I’ve just updated my first AGP: Fund the Mockingbird Incubator & Hub and I would very much appreciate your feedback!
Why an incubator?
I want people to build on Aragon and I’ve tried pitching this idea a couple of times, but this grant-style of compensation is not for everyone. Is particularly difficult for beginners to get started because the main sources of funding, Nest & Flock assume a certain technical level as well as a concrete plan of how will they be adding value/what issue they will be tackling.
To solve this chicken and the egg problem, this program will aim to coach makers into becoming Nest grantees, Flock members or, ideally, to turn their app into a successful DAO using App mining, Fundraising, etc.
Why a hub?
We could just use an existing co-working space (for example: FabLab, or TheGrape) to run the incubator program, but we still need to buy equipment and the memberships are not particularly cheap (considering rent prices). I think it makes much more sense to rent a space, turn it into a co-working space. The desks can be fully equipped, the servers can mine at night , the place can host Aragon meetups, etc.
I think it would be super cool to see this Hub proposal forked and various Aragon maker hubs spawned around the world where the community or remote teams can meet and work together.
Why Iasi, Romania?
- Home to 60,000 students in 5 public universities
- Cost of living here is low (minimum wage is 450 EUR)
- Second largest city in Romania, ~800,000 people
- Very good internet (1 Gbit/s internet connections being sold for around 8 euros a month)
- Cheap renting spaces (starting from 5-10 euros for sqm)
- And most importantly: it is my hometown and I live here!
Why not a loan?
I’ve also considered a loan to pursue this (instead of equity), where the collateral would not be 150% ETH and ~10% interest like we see with MakerDAO and rather my reputation within the community and a higher interest rate (e.g.: 20%) to account for the risk. (Sidenote: Perhaps this could become a service within the network. (Aragon Bank?))
In this scenario there would be much lower risk and much lower upside for Aragon, and more risk and upside for me. The problem is that is not worth the risk for me since this venture is about investing in people. If I were to take a loan it would make more sense to invest in myself (buy a house, electric car, solar panels, a farm bot, etc.)
- I will not be executing on these ideas very soon because we have a lot of important work to do in the SDK WG which will remain my main priority at least for the next 2-3 months, but in the meantime, if this AGP gets approved I can start recruiting people for the incubator program.
- I’m not pursuing the incubator idea solely because “I want people to build on Aragon”, while I do think this is a good way of growing the community, it is also because several people within my network of friends have expressed interest in wanting to be part of this ecosystem and I think this is the most optimal way of facilitating that.