This is a temperature check to get the community’s feedback on a proposal to create an ecosystem support organization complementary to the Safe Grants Program, focused on supporting builders, and leveraging the Safe ecosystem to add value to those building on Safe.
The problem to solve:
- Safe is looking to foster and expand its ecosystem of builders, entrepreneurs and community members, attract more talent and encourage apps and integrations building on top of Safe.
- The recently launched ecosystem grants program takes the first step in providing funding for teams looking to build on Safe, and the Safe Ecosystem Foundation (SEF) has plans to expand this program based on wave 1 reviews, feedback and learnings.
Currently, builders throughout the web3 space, and the Safe ecosystem are facing a number of challenges in building and scaling innovative applications, teams and communities. In order to maximize the chances of success, it will be important for the Safe DAO / ecosystem to support builders in multiple aspects of their work.
Technical development & audits
Business development & growth
Legal & compliance
A complementary set of support verticals will increase the chances of success, enable scaling faster, and serve as a multiplier.
The proposed solution:
Create an ecosystem support organization that is focused on unlocking opportunities and value between Safe ecosystem grantees, Safe community and beyond.
Covariance is growing a curated network of builders and business developer advocates who share a passion for unlocking value. We want to help projects solve well defined and measurable problems, by empowering contributors from varied networks to collaborate, ideate, and create value that otherwise would have not existed.
Problem statement #2:
- Teams from key centralized players (protocol ecosystem teams, platform teams at VC firms / accelerators and incubators) are looking to help the builders of their ecosystem and engage with their ecosystem by providing support.
- In most cases the ability of these centralized teams to support their ecosystem is capped to the capacity of the core team to ideate and free mind share and make introductions, and to the size of their own personal networks
- Covariance proposes to unlock the value of a collective community of platform professionals, super connectors, builders and community specialists, creating an incentives-aligned “platform as a service” type support system for the Safe ecosystem.
We propose to work with the SEF Grants team, to develop a time-limited experiment that aids in developing learnings and preparing for delivery of a best-in-class grants program in 2024.
Covariance will design a structured program that provides each grantee access to relevant resources and support tailored to their needs. Workstream categories will be defined in collaboration with the Safe ecosystem team.
Example of possible workflow:
- Each grantee is going through an onboarding questionnaire to identify needs (Consultation time with subject matter experts, intro to relevant people or companies (design partner, supplier, service provider, contributors, investors)
- Each grantee is matched with an account manager - single focal point for everything they need throughout the program
- Covariance is doing the groundwork to match needs with solutions - within the Safe ecosystem, Guardians, other builders and beyond.
- Match making and value add.
- Follow up - measure success and identify if value was created using NPS survey
Benefits for the Safe grant program and ecosystem
- Higher chances of success for grantees to be able to achieve more with the funds they received from the grant program
- Better user experience and sense of belonging to the safe ecosystem
- Better NPS score (chances of entrepreneurs keep on building in the ecosystem and recommending their network to join too)
- Better ROI on grants
- Scale - a model that can grow independently to the capacity & size of Safe ecosystem core team
- Involvement of the safe ecosystem members and opportunity to engage them with initiatives and projects
Where do Covariance and Safe goals intersec?
After working with 100+ startups on ideation, supporting growth and biz dev, it became clear there is room to leverage unutilized assets in value-add efforts.
We believe in the power of community led initiatives to unlock value in areas a centralized organization is limited in scope and capacity.
Covariance is on a mission to unlock that value by empowering community to help and support builders
We are looking to partner with the Safe Ecosystem, in order to design, develop and test our hypothesis for what we believe the future of value-add will be - Community led with Ownership incentive to those who create Value (COVariance)
Since this initiative is coming to support the grant program itself, we are raising it here for feedback and later for potential funding, so we can be ready on time to launch and support the upcoming cohort of grantees based on the below timelines:
We are asking for support from the Safe ecosystem to:
Build the team. Hire staff to work on the project from preparation of the program to execution.
Work on the program design in collaboration with the safe ecosystem team and community
Design and execute Covariance’s MVP offering including: Operational, Legal structure, Tech stack
Execute the support program for Safe’s 1st grants cohort in 3 phases:
Phase 1 Initial scoping, sandbox mode and research during wave 1 grants
Phase 2 Implement the proposed plan based on learnings on grantees needs and resources in the safe ecosystem during wave 2 grants and wrap-up and report back on the outcome
Phase 3 - Pending success (i.e - meeting the KPI’s set during program design), incorporate learnings, improve the program structure and operating model to be ready to run for the next grants program.
We will be asking for funding that comprises of Cash (USDC) + locked $SAFE tokens, to serve the ongoing funding needs while creating longer term alignment between covariance, Safe and participants
- Covariance funding - this will serve us to get the right people onboard and dedicate the time before & during the Safe Ecosystem Grants Program to deliver on the above
- Incentives bounties - We would explore to test different reward measures that can boost participation in cases work
Funding will be split between the above mentioned 3 phases
Budget estimate of ~$160K USDC, based on the following evaluations:
- Length - Oct’23 - Mar’24 - 6 months, split to 3 phases.
- FTE - Myself (Lior), Project management and operations (Daniel), Communication and community (TBH) - $10K each on avg, paid 50% in USDC and 50% in $SAFE.
$5000 * 3 (people) *6 (months) = $90K USDC + $90K worth of $SAFE
- Legal research and service providers -$30K USDC
- Bounty pool - Allocated based on actual contributions to contributors who provided value and helped builders in the grants program. $40K + $40K worth of $Safe tokens
- Research phase report
- Execution phase report
- Grantees NPS survey results
- Participators survey results
- An ecosystem support blueprint design that can be replicated to future grants rounds
Call to action and timelines:
- We welcome the community feedback and ideas on this document
- We opened a Telegram channel for community members to engage directly with ideas and suggestions so we can collaboratively bring the optimal proposal for the DAO vote.
- Timeline: Aiming to conclude community feedback by August 31st, and if gained positive sentiment, bring to DAO voting during the first week of September, with the goal to get a go/no go decision by the 2nd week of September, so we can commence preparation in staffing and work plan.
More about Covariance:
I, Lior (the author of this proposal and Founder of Covariance) ran for the Safe Grants Council reviewer role and in getting to know the ecosystem more through this process, I realized that there is an opportunity to leverage my background and network to support and help the Safe Ecosystem in a much larger way with this proposal.
I’ve been also involved with the investment decision to participate in the $SAFE round as part of my previous role as Head of Platform and Collider Ventures.
Relevant references about the Safe Ecosystem Grant program: