A newly launched Decentralised Science hybrid incubator is seeking projects with DeSci elements. Psi Combinator is a 4-week incubator program that is aiming to create applied decentralized science research teams to help newly launched projects with knowledge and expertise from across different parts of the decentralized science stack.
We talk to Michael Fischer about more details about the newly launched incubator below:
Q: Who is behind Psi Combinator and their experience?
A: The folks behind Psi Combinator are a pretty diverse group. We’ve got some people from the decentralized science (DeSci) community and a bunch of academics who’ve spent years in traditional science. All of us share this intense curiosity about the world and how it works.
You know, we saw how science was being done and started thinking there’s got to be other, maybe even better, ways to do it. We’ve been really inspired by the DeSci community in NYC (http://desci.nyc/). So, we thought, “Why not create something that could help improve the science process and contribute back to the community?”
Plus, it seemed like it would be fun to try something new with people interested in science.
Q: Why the name Psi?
A: The name Psi holds significant importance across various scientific fields. In physics, psi commonly represents wave functions in quantum mechanics. It’s used to denote the state of a qubit in a quantum computer. It is used in the gamma function in mathematics. Psi has connotations in psychology, psychiatry, parapsychology, fluid mechanics, biochemistry, virology, particle physics, and more. It is a multifaceted symbol across disciplines which made it a great symbol for a DeSci accelerator.
Q: How does Psi Combinator work?
A: Think of Psi Combinator as a fusion between a brainstorming club and a personal project incubator. We’ve got a diverse group of people, all bringing their individual projects to the table, ready to learn, share, and inspire each other.
The program runs over four weeks, and we meet up twice a week to explore specific topics. These could be anything from formulating a research topic, to building a community, collecting decentralized science (DeSci) data, or learning how to analyze it.
What we’re doing is taking the traditional scientific process and tailoring it to fit the DeSci and web3 context. Before each session, teams are encouraged to reflect on how the topic of the day relates to their projects. When we meet, everyone shares their thoughts and ideas, and we all get a chance to learn from each other.
But the learning doesn’t stop when the meeting ends. Everyone is free to borrow ideas they resonate with and incorporate them into their own projects. It’s all about creating a collaborative environment where everyone’s project can grow and evolve with the shared wisdom of the group.
Q: What kind of support can DeSci startups expect?
A: First off, projects will be part of a dynamic shared learning experience where participants exchange ideas and learn from each other. This provides a platform for you to gain an in-depth understanding of how decentralized science operates.
At Psi Combinator, we have built-in deadlines that serve to keep everyone on track. Much like academia, where a lot gets done as the deadline approaches, we leverage a similar mechanism to maintain focus and facilitate consistent progress.
But it’s not all about the deadlines; the program is also about mutual support. We’re all in this together, and we’re all about sharing resources and experiences. Need to test your software? You’ll find willing testers right within the group. Need some help with your study? You’ve got a team of fellow researchers ready to lend a hand.
One of the highlights of the Psi Combinator experience is demo day. It’s an excellent opportunity to showcase your project, receive feedback, attract interest, and network with other innovators in the DeSci field.
In short, Psi Combinator is more than just a program; it’s a community. And this community sticks together, providing ongoing support long after the program has ended.
Q: What kind of projects are you specifically looking to support?
A: Psi Combinator is open to supporting all science-related projects, particularly those that generate a dataset or have a software artifact. Participants are strongly encouraged to publicize their work, whether through a tweet thread, blog post, or PDF. This not only raises awareness about their projects but also invites feedback and discussion from a wider community.
Sharing your work is like throwing open the doors of your lab and inviting folks in for a tour. It’s about saying, “Hey, look what I’ve been up to!” You’ll get to raise awareness about your project, and you’ll likely get some great feedback and ideas too.
What’s particularly nice about a tweet thread is it forces you to get to the point. You’ve got to distill your project down to its essence. That’s a great exercise in communication, and who knows, it might just help you see your project in a new light.
Q: What locations are you looking for startups from?
A: Given the decentralized nature of the initiative, Psi Combinator invites applications from all around the globe. With a mix of pre-recorded videos, video chats, and asynchronous chats, the program is designed to accommodate participants regardless of their location.
Q: Are you planning a PSI token or DAO platform for Psi Combinator?
A: Psi Combinator is envisioned more akin to a university or research group rather than a token or DAO platform. The primary focus is on fostering a shared learning environment and promoting the development of decentralized science projects.
Application deadline is June 15th (Just a day away), so hurry up and put your ideas forward on their website.