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Building the web3 ecosystem of the future

Introducing Steel DAO’s (fka BessemerDAO) community-as-a-scout program and dedicated web3 talent collective.

By Ethan Kurzweil, Lindsey Li, Carolina Küng, and Divesh Punjabi 10.5.22

In March, we announced our practice focusing on early-stage investments across web3 applications, DeFi, and crypto infrastructure with $250 million in dedicated capital led by our crypto and web3 team.

Along with our own capital commitment to web3, we launched BessemerDAO, a community for founders, investors, creators, and operators, to collaborate, trade ideas, and stay ahead of major shifts and trends in web3. We believe the landscape of investing is evolving, and the needs of entrepreneurs are shifting with it, including the need for us to rethink portfolio services offered by venture capitalists, and to do our part to continue democratizing access to private markets.

Today, we’re excited to share our new initiatives that bring us closer to these goals as well as a rebrand for the community. BessemerDAO has been renamed Steel DAO, a name that simultaneously pays homage to Bessemer’s roots and embodies a new and separate brand identity as the community becomes further decentralized and evolves separate from our efforts at Bessemer Venture Partners. The new name was selected by a committee of current DAO members and Bessemer’s community team. We are also kicking off Season 0 of Links, Steel DAO’s community-as-a-scout program, and Bridge, our curated talent collective and broader job board.

Links, a community-as-a-scout program

We are launching Season 0 of Links, Steel DAO’s community-as-a-scout program, utilizing Syndicate1, a platform that will power multiple pieces of our ecosystem, starting with each member receiving a non-transferable NFT that represents their identity and reputation. The composability of Syndicate’s Collectives primitive also allows Links to evolve over time through a wide range of customizable features and settings at the protocol and application levels.

To that end, the community is encouraged and empowered to source, analyze, and present exciting companies across web3 consumer applications, DeFi, and crypto infrastructure themes to other DAO members who comprise the Governance Committee (GC). Bessemer is committing $500,000 in capital to bootstrap this initiative. The GC was preliminarily recruited by Bessemer’s crypto and web3 team out of our initial DAO cohort. The current GC members include: Firat Akkan, Kipras Daujotas, Romil Depal, Ethan Ding, Lesley Eccles, Lindsey Li, Evan Owens, Barry Plunkett, Divesh Punjabi, and Hannah Shen. All GC members will be subject to term limits and all DAO members will be subject to a code of conduct. Voting on both new GC members as well as opportunities will be done on-chain.

These opportunities will be evaluated across a variety of frameworks measuring the strength of the team, community health, end-user engagement, and a variety of other factors specific to the opportunity. Given this is a community that will help source and push forward web3 entrepreneurship and progress, Steel DAO will share in the profits made from investments. Our ultimate goal is for the GC to be able to recommend opportunities to a vehicle raised from members of the community, unlocking an increasingly decentralized pool of capital. We are especially excited about expanding the access that founders have to this particular pool of smart capital and venture capital more broadly.

“Steel DAO is an important step forward in the democratization of investing and transformation of venture capital. Community-driven investing models not only increase funding and reach, but also community-led participation, engagement, and support of early stage companies and entrepreneurs. Bessemer is one of a small number of VC funds at the forefront of what we believe is a broader movement towards community-driven investing in venture capital and the markets in general,” said James Seely of Syndicate.

Bridge, a talent collective and job board

We believe one of the most tangible and frustrating bottlenecks for founders building in web3 is finding top talent. Today, we are also rolling out Bridge, a curated talent collective and job board, building upon the DAO’s original vision to help connect growing web3 companies with those who have the skills to take their projects to the next level.

Our talent collective is built on Pallet1 and will start with a highly curated pool of web3 builders and operators. We plan to kickstart the network with Bessemer’s portfolio companies, the companies of operators within Steel DAO, and portfolio companies of investors within Steel DAO.

The matching process will be facilitated by a separate committee that will, with the support of the Bessemer community team, help facilitate matching of talent in the network with DAO participants. Bridge will also encompass a broad, open-access job board where a larger set of companies can post job opportunities for candidates to browse and apply.

If you are a company looking to list your open roles in the job board, you can post them here, and candidates can view them here. Candidates and companies can apply to access the curated web3 collective here.

“One of the things we’ve observed at Pallet is how important the credibility of the connector is. By being a respected, trusted institution in web2 and on the cutting edge of web3, Bessemer is especially well positioned to attack bridging web2 talent to web3. Steel DAO is a truly unique structure and we’re excited to help power their effort. We’ve built Pallet to operate as both an extremely flexible tool for web2 and web3 communities, and as a network by increasing talent liquidity in the market.”  Kai Han, Co-Founder, Pallet

Forging the decentralized future

The reaction from the community has been inspiring–bringing together current and aspiring web3 builders, founders, operators, and investors from across the ecosystem to form Steel DAO. We conceptualized the DAO, with a vision of engaging this growing community in a crypto-native and decentralized way, accelerating the mainstream adoption of web3 and democratizing access to the private markets. In the process of flying the Steel DAO plane while building it, we’re beginning to see our early ideas materialize in tangible ways.

​​Initially in Season 0, we have been taking a transparent, more centralized approach to launching the DAO. Our continuing goal is to create new workstreams, while progressively decentralizing and shifting the power to independent Steel DAO leadership, further shaping and evolving the DAO’s focus. We will continue expanding and experimenting with other ideas that evolve out of the community we’ve formed. We look forward to pushing the boundaries of what we can achieve with the community, forging a path to the decentralized future.

All the links in one place:

  • Apply to join Links community-as-a-scout program here.
  • Candidates and companies can apply to access the highly-curated web3 collective here.
  • If you are a company looking to list your open roles on our Job Board, you can post them here, and candidates can view them here.
  • You can read more about Steel DAO’s evolving mission through our Charter here.

Last, but certainly not least, if you are a web3 builder forging the decentralized future, we’d love to hear from you. You can reach the crypto team via email at crypto@bvp.com.

See Legal Disclaimers.

1 Not a Bessemer portfolio company.