Advancing Cardano's ecosystem through Project Catalyst's Fund11

Tim Richmond

Tim Richmond

Ecosystem Communications Lead

· 10 min read
Catalyst Fund11


The IOG Catalyst team announces Fund11 with a total fund size of ₳50m. Fund11 will launch during the upcoming Project Catalyst town hall on November 15 at 17:00 UTC, and proposal submissions open at 11:00 UTC on November 16 and close on November 30.

Fund11 will be the most progressive yet, as the Catalyst team and Cardano community take the opportunity to continue evolving Project Catalyst together. Based on community input, Fund11 includes new funding categories focusing on blockchain applications and use cases separated by the readiness of the proposed idea, an update to eligibility criteria, and much more. Let’s dive further into what you can expect in Fund11!


What is Project Catalyst?

Project Catalyst is akin to 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 funding portals, Project Catalyst regularly coordinates community-driven funding opportunities, with a set amount of ada from the Cardano treasury ready to allocate to successful ideas.

Project Catalyst aims to build systems that enable the Cardano blockchain to improve its self-sustaining capabilities by supporting an ecosystem of growth and development. At the heart of this is decentralized governance, whereby the Cardano community selects shared ideas and priorities for funding, forming a cycle of sustainable and virtuous growth.


Timeline - Fund11

Fund11 will launch on Wednesday, November 15, at the town hall, which will take place on Zoom and be live-streamed on YouTube. If you’d like to participate in the launch event, fill out this form. Fund11 will open for proposal submissions the following day (November 16 at 11:00 UTC) and remain open for two weeks. The window for draft submissions will close on November 30, and proposers have seven days to finalize submissions before the December 7 at 11:00 UTC deadline.

Following the community review stage (December 14 - January 25, 2024), the Fund11 vote will be open from January 25 - February 8. It is estimated that the results for Fund11 will be announced around February 15, with project onboarding commencing in March.


Proposal categories

Over the past ten rounds of Project Catalyst, Cardano community-driven consensus supports the idea that there needs to be room for Catalyst funding to support many brand-new ideas for innovation and more advanced or better-known projects building on Cardano. For the spectrum of different funding streams to exist, voters need a straightforward approach that separates decisions between the earliest-stage projects and those for projects that already have traction.

New to Fund11, proposal submissions have been organized into new, streamlined categories and a track-based approach. Proposal categories will now fall under one of three categories: Cardano use cases, Cardano open, and Catalyst systems improvements. For Cardano use cases, this category is divided into three funding tracks: concept, solution, and product. The concept stage is for new innovations requiring funding to develop the initial prototype(s). The solution track is predicated on the idea that a functioning prototype is available to be demonstrated, and there is an intention to use the funding to develop a minimum viable product or prepare the solution to deploy on the Cardano testnet. The product track is for applicants with a product already in the market that requires the development of new capabilities.

Applicants to the Cardano Use Cases category must choose which track they will submit proposals to, either ‘Concept’, 'Solution', or ‘Product’. Each track has a limit on the amount of funding per proposal that can be requested. Proposers will only compete against the other proposals in the same track, enabling smaller and larger proposals to be considered separately.

Additionally, there will be a maximum number of proposals that any one lead or co-proposer can submit. This is to ensure there is a wide distribution of funding available for many different community individuals, groups, and businesses.

The Catalyst team recognizes that it can often be difficult for proposers to categorize their proposals, and the Catalyst team encourages all proposers to seek advice from the community where necessary to ensure proposals are submitted into the correct category. To help ensure the fund is as coherent as possible for voters, in Fund11, the Catalyst team will apply the following process. If proposals are submitted into the wrong category or track or are deemed by the Catalyst team to be false or out of scope, the Catalyst team will notify the applicant and suggest an alternative or withdraw.

This approach levels the funding playing field and means that proposers compete at a similar stage of technology readiness. There are many good sources for understanding technology readiness. For example, the UK Government’s UKRI breaks it down here. Details of all the changes to Fund11 will be available on launch day.

Cardano Use Cases - The total category budget is ₳22,500,000, divided equally into three funding tracks. Proposal submissions should answer one of the following:

  • Cardano use cases: Concept (category budget: ₳7,500,000) - What DApp ideas or product concepts need design and prototyping to demonstrate their purpose and realize novel applications or use cases of the Cardano blockchain. Submissions must be for new product ideas.?
  • Cardano use cases: Solution (category budget: ₳7,500,000) - How can we support early blockchain startup projects to reach Cardano testnet or MVP readiness? Submissions must include a functioning prototype that can be demonstrated in the proposal. Submissions must supply a proof of concept available for reviewers and voters.
  • Cardano use cases: Product (category budget: ₳7,500,000) - What products and integrations can be accelerated to offer more high-impact use cases at scale to drive more adoption in the Cardano ecosystem? Submissions must have a working product in the market with high growth potential. Submissions for R&D must have the proposed product already in the market, which can be used by reviewers and voters today.

Cardano open - The total category budget is ₳21,000,000, divided equally into two funding tracks. Technical proposals should be submitted to the Cardano open: developers track. Non-technical proposals should be submitted to the Cardano open: ecosystem track.

  • Cardano open: developers - technical (category budget: ₳10,500,000) - What open source tooling is needed to enable the Cardano developer ecosystem to thrive? The focus should be on supporting open-source development efforts.
  • Cardano open: ecosystem - non-technical (category budget: ₳10,500,000) - What creative ideas and activities will expand Project Catalyst's global footprint, educate, and onboard more Cardano and Cardano DApps users? The focus should be on supporting non-technical proposals for marketing, Cardano regional growth, and community-building endeavours.

Catalyst system improvements - The total category budget is ₳3,000,000, divided equally between two funding tracks: ‘discovery,’ aimed at foundational research, and ‘development,’ focused on functional engineering for proposed system improvement solutions. This category will be where the Catalyst team intends to submit proposals to advance its technical roadmap.


Fund11 Participant Compensation

Fund11 features additional opportunities for the community to be compensated for services such as helping onboard funded projects and serving as community reviewers, moderators, and milestone verifiers to support Catalyst’s community-driven accountability model.

The Catalyst team would like to thank you for taking the time to read through this blog and invite you to participate in Fund11. Project Catalyst is a perfect blend of process and creativity, ultimately facilitating Cardano ecosystem growth and real-world value. We’re super excited to see what the community comes up with!


How to get involved

Do you want to participate actively in Project Catalyst? The first step is creating an account on the Catalyst collaboration platform. You can keep up to date on all the happenings on the progress of Project Catalyst by subscribing to the Catalyst mailing list and joining the Discord and Telegram communities.

We look forward to seeing you!