Sefear - Grant Reviewer Application

1.) Preferred Display Name and Age (If you do not want to enter your age, enter that you are above 21 years of age, which is the minimum)

Name: Sefear

Age: 29

Social Media Handles

Twitter: @Sefear -

Discourse: Sefear - Profile - Sefear - govern.IOTA


Discord: Sefear#4556

2.) What motivates you to apply for this position?

The ability to help build a future Web3 we all actually want to be part of.

I’m deeply passionate about a future where transparency, decentralization, individual user privacy, open discourse, and freedom of choice are the pillars of not only Web3 but society as a whole. And… as cliché as it might sound, I truly believe that ensuring we cement those values into the future core apps & infrastructure of Web3 is the first step in achieving that future.

By applying for a grant reviewer position I aim to support projects that have a good product/market fit, provide a great user experience, solve real world problems, and instill the 5 values listed above into the IOTA and Shimmer Ecosystem. All of which I see as factors needed to help our ecosystem grow.

3.) What is your educational and professional background?

Educational Background

Bachelors Degree in Business Management, Ryerson University, 2015

Web3/Crypto Background

  • Member of the IOTA Community since 2017
  • Founding member & Ideathon co-author with many other great community members for both the IOTA Content Creators DAO (ICCD) and WAGMI DAO.
  • Active contributor for the ICCD since it’s official launch.
  • Product Management, Strategy, and UX consultation for some ecosystem projects via the Touchpoint program.
  • Avid learner – Participating in Web3 education sessions whenever possible in the IOTA community and across the industry. (Any other Real Vision Pro Crypto members who want to shill IOTA with me?)

Professional Background

  • Former Small Business Owner: Digital Marketing Industry
  • Product Manager: 6 years
    • Advertising Technology w. Facebook & Google (Partner-Side) – Created tools and systems that directly impacted over $200M in digital advertising spend.
    • Education Technology – Building tools that impact over 2M university & college students.
  • Experience in Federal & Provincial Politics: Campaign Manager & Consultant in 2 separate elections before finally being disgusted at how the sausage is made and pivoting to more impactful efforts like technology.

4.) What experience do you have relevant to this position (grant reviewer, Project manager, etc.)? Please describe

I’ve been a product manager in technology at mid-sized businesses the last 6 years and have been very fortunate to have the ability to build successful products in both the digital advertising industry and higher education.

Advertising & Digital Marketing taught me the economics and incentive structures of Web2 and what makes products successful or failures within those systems.

Higher Education taught me how to build rewarding user experiences while navigating the high barriers to entry that large institutions have, and how to successfully win them over.

Prior to that I was a small business owner in the digital marketing industry, forced to wear many hats from marketing, to operations, to finance, to legal, etc. This experience taught me about all the considerations businesses and projects need to have in order to succeed beyond just their core product or service.

And finally, my time in politics taught me some harsh realities of how the world can actually work once large amounts of money and power are at stake. These harsh realities were a great eye opener in overall messaging and strategic maneuvers needed to thrive in high-stakes environments.

5.) Are you a software developer? If yes, please provide info on your skills and proof of the projects you already have built/worked on (Github, languages, certificates, etc.)

No I am not a software developer. Although I don’t have a technical background, I do work closely with software engineers on a daily basis and am familiar with many technical concepts.

6.) Do you have affiliations that may cause a conflict of interest when reviewing applications? The community would like to know particularly if reviewers are involved with projects as a creator, on the board, or employed. Please list any projects or applications you have affiliations to.

*Note: This will in no way prevent you from being elected to the position. It is the opposite. We seek experienced reviewers that are specialists in different industries. The reviewers with affiliations will not be able to review grants within their category; however, they will be great resources and act as subject matter experts.

I am an active contributor to the ICCD, core team member of WAGMI DAO, and Product Management consultant for Zignar Technologies.

7.) Are you willing to sign a legally binding service provider contract and reveal and verify your identity through a KYC process with the legal entity of the Treasury Committee?

Note: KYC is required for this position. If you are unwilling to KYC and sign a service provider contract, you will not be accepted to the Shimmer Community Treasury.

Yes - I am willing to KYC and sign a service provider contract with the Shimmer Community Treasury.

8.) Can you commit 10 hours weekly on average to work as a grant reviewer for the Shimmer community over the next 12 months?

Yes - I am willing and able to commit 10 hrs a week to the Shimmer Community Treasury.

9.) If you are voted in the top 2 reviewers, you may have the option to join the Growth Committee and work with the TEA representatives. In this case, you may be required to work hours over the required 10 hrs per week. Are you able to commit to this if required?

Yes - I am willing and able to commit to the Growth Committee and the Shimmer Community Treasury if required.

10.) Are you willing to sign a service provider contract, including an NDA with the Tangle Ecosystem Association, and respect the Non-Disclosure Agreement if selected as a member of the Growth Committee? Breaking the Non-Disclosure Agreement may bring consequences financially and or legally.

Yes - I am willing to sign a service provider contract and Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). I absolutely will respect all binding effects within such agreement contracts.

11.) Provide any web links or supporting documentation you would like the community to see when assessing you for the Shimmer Community Treasury Grant Reviewer position.

  1. How Web3 & Crypto Get Their First 1 Billion Users. How Web3 & Crypto Get Their First 1 Billion Users | by Sefear | Medium

  2. Digital IDs - The New Nuclear Energy? Digital IDs - The New Nuclear Energy? | by Sefear | Medium

12.) What is your long-term vision of the Shimmer Community Treasury? How do you see the Community Treasury affecting the Shimmer & IOTA ecosystem, and what does the Shimmer & IOTA Ecosystem look to you in three years?

My long-term vision of the Shimmer Community Treasury is that it grows to be become a major catalyst in propelling not only the IOTA ecosystem, but the entirety of Web3 forward by enabling projects that fit the following 3 criteria:

  • Projects with a strong product/market fit that solve real-world problems.
  • Projects that focus on great user experiences – making it easy and intuitive to onboard more Web2 users into the space.
  • Projects that embody the principles of transparency, decentralization, individual user privacy, open discourse, and freedom of choice – helping us take 1 step closer to that ideal future.

If the Shimmer Community Treasury is successful in its mission, I see it being a large contributing factor to the resurgence of excitement and trust in the IOTA ecosystem as a whole – proving to the wider Web3 community how successful community-based initiatives can run and cementing those values in our ecosystem.

Three years from now I see this fund growing significantly from a value standpoint due to the success of early projects we financed. This of course would launch IOTA and Shimmer to new highs in the market. Once we’re all celebrating on the moon (and more seriously setting a positive example for the entire crypto space as a whole) the fund will have learned from our processes and evolved into a true “by the community – for the community” venture project which can have truly interactive community involvement from any member beyond the select grant review committee.

Do you support my application as Grant Reviewer?
  • Yes

0 voters


Since I may not be as known to the community as some of our other rock-star applicants, I’d like to kick-start this thread as an AMA for myself and my application. Please don’t be shy or hesitate to reach out!


Thank you for the AMA. How do you envision ecosystem success and your role in enabling it?


I envision a successful IOTA/SMR ecosystem as one that has a strong reputation for being…

  1. Transparent
  2. Trustworthy
  3. Living up to the founding tenants of crypto (decentralization, user privacy, etc.).

…Especially in light of the recent implosions we’ve had from opaque business models across the industry in 2022 (Celsius, 3AC, FTX, etc.).

We know that IOTA has a previous reputation of “not-delivering promises” to overcome. The fallout from this bear market and our timing of improvements to the protocol + initiatives like this fund give us the ability to be a true “Phoenix rising from the ashes” within the space.

So how would I enable that in this role?

  1. I’d be diligent in making sure each of those tenants is lived up to in my grant review process. Employing a strict “Trust but Verify” approach to any claims made by projects saying they live up to these tenants.

  2. Dependability would be a huge weighting criteria for me in the review process. In order to restore trust in the ecosystem we need to make sure any project who makes claims on timelines or functionality has 1) Concrete evidence backing it up, and 2) A contingency plan that fulfills the core requirements of their claim by said date (again with evidence to support).
    I have a professional work history of ensuring timelines are met and reasonable stakeholder expectations are set. Applicants who can’t prove themselves as trustworthy to the community and committee would not pass the ecosystem funding filter - and therefore not receive the inherent stamp of trust that comes with being granted this funding.

  3. My core values and experience. Although I can’t falsifiably prove it on this application, my personal values are a drive in everything I do within this space, and I always aim to be true to those values (listed above and in my broader application).


Your application sounds really good. However, I personally would feel more comfortable voting for you if I had the feeling of knowing you a bit more and seeing a consistency in your statements and character.
May be you could drop by in discord general or spec channel from time to time?

Since you say that you had made contact with politics, you understand how the human psych works.
Showing subject group repeatedly pictures of different women, but some pictures being shown more often and some less, people feel more attracted to the person that was shown more often.
Same with Political advertising poster. It’s ridiculous. They only show a face and the name of the political party. But it’s worth spending millions on them.

Conclusion, please show your face more often :slight_smile:

I have one question:
To make it easier for the community to understand what potential conflicts of interest a reviewer may have, and as not everyone may be familiar with the platform you have stated here, could you shortly describe what ICCD, WAGMI DAO and Zignar Technologier is and in which sector it operates or plans to operate in the future?

I asked our Grant reviewer candidates if they would agree to take part in this challenge on 19 November with this message sent out to everyone:

Hey, I want to challenge all potential Committee members with a little task.

I want to present you with a grant application and give you one week to come up with an opinion about this application based on the information provided to you. Please put anything that comes to your mind in your response to this message, and if possible, come up with an initial opinion if you would support funding this Proposal.

You may want to use the evaluation matrix developed for the Treasury committee: Shimmer Community Treasury Grant Committee - Version 2

The Proposal is a copy of an original proposal submitted to another Ecosystem Grant program.

I have chosen two types of applications, one that is a bit more developer oriented for the reviewers with experience in software projects and one that is more community/event focussed for the others.

Every Proposal is presented in 3 different versions. I have changed some parameters in every version, so your competitors may be presented with the same Proposal with some small but important changes to the original version.

I hope you agree to this little challenge. It may be interesting for the community to see how different candidates approach this task and to which conclusions they come regarding the grant proposal.

I will DM every candidate with the same text you got here and send them their challenge privately. I hope we can keep this private until the challenge is finished in one week.

Next Sunday, at 11 am CET, I will post the information about the challenge in reply to your application post and will include the response you sent me via DM in this post.

This will, in my opinion, be the fairest process to give everyone the same conditions without revealing a challenge that a competitor has to solve or making answers public that others could consider in their own approach to the problem. So everything will stay with me, and I am the only one who knows who gets which challenge and who replies what until the reveal.

I try to make sure that applicants who are part of the same project do not get the same grant challenge, so they cannot support each other.

Please reply within 24 hours if you agree to this challenge, and I will send you the Proposal.

Thanks again for offering your skills to the community. I hope you find this a fair approach to give the community some better insights.

This is the publication of @Sefear ‘s participation in the Grant reviewers’ Test challenge. More details about the challenge can be found in this post

Sefear Grant Review

Proposal: Shimmer - Hackathon Proposal 1 (Unchanged Version 90.000 USD)

Funding Decision: No

Decision Summary:

  • At this time I think the funding request will have a Low Long-Term Impact & High Opportunity Cost for the Shimmer Community Treasury (further details below).
  • Scoring System Points: 13 / 15 minimum required points. (Tier 3 level request)
    • Relevance to the Shimmer/IOTA Ecosystem: 3
    • Plan and Funding Model: 2
    • Execution: 4
    • Verifiability and Quality of the Team: 3
    • Overall Quality & Originality of the Idea: 1
  • Concerns about the amount requested, current treasury funds, and the high opportunity cost for the community treasury.
    • Current Market Cap of Shimmer (assuming $85M holds) only permits low tier values within the “tier & funding requirements”
    • This being a $90k Tier 3 request means it will take a substantial amount of funds from the treasury vs. multiple prospective tier 1 or 2 requests.
    • Concerns about overall impact of this project – see further points below.
  • Concerned about the current business model of the requested Hackathon:
    • Lack of sustainable revenue generation plans (current or future) presented.
    • One-time 2-day event. Likely to produce highly perishable skills/levels of knowledge for participants about Shimmer. Without a robust talent development pipeline this knowledge will be lost – see below point.
  • Concerned about the timing of this request in this particular stage of the Shimmer Ecosystem’s lifecycle.
    • 2-day flash event is a quick and momentary promotion of Shimmer to relatively inexperienced developers.
    • There is no robust & immediate pipeline to continue developing the stated 200 newly introduced participants to Shimmer.
      • Lack of established projects building on Shimmer who can hire and continue training and developing these students/participants.
      • Lack of funds to take high risk bets on promising looking hackathon projects that have not matured enough to truly test their value-creation or product-market fit.
  • Certain “Key Criteria” for funding this project (as outlined in Shimmer Community Treasury Grant Committee - Version 2) failed or did not have adequate information to fulfill the criteria. The Principles & Objectives of concern for this request were:
    • To enable projects to establish successful and profitable business models on Shimmer. :x:
    • The committee will prioritize projects with the highest potential and positive impact on the ecosystem compared to the received funding. :question:
    • Projects that can guarantee a backflow of capital/investment into the community treasury will be evaluated more positively. :x:
    • All funded projects must be open source (under MIT, GNU or Apache 2.0 license). Projects in development must allow the grant committee to access any private repos for review. These projects will only receive 50% of the proposed budget until they fully open-sourced their code. :question:
    • The requested budget must match industry standards for comparable tasks. If a proposal requests way above fair market value, the committee will go into a dialogue with the team to request adjustments. The committee may either reject such a proposal or cut the funding to settle at fair market value. :question:
  • The applicant did not outline a minimum of 3 key milestones for funding. The short nature of the event also does not allow for quantifiable milestones to be assessed by the Treasury Committee adequately to measure success/impact.

Suggestions for EasyA to have a future successful application:

  • Have an established revenue stream or path outlined towards a self-sustaining future. The treasury must prioritize long-term viable businesses to add continuous value for the Shimmer ecosystem.
  • Related to the above: Consider recurring events and a business model that will be able to accommodate them. A one-time event does not satisfy long term growth objectives of the Shimmer ecosystem or developers looking to add value towards it.
  • Open-source projects from your event. As stated in the criteria above, all projects and their code must be open sourced to receive full funding and benefit the ecosystem at large.
  • Once all the above are accounted for, consider applying at a later date. Right now, the Shimmer community treasury is limited due to market conditions, and the lack of a strong pipeline of projects looking to either hire or take high-risk bets funding hackathon winners. These conditions may change in the future, and this hackathon event may be able to provide more impact for the ecosystem for the money spent.