As we continue our journey of supporting innovative projects and ideas within the XRPL community, it’s crucial to have a diverse and knowledgeable judging committee that can evaluate submissions with expertise and insight. We are pleased to welcome both returning judges and new voices who bring unique perspectives to the table. View the full roster of judges at xrplgrants.org/judges.
Wave 6 brings new experts to the judging committee to especially support the assessment of DeFi focused projects introducing professionals who have made significant contributions to their respective fields. Judges join us from diverse backgrounds and expertise, including: DeFi, tokenization, product management and application development, go-to-market strategy, business modeling, cybersecurity, and social impact.
Vivek Chauhan, Principal Product Manager, FalconX
Vivek currently spearheads Electronics trading business, FalconX 360 platform strategy and the overall UI/UX at FalconX, a leading digital assets prime brokerage. Prior to this, he was Senior Product Manager at Microsoft, developing and launching the Viva Insights products, along with enhancing their data analytics capabilities. Before Microsoft, Vivek spent six years at Nomura and Deutsch Bank, where he was VP for DB’s European cross-asset quantitative investment strategy business. Vivek holds an MBA degree from the Wharton School and completed his Bachelor's and Master's in Electronics Engineering from IIT Kharagpur. During his tenure at Wharton, he co-founded the Penn Blockchain club and worked on private blockchain supply chain use cases at Consensys.
Jasmine Cooper, Lead Product Manager, RippleX
Jasmine (Jazzi) leads the DeFi product team within RippleX, which focuses on the design, implementation and developer tooling for DEX, AMM, and other financial protocols. She is very interested in building the next wave of on-chain finance by creating protocols that offer real utility to users while supporting real world assets. Prior to joining Ripple, Jazzi spent several years in financial technology, both a product manager in mortgage tech and a founder/CEO in the consumer financial health space.
Lauren Feld, GTM, Collective Works
Lauren specializes in helping emerging tech startups define and implement full-funnel go-to-market strategies. She has worked with dozens of founding teams, ranging from frontier fintech at Techstars to Ethereum infrastructure and apps at ConsenSys. Most recently, Lauren served as the Head of Growth at decentralized data network Ceramic (backed by USV, Multicoin, Coinbase, Placeholder, among others). Lauren is passionate about enterprises adopting emerging tech and draws on her experience working with Fortune 500s at Deloitte’s Blockchain Lab and R3 to help bridge the gap. Today, Lauren works on everything from brand positioning to marketing, partnerships, sales, operational excellence, org design and culture development. She is also an active angel investor (Lit Protocol, CyberConnect and others) and founded The Collective, a mentorship group for female leadership in tech.
Carl Hua, Investment Partner & CTO, Shima Capital
Carl served as the Chief Architect at Celsius Network and General Manager of CelsiusX, the DeFi division of Celsius. Prior to Celsius, Carl led the research and development effort at RippleX, which is Ripple's open-source/developers platform business unit. He also co-managed the C++ (XRP Ledger) team during his time at Ripple. Prior to Ripple, Carl was the CTO for Logos Network - a first-layer, high-performance blockchain company, which was later acquired by Ripple. Earlier in his career, he contributed to the next-generation real-time flight software for the Europa mission at JPL NASA. He also has led engineering teams developing flight software at Northrop Grumman. On his time off, Carl advises early-stage start-ups to help them navigate the blockchain space. Most recently, Carl has been an advisor to the physical asset NFT company 4K.com. He holds an M.S. in System Engineering from UCLA and a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science from UCR.
Ajit Kulkarni, Senior Product Manager, RippleX
Ajit is a senior product manager at Ripple working on making the XRPL more interoperable with other blockchains. His team has been working on the Sidechains and the EVM sidechain capabilities for the XRPL. Prior to Ripple, he worked at Chronicled, a company that uses blockchain for healthcare supply chain applications. He was the first product manager there and scaled the team from 10 to 50 while launching 2 products for the Fortune 100 pharmaceutical and life sciences companies. He spent some time at Cisco before that in product management and engineering roles in the video streaming space. He holds an MBA from UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, a Masters in Computer Science from Virginia Tech and a Bachelors in Engineering degree from University of Mumbai, India.
Alejandro Laplana, CEO, Shokworks, Inc
Alejandro Laplana is the founder and CEO of technology company Shokworks Inc., where he has developed over 500 digital platforms and apps for some of the world’s most exciting brands and companies. Shokworks holds a staff of 500+ full-time employees in 12 different cities. Laplana has generated over $1 Billion for Shokworks and its partners in revenue, cost- savings, and direct investment. Shokworks and its partners have amassed 10M users in aggregate, tokenized over $20M in assets and have been named Apple App Store’s “App of the Day” twice.
Shashwat Mittal, Senior Product Manager - Tokenization, RippleX
Shashwat is leading Tokenization efforts at RippleX. Shashwat's current focus area is to help enable Financial Asset Tokenization on-chain. Shashwat's team in the past has worked on introducing NFTs (XLS-20) to XRPL, and is currently working on two new proposals Compact Fungible Tokens (XLS-33d) and Clawback (XLS-39d).
Max Zheng, Director of Investments, Blockchain Founders Group
Max is Director of Investments at Blockchain Founders Group, a venture capital firm and company builder. In this role, he advises numerous crypto firms on business development, sales, fundraising, outreach, IT strategy, process strategy, and growth hacking.
Each of these new faces brings a wealth of experience and expertise in their respective domains, enriching the judging process with their diverse perspectives.
The experience and dedication of our returning judges have been instrumental in driving the success of XRPL Grants. They represent a wide range of expertise and backgrounds, ensuring a comprehensive evaluation process that reflects the multidimensional nature of the projects we support. Judges join us from across Web3 industries, and academia (including UBRI - University Blockchain Research Initiative).
- Sean Bennett, Co-founder, Stronghold
- Jordan Cates, Developer Advocate, Anchain.AI
- Scott Chamberlain, Entrepreneurial Fellow, Australian National University
- Kenneth Chung, Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Pennsylvania
- Yebo Feng, Title: Research Fellow, Nanyang Technological University
- Chris Jimison, CFO, Forte
- Lukasz Kowalski, Lecturer, Industry Fellow, and Co-Director Blockchain X-Lab SCET, UC Berkeley
- Dr. Kerby Lynch, Director of Research, Ceres Policy Research
- Andrew Mangle, Associate Professor, Bowie State University
- Jiahua Xu, Ph.D., Programme Director MSc Emerging Digital Technologies, University College London
- Elliot Lee, Engineering Manager, RippleX
- Aanchal Malhotra, Head of Research, RippleX
- Marco Neri, Senior Manager, Developer Advocate, RippleX
- Peter Rosberg, Carbon Markets Product Management, RippleX
When reviewing applications, judges are taking a detailed and holistic look at the project and application. Here are some examples of what the judging committee is looking for when reviewing applications.
- Code review - the code in the project’s repo is sufficient, clear, and original. The team has clearly spent a decent amount of time building so far. There is a README that provides a clear explanation of their technical design.
- Project goals and timelines - are these clear and thought out, or is this murky?
- Use case/applicability - Is there a clear use case here? Does it make sense to build this project on the XRPL?
- Team expertise - are there expert developers on the core team that can confidently execute the project?
- Sustainability - does the team have a plan for how this project will be maintained long-term?
- Legal and regulatory considerations - are there any potentially relevant legal or regulatory considerations for this project?
Disclaimer: the XRPL Grants program reserves the right to decline any project. Reports of harassment, doxing, etc that target members or Judges of the program will not be tolerated under any circumstances.
We are excited to invite all passionate developers and teams to apply for Wave 7 of XRPL Grants. This is an incredible opportunity to showcase your innovative ideas and contribute to the XRPL ecosystem. The application period opens late August 2023, don’t miss out on the chance to be part of this wave of innovation.
As we move forward, we extend our gratitude to both our returning judges and those joining us for the first time. Their dedication in evaluating projects and ideas will shape the trajectory of many exciting builders on the XRPL ecosystem. Stay tuned for updates and announcements as we progress through the application evaluation process.
For more details and updates please visit xrplgrants.org and sign up for our email list.
Let’s work together to drive innovation, collaboration, and progress within the XRPL community!