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Funding on Stacks
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In most competing layer-1 blockchains there are funding ecosystems created to support and scale promising developers & builders. Funding ecosystems support innovators in order to build the blockchain’s economy. Further, successful innovators generate new growth, additional liquidity, and attract more devs/end-users into the ecosystem. According to Metcalfe’s Law, the more economic activity on a blockchain the more network connections (i.e., users transacting) which result in higher overall valuations.
See: Raoul Pal’s valuation analysis (Metcalfe’s Law) of a blockchain economy
On Stacks, there are different funding programs, each one with different characteristics & goals. These include:
Stacks Startup Lab
The Stacks accelerator consists of a 3 month mentorship-driven program.
In addition to funding, the program guides each project from day 0 to launch.
The accelerator is divided into 3 phases:
Product development camp: this includes lean startup training, tech support, branding & marketing strategy, and product/UX feedback
Pitching & Fundraising: this includes coaching how to pitch, preparing a slide deck & developing a network of mentors
Demo Day: Meet investors & launch the project
The program is much more than a simple accelerator as participants tap into the knowledge of more than 70 mentors plus receive dedicated support from Stacks experts & investors. It's an opportunity to become a successful founder & learn all the skills needed as an entrepreneur.
The Accelerator program has specific requirements in order to join. They are looking for seasoned founders who have already successfully launched products or services. Additionally, the Accelerator focuses on founders who are delivering new and innovative solutions in the blockchain space. Lastly, they are looking for projects that strengthen the relationship between Stacks and Bitcoin (i.e., ALEX, Arkadiko, & DLC.link).
Concerning funding, there are two options:
Up to $50k (No Valuation Cap)
Up to $100k (For Open Source contributions)
If you want to learn more about the Stacks Accelerator program, check out
or visit their Twitter profile https://twitter.com/StacksStartups.
Stacks Startup Lab
The Stacks Startup Lab will help people validate their startup idea, find technical co-founders, & build an initial audience. The Startup Lab, run by Albert Liang (https://twitter.com/btc_albert), provides a structured program and gets projects on the fast track to the Stacks Accelerator/Ventures. This program can be seen as a lightweight version of the Accelerator program.
In particular, the Startup Lab consists of a 2-month Bootcamp with 1:1 mentorship. The idea of the Startup Lab is to help founders build out their team & to create a solid foundation for a scalable startup. One of the unique features of this program is that even if a founder works a 9-5 or is a rookie entrepreneur, there is no limitation to joining one of the cohorts.
Once in the program, participants gain foundational knowledge in both the crypto space & startup realm while actively participating in daily workshops.
Lastly and similar to the Stacks Accelerator, cohort participants receive access to a pool of founders, engineers, mentors & investors.
You can learn more about it through their website
The Stacks Grant program’s scope is to fund tools, education & core protocol development. The goal is to enhance the Stacks ecosystem's overall growth. Comparatively speaking, the Grant program is easier to submit a request & obtain funding than either the Accelerator or Startup Lab; however, the project must satisfy a compelling need in order to be approved.
As shown in the above picture, there are numerous categories eligible for a grant. Depending on the impact to the Stacks ecosystem the maximum funding amount varies by category with a bias towards ecosystem growth.
An excellent way to better understand the kind of projects that receive approval & their level of funding is to visit the GitHub page of the Stacks grant launchpad: https://github.com/stacksgov/Stacks-Grant-Launchpad.
The process consists of answering a series of questions that determine the project’s scope, its roadmap, potential issues, & more.
Teams define deliverables that, once met, unlock predefined funds to continue the project’s progress.
Supporting evidence for your project or proof of community support are great ways to increase the odds of grant proposals being approved.
Listen here for a detailed Q&A as to the Stacks Grant program and funding initiatives more generally:
You can ask questions & learn more in the grants channel on the Stacks Discord server (be sure to address it to @GrantsAmbassador, so they see the message) & by checking out the platform for grants.
The Stacks Residence program’s goal is to fund open-ended research, experimentation & other important long-term projects. The Residence program enables participants to work full-time on Stacks by receiving monthly funding.
Residence topics can include most anything: from GameFi & tokenomics to marketing to exploration of blockchain frontier use cases.
Participants work closely with the Stacks Foundation to set up goals & outcomes. From there, it's up to the residents to deliver value & communicate their findings with the community.
Currently, Residency terms range from 6 months to 1 year. You can apply for the Residency program at: https://github.com/stacksgov/residence-program.
Stacks Advocates' goal is to advocate for education, implementation & optimization of the Stacks ecosystem. This program is a grassroots bottom-up iniative for new contributors to make a contribution to the community. Contributors are incentivized through weekly payments paid in xBTC. All one needs to do is to publicly share & describe their work on the Stacks Discord channel.
There are two ways to join the Advocates program:
A community member vouches for you in the "vouch" Stacks Discord; or
By introducing yourself in the "introduction" channel
Each shared contribution will be graded using specific emoji reactions, & the greater the number of emojis, the greater the rewards.
Stacks Chapters support the Stacks community around the world by onboarding builders & developers into local Stacks branches (i.e., ATX or LDN).
Creating a Stacks Chapter helps educate local communities, increase access to STX tokens, incubates new projects, and fosters other activities that lead to new creators joining the Stacks ecosystem.
If you are interested in building a chapter in your own region & want to better understand how other regions are operating, read this article: https://stacks.org/stacks-chapters-collective-impact
Remember that most of these programs are new, so they will change & improve over time based upon community feedback and results. PoR is interested to see how programs perform and whether new programs will emerge as Stacks scales. These programs are necessary for Stacks' early growth & the more high-quality projects/devs/users that can be onboarded, the better Stacks will become.