The term launchpad is often used in the same sentence as the terms incubator and accelerator, but the three have their own subtle differences. Many launchpads also operate an accelerator and/or an incubator. But what does a launchpad do?
A launchpad connects new projects to investors, and allows the project to raise funds by giving investors access to an exclusive, early, and often discounted, token sale. So the project gets the funds in needs to proceed with development and investors get tokens at a discounted rate before they’ve even hit the market. To offer security to their investors, and to uphold their name, launchpads will conduct through KYC into the projects applying to be on their launchpad.
Some launchpads will also offer many of the same services offered by incubators to the fledgling projects that conduct token sales through them.
Launchpads are often a sidearm of an exchange, of both the centralized or decentralized varieties, as they already have the capacity to sell tokens and can then offer a guaranteed place for the tokens to be listed once the project is ready to release them to the public.