[IMPACT] Please describe your proposed solution.
Cardano’s philosophy is well rooted in research. Black and PhD is a network of black PhD students globally, with 1000 members on Instagram already.
There are thousands of talented PhD students globally who are great researchers! Project Catalyst is a great opportunity for them to collaborate and cultivate business ideas.
Our solution is to do a writing retreat where Black PhD students and Postdocs work on their research project 20% of the time but 80% of the time will be spent collaborating on a Cardano related idea which they will submit in the next Project Catalyst round (fund 10). The writing retreat will be structured accordingly with well-being breaks in between.
Writing retreats have a similar feel to hackathons but normally working on a research project which is perfect for Project Catalyst proposals. The two proposers actually met at a writing retreat a few years ago when they were doing their PhD’s.
[IMPACT] Please describe how your proposed solution will address the Challenge that you have submitted it in.
Black entrepreneurs get less business funding then their counterparts so this gives the Black students a literal safe place and environment to thrive and work on business ideas together ready to submit in the next round. Part of the writing retreat will include educational sessions on Cardano and Project Catalyst and we will run the writing retreat using a hybrid model for those Black PhD students not based in the UK.
This is perfect as it will be a clear measure for “Number of proposals that participated in the next fund” and we will also make clear during the writing retreats that their ideas can be supported by interested engineers in the ecosystem (Number of proposals that could be collaborated with other engineers)
[IMPACT] What are the main risks that could prevent you from delivering the project successfully and please explain how you will mitigate each risk?
The main risk anticipated is a ‘good’ risk, we may have a lot more applicants than spaces so to mitigate this risk, we can other those who don’t get a funded place to self-fund and/or see if their universities can assist.
[FEASIBILITY] Please provide a detailed plan, including timeline and key milestones for delivering your proposal.
Month 1: Recruitment of facilitators and solidify program structure [1 month]
Month 2: Book a hotel; rooms and workshop spaces [1 month]
Social Media Campaigning [2-3 months]
Months 3-4: Application collection [2 months]
Month 5: Selection/Screening period and confirmations [1 month]
Month 6: Writing Retreat [2 days]
[FEASIBILITY] Please provide a detailed budget breakdown.
Create a database on our website - <u>$90</u>. Plug-in to which students will enter details on. (3 hours at $50 per hour)
Create preliminary educational resources on Cardano for students for social media (before retreat) - <u>$250</u> (6 hours at $50 per hour)
10 students plus 2 proposers
Average budget of <u>$300</u> per head for the writing retreat including travel, food, and accommodation for 1 night equating to 2 workable days like a hackathon!
12 x 300 = <u>$3600</u>
<u>$3600 + $90 + $250 = $3940</u>
Remaining $1060 for time to outreach, create resources, recruitment and to post on social media
Creation of materials and resources for the writing retreat:
20 x $30 = $600
Outreach primarily through social media but visiting some universities via entrepreneurial student societies, African societies, ACS societies if time and budget permits:
Student society events for outreach:
$200 budget for food for 4 society events
Travel for aforementioned society event: $80
Misc access fund in case any student needs further support for accessibility:
3 x $50 = $150
<u>Therefore, the total is:</u><u> $4970</u>
[FEASIBILITY] Please provide details of the people who will work on the project.
Black and PhD Team members (select for link to social/website):
Dr Adaku Jennifer Agwunobi is a singer/songwriter, entrepreneur and academic. She is currently a Postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Engineering Science, working on orthopaedic clinical tooling. She was the first Black doctoral researcher to obtain a PhD at Loughborough University London, where her PhD focused on the well-being of Black entrepreneurs. She has two Masters degrees: an MSc Health Economics and MSc Marketing (with Distinction). Additionally, her first degree was BSc (Hons) Economics. Adaku was the social media specialist for 'DEN' (Digital Economy Network) where she organised successful writing retreats, writing challenges and coding challenges for PhD students. She has organised several music related events as the Social Secretary of the Oxford University Africa Society. Fund 8 winner on the 'Oxford Student Hub' project and fund 8 contributor. Also, contributor to fund 7 project. Co-founder 'Black and PhD'.
Tara Collingwoode-Williams - Tara is a PhD student from Goldsmiths University taking her Mphil/PhD in Intelligent Games/Game intelligence with a focus on Avatar Embodiment and Interaction within Virtual Reality. Before this, she graduated with a Bsc in Creative Computing. Over the years, her interdisciplinary profile has enabled her to work as a Technical Support and Researcher with many organisations in relation to her research, such as UCL, Great Ormond Street Hospital, George Mason Serious Games Institute in the United States where she also co-lectured an XR Games Module, Facebook as a contractor for their Social VR team and, more recently as a Lecturer in Goldsmiths University XR/Graphics and Animation. She was the Publicity Co-chair for the ACM Immersive Media Experiences Conference in 2021 and the Diversity and Inclusion Co-chair in 2022 where she helped to facilitate and organize a D&I panel. Co-founder 'Black and PhD'.
Roles and assignments:
Social Media and Outreach
Administration and Logistics
[Recruiting] Cardano workshop mentor/facilitators
[FEASIBILITY] If you are funded, will you return to Catalyst in a later round for further funding? Please explain why / why not.
Yes, to support students for their project catalyst fund 10 submissions and to repeat the writing retreat on a larger scale. To perhaps next to establish make a 'VC for Black Student business ideas' funded by Project Catalyst.
[AUDITABILITY] Please describe what you will measure to track your project's progress, and how will you measure these?
There will be a clear measure for “Number of proposals that participated in the next fund” as this is a key and we will also make clear during the writing retreats that their ideas can be supported by interested engineers in the ecosystem (Number of proposals that could be collaborated with other engineers)
[AUDITABILITY] What does success for this project look like?
Participants in this retreat will go away having made significant progress on a piece of research writing of their choice within Cardano and practical experience of working towards a proposal for fund 10.
Participants will have gathered valuable knowledge regarding the technologies and opportunities available within Cardano and put together a proposal that will go towards making a potentially significant impact through project Catalyst.
Participants will have gained experience networking and collaborating within an interdisciplinary program with real-world implications.
[AUDITABILITY] Please provide information on whether this proposal is a continuation of a previously funded project in Catalyst or an entirely new one.
This is a new proposal