In an announcement on their official blog today Chia Network has launched their Chia Cultivation Grant to foster development in the Chia ecosystem. Managed by J. Eckert, VP of Ecosystem Operations, the Grant is designed to get worthwhile software projects off the ground with a cash infusion of $30 000 USD to $250 000 USD.
I had a chance to catch up with J. Eckert and he answered a few of my questions about the grants. Most importantly, Chia is NOT taking an ownership stake in grant recipient companies, this is purely a few-strings infusion of capital for projects to go to market with. Accepting the grant doesn’t mean they won’t later acquire equity in partner companies, that may happen in the future for all sorts of reasons, but it is not a condition of the Grant.
They are building an application process that will be managed by the Ecosystem Operations team at Chia, but final selection will be made by a committee of key executives at Chia Network so decisions about the grant recipients will be made at the very top. They will not be be utilizing the pre-farm, or Strategic Reserve to fund Grants.
The first Chia Cultivation Grant recipient they are announcing is Emergent Coin, parent company of Nucle and PoolChia. The grant is for the Nucle wallet to fund the go to market strategy there and ensure that the infrastructure can stay afloat while the project becomes self sufficient. This is really important, as projects of this magnitude cannot be run only out of good intentions. Even this tiny website needs revenue to stay afloat long term, and an SPV wallet needs a lot more than that to stay secure.
Chia is not placing a lot of limits on applicants, just that they have something concrete and reviewable and that its possible that due to applicant volume they may not respond to poorly designed applications. Because of that they encourage people to re-apply with additional documentation and to keep working on projects and improving them. The following quote sums up exactly what stage of project they are looking for.
No, right now we are focusing on people who bring us well fleshed out proposals on what they need to get from A to B to deliver a specific project all on their own, without us direct involvement or direction on the process and project management/product.J. Eckert, VP Ecosystem Operations
I think this is a really great program, and I hope we see a lot more projects like Nucle come out of this. Who knows, maybe FlexPool will decide its worth releasing their Golang Chia stack as free and open source for everyone to use if they get a large grant.