Joe Hamilton, publisher of the St. Pete Catalyst and co-founder of the St. Petersburg Group, garnered more national attention for his Catalyst Metacities project at the Startup Stampede on Tuesday.
Held in-person and virtually, the Startup Stampede was part of the Wyoming Blockchain Stampede that attracted some of the biggest names in the blockchain industry. Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin, Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson, venture capitalist Tim Draper and U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis were among those who attended.
The event took place at the University of Wyoming, and Hamilton said the state has become the U.S. hub for blockchain companies thanks to its crypto-friendly legislation and support.
“I sought out an even bigger stage for our next act, and there were few bigger than this event in Wyoming,” said Hamilton. “All the industry luminaries are connected to it.”
Hamilton, presenting virtually, took second for his pitch on Catalyst Metacities in the Startup Stampede, which highlights the blockchain companies of the future. Startups pitch their ideas at the event, and global investors evaluate the projects’ investment viability in real-time. Hamilton’s second-place finish comes just over a month after taking home the Global Blockchain Association’s top award for his Metacities pitch – the first time he shared his idea with the public.
“We won our first-ever pitch competition a short while ago, and it felt great to validate the Metacity concept in public,” said Hamilton. “To win second place at this level of competition in only our second public pitch was something I’m really proud of for our team and for St. Petersburg.”
Edge196 hosted the Startup Stampede, which describes itself as a “superior alternative to venture capital syndication and investment.” According to its website, Edge196 issues digital assets that provide investors with diversification and liquidity while enabling startups to receive faster funding from one source.
“The folks from Edge196 are really sharp,” said Hamilton. “They asked insightful questions, and I felt they ‘got’ the Metacity concept and its potential very naturally.”
Hamilton calls the Catalyst Metacity a “virtual community that overlays and then connects logically to a physical city.” It will provide tools, utilities, and incentives to the community. For example, artists will have galleries where they can sell non-fungible tokens (NFTs) of their work. Neighborhood associations will have a tool to create newsletters, and schools will have news and sports reporting tools – and all of that content will feed into the Metacity.
“The ‘Meta’ concept continues to emerge,” said Hamilton. “The biggest companies will battle over the Metaverse, and it will likely be spectacular, but we continue to believe in the immense untapped potential of the local community.”
“We know if we bring the best elements of the Metaverse to our local Metacities, that it will make us more connected, informed and empowered than ever before – and what better blueprint could we have than St. Pete.”
Anthony Appolo placed first at the event for his in-person presentation of Rensa Games, a platform for video game development and distribution built on the Ethereum blockchain.