(Looking for feedback) Hedgey - Using our 50k OP RPGF to fund four new projects launching natively on Optimism

Looking for feedback and suggestions on how Hedgey can best use its RPGF to discover, incubate, and fund four new projects building on Optimism

Hedgey received 50k OP from the last round of RPGF. I want to use the OP to kick start 4 early stage projects building natively on Optimism. Using Backdrop and Hedgey, I want to run a program where solo builders and early stage projects can get rapid feedback on early ideas over a four week period, and the Optimism community can then select the top four projects to receive enough runway (using Hedgey’s 50k OP) to turn kickstart their product/app/protocol.


Hedgey is a token vesting platform that gives teams access to onchain token vesting and token lockups as a free public good. Over the last two years we’ve been used by teams like Celo, Gitcoin, Shapeshift, CollabLand, and more recently been used to distribute over $100m in grants for the Arbitrum STIP. In the last round of RPGF we were allocated 50k OP and I discussed that whatever we received would be put back into the Optimism community to help kickstart four OP native projects. With the funding coming in, I want to begin the experiment by sharing the idea here and getting feedback from the community.

The idea (open to feedback)

The idea is to find solo builders / early stage projects who want to launch a big idea on Optimism and need time, exposure, and enough funding to bootstrap the idea and get it live. The program would start by encouraging any amount of builders to apply to the upcoming season of Backdrop (starting February 26th), where they have will have four weeks to iterate on an idea and create a plan for how they will execute on the idea to create an MVP of the project/protocol/app over a 3 month period following the season end.

At the end of the season, the top 10-20 ideas would be selected and shared with the Optimism community, at which time the optimism community could vote using JokeRace/Farcaster/TBD to select the top four ideas to begin a 3 month funding stream (using Hedgey Grants.)

Over the 3 months, the goal would be to provide the builders as much community feedback and support as possible with some metric of accountability/performance applied to each team to continue receiving their funding streams. By the end of the four month period (one month on Backdrop + 3 months building), the goal would be to launch four new projects that continue building their project on Optimism full time.

How I want to use Backdrop

  • Applicants apply to the upcoming Backdrop season
  • Teams are unfunded during this 4 week phase (low risk and less time commitment)
  • Teams provide weekly updates on what they are working on (format tbd) to get feedback
  • At the end of the season, teams will share a final deliverable of what they have built and how they will build over the next 3 months (with milestones)

How I want to use Farcaster / JokeRace / TBD

  • I’m into Farcaster and a big fan of JokeRace. I want to find some type of social, token gated (tbd) voting system to get the Optimism community hyped about the program and dogfood cool products to execute the vote.

How I want to use Hedgey token streams

  • Create four streams for the final projects using Hedgey
  • Make the streams distribute on a bi-weekly basis
  • Make the streams revocable
  • Give the streams front-loaded voting rights to let the recipients get involved in Optimism governance on day one.
  • Use the streams as an accountability measure and define clear terms on how/if streams can be stopped. (TBD)
  • Set up a public dashboard for the DAO to track and manage.

Early thoughts on the types of projects/people i’m looking for (open to feedback on what the Optimism community thinks is actually most important)

  • Optimism native (or building on Base, Mode, or other OP worlds)
  • New and novel ideas
  • Farcaster frames are cool
  • Products that can become category defining are cool
  • People who are incredibly talented, hard working, and are willing to go all in
  • Ideas that have potential to drive key Optimism north stars forward in a big way

Thoughts on the types of projects I am not looking for (for this idea)

  • This isn’t a “build on Hedgey” thing. Projects don’t have to use Hedgey
  • Overly saturated spaces
  • Teams that have already deployed on other networks (should get grants but out of scope for this program)
  • Established projects that already have a place in the market ( need grants for these types of products but out of scope for this program)


  • Apply to Backdrop this week (deadline February 24th). Apply at http://backdropbuild.com (mention this program in your application)
  • All teams that are accepted will be shared on a new thread late February
  • Teams will work through Backdrop from February 26th - March 24th. Updates are shared every seven days.
  • A final outline from each team will be shared at the end of the season (Late March) (template to be shared)
  • A final group of 10-20 projects are selected when the season ends on March 24th
  • April 1st a vote begins to select the top four projects (need to define where and how)
  • April 7th streams begin for the four teams selected (backdated to April 1st start)
  • (Recipients must either delegate or self delegate the full amount of tokens in their stream)
  • Streams continue until the end of June (unless a team’s stream stopped due to not hitting milestones or some other criteria (really open to ideas on this part)

What I am looking for from the community

  • Any and all feedback.
  • Is this a good idea?
  • What would you change?
  • What kind of north stars should projects be aiming for to drive Optimism forward?
  • What kind of projects would you like to see apply?
  • Have an idea for a project you want to work on?

Hello, do you mind posting on this same thread? I just set notifications of this post as “watching” curious to know how this develops.


I sure will! What do think about the idea in general?


This it really interesting and I personally think it’s a great idea, really altruistic way of using RPGF in a way that stimulates the ecosystem.


Cheers @Zer8 and thanks for the feedback! Forwarding on the RPGF to drive forward new ideas launching on Optimism is exactly what I want to explore here. To really see the potential of the idea I think we’re going to have to find a way to reach builders thinking about launching a new idea and get them involved. There’s a short timeline (just under two weeks) for teams to apply for the first phase, so I think the first hurdle will be to find a good amount of builders before then. Let see what we can do!

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Hey @Lindsey , I absolutely love this initiative and the fact that Hedgey is looking to promote and support early-stage projects on Optimism. However, I am curious if there are any plans to support the teams beyond the 3 months that have been planned?


It’s a good question. I think for this program the idea is to help at the zero to one stage and hopefully get teams at a point where they can launch to other funding sources whether it be their own RPGF, or possibly taking the incubator/accelerator/raising venture capital route. At current numbers it would be ~50k USD per project so hopefully enough to test out an early idea and get some traction.


This is a great proposal!

As a builder in the space I would be very interested in submitting for this and collaborating with Hedgey/OP community.

I have spent the last several years working on a range of crypto applications including amms, stablecoins and custody. I have deep expertise in defi protocol design and believe we need new mechanisms and new sources of capital / off-ramps in order to move defi/crypto forward.

We have been working on prototypes in commerce, start-up investing, and lending; this grant would be a great way to build something and put it in the real world. On top of that, I think this grant could encourage builders that want to test out new things in crypto social.


That’s awesome to hear @Andy-4 - definitely apply to Backdrop and looking forward to see what you build!

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Hey @Lindsey, it looks like the applications on BackDrop close much earlier than stated in your post (February 19th instead of February 24th).

Screenshot 2024-02-16 at 22.32.19

Thanks for the note on that @Sixty . Just checked with Joey from Backdrop and they’ll be taking in / reviewing applications up to the end of the 23rd. More time but still need to push to get everyone in! If you or anyone runs into roadblocks when submitting feel free to dm me @ goforlindsey on Telegram and can make sure I get things sorted - cheers!

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I just applied ! I am a little confused about the process, is the screen I’ve filled in all i needed?

There was no questions around Optimism alignment or that we are applying to the minigrant from hedgey so im a little confused.

Also, this is only for idea stage products or also those with a very rough and early PoC that needs further iteration?

Awesome to see! Should make it more clear there that you can just add in that you’re applying to the Hedgey RPGF program in your description. I’ll forward this on to Joey at Backdrop to make sure it gets flagged.

For your last question, having a POC or early build is totally fine. More trying to make sure we find early projects / ideas rather than mature stage projects.

Looking forward to seeing your idea!

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Nice to see you! Lindsey, I have already sharing this idea to optimism chinese community, I think it will have a lot of people interested in this idea


Great to hear it! More the merrier here. make sure they add a Hedgey/Optimism note in their project description and feel free to dm me anyone that does apply. Can make sure they get flagged for Joey at Backdrop.

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Just applied too, added the Hedgey RPGF program into the description.


Very cool! I’ve been accepted into Backdrop Build v3 and have a novel idea I’m building that’s borne of my work on ground adoption in Latin America from 2018-2022. Should be fun!


Just applied @Lindsey

We’re working on a web3 social platform that aggregates discourse data from 100 DAOs at the moment. Users will be able to query any search term and the results will be derived from the 250k+ forum posts within our database, with all engagement metrics included.

We can use this data to display trending topics across the DAO space, perform deep sentiment analysis, create an algorithm for friend suggestion, identify the top influencers for a given topic, and to apply DAO scores/ratings for individual members as well. Also, a DAO member’s reputation will be portable, and represented in the form of achievement badges, which can be viewed by any DAO the user joins., so they don’t have to build their reputation back up from scratch.


Loving the applications coming in!

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I applied and have submitted to cycle 13 builders here

Is this a good idea?

As an applicant whose project has been greatly slowed getting off the ground due to lack of funding, I clearly am biased…but yes. It is a great idea. Thank you for the generosity.

What kind of north stars should projects be aiming for to drive Optimism forward?

Again, biased, but I think the next two years are going to be about actually integrating crypto tech into the world. There’s been a lot of amazing stuff built, now it’s time to put it into practice where it can actually make meaningful impact on society. That means bridging society to the tech which has at least three parts:

  • Intuitive design to make it easy for people to adapt .
  • Nourishing tools to incentivize participation in a healthy way (rewarding in a financial/value sense can be good, but also want to include social connectivity, greater life experiences, etc. and avoid addiction based incentive models).
  • Onboarding strategies to actually create the connections.

(unless a team’s stream stopped due to not hitting milestones or some other criteria (really open to ideas on this part)

This is a difficult problem. Accountability is necessary for the integrity of the value exchange. Milestones achieve this, are created and agreed to by both parties in the negotiation phase and are easily verifiable. The problem I see with them is that they create accountability based on projected orientations, and the map is not the terrain.

Bugs and life and such happen on the one hand, but the more insidious issue in my view is that often times the destination we think we want to go to from one vantage point can be challenged by a vantage point further ahead. And now there is tension because we have made a commitment to something that no longer seems correct, but there’s money and rep on the line, so what to do?

You could have a system that allows for course correction, some mechanism for the coders to submit a proposal to change the milestone that has to be approved of by an authority (presumably the grant givers but maybe a community or badge holders or something). It adds some bureaucracy and extra work but might be a reasonable course of action if this seems like a big enough issue from your end.

Navigation from a present orientation (north star, intention, etc.) generally seems to be more effective in finding the place you want to go because it is more open to pivots, adaptions, and integrating novelty. Building accountability around an intention requires a lot more engagement between builder and authority though so the latter can contextualize progress and determine if the former is still “in bounds”. There could be disagreement on this part which could also result in tension. It’s also not as straightforward to set and follow an intention compared to goals.

In my experience milestones have at least one strong purpose - rapid exploration. If the intention is to discover as much as you can about a relatively unknown area, then moving as quickly as possible from point A to point B is a great way to go. For coding novel apps I think this translates to “don’t worry too much about quality or organization, just grab anything that looks interesting, put it together, and move to the next thing”.

This is what I intend to do for my project over the next few months with or without the grant, so it was nice to see this post and see that it aligns with what I’ve already determined is best for my project’s growth. Once I’ve gathered a bunch of pieces I can step back and look at everything more deeply and decide what’s really worth keeping, where to explore further with more intention, etc.