Project Catalyst: driving innovation and real-world impact on Cardano

Ivan Irakoze

Ivan Irakoze

Feature Writer

· 7 min read
600th Completed project

Every blockchain ecosystem requires an innovative community of builders to create impact and growth. Funding is essential for these projects to go from concept to launch. Project Catalyst empowers the Cardano community to select projects they want to see built while also offering a funding mechanism to help these projects realize their visions.

Last month celebrated Catalyst's third year of operations; having just concluded its tenth funding round, Project Catalyst has seen over six hundred completed projects and has been pivotal in the growth of Cardano’s ecosystem. To appreciate the full extent of Catalyst’s impact, this blog looks at highlights from the past three years and looks ahead at what Catalyst has in store. Read on to learn about Catalyst, some of the innovations that have come from it, and why Cardano offers this initiative.


What is Project Catalyst?

Project Catalyst is akin to the agora, a public square where people come to ideate, collaborate, form teams, and execute proposals to solve real-world problems. It is an entry point for grassroots innovation on Cardano. One of the largest decentralized innovation funds, Project Catalyst regularly holds funding rounds, with a set amount of ada from the Cardano treasury ready to allocate to successful ideas.

Funding rounds consist of six stages:

Six stages of a Fund

These stages foster decentralized decision-making and a community-focused approach to funding ecosystem growth. Project Catalyst touches almost every facet of the ecosystem, supporting builders and educators by providing them with self-sustainability.


Project Catalyst milestones

Project Catalyst has come a long way since its inception, achieving numerous milestones and improving the funding process with every new round.

The infographic below lists some of these milestones and improvements as of August 2023.


Project Catalyst - Empowering an ecosystem

Throughout its first ten funds, Project Catalyst has contributed to developing Cardano’s ecosystem, with numerous standout projects receiving funding and having real-world impact.

Here’s a look at just five of the project proposals that have benefited from Catalyst funding:

  • Cardano Africa SmartFarming DApp: Cardano Coffee proposed the creation of a mobile photo-taking DApp that would improve the efficiency of coffee farming in East Africa and enable the industry to meet its full potential. The DApp allows urban-dwelling farm owners to make the most of their raw materials by tracking the production process remotely and ensuring maximum coffee output. Learn more about the project from the project’s founder, Angela, and the farmers the project benefits here.

  • TapTools – All-In-One Platform: TapTools, the first aggregated Cardano native token price data analytics tool, sought Catalyst funding to become an all-in-one platform that would provide real-time analysis of the following data:
    • Cardano native token trading on decentralized exchanges (DEXs),
    • NFT collection creation
    • payment gateways
    • project launchpads
    • portfolio tracking
    • token distribution
    • and more
    • Here’s a walkthrough of the platform and its features in this video.

  • Wolfram Governance Analytics: a proposal that helps improve a user’s ability to audit Catalyst proposals and results with greater transparency, clarifying the Catalyst governance process and reducing the cumulative time required to vet projects.

    Watch Wolfram Blockchain Labs’ closeout video here.

  • Open ledger for agricultural land: DigiFarm developed deep neural network models to automatically detect field boundaries and seeded acres using high-resolution SatEO in African countries where agricultural field boundaries are often outdated, inaccurate, and recorded manually.

    Watch DigiFarm’s co-founder, Nils Helset, explain the process in this video.

  • Nami wallet: Nami, one of Cardano’s first and most popular light wallets, sought Catalyst funding to create an intuitive, easy, and playful interface and integrate smart contracts. These improvements enable Nami users to interact with Cardano at its full capacity.

    Watch the project’s close-out video for more details here.

Project Catalyst continues to play a significant role in Cardano’s ecosystem growth with Fund10. How Project Catalyst moves forward from here is in the hands of the Cardano community, as Project Catalyst values and incorporates the insights and contributions of the community and is guided by community consent.


Looking ahead to future Catalyst funds

Project Catalyst and its ecosystem keep growing to provide a better user experience. This is evident in Catalyst’s latest categories, created in Fund10 to ensure the platform’s sustainability and improvement:

Catalyst accountability is also improving with the fund’s milestone-based funding and proof-of-achievement model applied to active proposals.

Education is another critical growth factor, with Catalyst introducing an education program to onboard new participants.

The Catalyst team is thrilled to embark on the next stage of evolution with the community, bringing together all engaged participants, aligning, and co-building towards a shared vision to impact the real world positively!


How to get involved?

Do you want to take an active part in Project Catalyst? The first step is creating an account on the Catalyst collaboration platform.

For regular updates on the progress of Project Catalyst, please subscribe to the Catalyst mailing list and join the Discord and Telegram communities.