zkBuilder Grants

Welcome to DeFi on Polygon zkEVM!

Aim of Grants

The goal of the zkBuilder Decentralized Grants Program is not to replace traditional fundraising, or entirely subsidize on-chain business growth.

Rather, through the grants process, the zkBuilder Decentralized Grants Council is aiming to empower builders to:

As a team applying for the zkBuilder Decentralized Grants Program, you should be collaborative, iterating and improving on legacy mechanisms and product design, and excited about contributing to a DeFi-driven network.

Selection Criteria

There are two major categories of protocols that are being targeted for the zkBuilder Decentralized Grants Program: multi-chain deployments and new protocols/primitives. For both types of projects, selected grant applications will focus on creating unique products native to Polygon zkEVM.

As an example, if you’re deploying multi-chain you should be ready to discuss:

  • What the protocol does
  • What types of product integrations add value to your project
  • Specific Polygon zkEVM-native implementations that can be used to differentiate a Polygon zkEVM deployment, relative to existing deployments
  • How the team intends to balance bandwidth in a cross-chain environment

For native protocols, you should be ready to discuss:

  • What the protocol does
  • Where the product is differentiated relative to existing protocols, and where you’ve found some legacy product-market fit in the space
  • What types of integrations add value to your product

zkBuilder Decentralized Grants Program

The grant process is split into two sections, pre- and post-grant.

The pre-grant process is focused on scoping protocol development on Polygon zkEVM, and identifying success criteria for deployments.

The post-grant process is focused on builder success, increasing in-ecosystem protocol reach, native integrations, product growth, and providing on-the-ground support for projects.

A brief outline of both is below:

Pre-Grant Process:

  1. Project Onboarding

Post-Grant Engagement:

  1. Protocol and Mechanism Onboarding
  2. Pipeline and Integration Planning
  3. Community Chats

Pre-Grant Process

Project Onboarding

1. Fill out the Intake Form

This will provide all the information needed for the zkBuilder Decentralized Grants Council to learn about what you’re building, and how it can best be supported. The zkBuilder Decentralized Grants Council has sole discretion to approve finalized grant applications and may reject or discontinue any grants (or future tranches) for any reason.

2. Get your KYC in Order

You will be made aware of whether your application has moved to the point where you will need to complete the KYC process. 

If your team is unable to complete KYC because the entirety of the team is anonymous and the project is a DAO, please let us know when we reach out to you to complete the KYC process.

3. Continue Building

Review time for applications can take anywhere from one to thirty business days.  It is recommended that you continue to work on your project while your application is being reviewed.

4. Respond to Follow-up Questions

During the application review process, the zkBuilder Decentralized Grants Council will often require additional information and there will likely need to be back-and-forth on your proposed KPI Schedule.  Be sure to monitor the email address you provided in the Intake Form for updates and questions. If your application has been approved, you will receive an email about next steps.  Also, in order to receive any grant amounts, you will need to create and designate a “wallet address” on Polygon zkEVM capable of receiving such grant amounts.

Post-Grant Engagement

Protocol and Mechanism Onboarding

Having a successful protocol is about much more than just a grant! One of the zkBuilder Decentralized Grants Council’s favorite things about working with teams is getting in the trenches, learning about your project from the ground up, and finding ways to add value to your process.

To help maximize your success on Polygon zkEVM, projects accepted into the zkBuilder Decentralized Grants program will have a chance to work closely with the zkBuilder Decentralized Grants Council, ensuring that everything from mechanism design to go-to-market is as polished as possible.

Sample Interactions:

  • We’re developing a new risk management framework for our protocol. Could you take a look and give feedback based on other models that you’ve seen in the space? 
  • Our new AMM model is looking to compete with legacy models. Could you take a look at both the structure and our target audience, and give us a sense of both sustainability of the economic model and whether it successfully reaches the demographic?
  • What are some innovative new liquidity marketplace primitives that you’ve seen roll out recently?

Note: Any advice or commentary provided should not be construed as financial or legal advice.

Pipeline and Integration Planning

Part of building a great ecosystem stems from facilitating connections between builders. These relationships help drive everything from new product launches and integrations, to stickier users, and a good on-chain user experience.

The benefit of working with an experienced DeFi team means not just understanding what you’re building, but also why you’re building it. That crucial difference allows us to initiate conversations based on strength of product potential, rather than forcing you to find the best counterparty.

Sample Interactions:

  • We’re rolling out a new product that is looking to solve for ‘X’, which projects on Polygon zkEVM would be interested in learning more?
  • I saw that ‘Y’ Protocol launched today. We would love to connect with their team to learn more!