DEV Community

BiasGoose for RippleX Developers

Posted on

Unlocking Innovation: The Evolution of Ripple’s XRPL Community Support Programs

Since we announced a 1B XRP Grants Program, it has been incredible—and inspiring!—to see the innovation and projects driven by the XRPL community. Developers and entrepreneurs worldwide are constantly pushing the boundaries of what's possible on XRP Ledger.

In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at Ripple’s key community and developer growth initiatives such as the XRPL Grants Program, XRPL Accelerator, XRPL Hackathons, and other ecosystem programs that aim to provide resources and support to projects that bring utility, traction, and meaningful activity to XRPL. We are also making updates to bring more clarity and transparency around Ripple’s funding criteria to ensure applicants know what to expect during the process and who to go to for questions.

At Ripple, we're passionate about expanding blockchain's impact and strengthening the XRP Ledger (XRPL), and we’re committed to being a supportive partner to the growing developer community.

The XRPL Grants Program

Since 2021, the XRPL Grants Program has awarded more than 140 projects from 28 different countries—funding projects from sustainability, financial solutions, digital identity platforms, game-fi and more. Individual grants can reach up to $200k in funding. All awarded projects can be viewed in the searchable grantees database on the XRPL Grants website.

In response to community feedback and learnings, the XRPL Grants program has implemented several improvements including:
Enhancing criteria and review processes to better support high-impact projects that boost on-chain activity and utility on XRPL. In these updates, we'll specifically target key regions and use cases, providing guidance in advance to help developers optimize their applications. Our revised evaluation framework focuses on two critical aspects:

  • Business viability: This includes a greater emphasis on the project's market traction, financial viability, and dedication to the XRPL ecosystem. We will also consider the team's capabilities, the clarity and ambition of the product roadmap, and the potential market opportunities.
  • Technical assessment: We assess the architectural soundness of the project, conduct thorough code reviews, and evaluate the realism and strategic planning of the project roadmaps.
  • Rolling applications to ensure timely support and decisions for projects replacing the previous staggered Waves approach that ran for multiple months with longer wait times. Projects can now apply for grant funding whenever they’re ready, all year round!
  • Expanding community involvement in the review process by including more XRPL-based project developers in the judging committee.
  • Adding bimonthly virtual office hours for potential applicants as well as rejected grantees to connect with the grants team, clarify program objectives, offer advice on project proposals, and gather feedback from the community.
  • Implementing an open-door policy that allows applicants to share feedback and ask questions at any time. Send us feedback via our survey intake form. The overarching goal of the XRPL Grants Program is to distribute grants in a way that achieves the best possible utility for XRPL. This strategic approach ensures that only projects with the potential to significantly benefit the broader XRPL community receive support, aligning with our commitment to fostering sustainable and impactful blockchain innovation.

The XRPL Accelerator

Launched in June of 2023, the XRPL Accelerator program is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs build on XRPL and scale their projects into thriving businesses. The program offers financial support through non-equity bearing grant funding, mentorship from subject-matter experts, and networking opportunities. This initiative focuses on financial use cases while continuing to welcome a wide array of projects that leverage XRPL for diverse applications. As of this year, the program has graduated 20 alumni, and plans to support another 25 projects in 2024 both through funding opportunities and access to community mentors and investors.

In 2024, the XRPL Accelerator program will offer two tracks:

  • The Launch Program is tailored for early-stage projects, focusing on tech integration, product development, and business fundamentals. The program offers essential resources, mentorship, and support to help teams succeed within the XRPL community. The Launch Program runs across multiple cohorts throughout the year, working with a number of partners and investors, and will support awarded teams with up to $100,000 in grant funding.
  • The Scale Program is designed for startups that already have considerable traction and market validation. This later-stage program primarily focuses on supporting teams in expanding their reach and raising equity funding from external venture investors. Participating in the Scale Program will award each team with $100,000 in grant funding, along with the opportunity for follow-on funding based on attaining growth milestones. The program also provides direct access to community investors. The next cohort of the Scale Program is set to kick off in August 2024, with applications opening soon.

XRPL Hackathons

XRPL Hackathons are held both online and in person, bringing together developers, entrepreneurs, students, and innovators from diverse backgrounds to explore and iterate on new ideas, find team members, and delve into the creative possibilities of blockchain technology. Winners are selected by a combination of community judges and internal technical staff from Ripple, and receive both financial rewards and ongoing support. All this supports builders to successfully scale their visionary projects within the XRPL community.

The next XRPL Hackathon will take place in partnership with EasyA Labs on June 9 in Amsterdam, in the run up to 2024 XRP Ledger APEX. After that, the next XRPL hackathon will take place on June 28th and 30th in partnership with SwissHacks.

In addition to these events, Ripple hosts XRPL Zones globally which is an event that brings developer and community members together to hear about the latest XRPL advancements. It’s designed to foster collaboration and innovation within the blockchain community, and serves as a platform for showcasing new applications and technologies developed on XRPL. Follow XRPL events to join the next one.

Other Avenues of Support

XRPL Commons - Aquarium Residency
Community builder XRPL Commons launched the Aquarium Residency to support creators passionate about developing impactful projects on XRPL. The residency is a chance for projects to share insights with a vibrant peer community while learning, testing, implementing, and accelerating their startup within the ecosystem. XRPL Commons has made a significant impact in a relatively short period of time with two cohorts already completed giving rise to an astonishing 26 projects on the XRP Ledger. With 37 residents heralding from over 11 nations having taken part in the Aquarium Residency, there has been interest from around the world. The team is continuously working to help give developers the much sought after support they are after, and have outlined that there is much more to come in the way of entrepreneurship support programs.

Creator Fund
The Creator Fund was a significant catalyst that brought innovative projects and partnerships such as Balmain and Ducati to the XRP Ledger. As builders began to focus on XRPL use cases beyond NFTs, the Creator Fund was integrated into existing funding programs, such as XRPL Grants and the Accelerator Program. This has helped ensure a broader range of projects establishing a myriad of inventive use cases have ample support. While it’s no longer a standalone program, funds and projects from the Creator Fund are continuing to garner support as they begin to scale through the XRPL Accelerator Program.

Emboldening Entrepreneurs on the XRP Ledger
As we continue to support the growth and development of the XRPL community, we recognize the importance of finding alternative sources within the ecosystem and investigating ways to decentralize further. We are actively working on identifying potential partners and new funding models.

We are also actively developing a robust network of investors. This network will help accelerate project growth and impact within the XRPL community. We’re already seeing great progress on this front with numerous reputable venture investors attending the 2024 XRP Ledger Apex, including Leadblock Partners, Shima Capital, Blockchain Founders Fund, Tenity, and many more.

Building the Future of XRPL

As participants engage in XRPL Hackathons, Accelerator, and Grants Program, following the XRPL Developer's Code of Conduct ensures a respectful and collaborative environment. This commitment reflects the community's dedication to fostering a supportive and ethical environment within the XRPL ecosystem.

Our multi-program support for the XRPL community demonstrates our deep commitment to nurturing people and ideas. We remain responsive and open to the broader community as we build the future of the XRPL together.

Top comments (0)