asia.
Premier League soccer team Manchester City unveiled a virtual fan engagement platform with Sony. About 15 years ago, the Japanese giant launched a social virtual world experience, PlayStation Home, but it was shuttered quite quickly.
Sony Pictures partnered to release NFTs for a Batman non-fungible token (NFT) release. And Sony Music has embraced NFTs, including backing the MakersPlace marketplace and partnering with Snowcrash for Bob Dylan NFTs.