The Tableland Pilot Program is a launchpad that fills the void between hackathons and accelerators. Microgrant funding and support help builders adopt new protocols and tooling.
Evolution of the Tableland Pilot Program
A launchpad that fills the void between hackathons and accelerators.
By @Marla Natoli
Tableland launched its Pilot Program in July 2022 guided by an aspirational vision—to cultivate a budding ecosystem of web3 pioneers on a journey to unlock the potential of the new internet, together. Our goal was to keep things simple. We offered builders support via micro-grants, group building, technical guidance and mentorship, helping them bring a proof of concept to life over the 8 week program. Less than 6 months later, with 2 cohorts completed, we are incredibly humbled by the calibre of work and the brilliant community that has emerged from the Pilot Program. As this group of talented builders continues to expand, we’re excited to look back on a successful PP2, and share some learnings and themes that are informing new initiatives set to take shape for PP3 and beyond.
Bridging a Gap from Hackathons to Accelerators
We’ve been talking to participants, partners and our community to better understand the key value drivers of the Pilot Program and to explore ways to build on its success. What we’re finding is that the Pilot Program fills a niche but valuable gap somewhere between hackathons, grant programs, and accelerators/incubators. While hackathons attract a ton of talented builders, their structure ends up onboarding a ton of teams, but not necessarily teams intending to go deeper on their idea or project. Meanwhile, accelerators and incubators provide hands on support in various critical areas, including product development, mentorship, GTM strategy, funding and more; but teams that qualify are often past the stage of a proof of concept and are a bit more established. Finally, grants are limited to financial support.
Where the Pilot Program is thriving is in identifying teams that are excited to bring a vision to life, are aiming to reach the accelerator stage (and beyond), but could benefit from some guidance, technical support, and/or an active community eager to provide thoughtful product and business feedback. The program is low touch in that teams only have 2 formal deliverables — a concept proposal at the start and a product demo at the end. For each of these, a Snapshot vote is held where Tableland Rigs holder vote on the top project, rewarding the top two teams with an additional bounty. Aside from that, they are invited to join optional weekly check-ins, are added to a Tableland Discord channel with other builders, and are given the opportunity to interact with the Tableland community and team throughout the program. We also offer amplification of projects via Tableland virtual events, including a Creator Day at the end of each cohort, Twitter Spaces and similar. This makes it a great fit for both early stage teams that need some help to get to the next step, as well as more established teams looking to test a new concept.
Ultimately, our goal is to help teams pursue their visions long-term, and so we’re launching a new initiative in Pilot Program 3 to help elevate teams’ exposure to (and support from) complementary ecosystems that share in a vision for a new, improved internet.
Announcing Pilot Program Chairs
Naturally, teams building with Tableland are constantly experimenting, testing and iterating, which often includes connecting the dots of complementary infrastructure in web3. We believe there’s tremendous value in projects showcasing the interaction potential of complementary web3 projects and technologies. To encourage teams to think thoughtfully about this potential and to support those building across complementary technology, we’re launching Pilot Program Chairs for future cohorts, kicking off with our next cohort launching January 23, 2023.
A Pilot Program Chair is a team that represents a complementary web3 organization, technology or similar within the cohort. This team will be building a proof of concept that uses both Tableland and a partner organization together, and will receive additional support from our Chair partner including:
- Matched funding to the existing grant, bringing the total grant to $10k (Note, teams also qualify to win an additional $5k based on Rigs community voting)
- Technical guidance and an opportunity to interact with member(s) of the partner organization
- Potential for increased project amplification via partner social channels
- Tailored support in applying for continuity funding from the partner organization (where applicable)
We believe that increased collaboration is a critical component to building a future internet that is open, composable and interoperable, and we are excited about the potential of the Pilot Program Chair to help support builders of web3.
Applications for Pilot Program 3 are now open, and teams can indicate interest in the Filecoin or Toucan Chair directly within the application. Looking for more information about building with Tableland or one of our partner Chairs? We’ve included some helpful resources below.
Pilot Program Resources
- Landing Page: https://tableland.xyz/pilot-program/
- Application Link: https://bit.ly/3FHQVWG
- Previous Teams’ Showcase: https://dev.tableland.xyz/showcase (see those marked with “Pilot Program”) and team demos on our YouTube channel
- Interested in becoming a Chair or have other ideas for the Pilot Program? Contact Partnerships to discuss.