Decentralized Impact Incubator

April 9 - May 21, 2018

*Registration closes on April 16.


The Decentralized Impact Incubator is a 6-week program to ideate and prototype blockchain-based solutions to global social and environmental challenges. During the period, participants from around the world will gather to form teams, design business models, draft proposals and code. Teams need to pass through weekly checkpoints and are guided by mentors throughout the process. Winning projects will receive grants to support continued development.

The scope of these challenges includes early-stage ideas for a product/solution, innovative business models, a timeline for sustained development, and if possible, a prototype, but not continuations of projects that are already beyond testing phase.

Decentralized Impact Incubator is supported by members of the Blockchain for Social Impact Coalition (BSIC). BSIC is a community of impact-focused entrepreneurs, investors, and humanitarians who convene to share resources, knowledge and cutting-edge blockchain technology to address global social and environmental issues.





As more and more blockchain for social impact projects pop up, a pattern of problems has arisen. How do we reduce the need for human verification? How do we allow for localized blockchain access in low infrastructure areas? How do we create trusted automated interactions between IoT devices? There is an increasing need for reliable hardware architectures to support blockchain solutions. Without those, blockchain remains out of reach for the majority.


Secure voting, protected privacy, free flow of information...these ideas empower an equitable, distributed world, but they are also the most susceptible to violations. Blockchain is a “political” “human” technology. The central ethos of the technology is about inclusion and equality, cutting out the intermediary where corruption and collusion breed. Dive deep into the world of democracy, autonomy, and self-sovereignty, and you will see many opportunities for blockchain to benefit the vulnerable populations of the world.


Poor agricultural practices are damaging the Earth's land and environment. Overgrazing and overdrafting lead to soil erosion. Slash and burn farming devastates our forests. Pollutants and harmful chemicals get recycled into aquatic ecosystems, endangering various species that rely on delicate natural habitats. Blockchain technology represents to increase the sustainability of agricultural practices through a plethora of ways. Securing the supply chain, reducing waste, and incentivizing better habits are just a few of the possibilities!


From Myanmar to Syria, geopolitical instability has created the largest humanitarian crisis since WWII. 65.6 million people are forcibly displaced, and lack of identity, opaqueness of process, insufficient aid and political obstructions are adding to their undue burden. Blockchain technology is often touted as a solution to uplift refugees, providing services ranging from self-agency and educational credentialing to crisis response and evidence collection in dangerous regions. As the technology matures, it has become more durable, reliable, and appropriate to deploy in many of these use cases. 



Your Deliverables

  • Weekly checkpoints (which will guide you to create an excellent White Paper)

  • White Paper (optional, in case of any new information you want to be taken into consideration)

  • 5-min video demo, showing:

    • A description of your early stage idea: The challenge of your choice and the overview of your solution.

    • An explanation of your business model: How does your solution create value and be financially sustainable?

    • Prototype / Proof-of-concept: A minimum viable product that captures how your product functions.

    • A timeline for sustained development: Roadmap for project's growth beyond the scope of the incubator.



Our Criteria

The Decentralized Impact Incubator will challenge teams to create more than just code. Teams will go through processes of market research, business models design, tech architecture outline and impact measurement, each of which accounts for a significant portion of the final score.   




  • Capital: A prize of $10,000 to the winner, and $2,500 to the runner-up of each challenge. This represents a total cash prize pool of $50,000.

  • Mentorship and training: We will provide Business Development Training for all four winning teams to accelerate solutions beyond PoC stage.

  • Visibility: Winning teams will gain exposure through BSIC channels, coalition members' networks, and more.

  • Pitch opportunity:  Winning teams will have the opportunity to showcase their solutions in front of Impact Investors, NGO’s, Philanthropists, and Charities at Blockchain for Social Impact conference in Washington DC on June 1, 2018.


Work in a small team to solve a challenge of your choice. Your goal is to demo a deployable blockchain-based solution.



Get involved as a Sponsor by contributing capital to teams' continuing development of solutions after the Incubator period ends.  


Share your business, technical, and subject matter expertise to guide teams through weekly checkpoints. Typical commitment is 3-5 hrs per week.


Review teams' submissions given set rubrics. Judges are experts experienced in designing and deploying impact solutions in the challenge category. 

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Ethereum Developer Resources

The Ethereum blockchain has a robust set of tools and infrastructure that allow decentralized applications (DApps) to be quickly built and iterated on. This makes it a perfect fit for a rapidly paced hackathon exploring new and emerging applications.

  • Truffle - A development environment, testing framework, and asset pipeline for Ethereum.

  • MetaMask - A Chrome browser extension that manages keys and enables web-applications to interact with any ethereum blockchain network.

  • INFURA - Provider of remote Ethereum and IPFS nodes.

  • Solidity - A popular high-level language used to write smart contracts.

  • Ethereum JavaScript API - The API used by web applications to access the Ethereum blockchain.

  • IPFS - A P2P system that implements a filesystem.

  • Lightwallet - One implementation of an Ethereum JavaScript wallet.

  • ethereumjs-wallet - Another alternate implementation of an Ethereum wallet.

  • TestRPC - A simulated blockchain for fast testing and iteration. 

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