Guide to ESP

About This Guide

This guide is intended to help you understand how we evaluate and make decisions about ESP inquiries. Whether you’re considering reaching out for support, have already submitted an inquiry and want information on what to expect, or just want to understand more about how ESP works, this guide is for you. It's meant to be a resource, not an instruction manual - feel free to read whatever you think applies to you and ignore the rest.

This guide is, and will always be, a work in progress. If you think something is missing or unclear, or have suggestions for how we can improve, we’re open to feedback!

What We Do

The Ecosystem Support Program evolved from the original Ethereum Grants program, but ESP is about much more than grants. Our process is designed to be flexible and personalized - we aim to connect the projects we support with a broad range of resources, and we're always looking for new ways to support Ethereum's builders.

Although we're happy to consider many types of projects for support, we do have some minimum requirements for traditional grant funding. To be considered for a grant, a project needs to be open source and beneficial to Ethereum; and we most often focus on universal tools, infrastructure, research or other common resources.

The work we support is NOT:

  • Proprietary
  • Related to a recent or upcoming ICO
  • Designed for a zero-sum outcome

Who Should Apply

We're open to supporting work from people and teams of all kinds, including (but not limited to):

  • Developers
  • Independent teams
  • Nonprofits or companies*
  • Researchers
  • Academics
  • Community organizers

Our inquiry process is open to veterans and newbies alike. Whatever your level of familiarity or stage of development, we'll start the conversation by meeting you where you are, and try to help you find ways to grow your contribution over time.

*While we don't fund revenue-driven work, we may provide funding for specific public-good projects carried out by for-profit companies.

The Process

Inquiry form

If you’re interested in requesting ESP support, your first stop is the inquiry form. The inquiry form is the first step in opening a conversation with the ESP team. The more information we have, the better guidance we can provide!

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Identify support opportunities

Once we've gotten to know you and your project, we'll work to identify ways we might be able to support you in moving your work forward.

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Formal proposal

If the conversation moves toward financial support, the team will send you a link to begin a formal grant proposal.

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Next, the team provides initial feedback based on the information they’ve collected.

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Technical interviews

Once the proposal has been finalized, it will go through a technical review.

You will typically be invited to two calls - a meeting with the ESP team member assigned to facilitate the review, and a technical interview with advisors where you'll dive deep into the technical details of your approach in a more structured conversation with advisors selected for their expertise in relevant areas.

Funding decision

Once the review process is completed, the ESP team makes a final decision on whether to fund the proposal, and the amount that will be allocated.

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Once a proposal is approved, we'll write up a contract and do KYC before disbursing funds.

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