Small & Early Stage Ideas

Small & early stage ideas aims to support and nurture a diversity of ideas in the ecosystem

Small & early stage ideas is an experimental category. It will need to be analysed once used to determine the overall impact of the category. Based on these learnings the category can either be removed or further refined if it creates sufficient impact.

Category Title

Small & Early Stage Ideas

Category question

How can we support new ideas and teams that form and bring new innovations and support the ecosystem?

Why is it important?

There is a need for a diverse group of teams and ideas exploring different ways to innovate and support the ecosystem

How does success look like?

An increasing number of small initiatives and ideas that provide new opportunities to the ecosystem to learn and benefit from

Key Metrics to measure

Tracking success for this category will mean:

  • Increasing the number of new teams funded to support the ecosystem or offer new novel innovations.

  • Increasing the number of new and novel ideas that help the ecosystem learn about which ideas should receive more attention and funding in future.

  • Tracking whether funded proposals for this category help lead to education or further proposals to improve the ecosystem based on any learnings from tested ideas and analysis.

Individual success metrics are added for the different types of proposal in the category brief. These metrics provide suggestions for how different proposal types could be audited.

Category brief


Small & early stage ideas is focused on the following important areas:

  • New and existing ideas that can benefit from a smaller budget to nurture their initial exploration and growth efforts.

  • Support of new teams joining the ecosystem looking for some initial capital to start off their project.

Why this category is important

The ecosystem needs to have a way to easily introduce and nurture new and existing ideas that could provide impact to the ecosystem.

Having a category focussed on supporting smaller or early stage ideas can help to ensure that there is always exploration of new ideas, processes and approaches that could benefit the ecosystem.

Small & early stage ideas is a category that applies a cap to the amount of funding a proposal can request. This provides a less competitive environment for teams to find initial funding to nurture their growth and evolution.

This category can be seen as an on ramp for new ideas and teams for trying out something to then show the community what they are capable of achieving.

The more ideas and exploration the community can nurture the faster the ecosystem can learn from and develop better solutions. The more new teams that can be formed the better the diversity and combined efforts that can be made as a community.

Types of proposals to include

All proposal ideas are welcomed! Proposals must be related to the Cardano ecosystem whether that's a new idea, community initiative, marketing, development, support or any other type of proposal. To get some ideas you can refer to the other Catalyst funding categories!

Potential success metrics for proposal types

Proposers should clearly identify what problem they are trying to solve, how they aim to solve that problem and share the types of outcomes the community should expect after the proposal is executed.

Proposal maximum budget

The maximum proposal budget that can be requested is $25,000.

Considerations for proposers

  • Existing initiatives and projects - Proposers are encouraged to share in their proposal if there are similar proposals looking to achieve what they are requesting funding for. Share any information on collaborations with the community so voters are able to see your involvement in the community.

  • Open source plan - There is no requirement that proposals that are producing software or digital assets need to be open source. However the community benefits from knowing what plan the proposers have, if any, to open source their work.

Last updated