Wada's approach to growing Cardano and the Catalyst ecosystem is currently unsustainable given its business model of mostly free services.
Aquire funding for key hires and initiatives in order to bridge the gap for the next 6 months as a more sustainable solution is developed.
This is the total amount allocated to Grow Wada, Grow Cardano
Historically, Wada has been a service-first, philanthropic organisation, often thought of as an NGO or non-profit who's main value is education, outreach and user adoption on the African continent. While this is partly true in objective, there is a definite need to transition away from Catalyst and grant-based funding for core operational costs, as the predictability, security and coverage is not currently sufficient in order to sustain a dedicated team.
Wada will begin the transition, both as a brand and operationally, towards being a technology company with revenue-generating products. The mission and vision remain the same, the approach is changing, for the purposes of:
The flagship product under development is the WadaDEX, a two-tier liquidity and capital-raising marketplace for African business to accelerate Cardano-adoption and reduce friction when fundraising. https://wadadex.io/
Other products under research & development currently are:
Impact accelerator & leadership mentor partner: Over the past month, Wada has been working closely with the Edify team, an impact-acceleration consultancy based out of the UK (2x Funded F7 Proposers). Edify have been working as both organisational leadership consultants and commercial strategy advisors in order to help enunciate the value that Wada brings to the Cardano ecosystem. Out of these strategy sessions has come a suite of products currently in R&D. https://www.edifybusiness.co.uk/
As of the current date, Wada has onboarded and supported the successful funding of a large number of Africa-based projects in the Catalyst ecosystem. Previous success stories such as Empowa, CheCha Wallet, Wutano and more all highlight the impact that Wada has had, not to mention the educational component of training African Haskell developers and the creation of a network of community hubs.
*See attached 'Wada Overview' timeline for more detail*
The key outcome of this proposal will be the building of Cardano-based technology solutions that scale the impact that has already been achieved. Within the next 6 months, Wada aims to:
Product Adoption: The advantage of Wada's previous work on community building, network creation and member onboarding is that it now has a deep pool of human resources with which to test, iterate and improve product offerings based on needs, testing and feedback. This is part technological innovation and part market innovation in a hybridised approach.
Product Development: Wada's growing network of developers, as well as it's strong partnerships in the Cardano ecosystem means that sourcing developers and technical experts is unlikely to be an issue.
Rebrand: In order to ensure a smooth transition, Wada will hire a brand consultant in order to manage the process and provide an appropriate Change framework.
Future sustainability: As a meta-solution, the proposal itself is focused on the future sustainability of a network of present and future proposals, both from Africa and worldwide. The solution that will allow Wada to carry out it's mission is to ensure financial sustainability through revenue-generating technology products. Once this is achieved, the scale, impact and broader reach will be readily apparent through more projects, proposals, developers and user activity.
A revenue-generating technology product that satisfies the goals of increasing adoption of Cardano in Africa and supporting Cardano as the blockchain of choice by 2023.
All members of the core team have been operating at 50-80% salary reductions for over a year, and 6 months of incentives are required to continue working on the project. Wada has already lost some members of its team due to this, so a large part of this proposal is a joint effort to ensure that the core team can reach a point in the next 6 months where these individuals are fully covered by revenues rather than proposals or grants.
Note: In the interest of challenge inclusivity and many of our partners' proposals, the budget has been revised down from $150k, to a shorter funding timeline (12 down to 6 months) and reduced incentives for core team + additional hires.
Core Team & Roles:
Josh F - Global Lead @ Wada
Josh has a combined 10+ years’ experience in fintech and startups, focused on banking, payments and lending across Europe, APAC and African continents. He brings his years of project management and team leadership experience, running teams for Start Up Bootcamp and as an organizer for a Danish enterprise accelerator. His time in Canary Wharf working for the major banking and professional services firms has provided him with an insight into corporate partnerships and venture capital.
Mercy A - Coordination Lead @ Wada
Mercy has a combined 25+ years' experience in Project Management and Engagement (West Africa, Canada) Healthcare (UK, Canada) and brings a wealth of experience and passion to this project. Mercy is responsible for WADA coordination, and building partnerships.
Megan Hess - Education and Events Lead @ Wada, Central Africa Regional Lead @ Wada, Math & Physics teacher, bilingual (French & English)
Peter Opoku - DeFi Lead @ Wada, Product Lead @ Kaydor (Rent dApp)
Richmond Oppong- Marketing & Design Lead @ Wada
Richmond is a graphic designer with over 10 years of experience in logo designs, print and poster designs, business card designs, 3D signage, and mounting billboards. He holds a Higher National Diploma in Graphic Design from Takoradi Polytechnic, Takoradi-Ghana. Richmond is a blockchain enthusiast and is actively part of the Cardano project catalyst community.
Daniel Dezu - Website Lead @ Wada
Daniel is a Front End web developer. He holds Bachelors of Science in Information Technology from Bluecrest College and Professional Diploma in Software Engineering from IPMC Ghana. He is passionate about Cloud computing, Cyber Security and Decentralized Applications. He was a Community Advisor in Catalyst fund 7 and Catalyst Challenge Team Lead for ‘Scale-UP Cardano’s Community Hubs’ challenge settings for fund 8. He envisioned using Blockchain Technology to bridge the gap between human capabilities and machine learning (AI & IoT).
Afia Owusu - West Africa Regional Lead @ Wada
Afia brings extensive experience in team leadership and community engagement/organization to WADA. She holds an MSc degree in Management Information Systems from the University of Lancaster, UK and a BSc. (Hons) in Natural Resources Management, University of Science and Technology (UST), Kumasi, Ghana. She was the coordinator of the Project Wildlife Clubs of African implemented by Birdlife International involving 17 African countries with the major output being information exchange between African Wildlife Clubs and their international counterparts through development of an electronic manual for the mainstreaming of environmental education for participating countries.
+ Wada network and advisors - https://www.wada.org/about-us/
What success looks like:
The aim will be that, after the product build, Wada will be a sustainable business and no longer reliant on Catalyst funds for direct support. Instead, our efforts will be focused on developing technologies, referring and supporting other business through the rigorous Catalyst process in order to refine their ideas and gain early-stage funding themselves.
Within 6 months post-funding, Wada will have developed a Cardano-based MVP for the African marketplace and within 12 months Wada will have raised significant external funds to support the core operations of the business and expand its product suite.
Affiliated Proposals (Fund 8):
Interested in contributing or partnering? Get in touch today by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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