The Celo Foundation, a nonprofit supporting the development of the Celo open blockchain platform, recently announced a new grants program. Providing entrepreneurs with capital along with mentorship to projects that are accelerating technical development and expanding the Celo ecosystem; the Celo Foundation grants program is an open initiative where anyone is encouraged to apply.
Grants are based on four key areas:
- Fostering innovation and development of the Celo platform and Celo reference wallets.
- Lowering barriers to entry, encouraging the accessibility of Celo to developers and end-users.
- Educating and expanding Celo’s global community.
- Expanding Celo’s access, opportunity, and impact.
Following the Celo mainnet launch last year, the Celo community ecosystem has been growing. To date, the Celo Foundation grants program has supported 90+ projects in 54 countries, with a value of $4.9M in funding across the last three waves. The last wave generated strong interest with over 170 applications.
Applications for Wave IV of Celo Foundation grants can be submitted here.
The deadline to submit applications is June 18, 2021.
The Celo Foundation is now pleased to invite developers, designers, dreamers, and doers across the world to work on some of the key priorities for the Celo ecosystem. For ideas that are not represented in the list below, feel free to submit it or join the #grants conversation on Discord for feedback.
Lowering Barriers to Access
- On/off ramps: Proposals to provide users with more options to easily and compliantly purchase, sell, and use Celo assets; including cUSD and cEUR with fiat currencies.
- Multi-chain wallets: Proposals from multi-chain wallet providers to add Celo assets that will help connect other digital asset users with Celo.
- Open APIs for accepting cUSD and cEUR online: Proposals to make it easier for online merchants to accept cUSD and for users to spend their cUSD and cEUR without having to go through an off-ramp. Also, related, proposals for eCommerce plugins that leverage APIs such as WooCommerce, Shopify, and BigCommerce.
- Agent networks: To promote financial inclusion, agent networks play a key role in educating users and giving them access to crypto-assets, Agent networks in some of the key emerging markets to promote the use and adoption of Celo can further benefit the larger Celo Community.
- Community funding platform: Entrepreneurs on the Celo platform would benefit from being able to raise funding compliantly and at a low cost. Proposals may include building a compliant platform that incentivizes liquidity providers and founders to participate in mission-aligned projects within the Celo ecosystem.
- Lending/borrowing platforms: Lending platforms can help Celo’s core mission of building financial inclusion. Zero collateral and undercollateralized loans are particularly interesting as well as solutions that support credit markets like credit scoring, and insurance.
- Liquidity management: Tools that help automate different strategies to manage liquidity for digital assets.
- DeFi aggregators: One of the hurdles to DeFi adoption is accessibility and understanding from users. DeFi aggregators can simplify the user experience around interacting with DeFi protocols.
- Tokenization of different asset classes: NFTs are being used to enable new asset classes on blockchains. The Celo Foundation would like to see more research around how to create and deploy new types of asset classes on Celo.
- Marketplace: Platforms for creators to launch their work directly to their communities using Celo blockchain.
- DAOs: Mechanisms that enable collective ownership between creators, publishers, and their audiences.
- Social media platforms: Platforms that leverage social relationships to enable collaboration between artists, creators, and their audience to drive co-creation, showcase, and exchange NFTs.
- Credit cards and physical card-based solutions: Proposals that enable Celo users to earn rewards and/or spend Celo assets using payment cards.
- Decentralized marketplace and/or use cases: allowing and educating buyers and sellers to interact and transact in a trusted, permissionless way.
- Integrate payments with SMS/iOS messenger: More ways to transact via the Celo network through familiar interfaces to encourage accessibility.
Promoting Celo Adoption
- Online directory where Celo is available locally: As the community develops more ways to access Celo assets, a regularly updated online directory would be helpful for users to know where they can access CELO, cUSD, and cEUR in their region.
- Earning programs. Proposals that help users to earn Celo assets, for example, microwork.
- Referral, rewards, and cashback programs: Proposals that enable Celo users to refer their friends and family, transact, and earn rewards using Celo assets.
- Localized technical and non-technical education and tutorials: Educational programs in native languages, specifically programs in Tagalog/Filipino, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, French, Turkish, and German, but all are welcome. Priority will be given to technical education for developers who are new to blockchain and Web3.
- Incentivized and gamified-learning programs: Learning something new and technically complex can be challenging — that’s why the Celo Foundation would like to see programs that incentivize learning and/or leverage gameplay dynamics.
- Content and education: Create and promote mobile-friendly programs that showcase the potential of Celo technology and its mobile-first approach. Some use cases for content include community currencies, natural asset-backed currencies, and universal basic income (UBI).
- Increasing awareness of the Celo platform, CELO, cUSD, and cEUR: Help the community onboard the next 1 billion Celo users. Blockchain still presents high barriers of access, and the Celo Foundation is looking for ideas to help overcome these barriers and make it easy for everyone to access the benefits of Web3. Especially ideas that target merchants and remittance users in emerging markets.
- University student clubs: The Celo Foundation would love to support student groups worldwide in building blockchain education programs and curriculum according to their needs.
- Community-based solutions: The Celo Foundation is interested in supporting teams that are working on any of the given requests through inclusive community-based solutions.
- Offline transactions: Support for offline or local network transactions in the Celo blockchain client for use in wallets with low connectivity. For example, this would allow a user without internet access to send a transaction via a merchant’s retail POS or phone; using NFC, Bluetooth, or 2 QR code scans.
- Privacy (identity and transactions): The Celo Foundation is interested in R&D and implementations around compliant ways to preserve privacy as it relates to on-chain identities and transactions.
- Plumo provers: Plumo requires participants that can contribute computational resources to run Plumo provers to produce proofs and gossip them across the network.
- Blockchain monitoring: The Celo Foundation is looking for tools that make it easy for developers to listen to the Celo network and trigger other actions (potentially via webhooks).
- Block explorers: There are a couple of popular Celo block explorers but block explorer diversity is an important part of a healthy blockchain network.
- Local currency toolkit: Local currencies backed by blockchain technology have the potential to reshape and revitalize communities. The Celo Foundation wants to support teams that are exploring what this might look like and how to execute it; as well as share their research with the wider blockchain and local currency communities.
- CBDC sandbox: Central bank digital currencies are coming online. How can central banks leverage public blockchain networks, and how can they be onboarded? The Celo Foundation is looking for applications for projects that can help onboard central banks to Celo.
- Bond issuance sandbox: This is related to tokenizing different asset classes yet focused on how to issue bonds on Celo.
Timeline & Key Dates
- Application deadline: June 18, 2021.
- Announcement of Celo Foundation grant recipients: July 21, 2021.
For more information:
Applications can be submitted here. For additional information and any questions, email [email protected]