Gitcoin – the open-source bounties platform we’ve covered extensively through the Gitcoin Grants program – has just announced a new fellowship track called KERNEL.

Taking place over the course of 8 weeks starting in June, KERNEL will bring together 100 rising blockchain stars with a shared goal of shipping a suite of products at the end of the program.

“Our goal is to provide KERNEL Fellows with opportunities to learn, build relationships, and provide funding opportunities for the products they build, both from Web 3 companies and investors”

The invite-only cohort – deemed Genesis Block – will cover eight modules ranging from blockchain history to the web3 movement and, you guessed it – decentralized finance. Fellows will be trained in crucial aspects of product development including community development and tokenomics, all of which are covered in twelve critically-acclaimed works in technology, open-source software, and finance.

Why KERNEL?

Pulling insights from the vast range of talent who’s either worked with or benefit from the Gitcoin ecosystem, KERNEL offers a diverse set of insights unlike any other incubator out there. Seeing as Gitcoin itself spawned as what a KERNEL Fellow looks like today, the strong emphasis on growing open-source in a sustainable, ethical manner is sure to curate products that suit the wider web3 ethos quite well.

Taking a look at notable DeFi partners like Aave, PoolTogether and Synthetix which have built with Gitcoin, the mentor program is sure to include some of the sectors top leaders for tailored conversations you’d be hard-pressed to come across elsewhere.

KERNEL Fellows are expected to commit roughly 10 hours per week. The program will include a suite of cohort-specific events such as Fireside chats and Juntos – or generalized discussions regarding issues of morals, politics, or natural philosophy. Pioneered by Ben Franklin as a launching pad for public goods, one can expect KERNEL Juntos to offer a refreshing step away from “number go up” talk to instead focus on how web3 products can play a crucial role in the evolution of digital societies.

When asked for comment on the program, Vivek Singh – COO of Gitcoin – commented:

“KERNEL is built for fully engaged, capable builders looking to build relationships, products, and companies in web3. Whether you are a newcomer or a crypto veteran, you are guaranteed to be surrounded by 100 peers of extremely high quality: co-founders, project collaborators, and perhaps most importantly – friends.
We think the program will be especially valuable to top hackers looking to continue projects, startups looking to build community, and the crypto-curious looking for support on their web 3 journeys”.

What To Know

If you’re interested in applying to become a KERNAL Fellow, here are a few important dates to keep in mind:

  • Applications Open: May 21, 2020
  • Applications Close: June 16, 2020
  • Virtual catchups:  June 17 – 21, 2020
  • Final Results announced: June 22, 2020
  • Kick-off Retreat: June 22, 2020
  • The End: 17 August 2020

While there will be a cost to official join, Gitcoin has stated that they are open to offering scholarships for applicants in need of financial support.

Plus, with social backing from Gitcoin and potential sponsors in upcoming Gitcoin Grants, we highly expected at least a handful of KERNEL projects to make some major waves in the coming rounds.

DeFi Incubation

The launch of KERNAL comes in line with our recent coverage of IDEO CoLab Ventures and their DeFi Product Validation Day – a preface to their DeFi Residency program set to launch this summer. Paired with programs like the a16z crypto startup school, it’s fascinating to see so many big names rolling out incubation programs to help spawn the next major web3 product(s).

Perhaps what’s most interesting about this trend is that they are beginning long before a “bull market” signaling we’ve reached a drastic shift in sentiment where the industry has solidified a diverse pool of talent who’s been battle-hardened to ship in the most grueling climates. If one thing is for sure, the resiliency of KERNEL Fellows is sure to bring insights and learnings that you don’t want to miss.

If you’re interested in becoming a KERNAL Fellow, fill out an application here.

To stay up with Gitcoin, follow them on Twitter.

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