SCF #8 — Community discussion begins!
Today, Stellar Community Fund #8 entered the Community Discussion phase. Once again, there were a record number of submissions for this round of SCF, but, after careful consideration, a selection panel narrowed the field to 33 projects. Take a look: communityfund.stellar.org/current
For the next two weeks, any and all have the chance to weigh in on those projects — to ask questions, to give advice, to share feedback — and it’s a special time that really sets SCF apart from other grant programs. The Community Discussion Phase not only gives contestants a chance to advocate for their projects, it also gives the Stellar community a chance to interact directly with developers and entrepreneurs from all over the world, and to help them hone their pitches and refine their products so they impact the world in the best possible ways. How can you participate in the discussion? Read on to find out.
For community members interested in joining the discussion
The next two weeks give everyone in the Stellar community an opportunity to participate in the SCF by evaluating projects, asking important questions, and providing crucial feedback. Your input can help contestants fine tune their pitches before the Voting Phase begins on September 13. The more you engage, the stronger the entries become, and the bigger the impact SCF has on the Stellar ecosystem and the world at large.
Start by reading through entries on communityfund.stellar.org/current. Use the discus interface at the bottom of each submission to provide feedback, or join a project’s dedicated channel in the SCF Discord (under Projects #8) for real-time discussion.
A few tips:
- Be constructive. Ask substantive questions that give contestants a chance to clarify or explain their project. When possible, suggest a change rather than merely pointing out a flaw.
- Think about what the project is asking for. Does it deserve the requested budget? If you were an investor, would you provide the desired level of funding? If not, why not?
- Play to your strengths. You don’t need to give feedback on every aspect of a submission. If you’re good at reviewing code, go straight to the GitHub repo. If you’re a product person, check out the “Products and Services” section. If business plans are your thing, look at the revenue model, competitive analysis, or marketing and sales proposal. Many submitters are new to Stellar and could use your specific insight and experience to scale their projects.
- Be kind and supportive, even to your competitors. We’re working together to build a community, and a welcoming environment increases participation and drives development.
For selected projects
This is your opportunity to engage with, learn from, and get to know the Stellar community. Over the next two weeks, you have a rare opportunity to collect feedback, and to use it to improve your submission. You can also interact with potential voters to help them understand your project, and to tailor your submission to highlight its value.
A few tips:
- We’ve created two channels where feedback about your project will come in: the project page on communityfund.stellar.org/current, and a dedicated thread on the SCF Discord. Make sure to check those channels, and take the time to read and respond to feedback!
- Ask questions when you can, accept feedback gracefully, and listen to what the community has to say. Remember: it’s the community that will decide whether to award you your budget request.
- You can modify your entry until September 12, which is when Community Discussion ends and the Voting Phase starts. You should have received instructions about how to make changes via email. Make sure you use this time to optimize your entry based on feedback!
- While you’re at it, give your submission another read. Is there anything you can improve? Be very clear about what you’re building, fill out your submission in as much detail as possible, share any info you have about your current users, and make sure all your links work.
For projects who didn’t make the selection
The Selection Panel chose projects to advance based on the eligibility guidelines, and chances are your application didn’t quite fit the criteria. The most common things to keep in mind:
- Stellar needs to play a fundamental role in your project, and should be a good solution for the problem you’re trying to solve. Don’t shoehorn Stellar into an application just to win a prize in the SCF.
- Additionally, SCF is designed to support applications and services that make use of the network’s features to solve real-world problems, so your project needs to do more with Stellar than simply issue and promote a token to raise funding.
- Larger projects have a higher bar. If you’re asking for more than $5000, you should be able to showcase something you’ve already built. At least an MVP or proof-of-concept.
- At the upper end of the range, you need even more: a live product with active users. The SCF happens several times a year, and rather than over-asking for an untested idea, you’re better off starting small, building something concrete, gaining trust from the community, and growing bigger. Our next round starts in early October, and we encourage you to continue work on your project, iterate and improve it, and submit it again.
- Your submission info should match the website, app, and project links. Also, all your code needs to be safe and secure, especially when it comes to handling users’ account information and secret keys. If the project doesn’t work as advertised or the committee suspects it’s not safe, they will need to disqualify you to protect potential users.
- If you’ve participated in previous SCF rounds, whether you received funding or not, your project should show significant improvement before you can submit it again.
- If you submitted your project to a hackathon at the same time as SCF, you are only eligible to receive funding from one, whichever you submitted to first.
- In addition to the other submission eligibility criteria mentioned in the Rules and Guidelines, your project will be disqualified if it involves, facilitates, or promotes gambling.
There were a ton of great projects this round, and we wish we could have selected them all, but if you didn’t make the cut don’t give up! We will open submissions for SCF #9 at the end of September, and you can take what you’ve learned to do an even better job crafting your next application.
We’re excited by this great slate of selected projects, and we encourage anyone reading to get in there, look at projects, and interact with contestants, enthusiasts, aspirants, and the rest of the Stellar community. Discussion ends September 12, so start today!
Finally, if you’re interested in participating in the Community Voting phase, in which community members vote to allocate budgets, make sure to join the SCF Discord to find the most up-to-date guidelines and application instructions.
SCF #8 — Community discussion begins! was originally published in Stellar Community on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.