Reflections from Season 3 of the Grant Committee

Starting in September 2023, Season 3 of the Moonbeam Grant Committee will soon draw to a close. I’ve been privileged to serve as the Ecosystem Expert in this season, continuing my participation since the committee’s inception. What follows is my perspective on the committee and the work we have done, with a special focus on Season 3. I will leave out details about the specific grant applicants and the functioning of the committee since this is usually provided in a separate report, and offer my personal views while serving on the committee.

There are many aspects of Season 3 that were similar to previous cycles. First and foremost is the camaraderie formed between the members of the committee. Every committee member in previous cycles was committed to the goal of the grants program – to help establish Moonbeam as the premier destination for cross-chain connected applications – and Season 3 was no different. This commitment helps form a strong bond between committee members. No matter where we agree or disagree, or the different backgrounds and experiences we have, this shared purpose creates a foundation to build relationships based on trust, openness, and understanding.

Of course, this bond may also be expected since we typically spend around 3-4 hours a week working together on video conferences. This time is on top of ongoing chat discussions that flow between us during the week and weekend. But it’s the added layer of our shared commitment to the Moonbeam ecosystem that I find is the special glue that helps to create a stronger relationship between committee members.

Also similar in this season to others is the diligence performed on grant applicants. Depending on the applicant, this can involve research on the individuals working on the project, such as previous work and connections, the project communities, social media footprint and history, dApp testing, reading of whitepapers and other documentation, and much more. Also, a big part of this work is taking all of that information and using it to form a set of questions to ask the applicant teams during the review calls. Some questions may seek to understand more general information about the project, some may dive deep into specific topics, and others may look to clarify areas of confusion. But they are all well-intentioned and asked so that we have the most complete understanding of the application, project, and team, ensuring we come to a fair and thoughtful decision.

On occasion, there have been applicants that the committee likes, and we want to see grow in the Moonbeam ecosystem, but there are parts of the application (for instance, in terms of milestones or project direction) that are not aligned with what we feel would be best for the ecosystem. For these teams, we try to find a mutually agreeable way forward so that both the team and the ecosystem can find success with a grant award. Sometimes we can’t find a way forward, and these are not easy decisions, but also a part of the work.

Easier to let go of are the applicants that are completely unsuited for a grant but are able to slip through the robust screening process to the full committee review. I’ll simply state that they make for lively and occasionally humorous internal discussions on the committee. Fortunately, the thorough research and applicant interview calls weed out these insincere applicants. And while some grantees may end up not being able to deliver on their commitments for various reasons, all indications tell me that we catch any ill-intentioned applicants either at the screening or the full review.

There is much more I could say about this, but I’ll wrap up with the last few thoughts (I think one criticism the other committee members might have of me is that I can sometimes be a bit too verbose :blush:). It’s been a pleasure serving on Season 3 of the committee with Sicco, Thiago, Neo, and Luuu, each of whom I greatly respect and admire for their unwavering commitment to the ecosystem. It’s also been a career highlight to serve the Moonbeam community in my role on the committee up to this point. I look forward to the next season and am excited to see the committee evolve and continue to deliver on decentralized, community-driven decision-making.


Great post @Jim_CertHum, really appreciate the tone and the transparency here.
I’m glad to know you’ll stay a member of the Committee during season 4. Full support :raised_hands: