Celebrity VC fund unveils $1m NFT contest judged by Snoop Dogg and Mark Cuban


If your NFT idea is innovative enough, Snoop Dogg, Mark Cuban, Ashton Kutcher, and other celebrities could invest $1 million into it as part of a Shark Tank-style contest.

Sound Ventures, a venture capital fund comprising celebrities, musicians, and a billionaire, are offering at least $1 million for the “most innovative” idea for a nonfungible token, or NFT over the next week.

Announced on April 5, the event invites anyone from around the world to pitch their NFT project to a team of eight judges before April 12. According to the competition page, it doesn’t matter if the pitches are little more than an idea or a fully-fledged product already on the market. The wording also suggests the contest’s winners will have the opportunity to work alongside Sound Ventures long-term.

“Those applying should be interested in building a company over the long-term,” the announcement says.

Up to 30 finalists will be selected to partake in a private live pitch with the judges on April 21, just over two weeks from now.

Those selected are not required to accept the investment and there are no set terms for how the for how investment will be distributed. The contest’s FAQ states: “Investment amounts and terms will vary by company.” 

It is not clear how many pitches will be selected from the 30 finalists, but the competition page suggests the investments across those selected could total more than $1 million.

Sound Ventures’ co-founders, Ashton Kutcher and Guy Oseary, will sit on the judging panel with the remaining six judges including NBA Dallas Mavericks owner and billionaire Mark Cuban, rapper Snoop Dogg, EDM artist 3LAU, NFT investo Whale Shark and Metakovan, and Scalar Capital co-founder Lina Xie.

$1 million Sound Ventures Competition Judges: Sound Ventures

Whale Shark and Metakovan, although not well known as some of the other judges, are some of the most respected in the NFT space. The Whale Shark recently tokenized a vault containing their NFT collection, allowing investors to buy into it. It currently has a market cap of almost $23 million. Metakovan, or Vignesh Sundaresan, is the winner of Beeple’s $69 million Christie’s auction last month, and a prominent NFT collector.

The contest was set up by Sound Ventures’ co-founders, famous Actor Ashton Kutcher and talent manager Guy Oseary. Oseary clients include U2 and long-time business partner Madonna. The pair also run VC firm A-Grade Investments, which has a history of supporting successful projects such as Airbnb, Foursquare, Shazam, SoundCloud, Spotify, and Uber.

Ashton Kutcher has already made a questionable name for himself in the NFT sector auctioning a digital copy of a notebook scribble in August 2020. The original drawing was destroyed to showcase the advantages of digital over physical artworks, with the funds raised said to go towards for ecological conservation non-profits.

Ashton Kutcher showcases his now-incinerated artwork

The artwork titled “The Eye of The Beholder” was sold for 20 ETH (currently worth $42,600) in the auction.

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