In December, as part of the Alpha Round Test Season, we kicked off with UNICEF's round to be the first to test our new grants protocol. We are excited to have begun this season with one of the largest NGO's, and welcoming so many incredible grantees to participate.
UNICEF's Office of Innovation sits within and across UNICEF's global network in 190 countries to discover, co-create, and scale innovation– both frontier technologies and novel applications of technologies– to improve the lives and futures of children and young people.
Since launching the grants program in 2019, Gitcoin has helped to fund thousands of open-source projects. Because it was built on a centralized grants platform to fully live by the principles of open-source decentralization, launching this protocol was the best decision to make in the next step of Gitcoin's evolution.
On top of the 50 ETH committed to the matching pool by UNICEF's Office of Innovation, we had over 15,500 individual donors who contributed over 67.5 ETH and close to $15,000 in DAI. Our fantastic community donated almost an additional $100k on top of the 50 ETH we began with. We are indebted to our community for this incredibly successful first Alpha Round.
UNICEF chose 10 projects to participate in this Alpha Round. The grants round ran from December 9 to December 21, 2022 and included some excellent projects: StaTwig, Somleng, XCapit, Kotani Pay, Pixframe Studios, Simple Map, Treejer Protocol, Bioverse Labs, Rahat, and AEDES. Companies came from all over the world including ones from Nepal, Kenya, Argentina, Brazil, and the Philippines.
Dominic Ligot is the CEO of Cirrolytix, which forms part of the data science and AI cohort of the Office of Innovation. The project they are building is called AEDES (Advanced Early Detection and Exploration Service). It’s a platform that predicts dengue hotspots from satellite data and social media. Born in 2019, the platform doesn’t purely monitor people getting sick but also looks at climate and societal factors.
“We really hope that with this project we can make an impact. Not just getting ahead of epidemics, but also helping countries understand what creates these epidemics in the first place.”
Simple Map, based in Chile, uses thermal aerial imagery and machine learning to monitor errors in larger solar panel installs and better maintain the efficiency and performance of these clean energy sources.
“The Gitcoin team was so helpful during the entire process and the Twitter Spaces had helped a lot with the donation process since all the grantees were able to explain their projects.”
A step toward further innovation
Apart from the money raised for the incredible grantees who were part of the UNICEF Alpha Round, it was a critical step in illustrating web3’s impact in the real world. Over the years, we have cultivated our grants program to support diverse ecosystems and allow projects to make their visions come to life while elevating the community experience. As a result, our grants program has distributed $38M in funding. With the introduction of our grants protocol, it was essential to put our best foot forward in the next stage of evolution for Gitcoin.
Even though our protocol isn’t ready for mass adoption yet, we’re taking steps to get it there with each successive round, with UNICEF's illustrating putting our best foot forward in this new "protocol world." The goal is to get this to the point that it is simple and easy to use for anyone on the internet instead of only being a crypto-native product. And while we may not be there yet, these Alpha Rounds are the steps we need to arrive at that destination. Anything worth doing takes time. But one thing that’s for certain is that the round with UNICEF was a giant leap toward further innovation.
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