In case you don't know, in the Cardano ecosystem, there is Project Catalyst which enables people to submit proposals and receive funding if the community votes. Right now Fund2 is going on and somewhere soon voting will start.
I already wrote about Project Catalyst and in this article, I want to share with you my particular experience and my "Cardano Hub" proposal.
This proposal was in Fund1 and I decided to post it to Fund2, so see the reaction of people and maybe find someone with who we can cooperate. As you can see from the screenshot - the rating of 1.83 is very bad.
People like to share success, but not failures. This idea - it's not a failure (the voting didn't happen yet). Negative experience might also be valuable, and you can learn from my mistakes - i.e. if you plan to submit for the next Funds of Catalyst. (I provide the feedback below)
I had an opportunity to speak about Cardano Hub on The Cardano Effect show, most popular program in the Cardano community.
And recently Charles Hoskinson gave a speech on Community Led Hubs. Of course, it's only a coincidence, but taking to account that he often mentioned Project Catalyst, there is a chance that he read the proposal.
Problem statement :
The existence of Cardano Hub will help community building, ADA adoption, involvement of developers and entrepreneurs into Cardano ecosystem
Describe your solution to the problem
Cardano Hub - your key to the future. Hub will include meetup space, co-working, library, media, cafe, bookstore, startup accelerator, etc.
In 2019 I created the literature crypto-bar Knygarium, which existed for half a year, had its own token and popularised crypto technology
Detailed plan (not required) - Fill in here any additional details
Cardano Hub - your key to the future. The Hub will include meetup space, co-working, library, media, cafe, bookstore, and will focus on the III main directions which correspond to III Cardano phases.
I. Goguen - Meetups, Popularization of Plutus and Marlowe, achieving high-quality developer acquisition, Haskell courses and trainings, assistance to companies that are planning to use Cardano smart-contracts.
II. Basho - We will follow CATO (Cardano Adoption Through Outreach) tactics and will work on interoperability with other blockchains
III. Voltaire - We will study philosophy, political science, and economics, will research, and come up with ideas that can be used in Cardano governance.
As the location of the first hub, we propose Kyiv (Ukraine), but we also have ideas and conversations about North-Western Hub (Washington-Wyoming) and Milan (Italy).
The Cardano HUB in Kyiv can use the CIA technique (Cooperation, Integration, Assimilation) in relation to other blockchains. I.e. with some blockchain and project we cooperate, with some we integrate (like Litecoin or BCH), and some - assimilate (many blockchain projects don't really need own blockchain and they can exist on Cardano blockchain and issue their token.).
The Cardano HUB will provide a place for meetups for all crypto projects (therefor showing goodwill, for some - for free, for others on the paid basis). The Hub can start as non-profit but then in some time, Hub can become profitable by providing rent for meetups, selling products (like Cardano merchandise and books), and providing consulting for businesses interested in using ADA.
There used to be Blockchain Hub in Kyiv, which shut down half a year ago (because of rent increase) and crypto community doesn't have a place to gather for meetups, and just for coffee/beer.
In 2019 I had experience of starting the first literature crypto bar, which I consider success as the convergence of crypto and other fields. We had a great audience, from crypto-entrepreneurs to members of parliament, diplomats, famous artists, and writers. From the point of business, it didn't have enough time to become profitable, and it had to close due to the problem with real estate. (Landlords took bank loan many years ago, and the bank came to claim their property and took over the place). I started it with my own funds, and I didn't expect to earn money on it, as it's just not the type of business where you can expect big profits (it would be much easier just to keep funds in crypto, or stake). But this was an exciting experience, which I would be happy to use in setting up Cardano Hub. (For example, we had big room enough to fit 60 people, but in Cardano Hub we should have a room for several hundred, at least).
In 2020, just recently Tezos Hub opened in Kyiv (in terms of the grant from Tezos foundation). They will make meetups, hackathons, etc. It's located not in center, so I suppose it will work in "closed-mode"
But my idea of HUB is completely different. Yes, we will make hackathons and meetups. Weekly Cardano meetups, but we will do much more. We will provide meetup space for all crypto-projects (and sometimes beyond crypto). The Hub will work from early morning till night (and maybe even 24 hours in future) and crypto-enthusiasts and all visitors will be able to come, drink coffee, and to know more about Cardano. We will have unique library and unique bookshop - which will attract intellectual people, some of them can join crypto movement. We will create special technical meetups for developers (i.e. Haskell) and will try to achieve high-level developer acquisition for the Cardano ecosystem. We will have a media office there (already existing ones, Cryptotexty, which has sites in Ukrainian, English and youtube channel with 1k+ subscribers) and will provide working space for Cardano-related projects.
As an option - Cardano Hub can be tokenized, and have multiple owners and governance systems.
In fact, I think it should be tokenized or to find it's for-profit specialization, as I wouldn't be happy to run Hub on community donations.
Like Cardano is transferring from OBFT to SPO's making blocks, we will try to reach similar transfer in a year.
So I'm requesting 888 888 ADA which should be enough for 1 year of Cardano Hub functioning.
Requested funds in ada. Only use numbers! No symbols, letters, fractions. 888888
Which of these definitions apply to you? Other/Prefer not to say, Marketing professional, Entrepreneur
Below is a summary of the notes given to the proposal by community advisors:
Impact: This proposal effectively addresses the challenge
Building a hub does not address challenge.
An offline space could foster collaboration among Cardano developers, but wouldn't scale due to its local nature.
"This proposal seems to be aligned with the objective of fund2. The existence of this space can encourage the organization of meetups and hackathons, but it has not been demonstrated how a physical location can bring additional benefits in events over the internet, through video conferences. Today the vast majority of events related to blockchain occur over the internet due to the restrictions imposed by covid-19 and this is a problem that cannot be ignored when evaluating this proposal.
Many people have avoided social contact and governments have placed measures to restrict agglomerations in public places. This week (last week of October) there was news of rising cases and some countries in Europe are taking restrictive measures of social distancing.
In addition, this proposal is requesting almost half of the resources of fund2 and there are no justifications present in this proposal that justify such a huge commitment from fund2.
I suggest postponing this proposal to the next funds, when there is a larger budget and we are more confident that the situation of covid-19 is under control."
A meetup hub will be hard to get up and running in the next 6 months with COVID raging. Many countries impose a limit on how many people can be together in a group, which will hurt such a hub. Apart from that, a meetup space is more of a longtail project, and it will be hard to get developers building on Cardano within 6 months through this idea.
Hubs for community and developers are aligned with the fund goal.
"Would have given higher rating but under current circumstances - I don't see how this project can fulfil:
""Cardano Hub - your key to the future. Hub will include meetup space, co-working, library, media, cafe, bookstore, startup accelerator, etc.""
Countries are locking down, home office, etc. I don't see this proposal can live up to its expectations during present round at all.
Regardless, I like the idea in general."
This idea is great i think we need to have more exposure to locals, but i don't know how this can be done to attract developers in the next 6 months with this pandemic going on.
The nature of this proposal is well aligned with Fund 2's goals to bring devs and entrepreneurs onto the platform. It is the 'effectiveness' aspect of scoring that lets it down, based on the other assessments below.
The amount of ADA ask is too low. You are either going to rent or buy location. Fails to say how it will maintain sustainability, to be able to pay rent, utilities, etc
Feasibility: Given experience and plan presented it is highly likely this proposal will be implemented successfully
The proposal could be fleshed out further; it has lots of ideas and maybes but little is concrete.
"There is no further detail regarding the proposer's professional experience and knowledge, there is only one mention about the creation of a bar in 2019 that served as a meeting point for the crypto community.
There is no detailed plan for how the Cardano hub will engage the developer community in a practical way, mainly because many people are in social isolation due to covid-19. There is no detailed budget allocation."
The experience is a great plus, since something very much like thing was implemented prior. It is however not a given that people will adopt the idea of a Cardano Hub, and actually meet up. The is some risk that the incentive is not great enough, and it might take a lot of marketing to draw people in.
The plan looks interesting, but the requested funding is way too much for this type of proposal.
"Based on the track record of the person - that is involvement - this would be very likely possible to entertain.
However, plan does not take into account current Covid-19 situation which makes this proposal impossible to implement with desirable level of success. This can be a contender in later rounds when there is more clarity. "
The plan can be improved a lot, i bet there is a lot of ppl that can bring a plan for doing a combined hub, even with some shared profit and costs.
There's an idea here, but not a concrete plan. There is no factual basis presented to assert that the financials for the physical premises would be sustainable.
Can't be done within 6 months, and fails to meet the overall challenge of bringing developers and entrepreneurs to Cardano.
Visitor metrics for the previous cryptobar would be useful for both feasibility and impact assessment. Some skin in the game would have improved the proposal significantly. For example, photos of spaces, cost breakdowns, whether alternatives were considered. Many projects get by fine with meetups hosted at company offices.
Auditability: The proposal provides sufficient information to assess how feasible it is and how effectively it addresses the challenge.
"There is not enough information to assess the project's impact and viability in fund2.
The requested budget was 888 888 ADAs, which corresponds to almost half of the fund2 and there was no detail on the allocation of funds. It is important that the community has a good description of how the funds will be allocated. The requested budget would be for 1 year of operation of the Cardano Hub, which exceeds the 6-month period defined in fund2 to meet the challenge."
This is no budget to be found, and no forecasting or modelling for how many people it will attract and hence how many projects would be started on Cardano within the next 6 months.
There are no milestones, metrics or KPIs present in the proposal
"Unfortunately, proposal does not go into any depth or detail how the proposed budgetary value actually makes sense and where it will be allocated."
I think we need a better plan, more ppl thinking about how to bring this to really in a sustainable way. What we need to be in place first to be able to achieve sustainability?
This plan needs to be substantially fleshed out before it would allay risks that the Treasury funds wouldn't be lost in a failed business.
Note you can access the community advisors guidelines to learn what principles and instructions they were following when assessing proposals: https://docs.google.com/document/d/13GDOj2vuxZzQttagfgnS3hbnP65xsSsWbf_6TURLI_U/edit?ts=5f4f871f#heading=h.bnxyy561vexh"
I wanted to address each of these opinions and answer in detail, but this will make the article very long. Did you read to this line? But if you think that's a good idea - I will reply to everything in another article