Cardano Catalyst Boost Camp, providing invaluable guidance and resources for funded proposals
Sustainable ADA | Jan 5, 2022
Overview of Boost Camp:
The Catalyst Boost Camp took place on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday for three weeks. This accelerator program was a course sponsored by IOHK and run by Entreprenerdy. The Boost Camp was facilitated by Erlend Bang Abelsen, Muzi Mtshali, and Kelly Moulton.
This was my first incubator/accelerator program, so I didn’t know what to expect. Overall the Boost Camp blew me away and taught me a lot.
Each day we would start with a run-through of how our different projects were going and any progress we had made from the last meeting. We also would share our expectations for the day and what each individual wanted to get out of the session. After our quick run-through we would speak about a different step on the S-E-A-M road map, and how to properly work through this step for your own project. This was done via a presentation by one of the course facilitators. After the presentations, was my favorite part of our individual sessions. This is because we were able to hear from the different project team members participating in the boost camp. The members of the Cardano community helping to create change and innovations around the ecosystem. We would hear a presentation from a project team member, on how they would go about filling out the data on the Entreprenerdy Entrepreneurship Management System (EMS). Looking further at how it was oriented, or shaped around their own project. Here we would all share different ideas or helpful thoughts, for one another’s projects. It was so valuable because these sections would last the same amount of time or longer than the presentations. Which allowed these projects to evolve and grow in incredible ways during this short three-week period. After the presentations and conversations, we would close our session with an overview of homework to be completed for the following class, consisting of different videos we needed to watch and a different section from the S-E-A-M method we needed to work on.
Over the course of the boost camp, we had two one-on-one meetings which allowed us to digest different topics we had gone over during the course. It also was a time to take a deep dive into your project with one of the instructors, and project professionals. I felt these meetings were invaluable because they allowed me to ask questions based around my own project, and flesh out the different layers of ideas that were based around Sustainable ADA.
For our last course, we had to deliver a final presentation. The final presentations were one of my favorite parts of the course, because after working on our projects for three weeks and hearing how the different projects progressed, it was nice to see how well the EMS laid out and structured all the businesses, and ideas. At this point, we could get a full visualization of how the project will evolve and further develop in the future.
While the course proceeded we would read THE ENTREPRENEURSHIP HANDBOOK, by Yngve Dahle. For a little background on the S-E-A-M method, it was developed at the Department of Industrial and Mechanical Engineering at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. This is a method based on solid theory, where it can work or be interchanged from one project to another. “S-E-A-M can serve as a to-do list of the things you would like to make happen in the project, and a support in how to organize your work.” This method has 7 steps containing 29 elements and has been presented to over 20,000 entrepreneurs and many support programs.
7 Steps of the S-E-A-M Method:
1. Purpose: What is the background for you to become an entrepreneur?
2. Resources: What kind of motivation, knowledge, and assets do you build your project on?
3. Business Idea: What problem should you solve from which target group?
4. Business Model: How will you be able to solve this problem?
5. Objectives: What specific milestones do you set yourself in the work of solving the problem?
6. Tasks: What do you need to do to reach these milestones?
7. Forecast: What do the project’s finances look like?
The S-E-A-M Method has a focus on Sustainability, and through this framework, you reflect on your sustainable objectives as a business or company.
“It is important that you think about your social responsibility as an entrepreneur. Even if your project creates value for customers, it is not acceptable if you use up natural resources that cannot be renewed or exploit your employees.”
The Sustainable Development Goals are a central piece in the entrepreneurial field and is a framework entrepreneurs should be aware of when setting their objectives to support regeneration and sustainability.
During my time in the Boost Camp, I was able to interact and share with nine other project team members from around the globe, , Aidan Rankin-Williams: Playermint, Eric Helms: Smart Contract Audit Token DAO LLC, Michiel Van Roey : Profila GmbH, Maarten Menheere: M2 Paypad, Matthias Sieber: Win-Win Dispute Resolution, Afia Owusu : WADA, Michael Yagi: Ikigai Technologies Inc, Stephen Whitenstall: Quality Assurance DAO.
All of these projects are unique and led by project heads from diverse backgrounds and skillsets. This allowed for us to use systems thinking, and ways of co-production, by acknowledging all our different skills and helping each other, where one participant may be lacking or just uneducated on the matter. The EMS allowed for each project leader to examine and think about every part of their business model. By participating in this course it enabled all of these different projects to find new connections with sustainability they maybe didn’t see before. Each project shares a connection with sustainability and is directly connected to some of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Thoughts on the Catalyst Boost Camp from Cohort #1 Members:
Aidan Rankin-Williams is from Playermint, where they are building a play-to-earn blockchain layer that integrates with existing games like Fortnite and Rocket League. This allows the global gaming audience to earn PMX via their gameplay performance.
Playermint has a connection to sustainability, because “We contribute to the job economy by enabling anyone with a smart device and internet connection to start earning monetary value by doing something they love, gaming. What’s great is our system does not require financial input to start earning and there is no potential to lose value through
engaging with PlayerMints play-to-earn protocol.” Playermint is connected to SDG’s 1, and 17. “No poverty” and “Partnerships for the goals” Playermint considers this as more indirect and less of a clear impact but does still share a connection with these goals.”
Catalyst Boost Camp Experience: “Boost Camp was an experience that’s focus on education was in line with blockchain principles; it was peer-to-peer where you learn just as much from each other as you do from the instructors (the instructors taught us a lot)!”
How the boost camp was different from other Accelerator Programs: “Boost Camp was different in its approach to education in regards to the way information and “homework” was layered. You learn things in a step-by-step process that is easy to go back and repeat for the ventures you take part in. They also had a unique set of software and a book specifically written to meet the learning objectives of an incubator.”
How the Boost Camp stands out: “Every individual involved is treated as a source of new knowledge and understanding. The instructors are there to provide education and then allow all of the participants to work through it, helping one another out on the way.”
To learn more visit their pages:
Eric Helms is from Smart Contract Audit Token DAO, SCAT DAO is a new audit paradigm that reinvents the way audits are selected, performed, and financed.
The Smart Contract Audit Token DAO has a connection to sustainability, because “ I think more traditional audit services are always going to have a larger carbon footprint than a DAO format. We do not have offices, we do not have any hard copies as our entire program is done digitally, we do not have any wasteful overhead. Everything unnecessary is cut out and all that is left is what we need to perform our job. When you compare that to traditional audit services that you would find from the Big 4, or even more popular smart contract specific firms, the amount of resources we require and waste are far less.” The Smart Contract Audit Token DAO is directly connected to SDG 9, “Industry Innovation, and Infrustructure”.
Catalyst Boost Camp Experience: “Had the opportunity to think about my project from different angles that I might not have considered while connecting and learning with a great group of like minded entrepreneurs.”
How the boost camp was different from other Accelerator Programs: “First I have participated in, so hard to say. I would think the biggest difference here was the opportunity to connect with our group. We are all in Catalyst, but wouldn’t have had that kind of interaction normally through our regular bi-weekly meeting. Spending several days a week together gave us a chance to learn about each other’s projects, become more comfortable around one another, and build lasting relationships. Having that opportunity to form real connections is very powerful and something that would set this apart in my opinion.”
To learn more visit their pages:
Michiel Van Roey is from Profila GmbH, Profila is a zero-knowledge advertising platform built to benefit both People and Brands. Completely private, surveillance-free. Profila allows you to control your data – privacy ledger (fund 5); (d)app to control/monetize your data (fund 6); NFT for customer feedback/content (fund 6); control your data (vault) via Atala Prism.
Profila GmbH has a connection to sustainability, because “ We educated people about privacy and teach them how to control their data and get paid for their attention in a new advertising model that is consumer-focused and based on consent.” Profila GmbH is directly connected to SDG 9, “Industry Innovation, and Infrastructure” with their new AdTech model, and “Quality Education” by giving privacy education to people.
Catalyst Boost Camp Experience: “A completely novel way to look at your own business and discuss your strategy with your peers”.
How the boost camp was different from other Accelerator Programs: “Less lecture based, more interactive. Short and powerful (3 weeks)”
How the Boost Camp Stands out: “Combination of interesting short lectures, presentations, peer discussions, that really give you valuable insights of your own challenges and those of your peers in different stages of their evolution”
To learn more visit their pages:
- YouTube: Profila
- Reddit: r/ProfilaPrivacy
Maarten Menheere is from M2 Paypad, a point of sale terminal that uses Cardano blockchain technology for payments. Which allows for the creation of paper wallets for customers.
The M2 Paypad has a connection to sustainability, because “every part of the economy needs to become more efficient to become sustainable in the long term. Cardano is a very efficient system of transferring value.” The M2 Paypad is directly connected to SDG 9, 10, and 11. “Industry Innovation, and Infrastructure”, Reduced Inequalities, and “Sustainable Cities”.
Catalyst Boost Camp Experience: “The boost camp is a hands-on and well put together learning experience for the starting entrepreneur. There are several group sessions where the participants get to present their version of their project. A good place to get to know people from the community and go in depth with other projects.”
How the Boost Camp Stands out: “Focus is on your available resources and how to best utilize them. I like this approach”.
To learn more visit their pages:
Mattias Sieber is from Mediators.ai – the Win-Win Dispute Resolution marketplace, Win-Win is a decentralized dispute resolution platform and marketplace built on the Cardano blockchain. It allows disputing parties to find a suitable mediator to help resolve their conflict in a timely and cost-effective manner outside the court system.
The Win-Win Dispute Resolution has a connection to sustainability, because “Our vision is to be the leading platform for dispute resolution. Peace in its many forms is a requirement for sustainable living.” The Win-Win Dispute Resolution is directly connected to SDG 16, 10. “Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions”, Reducing Inequalities”.
Catalyst Boost Camp Experience: “I was always looking forward to joining the boost camp sessions, as they were of high value to me.”
How the boost camp was different from other Accelerator Programs: “Compared to previous programs I attended, the Catalyst Boost Camp did not focus on US-centric views. As participants and mentors from around the world, the more diverse set of views and experiences were enriching. Overall, there appeared to be a more collaborative view and people were genuinely rooting for each other to succeed.”
How the Boost Camp Stands out: “Most projects do not have to be VC unicorns.”
To learn more visit their pages:
Closing thoughts on the Catalyst Boost Camp Experience:
These amazing individuals gave me input and inspiration on my project Sustainable ADA, and how their projects are helping shape and evolve the Cardano ecosystem in a transformative and positive way. I was able to learn so many new things from many different backgrounds, from lawyers to engineers. This allowed me to hear from so many different perspectives coming all
from the same Cardano ecosystem. I felt this allowed me and the other participants to grow as individuals and strengthen our overall projects.
These amazing individuals gave me input and inspiration on my project Sustainable ADA, and how their projects are helping shape and evolve the Cardano ecosystem in a transformative and positive way. I was able to learn so many new things from many different backgrounds, from lawyers to engineers. This allowed me to hear from so many different perspectives coming all from the same Cardano ecosystem. I felt this allowed me and the other participants to grow as individuals and strengthen our overall projects.
Through this program, I was able to learn many new skills that have helped me further understand best entrepreneurial practices, and how to effectively and efficiently develop and build a business plan. The tools I have acquired will allow me to have a strong base of knowledge for carrying out any good business plan. Along with teaching me some elements to watch out for or stay focused on while starting to develop your idea. So I can effectively focus on the problem or problems I need to solve. This was my first accelerator program, and I was astonished by the experience.
This program will help with the long-term development of Sustainable ADA and has allowed us to acquire tools to make further development and changes to Sustainable ADA’s overall business model.
I would like to thank the Entreprenerdy team for the great experience and all the support and guidance I was given during the boost camp. I encourage anyone participating in Project Catalyst or who have already had an idea funded, to take the leap of faith and sign up. From all the mentors to the different participants, I was able to gain so much value and receive great feedback from community members all over the world. Community members who I wouldn’t know if it wasn’t for the Boost Camp.
This Boost Camp leaves a positive mark on you, that can help you grow and evolve. Our cohort #1 group still meets and plans to continue the first Monday of each month to catch up and support each other on our ideas, and further ventures. That’s the power of the Boost Camp, but most importantly. That is the power of Project Catalyst and the power of Cardano and its unstoppable community.
Continue on to the next part of the journey!
Personal Growth, Through The UNITE 2030 Youth Delegate Program and Sustainable ADA’s Road Ahead