Introducing: Tendermint Fellowships

A new initiative for Cosmos hackathon winners

Chjango Unchained ⛓️
Tendermint Blog
Published in
4 min readOct 17, 2020


Executive Summary

Tendermint Fellowships is a new program being launched by Tendermint Inc. Tendermint Fellows is the means to identify raw talent that is as-yet undiscovered to then provide the early stage financial backing for converting that raw energy into the next killer decentralized application to burst into the cryptocurrency market.

How it works

The discovery mechanism behind Tendermint Fellows relies heavily on hackathons. Whenever a Cosmos hackathon is launched, that’s when proceeding evaluations for potential Fellows will occur. At the close of every Cosmos hackathon, there is the potential for up to 2 Fellows to be discovered; though there is no hard cap as to how many Fellows could emerge. The outcome is completely based on merit of the existing talent pool that presents itself during each hackathon.

A Tendermint Fellowship is granted to the individual, rather than to the winning team, who showcases extraordinary leadership skills, communication skills, depth of technical skills, resourcefulness, and business acumen. By identifying the individual, the prestige of recognition is awarded to the person who unambiguously demonstrates the highest level of competency above their competition in their ability to take a project’s goals across the goalpost from start to finish.

The Fellow who decides to keep their team would then self-manage the resources granted to them by the Fellowship Program and distribute as-needed to keep the operations of the project going. If any one team has multiple individuals who qualify for a Fellowship, then those individuals will receive funding in addition to the first Fellow as well as become recognized as another Tendermint Fellow as part of the same class.

About being a Tendermint Fellow

You have been selected out of a pool of hundreds to thousands of people in the blockchain space as one of the highest potential leaders who may one day take a Cosmos project and cross the chasm into a mainstream market. Like the Thiel Fellowship, this recognition is forever, and in addition to that, you will receive financial support every month for up to a 12-month period to kickstart the project of your dreams.


  • One of the prerequisites of becoming a Tendermint Fellow entails being a part of a team that placed in any one of the prize categories of qualifying hackathons launched by or sponsored by Cosmos. This includes HackAtom V, any future ETHGlobal events that Cosmos sponsors in the future, or any future HackAtom [city name].
  • Additional qualifications include outstanding performance during any of the above hackathons where you demonstrated your ability to 1) lead teams in a pre-startup environment, 2) showcase the technical depth of your knowledge of the Cosmos tech stack and architecture, and 3) comprehend market forces such that you can garner product-market-fit and produce a concept that would be ready for real world use.


  • To be eligible, you must have registered for one or more Cosmos or extended Cosmos ecosystem hackathons and have placed 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in any prize category. You must be able to provide proof (if requested) to verify that you placed in one of the hackathons.
  • You must build on top of and extend one of your winning hackathon POCs and develop it towards production-readiness intended for widespread use in the broader market.

Program Duration

  • Up to 12 months
  • Program ends when one of the two criteria for contract termination are met: 1) the Tendermint Fellow successfully launches a mainnet based on a productionized version of their concept, or 2) the project fails unambiguously before the 12 months are up and no more funding should be given.

What we offer

Become a Fellow for the opportunity to kickstart your career towards building a piece of the Internet of Blockchains. Tendermint Fellows receive the following benefits for being part of the program. Per Fellow, you would receive:

  • A base monthly $3,000 stipend comprised 50% in ATOM and 50% in IRIS (calculated at the spot price of the daily high value on The base stipend can be renegotiated every month up to the next tier level as the scope and operational costs of the project scales—up to a maximum of $12,500/month. Monthly stipends may continue for up to 12 months or until the termination conditions of the program have been met, e.g. mainnet launch.
  • Extra incentives for shipping a product earlier than the entire 12-month period.
  • Lifetime recognition on the Tendermint website for having been a Tendermint Fellow. Once a Tendermint Fellow, always a Tendermint Fellow.



Chjango Unchained ⛓️
Tendermint Blog

Translates hard technical concepts into laymen’s terms. Covers DeFi & Web 3.0. Host of—validatoooor, investoooor & advisoooor for Cosmos ecosystem