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What happened at Project Catalyst Fund 11? And lessons learned for the incoming fund 12

Hello Cardano Community, greetings! Cristian Rojas here.


This time to talk a little about the results of Catalyst fund 11 and what to expect for fund 12.


For those who are not familiar, Project Catalyst is this fund of innovation in Cardano, is a fund intended to finance proposals from the community with the aim of improving the network, attract new users and generate more awareness about the Cardano ecosystem.


Project Catalyst

On this occasion, grants were announced in November for a total of 50 million ADA distributed in different main categories:


  • Cardano use cases

  • Cardano Open

  • Catalyst Systems Improvements.


In summary the process for each fund is similar, first anyone can submit a proposal to the community, receive feedback and refine it, then a group of people from the community are in charge of evaluating key aspects of the proposal such as: the impact to the ecosystem, the feasibility of carrying it out and the cost-benefit ratio according to the amount requested and the benefits for the ecosystem in general.


A next step corresponds to a review, in this case of the previously mentioned evaluations, these reviews are carried out by people from the community who have demonstrated commitment and participation in previous funds.


The next phase is the voting of the proposals, in this phase the ADA holders can vote for any proposal and their voting power depends on the amount of ADA they hold.


The community can participate by voting “YES” to the proposal or “ABSTAIN”, in previous funds there was the possibility to vote “NO” to the proposal.


The downvoting has generated a lot of controversy in the community, there are those who say that it does not allow access to funds to small projects or those who propose for the first time in catalyst, also those who believe that this is a way to avoid abuse of the system by malicious people.


In my personal opinion I can say that the elimination of downvoting this fund brought more benefits, especially in that by eliminating it there are more possibilities to reach the minimum threshold required.


The required minimum threshold refers to the minimum percentage of votes that a proposal must reach to be considered approved and eligible for funding.


On this occasion this percentage was 1% of the total registered voting power which was approximately 45,360,000 ADA.


Let us now analyze the results category by category.


Cardano Uses Cases: Concept


This category Is aimed towards projects seeking to develop early stage ideas that will deliver proof of concept, design research and basic prototyping for innovative Cardano-based products, services, and business models.


  • Total number of proposals: 219

  • Number of proposals funded: 76 (34.7%)

  • Average vote cast per funded proposal: 406

  • Average vote yes per funded proposal: ₳82,669,554

  • Average ADA requested by funded proposal: ₳86,222

  • Number of proposals not funded because Approval Threshold: 13 (5.9%)


Curious fact.


Number of funded proposals that include the word "Cardano" in their name: 36 (47.4%)

Number of not funded proposals that include the word "Cardano" in their name: 48(33.5%)


Cardano Uses Cases: Solution


This category is aimed towards projects seeking to develop and test the technical feasibility of solutions and prepare the innovation to a minimum viable product (MVP) stage of readiness.


Proposers in this category must demonstrate that the innovation in the product, service, or innovative business model functionally works.


  • Total number of proposals: 160

  • Number of proposals funded: 28 (17.5%) + 10 sponsored by leftlovers

  • Average vote cast per funded proposal: 533

  • Average vote yes per funded proposal: ₳159,406,906

  • Average ADA requested by funded proposal: ₳266,726

  • Number of proposals not funded because Approval Threshold: 0


Curious fact.


Number of funded proposals that include the word "Cardano" in their name: 6 (21.4%)

Number of not funded proposals that include the word "Cardano" in their name: 49(37%)


Cardano Uses Cases: Product


This category is aimed towards projects and teams that are looking to enhance existing products, services, or innovative business propositions by significantly extending the features of pre-existing products that are already available in the market. 


Projects submitting to this category to add new capabilities to existing ventures and enterprises must show how their proposed solution leverages the Cardano blockchain. 


  • Total number of proposals: 93

  • Number of proposals funded: 19 (20.4%)

  • Average vote cast per funded proposal: 674

  • Average vote yes per funded proposal: ₳194,267,800

  • Average ADA requested by funded proposal: ₳393,288

  • Number of proposals not funded because Approval Threshold:0


Curious fact.


Number of funded proposals that include the word "Cardano" in their name: 10 (52.6%)

Number of not funded proposals that include the word "Cardano" in their name: 22(29.3%)


Cardano Open: Developers


This category aims to support developers and engineers to contribute to or develop open source technology centered around enabling and improving the Cardano developer experience. 


The goal of this category is to create developer-friendly tooling and approaches that streamline an integrated development environment, help to create code more efficiently and provide an ease of use for developers.


  • Total number of proposals: 127

  • Number of proposals funded: 83 (65.3%) + 1 sponsored by leftlovers

  • Average vote cast per funded proposal: 431

  • Average vote yes per funded proposal: ₳123,969,475

  • Average ADA requested by funded proposal: ₳140,144

  • Number of proposals not funded because Approval Threshold:0


Curious fact.


Number of funded proposals that include the word "Cardano" in their name: 38 (45.7%)

Number of not funded proposals that include the word "Cardano" in their name: 17(38.6%)


Cardano Open: Ecosystem


The goal of the Cardano Open: Ecosystem (non-technical) category is to drive ecosystem growth, foster education and community initiatives, expand Cardano’s global footprint and onboard more Cardano users.


This category covers a broad range of initiatives that help drive such goals through marketing, education, community building and other means, both in existing local regions where Cardano has a community-presence as well as in other new communities, raising awareness and enabling impactful community-building endeavors.


  • Total number of proposals: 318

  • Number of proposals funded: 78 (25%)

  • Average vote cast per funded proposal:  320

  • Average vote yes per funded proposal: ₳81,410,940

  • Average ADA requested by funded proposal: ₳111,959

  • Number of proposals not funded because Approval Threshold:18 (5.7%)


Curious fact.


Number of funded proposals that include the word "Cardano" in their name: 45 (57.69%)

Number of not funded proposals that include the word "Cardano" in their name: 143(61.1%)


Does the score of the proposal matter or not?


After analyzing 5 categories, from my point of view a good score is a necessary requirement but not enough, the analysis I did allows you to see that with a low score you will hardly get funded, with a good score you also need to make a good marketing of the proposal and to be able to communicate your idea to the community.


Here is the the google sheet link of this analysis and also the correlation graphs between the score of the proposal and the number of votes in favor of these 5 categories.




Cardano Use Cases: Developers

Cardano Uses Cases: Ecosystem

Cardano Uses Cases: Concept

Cardano Uses Cases: Solution

Cardano Uses Cases: Product

Conclusions and what to expect for fund 12?


Looking at the results it can be said that the concept and ecosystem categories are the most accessible, requiring just over 82 million ADA on average to access funds.


This makes sense since these categories are intended for new applicants and community proposals that do not necessarily have a high level of technical knowledge.


The solution and product categories, despite having fewer proposals, are still very competitive and require a high number of votes to be successful.


The developers category was the one with a very high acceptance rate due to the fact that there were fewer proposals and also the proposals had a reasonable average budget, this allowed a large number of proposals to access funds, it might seem a more accessible category but the degree of technical knowledge required is high.


Before I mentioned that the elimination of downvoting was a good measure, if we talk about the minimum threshold also remains reasonable, few proposals were left out because of this requirement except for the ecosystem category, I would propose to create more events like ideas fest focused on this category and unite communities from different demographic regions to unite the proponents and to encourage participation in the voting, then each voter will decide which proposal to give their support, but this type of activity will provide more visibility to the category.


One of the curious things is the large number of proposals that include the word "Cardano" in its name, after the analysis I can say that it does not influence whether or not to have that word in the name, since many proposals include the word "Cardano" in their name.


Another of the great successes for this fund was to limit the number of proposals per individual or organization, previously large projects made too many proposals and ended up with the funds not allowing more proposals to be funded.


Tips for Fund 12.


  • Understand first the capabilities and experience that you have as a proponent, if you do not have technical knowledge it is difficult to propose in the developers category.

  • Understand that there are categories in which you need large amounts of votes to be successful, so understanding the power of convening is important.

  • If you don't have a great power of convocation and technical knowledge, probably the best will be to participate in categories of concept and community, now these categories are where more proposals are submitted. 

  • So in order to be successful first a good score is necessary so you have to pay a lot of attention to a good copywriting that communicates well the idea of the proposal.

  • Put a short and easy to understand name for the community and then participate a lot in ideas fest events, twitter spaces, town halls, etc.

  • Consistency and resilience is fundamental, in each fund that you don't succeed, you learn a lot and then the proposal becomes better, the important thing is to keep trying.


Thank you and see you soon!!

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