Introducing Blockchain at Berkeley Grants: The Future of Student Empowerment

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January 12th, 2022

By: Ratan Kaliani, Darya Kaviani, & Emma Guo

Blockchain at Berkeley Grants is motivated by one core objective—to bridge the gap between students’ unbridled potential and the resources they need to manifest their vision. Our mission is to foster student-driven blockchain innovation through early-stage funding to trailblazing startups, novel projects, and transformative research.

As students in one of the most innovative academic institutions in the world, we have witnessed firsthand the unmatched entrepreneurial spirit that our fellow classmates embody. Who better to enable the next generation of builders than their own peers? Put succinctly:

The future of high-impact, student-targeted funding is students empowering students.

The first wave of B@B Grants will be powered by BitDAO’s EduDAO, which funds university blockchain ecosystems. Student startups, open-source projects, and research are all eligible for grants during our first wave of funding. The application for our grants program can be found at blockchain.berkeley.edu/grants!

Our Goals

Eliminating the most prominent entry-level obstacles to innovation arms student creators with the agency to translate their vision into reality:

  • Financial Barriers: Financial barriers should never hinder the proliferation of groundbreaking ideas. Early-stage funding gives students the financial stability to create freely.
  • Connections: The blockchain industry is driven by ideology—one of inclusivity and open contribution. We aim to leverage our position in the blockchain ecosystem to help more deeply integrate selected projects into the blockchain community.
  • Community: By cultivating a collective of like-minded student innovators, we will provide grant recipients with a collaborative community conducive to each team’s growth.

Grant Committee

The structure of Blockchain at Berkeley Grants draws inspiration from successful DAO grant programs and early-stage ecosystem funds that have been seen across DeFi protocols over the past year. Our grant program will be led by executive board members within Blockchain at Berkeley, with members of B@B serving on the committee to lead strategic, logistical, and financial operations. A team of Blockchain at Berkeley alumni will serve as reviewers to help evaluate applications.

Leads

Darya KavianiCo-President of Blockchain at Berkeley

Ratan KalianiCo-President of Blockchain at Berkeley

Emma GuoHead of External at Blockchain at Berkeley

Sehyun ChungCo-Head of Education at Blockchain at Berkeley

Reviewers

Jonathan AllenManaging Partner @ Mirana Ventures

Nadir AkhtarBlockchain Security Engineer @ Coinbase

Dev OjhaEngineer for Osmosis, Co-Founder of SikkaTech

Justine HumenanskyStrategy @ RabbitHole

Medha KothariResearch Partner @ Variant Fund

Max FangCo-Founder of Blockchain at Berkeley

Dmitriy BerenzonResearch Partner @ 1kx

Internal Committee

Fannie Barskhian, Lizzie Lau, Sena Gul Hazir, Shervin Beyk, Siddhant Satapathy, & Rishabh Krishnan

Methodology & Operations

B@B Grants will have two waves annually, open to all students regardless of institution or academic level. We offer both dilutive and non-dilutive grants. Our 2022 waves will be launched in January and August. At the start of each application cycle, we will accept submissions from students working on:

  • Research Projects
  • Open-Source Contributions
  • Early-Stage Startups
  • Miscellaneous student-driven blockchain initiatives

Wave 1 will include $200K worth of dilutive grants and $50K worth of non-dilutive grants. Non-dilutive grants can range from $1K to $5K, while dilutive grant sizes are larger and dependent upon our evaluation of the project. Accepted projects will enter discussions with the B@B Grants team to finalize equity allocation (for dilutive grants) and funding amount. We look forward to seeing your applications!

For those that have any questions, please feel free to reach out via email at grants@blockchain.berkeley.edu!

What is Blockchain at Berkeley?

Blockchain at Berkeley (B@B) is one of the leading student-run blockchain university organizations in the world, with 90+ active members split across Consulting, Education and Research departments. Since 2016, Blockchain at Berkeley has been focused on educating the wider community about blockchain, facilitating innovative research and discussions, governing top DeFi protocols, and crafting industry-leading PoC’s with top blockchain and Fortune 500 companies. Blockchain at Berkeley alumni have gone on to create Dekrypt Capital, she256, and SF Blockchain Week as well as startups of their own, including Opyn, Evmos, Osmosis, and more.

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