Development after the accelerator: how to apply for a grant to launch the project
A ten-week Tezos development program ended in September. A month ago, we wrote a piece about the launch of our own project with the Encode Club. We discussed individual sessions with team mentors, workshops, and the process of preparing for the accelerator.
This post discusses the intricacies of successful applications for a grant for Tezos developers.
How to apply for a grant from Tezos Foundation
A grant is a tool for obtaining funding for projects that are currently just ideas or MVPs.
You must fill out an application form to apply for a grant to develop a project at Tezos. To do this, register on the official Tezos Foundation website, fill in all the fields and submit it to the committee.
In the application, you need to answer a dozen questions, which boil down to:
- information about the team working on the project;
- technical information so that the committee understands the stages of implementation;
- roadmap and benefits to the ecosystem;
- budget, with a clear indication of resources and grant amounts.
Proposals for new projects are reviewed by the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). This usually takes several weeks. During this time, the participant is notified of the status change at the email address provided in the application.
The experience of the Picky.fi developer
We spoke to Igor Pavlenko, a member of the Encode Club accelerator and the creator of the liquidity aggregator Picky.fi. He shared his recommendations on approaching the application process correctly and increasing the chances of getting funding and launching a project.
Igor recommends thinking carefully about the answers to the questions first and not sending them right away:
“Once you register, the application form will be available to you, and your progress will be stored on the website as a draft. So you can read through all the questions in the form and submit your application only when you have the answers. The questions may be different for projects in different categories, so I will talk specifically about experiences in the DeFi category.
All questions can be roughly divided into three categories:
- Team. Personal details of the developers, the workforce and their experience, and information about the legal entity;
- Project. Here you need to disclose the technical details of the implementation, describe the frontend and backend technologies used, list the integration with the existing services, provide a link to a public repository if the project is open-source;
- Value to Tezos. This item implies a performance evaluation and a description of implementation paths.
Igor considers the third category to be the most important. It includes several related questions:
How many new transactions will your solution bring to Tezos? The answer depends on how many average transactions the user will perform to reach the goal.
In the case of Picky.fi this is a minimum of one transaction to exchange tokens. The frequency of transactions depends on the individual user: from their experience with the app to the general state of the market.
The total number of transactions depends on the total number of users. And this leads to the next question.
How many new users will Tezos get? To answer this question, we need to outline the project’s development stages.
In the initial stages, Igor Pavlenko focused on existing users who have a general idea of DeFi and the features of the Tezos ecosystem.
Tezos Foundation is also interested in how many of them will use your product in the first six months.
To estimate the number of active service users, assessing how many users use similar services might be the best practice. Read about them in a previous Tezos Ukraine article.
Since transaction data is publicly available on the blockchain, you can use it for market research. For example, set up an indexer or use the TzKT API to process the information.
With analytics, you can collect end-user addresses and interact with them, such as by conducting an airdrop.
You can also partner with wallets, sites with app galleries, or ecosystem media like Ukraine and XTZ News.
What are your project’s budget and the developers’ plans? The answer depends on the cost of your service, time for development and support, number of people on your team. Ideally, the project should become self-sufficient in terms of profitability.
A grant application should resemble a business plan. First and foremost, a project should benefit the ecosystem by attracting new users, engaging old ones, and increasing online activity. Before rushing into development, it is worth doing market research and understanding exactly what the ecosystem lacks and how your project will fix it.
We thank Picky.fi developer Igor Pavlenko for the detailed feedback, and we wish you good luck in further development of the startup together with Tezos!
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