Aligned Public Goods Bucket: Celo Project Incubation
Funding request: $325,000 cUSD and 100,000 CELO
Celo Camp has been an accelerator for founders building in our ecosystem since 2019. As we direct the focus of Celo’s flagship accelerator towards MiniPay, Upright asks the Celo Community to support our work by allocating $325,000 cUSD and 100,000 CELO to enable Cohort 9 (Q1 2024). This proposal will cover the next batch of Celo Camp (6 month) along with continued development and operation of our self-guided program, Startup Pathway.
Over the last 4 years, Upright has shipped 8 cohorts, serving memorable teams such as impactMarket, Moola Market, Halofi, Talent Protocol, Kotanipay, Flow Carbon, Fonbnk, Figment, Paychant, Umoja, Masa Finance, Symmetric, Plastiks, Resource Network, Eldorado and CarbonPath. Our alumni have collectively raised more than $200 million dollars and have processed more than $1.5bn in on-chain transactions. We would like to support founders for years to come: welcoming them, serving them, and wiring them into the very heart of Celo.
On November 15th, 2023 Upright and the Celo Foundation launched the inaugural MiniPay Launchpad (batch 8) in which the program’s curriculum and go-to-market were adapted to focus on Africa and MiniPay, while leveraging our existing alumni network and partners in the region. We have onboarded 17 teams from Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and 20 mentors from notable VCs and companies (some of whom are proudly Celo Camp alumni themselves). In addition, we created a dedicated virtual space where mentors, VCs and MiniPay founders can connect and grow together. On December 19th, 2023 we concluded the cohort with the program’s Demo Day in which some of our top graduates showcased their projects. The winners of the MiniPay Launchpad were announced here.
With the launch of MiniPay and its exposure to Opera’s +100M users, Celo builders gain exclusive access to users across Africa through the Discover page (an “appstore”-like experience). We see the launch of Opera MiniPay as a pivotal moment where users in Africa can experience a truly seamless onboarding experience into Web3.
Given these exciting developments, and as evident from our latest batch we believe 2024 will see an unprecedented influx of founders from the region. The goal of this proposal is to ensure Celo Camp is ready to support these builders.
Our flagship acceleration program is comprised of 3 main stages:
Planning: In this stage we tailor the program’s curriculum to the go-to-market, set up the program’s campaign and messaging, onboard mentors and partners, implement learnings from previous batches and soft launch the application phase.
Phase duration: 1 month.
Application phase (pre-camp): Where we onboard an average of 300 teams, host live events, conduct dozens of 1:1 meetings and group pitch sessions. Applications are open to teams from around the world who want to go to market in Africa (with a focus towards Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and South Africa). In this stage our focus is on outreach and curation to ensure the most suitable and talented teams are onboarded to the program.
Phase duration: 2 months.
MiniPay Launchpad: An 8-week virtual accelerator and mentorship program where teams receive guidance on how to build for MiniPay, as well as business and technology advice designed to help build and grow their startups.
Accelerator Benefits and Perks:
- Virtual: Join the program remotely and meet founders from across the world.
- Mentorship: One-on-one guidance from industry experts at leading organizations, such as EchoVC, Opera, MetaMask, a16z, NFX, Flori Ventures, Prime DAO, and many more.
- Workshops and events: Access to workshops, networking events, pitch and mindfulness sessions led by experts, mentors, investors, and partners.
- Technological support and integration: One-on-one meetings with Celo engineers.
- Celo Camp partner support: Access to products and services from camp partners including AWS, Twilio, SendGrid, Hubspot, Tatum, Hacken, and more.
- Networking: Opportunities to connect with like-minded creators and entrepreneurs in the Celo community.
- Funding: A fast track to Celo grants and exposure to investors.
- Impact: Contribute to Celo’s mission of creating the conditions for prosperity — for everyone.
We onboard an average of: 17-30 teams, 20-30 mentors, 15-20 speakers and partners for each batch.
Phase duration: 2 months.
Launchpad Wrap Up: Includes selection of winning teams, due diligence and distribution of prizes, feedback collection and reporting, connecting teams with VC’s and other initiatives as well as curation and promotion of founder stories and videos.
Phase duration: 1 month.
KPIs we will measure and report to the community at the end of each batch (twice a year):
Total # applicants per batch.
Total # graduates who have successfully integrated with MiniPay/Celo including project pitch and live demo.
Net promoter score (NPS) greater than 60 - we want to ensure our MiniPay builders have a great experience and turn into leaders in the Celo ecosystem and promoters of the program.
KPIs collected and reported to the community within 6 month following each batch:
- Total funds raised by alumni.
- Total Celo on-chain transactions by alumni.
- Total on-chain active addresses by alumni.
- Total active alumni open source repos.
*As some of this information is not publicly available the measurement of these KPIs is based on a bi-yearly alumni survey.
A self-guided educational program for founders and builders in the Celo ecosystem. Through our newly designed 6-week program, founders get access to learning resources, structured curriculum and accountability through our dedicated LMS (learning management system), which features fully audible content, networking opportunities, Celo rewards, and community support.
The Upright team have developed two tracks for the program:
The Entrepreneurial Track
Designed for entrepreneurs entering the Celo ecosystem. The program covers all the major entrepreneurial milestones and includes topics such as User Research, UX, Building and Integrating to Celo and The Art of the Pitch.
Try it now!
The Zero Knowledge Proofs (ZKP) Track
An A to Z class on this remarkable technology. ZKPs have immense potential to revolutionize the web3 space by addressing the critical need for privacy, security and scale. As research and development in this field continues, ZKPs are likely to find even more groundbreaking applications in the future.
This, one of its kind course, is tailored for the Celo ecosystem. It covers:
- Introduction to ZKPs.
- ZKPs for product managers: How to incorporate ZKPs into your own project, including the study of example use cases. The goal of this module is to give the learner an “intuition” for where ZKPs might be applicable.
- Introduction to Plumo.
- Walkthrough of developing an open the treasure chest game which demonstrates using Plumo to verify NFT ownership.
- Walkthrough of developing a simple ZKP Sudoku game and deploying a circuit to the Celo network.
The ZKP track will be published on Feb 01, 2023, stay tuned.
The Startup Pathway program has become an integral part of the Celo Camp journey and a way for us to make the content we create available to anyone who wishes to build on Celo. The program also allows us to develop new resources for Celo Camp’s curriculum with the feedback of the border Celo community.
*Flywallet, Vault3, Bingtellar and Clixpesa graduated from both SP and Celo Camp.
The Upright team will operate, refine the existing tracks based on the feedback we get from learners and create a new dedicated track for MiniPay.
- Total # of high quality Git repos submitted - some of Celo Camp’s and SP’s alumni git repos can be found here: https://github.com/celo-org/celo-camp/discussions/2
Celo DApp Gallery | Celo Documentation
- Total # of track compilations.
- Total # of learners per batch.
- Net promoter score (NPS) greater than 60 - ensuring our learners have a great experience, turn into leaders in the Celo ecosystem and promoters of the program.
The success metrics we believe to be appropriate for the upcoming cohort are:
Celo Camp batch 9
- At least 150 applicants.
- Between 15-30 teams will be selected for camp.
- 80% of Celo Camp graduates will demonstrate their integration with MiniPay and/or Celo.
- Net promoter score (NPS) greater than 60.
- 100 signups.
- 15-30 participants.
- Releasing a new MiniPay track.
10-20 open source Git repo submissions from Celo Camp and Startup Pathway.
The success metrics will be collected and made public at the end of the cohort.
*These success metrics are how we envision a successful batch and what we believe to be achievable based on our past results. Having said that this specific program is fairly new and achieving these KPIs is not fully under our control and may vary based on market conditions, go-to market and the actual start date of the event among other factors. Our team as always will do its best to maximize these KPIs.
Upright is requesting a total of $325,000 cUSD and 100,000 CELO be authorized for the budget of H1 2024 (6-month grant) for both programs, deployed in the beginning of Q1 2024.
The receiving address is 0xf3D173c38E4Ee44Afcf65692D5E02D350F0f2CE2
|Salaries and overheads
|Operations and staff
|2 Program managers Celo Camp (operation / facilitator)
|1 Technical Program Manager Celo Camp
|1 Program manager Startup Pathway (operation / facilitator)
|Social / Newsletters / Outreach
|Infra and tools
|I.T / Platforms cost
|Awards for participants
|Prizes for Celo Camp and Startup Pathway winners
|Travel and expenses
Let us make the next year of the Celo community memorable. We are open for feedback and happy to discuss the proposal with the community stakeholders in detail. In addition, our team will dedicate the following weeks to collaborate with initiatives such as the Celo Governance Guidelines and Public Goods Funding Strategy H1 2024 to make sure the scope of the proposal best serves the broader Celo ecosystem.