[Grant Application] ICON Hyperconnect (ICON P-Rep/Accelerator): Accelerating ICON Applications & Growth at Scale

1. Title: ICON Hyperconnect (ICON P-rep/Accelerator): Accelerating ICON Applications & Growth at Scale

2. Project Category: Development & Community engagement at Scale

3. Project Description:

ICON Hyperconnect (P-Rep) is an ICON accelerator led by Markus Jun, former Head of Research at Deblock (ICX Station Seoul Launchpad), ICON’s official VC firm and accelerator partner.

During his time at Deblock, Markus met with and oversaw research on over 100 projects from various industries that were interested in building on ICON. To those that were deemed a good fit, he helped provide acceleration in the form of consulting, mentoring, marketing, and networking. Markus was also heavily involved in publicly representing and promoting Deblock and ICON in various events and publications including a talk at Samsung Electronic’s Samsung Global Strategy Group, and interviews and articles with top crypto influencers and publications.

ICON Hyperconnect plans to accelerate ICON applications & growth at scale by hosting online hackathons to catalyze the creation of 30+ applications and accelerating the best of them every 4 months.

ICON Hyperconnect will host an online ICON hackathon on the largest hackathon platform in the world, Devpost, which has access to an online base of 900K+ developers.

In the following 3 months, we will proceed to accelerate the winners and most promising projects of the hackathon by providing consulting, mentoring, marketing, and networking while also preparing for the next hackathon. This is an example of one cycle of our accelerator. We hope to create a new field of application for each online hackathon (e.g., Games, Privacy, Security etc.) for each hackathon cycle.

Devpost, the online platform we plan to launch on, is a hackathon platform that has previously held hackathons for major companies like Samsung, IBM, Microsoft and Facebook along with major blockchain platforms like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

We’ve spoken with and discussed at length the feasibility with one of Devpost’s directors and they have seen much success with cryptocurrency hackathons, that have led to, on average, 30+ fully developed applications per hackathon, along with mass exposure of these decentralized blockchain platforms to Devpost’s massive 900K+ developer base.

ICON Hyperconnect, as a P-Rep, hopes to not only emulate this success but ultimately exceed it. By having an acceleration phase and (a much needed) preparation phase after each hackathon, we will be able to focus on ensuring that the winning participants receive the same level of acceleration that Deblock was able to provide them while also giving our team time to plan, prepare, do developer outreach, marketing, and community management for the next hackathon. This ensures that each hackathon is a meaningful event that can truly cater to the needs of the entire ICON ecosystem without being rushed.

Drawing from our team’s vast experience and knowledge, we will provide these projects with a solid acceleration phase by working closely with the ICON community, ICON Foundation and major ICON P-Reps.

In addition to our acceleration and online hackathon cycles, ICON Hyperconnect plans to continue the work of promoting the ICON ecosystem in the same manner that Markus has done previously.

We believe that an online hackathon itself is a massive marketing project which will bring a lot of exposure of the ICON platform, not just to ICON developers or cryptocurrency developers, but to all developers on Devpost’s 900K+ base. But in addition to this, we will keep on pushing, to increase ICON’s awareness beyond the ICON community to other general cryptocurrency bases, and eventually, even further beyond.

ICON Hyperconnect, operating as an online accelerator running online hackathons, allows us to work at an unprecedented scale, as our participants are not constrained by national or industry boundaries as any developer/non-developer of any background or age, will be able to participate in the entire experience that our accelerator provides. This online presence also allows us to (at least physically) be unaffected by the current unfortunate trends of the coronavirus.

Motivations of ICON Hyperconnect:

As a P-Rep, we thought long and hard about how we could provide both maximum efficiency and a unique value proposition for the ICON ecosystem. We noticed that there were some P-Reps that created content and news of ICON, and those who focused on developing applications on ICON themselves. Ultimately we wanted to focus on real-life applications too, but in scale.

The most important aspect of our P-Rep is that we are not a development focused P-Rep that focuses on one or two applications of ICON over a long period. We are an accelerator P-Rep that will be catalyzing the creation of 30+ applications and accelerating the best of them every 4 months.

This is the maximum efficiency we were seeking, and the unique value proposition we can offer. We are looking forward to work with the entire ICON community for constant feedback, and collaborating with several P-Reps including the ICON Foundation in the execution of our plan.

We believe an online hackathon is an event that has extremely high ROI for the potential benefits it can bring and that is the reason why the largest companies in the world such as Google and Facebook along with several of the largest cryptocurrency platform host several online hackathons every year. We want to facilitate this and much more for the ICON ecosystem.

Goals of ICON Hyperconnect:

  • Grow the ICON ecosystem by creating 30+ real-life applications (games, security, privacy) on the ICON blockchain at scale by hosting online hackathons on the largest online hackathon platform in the world.
  • Bring mass exposure of the ICON ecosystem to Devpost’s 900K+ online developer base and also bring further exposure to the ecosystem in the same manner that Markus has done in the past by publicly representing and promoting ICON in various events and publications via interviews and articles with top crypto influencers and publications.
  • Rely on both our team’s extensive blockchain experience and the collectivized thoughts of the ICON community to identify the true needs and demands of the ICON ecosystem. We can then draw from this to construct and provide optimal hackathon guidelines to facilitate the creation of meaningful real-life ICON applications that people actually want/need to use.
  • Facilitate maximum participation and exposure of ICON to the general cryptocurrency community (not just the ICON community) by enabling public voting on submissions in the hackathon and carefully collecting feedback.
  • Ensure the hackathon is not just for developers/technical people, but inclusive of non-technical people by adding a Growth Hack prize pool which will be rewarded to the participants who create the best video/media content of ICON (the details of this are subject to change).
  • Utilize our team’s vast personal network and background to attract the best students/developers in Korea and the the world to participate in the ICON ecosystem.
  • Provide technical feedback to the ICON Foundation that we receive from Devpost’s large developer base.

Why us? Our Team:

Markus Jun: Seoul National University Computer Science. Former Head of Research at Deblock (ICX Station Seoul), ICON’s official venture capital firm and accelerator partner. Former CEO of Reached. Markus will be in charge of managing daily activities and overseeing macro initiatives.

Evelyn Jun: New York University Stern School of Business Finance and Marketing. Former Marketing at Burberry. Evelyn will be in charge of marketing, finance, communications, and developer outreach.

Sungtae Park: Seoul National University Economics & Seoul National University Law School. Former Business Team at Samsung Electronics. Drawing from his vast experience, Mr. Park will be advising both our team, and accelerator participants, and help facilitate connections from his vast network of academia and corporate circles.

In addition to this:

During his time at Deblock, Markus:

  • Met with and oversaw research on over 100 projects. These included established companies that were multinational on scale to a single indie game developer.
  • Had several meetings a week with ICON’s CTO, senior developers, and business team to discuss technical feasibility and business angles of dapps that ranged from various different industries. As a result he has extensive first hand experience in discussing and brainstorming real life applications for ICON and how best to grow its ecosystem.
  • Provided acceleration to several companies that built on ICON in the form of consulting, mentoring, marketing, and networking.
  • Spoke at Samsung Electronics (Samsung Global Strategy Group) about ICON, Deblock, and blockchain in Korea.
  • Helped, along with Webloc, host Blockchain Demo Day, an in-person blockchain dapp competition every month which invited the leaders of Korea’s blockchain industry as judges (which included ICONLOOP’s JH Kim, Hashed’s Simon Kim).
  • Built out partnerships with top crypto funds & influencers to expand ICON’s global reach.
  • Participated in several interviews, published several articles to promote ICON and Deblock.
  • Improved public relations by bridging investors with members of the ICON Council.
  • Worked with ICX Station managers based across SF, Tokyo, and Singapore

Markus left Deblock to found and lead as CEO of his startup: Reached, a cryptocurrency startup for almost a year.

4. Project Duration:

We are requesting funding for 4 months to kickstart us for the duration of the first cycle.

Each cycle will include a 1 month hackathon and 3 months of promotions (of the ICON ecosystem) and acceleration & preparation (planning, marketing, community management & developer outreach) for the next hackathon.

We plan to keep going indefinitely but are requesting this grant to help kickstart our first cycle after which we will hopefully rely on our P-Rep node earnings to continue operations to produce bigger and better hackathons as we streamline, learn and improve our operations.

5. Project Milestones:

If ICON Hyperconnect receives funding for the next 4 months, we can begin planning, preparation, developer outreach, community management and marketing right away, and possibly launch our first hackathon in June. The hackathon itself will last an entire month. So this 4 month funding would ultimately cover one cycle of an entire hackathon which will end in July. By this point, we hope to become self-sufficient as a P-Rep, and not require additional funding.

In the following 3 months, we will proceed to accelerate the winners and most promising projects of the hackathon (by providing consulting, mentoring, marketing, and networking) while also launching the next hackathon.

6. Funding amount requested:

  • Total prize pool for the hackathon: $10,000 (will be given out in ICX)
  • Devpost fees: 2500 ($1500 * 1 months + $1000)
  • Legal counsel: $2500 (one time fee)
  • Developer cost: $10,000 ($2500 * 4 months)
  • Team labor costs & Additional costs/hiring: $24,000 ($6000 * 4 months)

Total cost: $49,000 in USD.

Funding rationale:

  • Total prize pool: of $10,000 is on the lower end of prize pools, but after reviewing several cryptocurrency hackathons, we concluded that this was the minimum amount that would attract a meaningful number of participants/submissions.

*Cryptocurrency hackathons on Devpost with around a prize pool of $15,000 (Blockstack) have also managed, with excellent developer outreach, marketing and community management, to attract significant amounts of exposure which have led to 50+ applications to be created.

  • Devpost fees: $1500 is the most basic, minimum monthly service fee that Devpost requires, and it involves hosting the online hackathon from the time it goes live to the time that the winners are announced. While the duration of the actual hackathon may be exactly 1 month (submissions), there needs to be an extended time period to consider for registration, judging, reviews, and announcement of winners (which is also charged for hosting). Which is why we considered a few extra weeks of hackathon hosting.
  • Legal counsel: is required as there are legal implications of an online competition that provides prize money. There are specific legal documents required for prize fulfillment and tax affidavits as laws differ in each country. This also applies when giving out prize money in ICX (we confirmed this with Devpost). We also want to ensure that the hackathon rules that we are going to draft for the first time are within legal boundaries.
  • Developer cost: At least one developer is required full time to ensure that before the hackathon, everything is running smoothly, and required to create and maintain documentation and also create sample problems/projects for hackathon participants. We also require a developer to consult with to discuss technical feasibility when organizing and planning our hackathon. During the hackathon itself, the developer will be required to be on call full time to ensure that all technical questions are answered. We will also rely on this developer for setup, maintenance and trouble shooting for all of our technical requirements.
  • Team labor costs & Additional costs/hiring: would involve our team working on everything from hackathon planning & preparation, developer outreach, community management, marketing, translations, creating promotional media design, and acceleration planning (networking, consulting, and marketing).

Additional costs/hiring or emergency costs will be drawn from this pool to finance it.

Thank you so much to all those who took the time to read this. Please don’t hesitate to ask us any questions via our contact details below.

7. Official Team Name: ICON Hyperconnect

8. Team Contact Information: iconhyperconnect@gmail.com, Telegram: @markusjay, Twitter:@Ihyperconnect

9. Public Address of ICON Hyperconnect (P-Rep): hxd5059fec8665bc7b769f4893aef65cf00049377a

I highly agree with this Grant and I support it to the fullest possible extent. Markus has been an asset for ICON, P-Reps and the ICON Community and his passion is unprecedented for this project. As a member of Deblock, Markus has assisted in the facilitation of expansion of the ICON project in multitudes of ways, and I support this initiative without question. $49,000 is an extremely small price tag for what Markus is bringing to the table surrounding marketing, development and the acceleration of this project in its entirety. I’m more than happy to vote yes on this Grant Proposal and I hope the ICON Foundation sees its massive potential for our project.

5 Likes

I endorse this proposal / application by the ICON Hyperconnect team. This is a vitally important proposal that will facilitate growth on the ICON network as well as increasing exposure for ICON via their hackathons and various promotions.

4 Likes

Hello I wanted to add 2 important additional resources that will help people better understand the context of the proposal:

  1. A summary and statistical breakdown of blockchain hackathons on Devpost.
  2. An updated P-Rep proposal of ICON Hyperconnect.

Thank you.

1 Like

Initial Review Result Comments

Review Result

Approval pending on revised conditions

Review Comments

Amazing idea, which is very helpful in growing the developer community. We are excited to see more projects built on ICON via this project. ICON Foundation is willing to pay everything except a full-time salary. We are happy about your dedication but think this can be part-time work so we can cover half the labor costs. We will cover 32,000 USD of costs and support this plan in a variety of ways.

Next Procedure

ICON Foundation provided the Initial Review Result Comments on the proposal. Grants recipients will respond to the Foundation’s response. If the recipient finally agrees on the outcome of the ICON Foundation, the foundation will provide the Final Review Result Comments.

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Thank you for your response and consideration.

We are extremely grateful for the grant being approved and we accept the ICON Foundation’s generous grant with the revised conditions.

When we submitted this application, we had no P-Rep earnings or any idea of our growth as a P-Rep, so we assumed we would have to give up much of our time and earnings to facilitate this project, but thanks to all the incredible support we’ve received from the community, this is no longer the case, and we believe that this is a fair revisal.

This grant will prove to be extremely valuable in allowing us to kickstart our accelerator and hackathon program, and please note that we do consider all of the feedback we’ve received from the ICON Foundation and ICX Station and are always open to more.

We look forward to collaborating with the ICON Foundation, ICX Station, several P-Reps, and all ICONists to launch our hackathon.

2 Likes