Fund Your Web3 Development With These Grant Programs

6 Jun 2024

Web3 is known for its numerous projects looking to drive innovation in various sectors. Each new idea holds the potential to revolutionize the blockchain landscape, but they can’t always be implemented with force of will alone. Grants are usually the best solution for early funding. Projects receive money, sure, but more importantly they get opportunities to connect with peers, a springboard with potential investors, as well as free advertisement and reputation.

Some very well-known protocols have started out from grants, or achieved success partly due to the grants they received. For instance, Chainlink benefited from early funding and grants from various sources, including the Web3 Foundation. Similarly, Uniswap became one of the most popular DEXs in the crypto space with early support from the Ethereum Foundation, among others.

On the other hand, you probably haven’t heard of projects like Koinex, Confido, or NanoHealthCare Token. There were countless projects that couldn’t continue due to lack of funding or opportunities.

While new projects can greatly benefit from being part of a grant program, well-established platforms are likewise interested in launching such programs due to the ability to attract new developers.

Here, there are 10 such platforms offering a wide variety of grants: at least one of them may be the right fit for your idea.

1 Vara’s Gear Foundation Grants Program

The Gear Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to nurturing the Vara Network ecosystem through research and education initiatives. Vara Network is a Substrate-based high performance decentralized network powered by the Gear Protocol, enabling very fast execution and superior usage UX.

The Gear foundation is running an attractive grant program, which provides support to founders and developers through both tangible and intangible resources, including strategic guidance.

The Gear Foundation is open to fund a wide range of Web-3 based projects that go from the DeFi niche to GameFi, and projects focused on developing tools and infrastructural nodes and APIs.

2 COTI Builders Program

Following the recent launch of COTI V2, the privacy-centric Layer 2 on Ethereum has introduced a grant program dedicated to DeFi projects at various stages. The grant aims to grow COTI V2 and support emerging DEXs and privacy-focused protocols, while offering a wide range of choices to the COTI community.

The grant will support projects in the devnet, testnet, mainnet launch, or growth phases, not only with financial aid but also with technical support from the team, visibility through marketing campaigns, opportunities for new partnerships and access to educational workshops and webinars.

Grant amounts range from $1,000 to $100,000 in COTI, depending on the stage of the applicant project.

3 EOS Network Foundation Grant Framework

Individuals, small teams, and companies looking to build on EOS—whether for public good or profit—have the opportunity to obtain grants ranging from $10,000 to $200,000, depending on their development stage. The grant supports fully open-source projects that aim to foster the growth of EOS and is divided into three types:

  • New Proposals: This covers a wide range of new projects proposed by members of the EOS community.
  • Maintenance Grants: Dedicated to those specifically aiming to revive and support libraries, SDKs, or tools on the EOS chain that have fallen out of maintenance.
  • RFP Response: In this category, the EOS Network Foundation issues work requests to the community in the form of a Request for Proposal.

4 DOT Grants Program

The Polkadot ecosystem is bustling with new and modular projects. Some of these projects can secure funding through the Polkadot Treasury, which consists of on-chain funds collected from transaction fees and some of the staking rewards.

In addition to the Treasury and various alternative grant programs and funding sources, aspiring project builders on Polkadot can now benefit from a substantial grant opportunity.

The Web3 Foundation, the organization spearheading the development of Polkadot, Kusama, and Substrate, is currently offering a total grant pool of $20 million USD and 5 million DOT tokens, presenting an unparalleled opportunity for developers and teams to bring innovative projects to life within the Polkadot ecosystem.

5 Pyth Ecosystem Grants Program

Pyth Network, an oracle solution offering developers access to low-latency, high-frequency, and high-fidelity price data, is set to drive growth and innovation within the Pyth Ecosystem through a comprehensive grant program.

Operated by a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), Pyth is allocating 50 million PYTH tokens for its grant program. These tokens, sourced from its tokenomics, will be distributed in both unlocked and locked forms.

Its category of Developer Grants incentivizes the creation of new tools to support protocol operations and innovative integrations with Pyth products. These grants cover new applications and services designed to enhance existing infrastructure and tooling like SDKs, APIs, and documentation.

Other types of grants include Community Grants for organizing events, content and activities related to Pyth Network, and Research Grants which is designed to improve the efficiency of the oracle system.

6 Astar Studio: A Developer Console with a $200K grant program

Following its collaboration announcement with Sequence, the development platform for Web3 games, Astar Network, the smart contract hub on Polkadot and Polygon, is poised to introduce a 'Developer Console' solution for Astar zkEVM.

This new partnership comes along with the launch of the Astar Studio Credit Grant, offering $200,000 USD to projects contributing to the leveraging of Astar Studio marketplace’s solutions. Additionally, grant recipients will enjoy discounted fees on Astar’s solutions.

7 Stacks Grant Programs

Stacks, the open-source blockchain network that leverages the security and capital of Bitcoin for decentralized apps and smart contracts, is focusing on supporting projects that enhance the Bitcoin environment through different grant programs:

  • Critical Bounties support the development of Bitcoin's underlying infrastructure, tools, research, and other initiatives that advance the growth of its network.
  • DeGrants is a community-driven initiative where members distribute grants for projects they find significant or intriguing and are not covered by Critical Bounties.
  • Chapters are led by local community groups who are responsible for driving engagement within specific geographic areas.
  • The Residency Program supports experts at experimenting, conducting open-ended research and long-term projects.

8 Tezos Foundation's Grant Program

Tezos, the open-source blockchain known for its unique smart contract platform, has launched a grant program too. This initiative has the objective of cultivating collaboration within the Tezos ecosystem by supporting developers and innovators eager to contribute to its expansion.

The grants are dedicated to projects aligned with Tezos' ongoing research areas, including advancements in the banking ecosystem, the development of additional tools for developers, user-centric applications, and initiatives focused on privacy and security.

9 Cronos Ecosystem Programs

Cronos, the blockchain ecosystem committed to driving mainstream adoption of self-custody, DeFi, and Web3 Gaming, is accelerating the mainstream adoption of Web3 through its Cronos Labs initiative, which offers comprehensive support to developers looking to launch on their platform.

Their ecosystem grant program enhances the development of Cronos by fostering projects dedicated to infrastructure components, development tools, product integration and education. Grants, typically ranging from $10,000 to $50,000, are often distributed through bounties upon achieving specific milestones such as transaction volumes, and they also include both technical and marketing assistance.

Cronos ecosystem program also offers an incubation program and an acceleration program, structured as a 10-week project.

10 BNB Chain Builder Grant

BNB Chain, Binance's decentralized blockchain ecosystem dedicated to decentralized data management, layer-2 scaling, and pioneering solutions for DeFi, is committed to backing not-for-profit projects that aim to serve the public good.

The main strength of the BNB Chain grants program is its emphasis on open-source frameworks, developer tools, infrastructure, and compatibility modules for BNB Chain.

Grant sizes will be determined based on the features and roadmap of projects, and they will be allocated in milestones-based bounties.

Grants are the best way to get started

Hunting for grants may be incredibly lucrative for early stage developers. Even if the grants are focused on improving an existing product, this can still be a useful commitment to start earning money that can then be spent on your product. And as always, experience and connections are even more important: you never know which door might lead to the next big thing.

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Vested Interest Disclosure: This author is an independent contributor publishing via our business blogging program. HackerNoon has reviewed the report for quality, but the claims herein belong to the author. #DYOR.