Amidst the turbulence of the bear market wreaking havoc on venture capital investments within the crypto industry, a noticeable surge in the popularity of alternative funding avenues, such as grants, has taken root. These grants are emerging as robust means to bolster the community while propelling the advancement of well-established projects.
Presently, an impressive tally of 40 crypto projects, as reported by Blockchain Grants, are actively dispensing grants to developers focused on pioneering Web3 solutions. Concurrently, insights from Cointelegraph Research underscore the repercussions of the market downturn, revealing a discernible void in crypto venture capital that has led to a significant 30% contraction in funds directed towards Web3 initiatives during the preceding year.
It’s pivotal to recognize that grants and venture capital operate as distinct financial mechanisms, each tailored to serve specific objectives and conditions. Grants often serve as the bedrock for projects aligned with particular aims and principles, while venture capital zeroes in on startups exhibiting robust growth potential and a resolute focus on financial returns.
However, the value of grants hinges on the premise that the allocated funds are strategically reinvested, as emphasized by Naveen Agnihotri, CEO of Cumberland Labs, during a conversation with Cointelegraph. Agnihotri articulates that grants hold remarkable promise for burgeoning crypto projects, contingent upon the prudent reinvestment of funds. In contrast, venture capital assumes the role of a propellant, effectively facilitating a founder’s ability to bootstrap their project with an encouraging approach that thrives on mutual incentives.
Open call for grants
With a clear mission of ensuring financial accountability while catalyzing innovation, the SingularityNET team has unveiled an enhanced iteration of its Deep Funding grant program. This latest version, now in its third round, introduces a robust framework that rewards teams based on demonstrable milestones, tangible deliverables, and rigorous peer-to-peer evaluations. The program is actively welcoming proposals until September 3rd, spanning five distinct funding pools. Impressively, over $1.5 million is earmarked for distribution to pioneering AI-related projects within the upcoming months.
Emphasizing the pivotal role that grant programs play in shaping the evolution of the crypto industry, Rafael Presa, the Operations Manager of Deep Funding, expounds, “Granting programs are architecting the next phase of progress and ingenuity within the crypto landscape. Through financial backing and a platform for unconventional concepts, these initiatives ignite creativity, foster research, and culminate in groundbreaking solutions.” Since its inauguration in 2022, the program has propelled 28 artificial intelligence (AI) ventures forward, leveraging decentralized voting mechanisms inherent to the SingularityNET ecosystem.
Concurrently advancing impactful projects, the Interledger Foundation is wielding its grant program to propel initiatives aimed at establishing payment networks for underserved global communities. Briana Marbury, CEO of the Interledger Foundation, highlights the potent role of grant programs in alleviating financial constraints faced by entrepreneurs and innovators. “We’ve witnessed scenarios where remarkable undertakings languished, remaining undiscovered by the world due to lack of resources essential for fruition,” Marbury underscores. Applications for the program will be accepted until November 21st, with grants exceeding $100,000 poised to be bestowed in this phase.
Applying for grants: What to consider
When applying for grants, a solid grasp of the grantor’s objectives is absolutely essential. This showcases not only genuine interest but also a profound understanding of the program’s core goals, as emphasized by Presa. Actively involving yourself with the community, soliciting feedback, and meticulously refining your proposal not only elevates its quality but also underscores your unwavering dedication to collaboration and enhancement.
Agnihotri underscores the importance of addressing real-world issues when positioning your proposal. In the current bear market climate, he sees a golden opportunity to delve into problems and subsequently, groundbreaking concepts. His advice? Find a tranquil space, immerse yourself in contemplation, and allow substantial ideas to materialize. Once a noteworthy notion emerges, commit the necessary time to meticulously craft a comprehensive grant proposal. It’s worth noting that even in these financially restrained times, funding is still available, and exceptional ideas magnetize the available resources, as affirmed by Agnihotri.