Announcement

zkIgnite, Cohort 3 – What Will You Build?

Empowering ZK developers and entrepreneurs in the Mina Ecosystem with essential resources, including grants and mentorship, to transform their ideas into commercial businesses. 

zkIgnite is a cohort-based, community-governed innovation fund for experienced zero knowledge (ZK) builders and entrepreneurs in the Mina ecosystem. The program provides essential resources, including grants and mentorship, to help transform developers’ ideas and passion projects into commercial businesses. 

To date, zkIgnite has funded 50 ZK applications (zkApps) and developer tooling projects pushing the boundaries of what is possible on Mina Protocol. 

There are 2,000,000 MINA available in grants for Cohort 3. These grants aim to support strong teams with the future development of their zkApps and devtools. 

Cohort 3 kicks off on December 22, 2023. Register here to submit a proposal.

Community-First Ethos

Mina is proudly powered by participants, and zkIgnite is no exception. Funding decisions are made by electors—a select group of experienced builders, users, and community members. This approach aligns with Mina Foundation’s commitment to decentralization, ensuring community priorities are at the forefront of ecosystem growth.

Cohort 3 also introduces a new technical committee of experts with in-depth knowledge of Mina’s core protocol, o1js, and zkApps. The technical committee will advise electors on the feasibility of project proposals and review builders’ progress towards their milestones. 

Lastly, Cohort 3 participants will benefit from the support, shared knowledge, and experiences of the wider Mina community. zkIgnite intentionally fosters collaboration among builders, users, and industry leaders working on cutting-edge ZK tech.

Get Involved

Cohort 3 primarily targets developers and entrepreneurs looking to turn their innovative ideas into commercial products on Mina Protocol. Choose one of two tracks:

zkApp Product: Build consumer applications leveraging zero knowledge proofs to solve real-world problems. Both teams and individual contributors are welcome, with teams encouraged to have at least 1-2 technical developers.

Developer Tooling and Infrastructure: Create tools that make it easier to build on Mina Protocol, enhancing efficiency for fellow developers.

Other ways to participate in Cohort 3:

  • Anyone can provide feedback on proposals!
  • Become an elector
  • Join the technical committee

Funding Breakdown

Cohort 3 boasts the largest zkIgnite grant pool yet, with 2,000,000 MINA available for builders, electors, and technical committee members. Top projects (as determined by electors) receive funding to propel their projects forward.  

Note: Proposals to further develop an existing project are welcome, and participants from previous cohorts may submit proposals for additional funding in Cohort 3. 

Track Initial Funding Goal
zkApp Product 1,200,000 MINA pool Support for commercial zkApps that bring more users to Mina Protocol.
Developer Tooling + Infrastructure 300,000 MINA pool Support for “start-ups for start-ups” that improve the developer experience on Mina Protocol.
Elector 5,000 MINA per elector Support for community members allocating funding to project proposals.
Technical Committee  15,000 MINA per committee member Support for ZK experts providing technical review on project proposals.

300,000 MINA is also reserved as follow-up funding for successful teams to continue development of their project after the 3-month build phase. 

Grants are subject to the passage of KYC. Eligible proposers will receive their grants in three installments: 

  • 33.3% upfront
  • 33.3% upon successful delivery of midpoint milestones
  • 33.3% upon successful delivery of final milestones

Timeline

  • December 22, 2023: Cohort 3 Kickoff Call
  • January 31, 2024: Deadline for first draft project proposals
  • February 2 – 10, 2024: Technical reviewers and electors provide feedback on proposals
  • February 17, 2024: Deadline for final proposals
  • February 18 – 28, 2024: Electors vote to allocate grant funding
  • March 1, 2024: Cohort 3 grantees are announced
  • March 2 – May 31, 2024: Grantees build towards their technical milestones

Next Steps

  1. Create an account on zkignite.minaprotocol.com to submit and review proposals
  2. Join Discord (#zkignite-cohort-3) to meet builders, ask questions, and get technical support
  3. Check out these useful resources for Mina developers
  4. Learn about other developer grant opportunities in the Mina Ecosystem
  5. Submit your draft proposals by 12 pm EST on January 31, 2024.

About Mina Protocol

Mina is the world’s lightest blockchain, powered by participants. Rather than apply brute computing force, Mina uses advanced cryptography and recursive zk-SNARKs to design an entire blockchain that is about 22kb, the size of a couple of tweets. It is the first layer-1 to enable efficient implementation and easy programmability of zero knowledge smart contracts (zkApps). With its unique privacy features and ability to connect to any website, Mina is building a private gateway between the real world and crypto—and the secure, democratic future we all deserve.

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