Since transitioning into the Ecosystem Support Program from EF Grants, we’ve talked about defining “support” more comprehensively, thinking beyond simple grant funding. But what does a more comprehensive definition of support actually mean?
In practice, it means something different for every project, and it starts with a conversation. ESP was conceived to make a wide range of EF’s resources more accessible to the community, which starts with making our process accessible to anyone who might need support. We take the time to think critically about every inquiry, understand the project and explore ways we might be able to help. Of course we can’t fund every project, but often we can do something, even if it’s recommending additional resources to investigate such as incubators or other funding sources.
The whole point of this shift in thinking is to make the process more flexible and responsive to individual needs - which is a good thing! At the same time, the outcomes of this personalized process can be difficult to quantify or put into lists the way we can with traditional grants; so we thought we’d show rather than tell. We rounded up a few examples of projects (and the awesome people behind them!) that have come through ESP’s inquiry process, received different kinds of support, and made a little bit go a very long way.
The idea for Archive Node was born as a tweet. The hardware to run an archive node, or the monthly fees to access archive data through an API, can be prohibitively expensive for small projects with little or no funding. Hunter and Chase, aka DeFi Dude and MysticRyuujin respectively, are long-time Ethereum contributors with a keen understanding of the challenges that developers can face in getting affordable access to needed resources; so they set out to find a way to provide access to archive node data for developers who need it.
The team needed a place to host the first node, so we provided AWS credit to get a node up and running. This will give them a good runway; but as DeFi Dude wrote in the announcement blog post, once the project is more established, the hope is to eventually move toward the more sustainable and decentralized approach of running nodes off hardware rather than cloud services. Since unveiling the project in late June, the team has set up additional nodes (with help from community member Dan Matthews) of PieDAO, and started to accept applications for access, growing a community of developers who are able to access needed data without incurring the considerable cost of setting up their own node.
Although access is currently free, in the long term the team hopes this can be a community-funded project, with developers who need the service paying a small fraction of what it would cost them to run an archive node themselves. In the meantime we’re thrilled to be able to help provide this valuable resource as the community around it grows!
SaveDAI started as a hackathon project, but the team had bigger plans for it: they’ve continued to build with the long term goal of making it easy to create self-insured versions of decentralized assets, allowing users to better protect savings kept in decentralized assets. SaveDAI passes DAI through Compound and automatically purchases insurance via Opyn Protocol to create insured, interest-bearing, dollar-pegged ERC20 tokens that can be transferred, bought, sold, and integrated into other protocols. The saveDAI team are building this architecture into a front-end platform, but the contract has been open sourced so that anyone can use, adapt, integrate or contribute to the code.
The team’s most immediate concern was making sure that their code was secure and stable in order to minimize risk to users’ funds. We were able to connect them with a technical expert for a code review, and they used the comprehensive feedback they received to refine their launch strategy and continue development with greater confidence. They’re preparing to launch a public alpha and are looking forward to getting feedback from early users!
Joe Wesley is new to Ethereum and tech in general, a former NFL player turned motivational speaker - not necessarily what people think of as the typical ESP inquirer. But the truth is we love getting to know new people, and Joe is exactly the type of builder we want to hear from: creative, motivated, an avid learner and inspired by the potential of distributed technology. He came to us with a plan to build a platform on Ethereum that would address a problem that he’s directly experienced as a college and professional athlete from a low income background: college athletes get little benefit from the ways in which their brand, image and likeness are used by others for profit. Joe wanted to help athletes build relationships with advertisers where they would have more control over their brand, data and finances - enabling them to, in Joe’s words, “earn today and tomorrow off their brand and their fame.”
Joe’s biggest initial hurdle was simply getting to know Ethereum, its community and technology. We provided some initial feedback on his idea and he was back two weeks later with a draft of his whitepaper. We knew that dedication and enthusiasm, as well as his unique perspective, could only add value to the ecosystem; so we sent him to ETHDenver for a crash course in everything Ethereum. There, he lived Eth life to the fullest: networking, attending talks, learning the landscape, meeting Bufficorn and winning the Exploration Track sponsored by CryptoChicks.
Since ETHDenver Joe has kept in touch with contacts he made at ETHDenver as well as continued to consult with members of the EF and other experts as he works to build a prototype that he can share with potential customers and investors. So far Joe has been a one-man team, but is now looking to scale up by hiring a CTO who can help take Collegiate B.I.L.U.S. (Brand, Image and Likeness US) to testnet and beyond.
Get in touch or find out more about Collegiate B.I.L.U.S. on Instagram @collegiatebilus!
Ethereum Push Notification Service
EPNS was just an idea when we first met Harsh Rajat. He saw a need for push notification capabilities within Ethereum, both for public service announcements to Ethereum users and for dapp builders that wanted a new way to engage customers. We saw a driven, innovative builder who was deeply committed to Ethereum’s growth and success.
Harsh didn’t need much more than encouragement and feedback to help refine the concept and talk through next steps. He took his idea to HackMoney, where Richa Joshi joined the team. Together, they developed the core concept of EPNS into a many-layered and ever-evolving architecture in which critical information can be broadcast to Ethereum’s users; dapp builders can target users they know want to hear from them; and dapp users can both choose their level of engagement, and be rewarded for opting in to a higher level of engagement with their favorite dapps.
Since HackMoney, Richa and Harsh have directed incredible energy toward building EPNS into what they call “a missing piece of web3.” They’ve launched, offering early access and an alpha dapp; been accepted to Gitcoin’s KERNEL Fellowship; and are now growing their team and developing a business model that will allow them to build a self-sustaining platform without compromising their commitment to keep users’ interests at the forefront.
Check out https://epns.io/ and keep up with EPNS’s progress on Twitter @epnsproject.
We love the many builders we work with for their commitment to finding the best way forward even when it isn’t the simplest or most obvious. Although funding is often the easiest thing to ask for, it isn’t necessarily the ideal solution: a grant won’t get a project where it needs to go if we don’t dig deeper to find the real core of the challenges the project faces.
Just because a project isn’t funded through an ESP grant doesn’t mean we aren’t willing and able to provide meaningful and sometimes material support. That said, we can’t offer support to every team that approaches us, as much as we would like to! And just like grants, recipients of other types of support we offer only reap the benefits by taking responsibility for their own success and putting in a lot of hard work.
All of the teams featured in this post are building toward very different goals, but they have one thing in common: they came with the openness and insight to work with us on finding the best intersection of their needs and our capabilities.
We have been lucky to get to know all of these remarkable builders and are so proud of the hard work that they’ve put in. We can’t wait to see what they do next!
自从 EF 资助计划转变为（以太坊）生态系统支持计划，我们一直在讨论一个话题，如何更全面地定义“支持”，而不仅仅是考虑简单的资助资金。然而，更全面的“支持”实际上意味着什么?
这种思想转变的目的是使流程更加灵活，并能够响应每一个人的需求——这是一件好事！与此同时，这种个性化流程的结果可能很难像传统的资助那样量化或者列入清单。所以我们更倾向于展示，而不是口头阐述。我们收集了一些通过 ESP 的咨询流程得到的项目示例（及其背后的优秀的团队！），它们获得了各种支持，并且走出了很远。
存档节点的想法始于一条推文。运行存档节点的硬件，或者通过 API 访问存档数据的月租费用，对于资金很少或者没有资金的小型项目而言，可能是非常昂贵的。 Hunter 和 Chase（他们的昵称分别是 DeFi Dude和 MysticRyuujin），都是以太坊的长期贡献者，对开发者在以负担得起的方式获得所需资源方面可能面临的挑战有着敏锐的理解。因此，他们着手寻找一种方法，为需要它的开发者提供对归档节点数据的访问。
团队需要一个地方来托管第一个节点，因此我们提供了 AWS 积分，以保证节点正常运行。这一帮助给他们提供了一个可行的启动方式。但正如 DeFi Dude 在其公告博文中所写的那样，一旦该项目更加完善，他希望最终朝着更可持续，更去中心化的方式运行，让节点运营在硬件上，而不是云服务。自 6 月下旬启动该项目以来，该团队（在社区成员 Dan Matthews的帮助下）已在 PieDAO 上设置了其他节点，并开始允许其他应用程序访问，同时还形成了一个开发者社区，里面的开发者都能够访问所需数据而又无需担心负担建立自有节点的高昂成本。
如果您想了解更多信息，可以通过https://archivenode.io/申请访问权限，或在 Twitter @archivenode 上关注 Archive Node。
SaveDAI 最初是一个黑客马拉松项目，但团队有着更大的计划：他们建立了一个长期目标——做一个低门槛创建去中心化资产的自我保险，从而使得用户能够更好地保护去中心化资产中的储蓄资产。SaveDAI通过 Compound 来传递 DAI，并通过 Opyn 协议自动购买保险，以创建可转让、购买、出售并集成到其他协议中的、计息且锚定美元的 ERC20 代币。 SaveDAI 团队正在将此架构构建到前端平台中，项目合约已经开源，因此任何人都可以使用、改编、集成或贡献代码。
团队当时最紧迫的担忧是确保其代码安全可靠，以最大程度地降低用户资金的风险。我们提供帮助将他们与技术专家联系起来进行代码审查，他们根据技术专家的全面反馈来完善其发布策略，并以更大的信心继续开发。他们正准备启动项目的 Alpha 公开版本，并期待获得早期用户的反馈！
如果您想了解更多信息，可以阅读这个文档，或者在 Twitter 上关注@save_dai 或参与 Github。
Joe Wesley 是以太坊和技术领域的新人，他以前是 NFL 球员，后来成为激励演讲者。他可能跟大多数人所认为的典型的 ESP 咨询者不同。但事实是，我们喜欢结识新的朋友，而 Joe 正是我们想从中人士的共建者的类型：富有创造力、积极性、热情的学习者以及受到分布式技术潜力启发的人。他来找我们的计划是在以太坊上建立一个平台，该平台可以解决像他这种低收入背景的大学职业运动员直接经历的一个问题：大学运动员无法从其品牌、形象和以及其他类似的方面获益，只能眼睁睁看着他人用此牟利。Joe 希望帮助运动员与广告商建立关系，使他们能够更好地控制其品牌、数据和财务状况。用 Joe 的话说，让他们能够“从今天开始从自身的品牌和名声中赚钱”。
Joe 最初最大的障碍就是仅仅了解以太坊及其社区和技术。我们对他的想法提供了一些初步反馈，两周后他带着白皮书草稿回来了。我们知道，奉献精神和热情以及他独特的见识只能为生态系统增添价值。所以我们把他送到了 ETHDenver 进行速成学习。在那里，他过上了很“以太方式”的生活：网络研究、参加讲座、学习愿景，与 Bufficorn 会面并赢得了由 CryptoChicks 赞助的探索奖励（Exploration Track）。
从 ETHDenver 回来以后，Joe 一直与他在 ETHDenver 认识的朋友联系，并继续与以太坊基金会成员和其他专家进行磋商，因为他致力于建立一个可以与潜在客户和投资者共享的原型。到目前为止，Joe 一直是一个单人团队，但现在正打算聘请一位 CTO 来帮助 B.I.L.U.S（美国品牌，形象和相似度）实现测试网以及扩大规模。
如果您想要联系或查找有关 B.I.L.U.S.的更多信息，不妨在 Instagram 上@collegiatebilus！
当我们第一次遇到 Harsh Rajat 时，EPNS 只是一个想法。他察觉到以太坊内部需要推送通知功能，包括向以太坊用户以及采用新的方法来吸引客户的 dapp 构建者发布公共服务公告。我们看到了一位勇于创新的建设者，他坚定地致力于以太坊的成长和成功。
Harsh 不需要太多的鼓励和反馈来帮助完善概念并讨论下一步。他将他的想法带到 HackMoney，Richia Joshi 加入了该团队。他们共同将 EPNS 的核心概念发展成为一个多层且不断发展的体系结构，在该体系结构中，关键信息可以广播给以太坊用户。Dapp 构建者可以将他们想听的用户作为目标用户；dapp 用户既可以选择自己的参与度，也可以通过选择使用自己喜欢的 dapp 来提高参与度而获得奖励。
自 HackMoney 成立以来，Richia 和 Harsh 投入了惊人的精力来将 EPNS 构建到他们所谓的“web3 的缺失部分”中。他们已经推出并提供抢先体验版本和 alpha 版本 dapp。他们的项目得到 Gitcoin 的 KERNEL 奖学金接纳。现在，他们正扩大团队并开发一种业务模型，这将使得他们能够建立一个自我维持的平台，而不会损害他们将用户利益放在首位的承诺。
如果您对此感兴趣，请访问https://epns.io/，并在 Twitter @epnsproject 上了解 EPNS 的进度。
一个项目没有得到 ESP 的资助，并不意味着我们不愿意或无法提供有意义、甚至实质性的支持。此外，即使我们尽力而为，我们也无法保证给所有接近我们的团队提供支持！就像传统的资助一样，我们提供的其他类型支持的接受者也只能通过对自己的成功负责并付出大量的辛勤工作来获得收益。