2021’s final round of community funding

There are three weeks left to submit your project to the 9th round of the Stellar Community Fund! We’ve allocated almost 4M XLM to distribute based on community vote, and anyone building a project on Stellar, whether an experimental hackathon-style proof of concept, or an established product you’re looking to scale, is welcome to apply between now and November 7th.

After submissions close, a panel of verified community members evaluates each project, and selects the strongest entries to advance to final discussion and vote. It’s competitive: last round, over 70 projects submitted to the SCF, and less than half made it through the selection phase. To help you improve your chances for success, we’ve published some helpful guidelines that emphasize the following key points:

Request a reasonable budget

As part of the application process, each project submits a budget request, and that request plays a big role in judges’ decisions. To win the SCF, you need to convince them your budget is sized correctly to help you achieve your project goals.

When determining your budget request, try to assess what you need to get your project to the next milestone — something you can reach in 3–6 months — and base your request on that assessment. Here are a few guidelines the Selection Panel uses that should help you decide your budget request:

Early development < $5,000

  • Projects that are in research stage or;
  • Fully executed experimental or (post)hackathon-style projects
  • Usually single contribution

Developing/launching startup < $50,000

  • Development or launch of a new product or service
  • Single or multiple contributor(s)
  • Solves a real-world problem

Companies looking to grow and expand a product or service $50,000 — $200,000

  • Scaling or improving an established product or service
  • Solves a real-world problem
  • Should already have users
  • Multiple contributors

In your submission, you have the chance to tell the community and the judges what you plan to achieve with your budget and to show that you are capable of creating, growing, or scaling your project. Many projects in the last round were not selected because their budget requests were too high and, as you can imagine, projects with bigger budget requests have a higher bar for selection. Overall, we recommend starting small and growing with the SCF. You can submit to new SCF rounds as long as your project is significantly improved.

Be very clear in your submission

What are you going to build? Who is it for? What problems does it solve? How does it use Stellar to solve them? Your submission does not have to be several pages long, but make sure you deliver a clear message and cite real-world data to support your idea. Judges are looking to support (future) profitable and sustainable companies that solve a real-world need with Stellar.

Engage the community early on!

Last round, we really saw the importance of engaging the community. New projects that had never interacted with the Stellar community before climbed the ranks by actively participating in discussions, joining community events, and answering questions quickly. They not only advertised their projects, they also presented opportunities for the community to actually use whatever it was they were building, and then asked for feedback.

If you’re planning to submit, get your name out there, get people’s attention, and earn their trust early on! Join the discussion on Discord today.

We encourage all types of projects to submit to the SCF. If you don’t feel quite ready for a big budget, start with a small budget and grow! If you participated last round and didn’t make the cut, try again! Take what you’ve learned to do an even better job crafting your next application.

Go to communityfund.stellar.org/current to learn more and apply to receive a submission worksheet + form. Copy the worksheet, add your team members, and fill it out as best you can. Then, make sure to copy and paste your answers into the actual submission form, which you can submit until November 7th. We wish you the best of luck in the weeks to come!

2021’s final round of community funding was originally published in Stellar Community on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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