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DEVgrants: Here to Help

Introduction

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Wendell Davis


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DEVgrants: Here to Help

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Few would argue against the fact that Ethereum has been gifted with one of the most diverse and thoughtful communities ever gathered around any open source project. Fueled by what can only be described as impassioned determination, developers from all walks of life have risked their time and credibility to pioneer in this radical and largely unknown domain of innovation. Indeed, even before genesis, Ethereum already boasts hundreds of projects covering everything from self-stabilizing currency to potential replacements for government services. Today we are launching a new program to support and thank those who continue to take this journey with us.

Introducing ÐΞVgrants.

ÐΞVgrants is a program that offers funding for contributions to both the Ethereum platform, and projects based on Ethereum. Its goals are threefold:

  • To provide developers interested in contributing to the Ethereum ecosystem the opportunity to spend significant time on their project, in order to bring it to completion.

  • To extend the codebase with useful components that are not the main focus of ΞTHDEV, but which would be very valuable to users of Ethereum generally.

  • To increase our outreach to other communities and the general public.

ÐΞVgrants will focus exclusively on giving a boost to efforts already in progress. In other words, if you have not already begun work on your project, you should do so before attempting to apply.

Note that although ΞTHDEV does not bias against applications from businesses or developers who may wish to profit from the fruits of ÐΞVgrant-funded projects, ÐΞVgrants should NOT be considered a funding platform for new business endeavors. Only those applicants creating an open source public good for public benefit, will be considered.

What ÐΞVgrants is Not

  • It is NOT a venture capital programme. We will not “invest” or “grant” funding for projects which do not have on-going development.
  • It is NOT a bounty programme. We do not seek to describe specific goals in advance nor do we wish to attribute value to them.
  • It is NOT a ÐApp seed funding programme. At this point in our development process, most ÐApps score near the bottom of critical value for our development process.

To be eligable, you must:

  • be already working on a project;
  • reasonably be delivering value to critical components of the Ethereum core software, its development process or key parts of the ecosystem (common services, APIs, ABIs).

Grant funding may be used to help deliver or maximise value of personal contributions, e.g.:

  • payment of professional services or equipment;
  • payment of expenses incurred as part of collaborative workflow;
  • payment to help with subsistence costs of project members (generally when taking time from employment).

The application process.

Parties interested in receiving funding should get in touch with the ÐΞVgrants administrator (grants@ethereum.org), submitting three items: a proposal that outlines the intended work, a project plan that details timelines and estimated working hours, and a proposed methodology for reporting on the progress and outcomes of the project.

We additionally ask that you include one or more means of realtime contact – XMPP/Telegram/Skype ID, IRC nick, phone number, etc – and your time zone.

ΞTHDEV will make a best effort to evaluate new proposals within 2 weeks of receipt. Approved applicants will be requested to sign a contract with ΞTHDEV, and to accelerate development as soon as possible. The contract is a legal contract between the successful applicant and ΞTHDEV, and we recommend that all applicants review the terms carefully, prior to submitting their application.

How will evaluation work?

Initial evaluation

The initial evaluation will be conducted by the ÐΞVgrants administrator, consisting of a review of the application, a high-level investigation into the state of the project, and an online interview with one or more of the project developers. This evaluation will concern itself with the social and technical merits of the project, including its broader applicability and benefit to the Ethereum ecosystem, the general character of its developers, and the progress made so far.

Final evaluation

Final evaluations will be conducted by the ÐΞVgrants board, a team consisting of founding members of Ethereum, plus the ÐΞVgrants administrator. This evaluation will review the summarized results of the initial evaluations of the previous two weeks. Applicants may or may not be invited to parts of this discussion for the purposes of further review and examination.

What should a proposal describe?

While we understand that each project will have unique properties to underline and stress, all applications will benefit from addressing the following unambiguously:

  • The project’s goal and scope.
  • The targeted deliverables for the work period.
  • Timelines and estimated working hours.
  • The amount of funding requested.
  • How the project benefits the Ethereum ecosystem.
  • The methodology for reporting on progress and achievement.

How much funding can be requested, and how does payment work?

While exceptions can be made in certain cases, ÐΞVgrants is targeting needs ranging from USD $1,000 to $10,000 per project, or just enough to cover a few months of living expenses for one or more developers.

ΞTHDEV can offer disbursement in two different ways, depending on the amount requested, the length of the project’s proposed development period, and the work done upfront:

Option one:
Half of the total amount approved at the start of the project, and half upon completion.

Option two:
Multiple payments, based on milestone achievements.

The desired method can and should be requested in the application, but ΞTHDEV ultimately reserves the right to choose.

What about transparency?

All projects approved by ÐΞVgrants will be made public in both name and application, on the forthcoming ÐΞVgrants Web site and on the @DEVgrants Twitter account. In most cases, any project funded will already have a publicly-accessible repository, and in all cases must adhere to one or more specified open source licenses.

In conclusion

Again, we thank you, the community, for all of your development efforts, critiques, and encouragement. It is our hope that this program will lend a small but helpful hand to your remarkable work, and we look forward to reading your applications in full.

Comments, questions and applications should be directed to the ÐΞVgrants administrator at grants@ethereum.org. Interested parties may also follow @DEVgrants on Twitter for updates about funded projects, evaluation policy changes, and more.

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Wendell Davis

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Author Wendell

Posted at 5:29 pm April 7, 2015.

Links to further information will be posted under the Twitter account @ETHgrants in the coming weeks, including an example application and contract.

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