February 4th to 28th • Spring 2023

Princeton × DeSo
Startup Competition

The Princeton Startup Competition is a four-week hackathon-style event made for students looking to create and launch the Next Big Thing.

Startup pitches will be live streamed on 2/28
Live stream is open to everyone!

RSVP to Live Stream

Over $50,000 in prizes

The attention of the top investors in the world

Opportunity to receive future funding & mentorship

DeSo × Carhartt branded swag and merch

Exclusively held at Princeton University

In Collaboration with IgniteSTEM

Princeton’s premier social entrepreneurship club disrupting
education with design thinking and maker fairs

Free Crypto for All Princeton Students

All students will be given $50 in free crypto for entering their email. This bonus can be used to contribute to your fellow students' projects, HODL'ed, or cashed out on Coinbase.

Get an extra $25 in crypto when you refer a friend!
Students who refer other students will also receive $25 in free crypto as a referral bonus.

Speakers & Judges

Opening Talks

Saturday • February 4th, 2023

Avichal Garg

Managing Partner, Electric Capital

Illia Polosukhin

Founder, NEAR Protocol

Founders Day Talks (Fireside Chats)

Saturday • February 11th, 2023

Robert Leshner

Founder, Compound

Joe Lallouz

Head of Coinbase Cloud

Tarun Chitra

Founder, Gauntlet

Andy Bromberg

Founder, ECO & Coinlist

Haseeb Qureshi

GP, Dragonfly Capital

Lessons From Seed-Stage Founders

Saturday • February 11th, 2023

Vishal Talasani

Founder, Stride Liquid Staking

Theodor Marcu

Founder, Marble Wallet

Investors Day Talks (Fireside Chats)

Saturday • February 18th, 2023

Kyle Samani

Founder, Multicoin

Paul Veradittakit

GP, Pantera

Sam Harrison

GP, Faction

Travis Scher

GP, North Island Ventures

Alex Pack

GP, Hack VC

How to Start a Fund

Saturday • February 18th, 2023

Ninos Mansor

GP, Edessa Capital

Ninor Mansor

GP, Edessa Capital

Will Scheinman

Partner, Road Capital

Adam Winnick

Partner, Finality Capital

Closing Ceremony Talks

Saturday • February 25th, 2023

Shaun Maguire

Partner, Sequoia

Vinny Lingham

Founder, Civic & Waitroom

Startup Tracks

Best Overall Startup

# No. 1

Grand Prize

Prize Money


# No. 2

Silver Prize

Prize Money


# No. 3

Bronze Prize

Prize Money


# No. 4

Entry Prize

Prize Money

$1,000 x 10

Judging Criteria

10-Year Vision

Business Model

Revenue Potential



Best Use of Openfund


Most money raised

Test your fundraising skills. How well can you campaign and raise money for your idea?

Prize Money



Most unique holders

Test your community-building skills. How well can you rally people around your idea?

Prize Money


Best Crypto Startup

# No. 1

Grand Prize

Prize Money


# No. 2

Silver Prize

Prize Money


# No. 3

Bronze Prize

Prize Money


# No. 4

Entry Prize

Prize Money

$1,000 x 10

Judging Criteria

Creative Tokenomics

DeSo Implementation

User Experience

Best AI Startup


Will you build the next big AI startup?

Prize Money

$1,000 x 5

What is DeSo?

DeSo is a new layer-1 blockchain built from the ground up to decentralize social media, and scale storage-heavy applications to billions of users.

Watch Video


Content is stored on the DeSo blockchain, so you can own your content like you own your Bitcoin.

Decentralized identity

Your profile, followers, content and social graph carry over across hundreds of apps across all blockchains.

Own your content

Your content is controlled with your public/private keys, and use end-to-end encrypted to prevent any middle-man from seeing it.

Monetize from day one

Start earning with new primitives like NFTs, Tokens, Crypto Tips, Creator Coins, and so much more.

Become a campus partner

We'd love to come aboard your college/university and help bring your students on this exciting web3 journey with DeSo!

Contact Us

See event details

View registration, timing, and campus-level location information for the startup competition.

View Details

Supported by the DeSo Foundation

The DeSo blockchain is supported by the DeSo Foundation, whose broad mission is to support the decentralization of social media. The foundation is led by crypto veteran Nader Al-Naji (@nader, @nadertheory), a former Princeton alum (CS'13).

Connect with DeSo