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Founder in Residence | Announcement

Cultivating the next generation of entrepreneurs building on Celo.

Want to build new financial infrastructure and need a place to start?

The Celo Foundation is pleased to announce open applications to the inaugural Founder in Residence cohort. If you are product driven, passionate about building an open financial system, we have a place for you to research, develop and launch.

The Founder in Residence (“FiR”) program is designed to jumpstart exciting new ventures on Celo while helping emerging founders develop leadership skills and navigate the startup landscape. We offer access to some of the best minds in crypto through mentorship and a pathway towards funding and scaling your company.

During your tenure as a Founder at the Celo Foundation you will contribute to the Celo ecosystem and have a forum to nurture and develop a product with other founders building on Celo. Depending on the stage of your idea, you will research, design, prototype, and onboard your first users while at the FiR program. To cover your cost of living, the Celo Foundation will provide a base stipend. Additionally, there is a small discretionary “use it or lose it” budget designed to cover user research, modest travel, and other basics for bootstrapping.

Who should apply?

Passionate entrepreneurs looking for the right opportunity to take the leap and interested in building in the Celo ecosystem. Candidates are expected to commit full-time. We consider the following criteria:


  • Entrepreneurial experience: you launched a product, founded a company, or raised funds.
  • Leadership experience: you managed a team in the past. What kind of team and under what circumstances?
  • Technical and/or operational experience: significant experience and capacity in your area of interest
  • Geography: if your business is geography-specific, are you committed to being in-market?


  • Ability to articulate the pathway from passion to a product with significant growth potential.
  • Compelling reason why Celo is part of your idea.


What products might qualify?

We are open to all applications as long as candidates are able to articulate a compelling reason why building on the Celo blockchain is right for them. The following categories are potential areas for innovation:

DeFi and crypto building blocks: Thanks to the recent Donut Hardfork, Celo is fully EVM compatible, has native stability, AMMs, lending markets, and subgraph indexing, but there are a wide variety of other financial primitives yet to be built. Potential products in this category include:

  • Wallets
  • Analytics and dashboards
  • Additional Decentralized Exchanges
  • Tools for additional cStable pairs

Lowering barriers to access: The Celo Foundation Alliance for Prosperity has a wide range of in-market partners. Leveraging these relationships you will build a Celo-dependent business, making cryptocurrency more broadly accessible for end-users. Possible products in this category include:

  • Remittance products
  • Reducing cash-in — cash-out friction through payments rails, P2P exchanges, or agent networks
  • Payroll tools to help employees hedge against depreciation in emerging markets

New use cases on Celo: Tired of crypto industry platitudes about financial inclusion and eager to get into the field? We’re here for you. Potential products in this category include:

  • Uncollateralized lending
  • Tools to bootstrap last mile agent networks
  • Savings groups
  • Microinsurance

Do you have an idea which is keeping you up at night and you’ve already started researching and prototyping? Are you looking for what to do next and want to surround yourself with other people striving to build new tools? Drop us a line to let us know why it’s so compelling. Applications close June 15.




Celo is a carbon-negative, L1 protocol with a rich ecosystem of global partners building Web3, mobile-first applications to create a more accessible and inclusive global financial system. Visit to learn more about the Celo community, contributors, and technology.

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Celo Foundation

Celo Foundation

A mission-driven foundation responsible for education, community engagement, and ecosystem support of the Celo platform.

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