ICON Hyperconnect has just assumed even greater responsibility in growing the ICON ecosystem.

The ICON accelerator and network P-Rep has just launched as the official Seoul Launchpad of ICON’s ICX Station. Launchpads are geographical hubs for ICX Station, each one committed to accelerating the growth of the ICON ecosystem.

Markus Jun, the founder of ICON Hyperconnect, says the development makes his team an accelerator for ICON in Korea, a country absolutely critical to not only the general blockchain industry but also to ICON itself.

It means that ICON Hyperconnect (P-Rep & Accelerator) will become the official ICX Station Seoul Launchpad which makes us the official Korean accelerator partner of the ICON Foundation and ICX Station,” he says. It also means that I’ll be in charge of accelerating the growth and presence of ICON in Korea as the founder of ICON Hyperconnect.”

“It’s an honor for us. We’re going to be working very closely with the ICON Foundation and ICX Station over the coming months to execute many initiatives to raise general awareness of ICON in Korea and also increase its developer base here. There are many initiatives that we’ve already planned, but we’re very excited to sit down with the Foundation this week and brainstorm new ways we can really accelerate the growth of ICON in Korea.”

A natural fit

If there’s somebody who knows what it takes to run an ICON accelerator, it’s Markus. The former Head of Research at Deblock, ICON’s former venture capital firm and ICX Station Seoul Launchpad, brings a wealth of experience to the table. [It was] something that was very familiar to me, running an accelerator,” he says. “As someone who helped run Deblock, I was very familiar with not only just general blockchain applications, but also the ICON ecosystem itself.”

While at Deblock, which ceased operations several months ago, Markus gained much inside knowledge about how ICON works. His duties included meeting not only with DApp and service projects but also with their respective ICON teams, including the network’s business and technical teams and ICON Council.

Everything I learned and did at Deblock I can apply to ICON Hyperconnect,” he says. “I am very familiar with not only what I have to know and what direction to take, but also who in the ICON ecosystem I have to introduce teams to.”

Markus is looking forward to the chance to assume the position vacated by Deblock as ICX Station Seoul Launchpad. He says, [W]e’re launching in their place and this time I’ll be managing it so it’s a personal challenge for me, too, and that’s something I’m excited about.”

Not just accelerating

As the Seoul Launchpad for ICX Station, ICON Hyperconnect is representing ICON in Korea in several ways beyond merely accelerating projects.

On the educational front, it will be attending and presenting at blockchain meetups from established accelerators in Korea. It will also form partnerships with other blockchain institutions such as potential ICON applications, blockchain accelerators and media companies.

ICON Hyperconnect will be involved in research in Korea, searching for applications or teams that can build on ICON. Likewise, it will be doing a lot of developer outreach to increase ICON’s awareness and exposure to the developer community in Korea.

Thinking bigger

Even prior to its partnership with ICX Station, ICON Hyperconnect had big plans to expand the ICON ecosystem.

The accelerator announced earlier that it aimed to accelerate ICON applications and growth at scale by hosting online hackathons to catalyze the creation of over 30 applications and accelerating them every four months.

To host its hackathon, ICON Hyperconnect chose Devpost, the world’s largest hackathon platform with an online base of over 900,000 developers. The platform has hosted hackathons for major companies like Samsung, IBM, Microsoft and Facebook as well as for major blockchain platforms like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

In addition to encouraging the development of new use cases, Devpost offers ICON an opportunity to promote itself to an audience beyond the core ICON community.

Markus says the plan for the hackathon remains intact, but now as an official accelerator partner, ICON Hyperconnect believes that its collaborative efforts with the Foundation and ICX Station are crucial not just to its role as P-Rep but to the entire ICON ecosystem. This is why we may have to reconsider our plans and priorities as the time comes, but this is something we’ll do with great deliberation,” he says. [A]nd our main belief of accelerating ICON as an accelerator will never change.”

Finally, Markus stresses the need to make ICON a platform that provides real value.

Like any blockchain network, it needs to have real live applications or else it’s just a network and a bunch of tokens. It doesn’t have value,” he says. So one of the things we wanted to do is create use cases for ICX. And to us, it seemed the best way to do that for us was to try to outsource creativity and talent from not only the ICON community — and I think this is very important — but also from the general online developer base.”