Alliance DAO's Latest Cohort Highlights Growing Intersection of AI and Crypto Web3 accelerator and builder community, Alliance DAO, recently presented its 10th cohort or ALL10, comprising 16 startups at a demo day. According to Qiao Wang, a core contributor at Alliance DAO, the latest cohort received a record 1,692 applications, up 77.5% compared to the previous cohort. About a majority of the startups in the batch are building on the Ethereum ecosystem, while others are focused on EVM-compatible chains like Polygon, Optimism, Arbitrum, and Avalanche, among others. Meanwhile, some cohorts are exploring other networks like Solana, Filecoin, Chainlink, Sui, and Bitcoin. H2: Themes and Major Players Wang also noted that the latest cohort highlights two primary themes: improving popular crypto sub-sectors and the intersection of AI and crypto. Specifically, the startups are targeting sub-sectors such as the Bitcoin network, appchains, rollups-as-a-service, zero-knowledge proofs, proof-of-physical-work, and real-time blockchain data. At the same time, many of the teams seek to leverage AI's potential to transform crypto games, on-chain analytics, and off-chain computations. Alliance DAO enlisted a slew of prominent mentors for ALL10, including key industry leaders such as Anatoly Yakovenko, the co-founder of Solana; Ryan Wyatt, the president of Polygon Labs; Juan Benet, the founder and CEO of Filecoin; Kevin Sekniqi, the co-founder of Ava Labs; Evgeny Yurtaev, the co-founder and CEO of Zerion; Amir Bandeali, the co-CEO of 0x; and Julian Koh, the co-founder of Ribbon Finance. H2: Startups to Watch Particular startups from ALL10 demonstrate the potential of these themes and the broader potential of the crypto ecosystem. Xverse, a bitcoin-focused crypto wallet for Web3, allows users to have self-custody of their assets, and provides a MetaMask-like experience for DeFi and NFTs, among others. It currently has 130,000 users and is integrated with crypto projects and applications, including Magic Eden and Gamma, among others. A no-code infrastructure platform, Caldera, aims to simplify the process of creating app-specific blockchains to create Layer-2 blockchains on Ethereum. Its public testnets have garnered over 250,000 unique wallets with 650,000 transactions. Interestingly, Fountain is building "Okta for Web3,” which integrates companies’ custody accounts, exchanges, wallets, and dApps to manage them in one place, delegating different applications to employees without sharing private keys. H3: Philosophical Discussion Despite the promising developments Alliance DAO's demo day showcased, the wider crypto industry still faces myriad challenges and uncertainties, particularly amid the ongoing bear market. Regardless, Alliance DAO's Wang argues that this is the most crucial phase of the cycle, with the potential to create opportunities for founders to achieve great things, even without a team of 50 people or millions in VC funding. This view echoes the industry's widespread optimism in the face of recent criticisms and doubts regarding its potential to transform the financial sector. H3: Editorial and Advice In conclusion, Alliance DAO's recent demo day exemplifies the boundless potential of cutting-edge technologies like blockchain and AI, particularly when integrated into in-demand industries like finance. It highlights the thriving innovation and creativity still present within the crypto ecosystem, despite ongoing challenges. For aspiring tech founders, Alliance DAO's latest cohort underscores the importance of honing specialized industry knowledge and skillsets, as well as leveraging emerging technologies to solve persistent problems.