Recently, the Waves Association announced a call for the first batch of grants under the Waves Grants program for a total of 250,000 WAVES. Inal Kardanov, head of the association’s grants and funding working group, discusses the grant application and issue process, as well as expectations from applicants.
Q: Who can apply, and what are the Waves Association’s expectations from applicants?
A: We’ve announced a call for applications in the Web 3.0 Development Grant category. Basically, we expect projects with a clear blockchain application built on the Waves, Neutrino or Gravity protocols. We expect proposed solutions to have a strong value for the user, be it b2b or b2c solutions. We accept proposals for solutions at various development stages — from the idea stage to the finished product stage, — but we expect most applications to be for projects at either the idea stage or the MVP stage. An MVP would be a serious advantage, but well explained ideas are also eligible. We specifically welcome projects related to Gravity and inter-chain DeFi, because this segment is quite rapidly developing. Also, we want projects to be potentially sustainable, with promising monetization options — even though sustainability may not be achieved in the immediate future.
Q: Do you give preference to long-term or short-term projects? Is there the most preferable timeframe for project implementation?
A: It doesn’t really matter. If a team proposes a project that will be implemented over a five-year period, but that timeframe is justified, we technically won’t have a problem with that. However, projects need to have plausible goals, and I expect most applications to be for projects implementable within a year or less than a year. Six months to a year is a sufficient period for most projects to generate initial traction and complete an MVP.
Q: If a project is at the idea stage, what can the applicant do to persuade the association that they deserve a grant?
A: If a team applies with just an idea and has nothing to show, the main factors will be the team’s experience: its members would have to show their developer background as a proof that they would be able to deliver the product they have described in their application. Another major factor is understanding of the issue that they are proposing to solve with their product. Often developers propose a blockchain-based solution but can’t clearly explain why they need blockchain in the first place, and we want applicants to be very clear on blockchain application in their solution. Also, we want proposed solutions to have potential for real-world adoption. For instance, if a proposed product solves a problem about which the applicant learned from talking with several companies in some industry, that will be a very strong application.
Q: If a project is long-term and consists of several stages, can a grant be issued to fund a specific stage?
A: The application form requires the description of a project’s timeframe and milestones. In any case, the main task should be divided into stages, and a grantee would have to report on their progress for every stage. So, the association reserves the right to issue a grant for the initial stage of a project and, based on the progress at that stage, make decisions about further funding.
Q: Could you explain the application processing procedure?
A: The procedure is very straightforward. All applications are made publicly on GitHub. It’s easy to find a link to the application form on the Waves association’s website. Subsequently, the Waves Association’s grants and funding working group and R&D working group discuss the applications and submit their recommendations to the association’s board, which makes decisions on releasing grants.
Q: Say, an applicant proposes a solution that still needs work. Can the applicant make improvements and re-apply when the next batch of grants is announced?
A: Absolutely. As I see, our job is not only in issuing grants, but also in providing feedback. So, we’ll provide feedback on all submitted projects, and, if the applicant resolves the issues we pointed to, they can certainly re-apply — even under the same batch of grants before the deadline.
Q: What would you tell those who have doubts whether to apply?
A: Don’t hesitate, just apply! Filling out the application form won’t take you more than a half hour, and, in the very worst case, you’ll receive valuable feedback that will help you to proceed with your project. And remember that the application deadline is February 1, so, hurry up!
You can ask all questions related to Waves Grants in the Waves Tech Discord chat: https://discord.gg/JPeHAS3h