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New Grant for Women in Blockchain

There is a significant gender divide in the blockchain industry. Many jobs in the space incorporate both finance and technology, two historically male-dominated fields. This has resulted in women representing only 10-30% of the blockchain industry.

Both The Bigger Pie and Sperax are committed to see this representation increase so we’ve got together to help spread the word about the new LIFTED grant program offering quarterly grants of upto $15,000.

Sperax are launching their LIFTED Grant Program – and we held an AMA to allow those interested to speak directly to the team to discover more and Ask them Anything. We asked about how it works, what types of proposals they’re looking for. Who it’s right for. Which grant phase fits your project best, etc. You can catch the recording here.

LIFTED Criteria

To be considered, applicants must submit a strategic proposal that outlines what they will establish or create with the grant they are awarded. This can be a development project, research initiative, business proposal, animation and more.

There will be a new grant each quarter. For the first grant Sperax, is partnering with Polyient Games, the decentralised ecosystem connecting gaming universes and their assets, to offer grants of up to $15,000 USD to women-led projects in the blockchain space as part of the Sperax operated LIFTED Grant Series.

Polyient Games and Sperax will provide technical and business support to the chosen grantee, providing a unique opportunity for the winning individual or team to work with some of the most well connected leaders in the blockchain gaming ecosystem. Special consideration will be given to teams that propose educational content or technical proposals to improve the user experience and functionality of Polyient Games beach head product: Ape In Finance.

Every calendar quarter, grants will be distributed to talented women working in blockchain. Phase one will run from now until March 16th, 2021, under the theme of DeFi (decentralised finance). Please submit your application here.

Phase I Important Dates

Step 1: Apply between February 8 and March 19, 2021

Step 2: Interview with Sperax team within the week of March 22

Step 3: If selected, receive notification of the award by March 26

Step 4: This begins the process of refining the project, if needed, with the Sperax team and identifying project funding milestones

Step 5: Time for the project and fun to begin! You will be advised and mentored by the Sperax team and partners during your time working on the project

Phase Topics

The Sperax LIFTED Grant Initiative will be divided into four phases. While the overall program will focus on supporting the talented women that work in blockchain, each quarter will see new topics that the grants will facilitate, creating more opportunities for exciting projects to be realised. Applicants are welcomed to apply for multiple phases. **Phases are currently broad by design to welcome tailoring from co-host

Get LIFTED by Sperax!

Applicants: Applications for Phase I open February 8, 2020 on sperax.io/lifted.

 – Partners: If you are passionate about promoting a more diverse blockchain industry, reach out to [email protected] or [email protected] or refer to this document for partner tiers, benefits and time commitments.

Best Practices for a Stronger Application

Are you interested in applying for a grant? If so, here are some best practices that will help you create an all-star application:

  • Details, Details, Details – The more detailed the application, the better. The Decision Committee is looking for relevant information about projects in their assessment process and the more supporting evidence of a project’s viability, the better.
  • What about the money? – We recommend mapping out how your funds will be allocated. Having a clear idea of what you will spend grant funds on is an important part of the assessment process.
  • Ask for help! – Friends and folks not directly involved in the project are some of the best people to reach out to for help. Ask an outside party to look over your application. It never hurts to have a second pair of eyes spot broken links. Aside from broken links, make sure you double check your application for spelling mistakes, or any details that may need more clarity.
  • This is NOT a VC program – Sperax LIFTED is a grants program, not a VC. We are not exactly looking to fund things solely to scale a business. We want to fund grassroots projects that benefit the Sperax community and overall DeFi ecosystem.

LIFTED Alumni Network

Benefits don’t stop after you complete your milestones or phase. Women who participate in LIFTED are formally invited to The Bigger Pie. This club is a thriving and active community whose members share their experience and learn from each other. Alongside Bigger Pie events, there is a programme of wider events sourced from our members, often with VIP access. Members in this group have the tools and connections to transform their existing business and to build new businesses right the first time, with diversity and inclusion at the very start.

  • LIFTED Partner companies
  • LIFTED Cohort
  • LIFTED Alumni
  • The Bigger Pie Community
  • Sperax Team Members

FAQs

Are all of the phases the same?

No, each phase is unique and has different applicant criteria and objectives.

Can I apply for grants from multiple phases?

You can only participate in one phase at a time. If you or your team has received money from phase one, your team must complete all milestones before applying for an additional phase.

What happens once my application is submitted?

Once your team has applied, you will receive a confirmation email. We will reach out to schedule an interview after your application is reviewed.

How many steps are there in the process?

There are three steps to evaluating applications. After applying, potential candidates will move through three evaluation stages: Sperax scoring, community poll and Sperax LIFTED Committee interview. Applicants will be notified if they have moved on from one round to the next, with the final decision being made after all of the candidates’ Sperax LIFTED Committee interviews.

How long is the grants process once we apply?

The process is typically two weeks from application deadline to award.

We are a private business, can we apply?

Yes, private businesses are welcome to apply.

We are a team of individuals, not a business entity, can we still apply? Yes.

Our team plans to launch a token sale, is it eligible for a grant?

Yes.

Can I edit my application after submission?

Typically, no. If you have submitted an application and would like to change or update any information, please email [email protected] or [email protected]

 

If anyone would like to volunteer to mentor they are still seeking volunteers for the following:

1) Blockchain architecture

2) Business – Marketing/go-to-market

3) Design – UI/UX

 

 

SmashingIt Campaign – Female Leaders in Blockchain & Crypto

The Bigger Pie is thrilled to share the #Smashingit campaign.

During 2021 will be meeting the #Sheroes of #blockchain. Teggy Altankhuyag, COO of CoinFloor is leading the campaign.

We will find out about the backgrounds, what they love about their industries and what they would advise people who are considering a career in #Cryptocurrency and #Blockchain industries.

Bitcoin, Blockchain, Crypto, DeFi words that are still a mystery to many of us. When we face an unknown, we rely on our past experiences and make assumptions, which often leads to conforming to stereotypes.

The first stereotype of the industry is that it is traditionally a more male friendly industry.

This could be because you don’t see as many women representing the industry as men. We can address this stereotype, showcase the women in the sector and look to attract more women too. We will start with a video campaign.

The video will consist of different women who are playing a critical role in helping the industry succeed and grow and will aim to highlight the diverse backgrounds and professions.

How to get involved:

You can get involved by sending us a recording of your up to 2 minute video.

  • Please also send a few pictures of you. Can be informal pictures.
  • If you have recordings of you attending events or pages you appear in, please send a link to those which we can screenshot/record and include in your video.

Please start by introducing yourself with:

My name is [Name] I am, based in [City] and I am a [Job role] and I work in the [Industry]

Answer the following questions in a way as concise as possible.

Q1       What did you study at University/College/Self study etc?

Q2       What do you love most about your industry?

Q3       What would you say to young people considering a career in your industry?

Few things to note when you are recording your video:

  • Choose a quiet place with no background noise or music. This is very important.
  • Choose a nice background
  • Record in a landscape mode
  • Position yourself similar to the picture on the right.
  • If you have an external microphone to record your voice please do so for better sound quality.

Where to send your video

Just complete this form

OR

You can send your recording to [email protected] directly.

If your file is big, you can use https://wetransfer.com/ to transfer the file to [email protected]  (up to 2GB for free no need to register).

Enjoy the stories we’ve published so far with Dr Jane Thomason, Jillian Godsil, Kate Baucherel, Monica Nguyen, Natalie Tillack, Veronica Mihai, Gaye Soykök, Tara Annison, Dr Ingrid Vasiliu-Feltes, Sam Shrager, Helen Disney & Mia Mohammed


 

Have you heard about the governments new Kickstarter Scheme?

Have you heard about the governments new Kickstarter Scheme? They’re offering grants to companies by supporting the salaries of 18-24 year olds for up to 6 months.

It’s a great opportunity to bring in young talent, that can help your company!

The Kickstart Scheme was launched by the government in September 2020. It provides £2billion funding to employers to create new 6-month job placements for young people who are currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.

The first placements are likely to be available from 1st November 2020.

Funding for each job placement will cover:

  • 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week for 6 months
  • The associated employer National Insurance contributions
  • Employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions

There will also be an extra £1500 funding per placement to cover set up and training costs to support young people to build their experience and help them move into sustained employment after they have completed their Kickstart Scheme funded job.

The job placements should support the participants to develop the skills and experience they need to find work after completing the scheme.

Through the scheme, you’ll be able to access a large pool of young people with potential, ready for an opportunity.

If you’ve got under 30 placement opportunities, then you can apply through The Bigger Pie, Direct applications must be for a minimum of 30 job placements. For 1 to 29 placements, apply through a representative.

The Kickstart Scheme is available in England, Scotland and Wales until December 2021. The Bigger Pie is your gateway to this funding and is acting as a representative. 

Apply Now

Who can apply for funding?

Any organisation, regardless of size, can apply for funding.

The job placements created with Kickstart funding must be new jobs.

They must not:

  • Replace existing or planned vacancies
  • Cause existing employees or contractors to lose or reduce their employment

The roles you are applying for must be:

  • A minimum of 25 hours per week, for 6 months
  • Paid at least the National Minimum Wage for their age group
  • Should not require people to undertake extensive training before they begin the job placement

Each application should include how you will help the participants to develop their skills and experience, including:

  • Support to look for long-term work, including career advice and setting goals
  • Support with CV and interview preparations
  • Supporting the participant with basic skills, such as attendance, timekeeping and teamwork
  • Once a job placement is created, it can be taken up by a second person once the first successful applicant has completed their 6-month term.

Apply Now

What do you need to do as an employee?

Checkout the 12 step checklist for hiring employees, especially if you’re a first time employer.

The Bigger Pie have partnered with Farnell Clarke, so that you have a solution option for all of your new requirements as you grow your team.

Allowing you to focus on your business and giving you the time to spend with your new employee to be impactful and effective in their role, while we take care of the admin and mandatory tasks.

Payroll and Workplace pension price guide can be found here.

Apply Now

Remote or at work placements?

As we don’t know what lockdown policies will be implemented in the coming months, it’s good to consider whether you’re able to offer a virtual/work from home placement, either flexi, full time, or in any lockdown periods.

Hiring for your placements

You can apply for the grant through our representative group. You’ll have to access the pool of talent through the Job Centre, your representative will introduce you to your contact there, and you’ll be responsible for writing your job posting and the interview and hiring process and choosing your successful candidate.

Key drivers to success

Having experience with working with remote teams what we’ve learned is that it’s crucial that your employees feel like they’re part of the team and part of a bigger purpose that they align with.

The onboarding process is key to stickability, being able to consistently inject fun, create a sense of belonging to a wider community, foster personal responsibility and deliver on the opportunity to develop personally as well as professionally are key drivers for getting the most from your placement.

This is often difficult to do as a small firm. Be prepared to have experiences that range from your placement taking more time and effort from you that you ever receive back in return, to breaking even in terms of effort, to being absolutely amazed by the ability, drive and passion your new employee(s) bring to the table.

We want you and your young employee(s) where ever possible to have a positive placement, one that’s a worthwhile and rewarding experience for all parties.

Grant applications are only successful if the employer can demonstrate how they’re going to support the placement with attendance, time keeping, travelling to work, basic work skills, CV development, interview preparation and future employability.

This is why The Bigger Pie is offering pastoral care, personal and professional development to every placement under the Training and Development program. Discover more here.

Apply Now

 

Applying for an Innovation Grant – Expertise & Useful Links

Would you like the help of someone experienced with Grant Applications?

Update:

The UK government said that the £750m of support for R&D intensive small and medium size companies will be available through Innovate UK’s grants and loan scheme. As part of the deal, Innovate UK will accelerate up to £200m of grant and loan payments for its 2,500 existing Innovate UK customers on an opt-in basis. An extra £550m will also be made available to increase support for existing customers and £175,000 of support will be offered to around 1,200 firms not currently in receipt of Innovate UK funding.

There are a number of innovation grants available at this time, particularly focused on solving COVID-19 problems, some directly related to health and medical, others more broad in the ripple effects this pandemic is having on our nations, and consequences of lockdown – as well as the non COVID-19 grants.

I know so many members of our community in The Bigger Pie are offering solutions to the problems we’re facing, and as a result have a need to apply for these grants, and we’d like to extend this invite to the wider community.

It’s always good to be able to turn to the expertise within our community – and when it comes to experience with grant applications the exceptionally talented Helen Disney is willing to lend her expertise.

You’ll have the chance to ask Helen your questions directly, and she’ll answer as many as she can. Please email any burning questions in advance email: [email protected]

This is an ideal opportunity if you’re looking for someone experienced in successful grant applications to work with you on yours.

You can watch the replay here:

Useful Resources:

You can find a number of useful resources that we mentioned on the webinar here.

The resources that Helen was referring to on the webinar are:

ROI calculations for start ups

Find co-founders and https://founders-nation.com

Covid-19 related health grants:

https://ec.europa.eu/easme/en/section/sme-instrument/eic-accelerator-sme-instrument-funding-opportunities

https://www.gatesfoundation.org/how-we-work/general-information/grant-opportunities

https://apply-for-innovation-funding.service.gov.uk/competition/515/overview

 

 

COVID-19 Entrepreneur Resource Pack

As we’re adjusting to our new normal, I thought it would be helpful to pull together a number of resources that are available for entrepreneurs, we’re calling it our COVID-19 Entrepreneur Resource Pack. and you can download it here.

Some of the links are to moving documents that will be updated constantly, others are to funding available at the time of publishing – feel free to add the links to helpful resources you’ve discovered in the comments.

Please share freely with those you believe it will help. Let’s all be in the #GrowthZone. Image credit unknown.

 

 

The global crisis of 2020 is catapulting us into a new era in history

One where technology and new world thinking come together.

It’s clear we can’t continue with the profit at all costs model, profit over our planet and people. Nor continue to allow decisions that impact us globally be made by just a handful.

As the shortcomings of past social systems have become obvious, and accentuated by our current lockdown state, so too have the technology and tools to construct new systems matured.

Right now, globally we face tragic loss of lives, of family and friends. Financial loss that too many will not be able to recover from in this current economic environment. An acute spike in mental health issues as the fallout from COVID-19 and lockdown measures continue to expose themselves in unimagined ways.

Laws are being passed now giving more power to the government stripping the public of many freedoms and rights to privacy, that once passed under the guise of requirement for the short term current COVID-19 crisis, may never be repealed.

We need to act now, we need to start shaping the world after coronavirus.

We need to consider “the balance of power that will exist, and what it means for human rights and the future of our society. We are at a tipping point and what we decide to do now and allow to be done to us will change everything” – Jannah Patchay, Markets Evolution

COVID-19 has shown the world that we are globally connected, that locally our communities bring us strength, and that we’re at our best when we all collaborate together for the betterment of human kind and our planet. 

It’s time for a new economic DNA.

  • One that we embrace, as sentient beings, our duty to contribute towards the prosperous and healthy unfolding of all life on Earth and to act as caretakers to the well-being of the planetary community and the environment that sustains it.
  • One where we deploy crowd-driven innovation, pool resources, share access, and generate collective intelligence wherever possible, to facilitate participation of all stakeholders in decision making and ownership.
  • One in which we value access and inclusion for all, balancing genders, social standings, races, backgrounds, and orientations, to create ventures and social systems that are diverse, participatory, and open access.
  • One that we emphasise as circular, sustainable, where business models thrive in chaos and remain dynamic, agile, and fluid by design.
  • One where we prioritise value co-creation over value extraction, and are always opting for non zero-sum ecosystems where all stakeholders benefit from a bigger pie.

“Integration between large corporations and start-ups needs to become more dominant in creating innovation solutions going forward, inclusion and diversity needs a framework that is mandatory across sectors, and we need to be the first to innovate change within our education systems.”Susan Falola

World leaders are emerging and coming together to share their insights into how to build a new world.

“At all times, especially now, we must lead with love. We are being challenged – economically, spiritually and physically. But mostly we are being challenged to think differently.

Our world pre-COVID-19 was not always a happy or fair one. This moment in herstory could turn out to be pivotal if we take this opportunity to #reboot our habits, #rekindle our relationship with nature and #rethink our personal aspirations.” – Richard Foster-Fletcher

“How do we go about effecting radical change in an entrenched system with established power structures and vested interests etc?” -Jannah Patchay

The Bigger Pie is partnering with Skyndikat Earth. 

Together we believe…

In the power of ventures to change the world. Technologies like Blockchain, AI, IoT, XR, human enhancement, biotech, wearables, and neurotech, provide the toolkit for a new collective existence.

Our emerging world is aligned with the wider interests of the planet and humanity. Building a decentralised global community of visionaries, investors, entrepreneurs and other stakeholders, to develop, select, and support the next generation of enterprise.

We’re providing mechanisms for venture selection and development. Delivered through online events, hackathons, and physical hubs in key start-up cities. All conducted in partnership with community, enterprise, and academic partners.

And we’d like you to join us….

1Society – The Event, starts May 23rd

We’re gathering the brightest minds and most progressive voices from industry, technology, governance, health, and wider society together for an event to create collective intelligence. To give birth to pathways that can take us beyond the great social and economic challenges of our time.

Composed of the main conference, a hackathon and the opportunity for tailored training and development, 1Society will provide ample opportunities for participants to learn, contribute, build, and co-create new ventures. To forge new partnerships, new ventures, and new ways of thinking that create a brighter future.

This one week online event will mark a first in decentral and community-driven ideation and acceleration of solutions with real-world impact.

Just jot your detail below and we’ll keep you updated.

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Photo by Sergio Souza