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INTERLEDGER’S AMBASSADORS GRANT PROGRAM

The Interledger Foundation (ILF) is committed to building equitable pathways for digital financial inclusion by advancing open payment standards through (digital) outreach and participation via our Ambassadorship program. The program is designed to support the advancement of the Interledger Protocol by honing the expertise and developing an ecosystem unique to each Ambassador. This program is open to anyone participating in the domain of digital financial inclusion.

We are excited to announce a new grant opportunity: the Ambassadorship Grant Program. The Ambassadorship program is critical to the Interledger Foundation. During their tenure, Ambassadors raise awareness, promote thought leadership, increase participation, encourage research, facilitate experimentation, and foster innovation in Interledger Protocol (ILP)-enabled networks and Open Payment Standards. Additionally, their contributions aid in advancing our global strategy for change and provide essential tools for promoting digital financial inclusion.

The 2024 Interledger Foundation Ambassador Program seeks.
Qualified individuals who participate at the intersection of various fields essential for enhancing digital financial inclusion. We are looking for individuals ready to use their expertise, skills, interests, values, and networks to research new pathways, advance standards, develop and implement open-source technologies, activate communities, promote accessibility, and create artistic products. The Ambassadors' efforts will expand our ecosystem, decrease disparities, and strengthen our collective impact.

This program is open to anyone who shares our vision and wants to make a difference. If you are contemplating the role of an Interledger Ambassador, reflect on the driving force behind your interest in digital financial inclusion and the pathways that are being created by the ILP networks and Open payments standard. Consider how your unique combination of skills, interests, values, and networks can contribute to digital financial inclusion. We invite researchers, developers, open-source contributors, entrepreneurs, educators, policy regulators, open standards enthusiasts, digital and financial rights advocates, creators, and artists to apply.

To inspire potential applicants, we'd like to share the Ambassadors we've selected for the year 2024 and our Alumni.  

Before you start with your application, we want to remind you that all proposals must articulate,

  • Applicants must be leading work internationally-focused that addresses digital financial inclusion and tackles systemic level problems.
  • Understanding how to increase participation through organic activations beyond the existing Interledger Foundation network. 
  • A compelling work plan detailing the applicant's knowledge and experience of the  Interledger Protocol, Open Payments, and other ILF initiatives.
  • Willingness to increase the current ecosystem's knowledge through sharing expertise and/or scientific research is needed.
  • Designing, building, and implementing new strategies or open source technology as a contribution to the emerging Open Payments ecosystem.


Key Milestones
The opportunity to apply for this call for proposals will be available from June 4th, 2024, 12 AM EDT through August 31st, 2024, 11.59 PM EDT. The Interledger Foundation will enable the candidates to execute their submitted Ambassadorship proposal within six months after the award is accepted. For their dedication to this program, the Ambassadors will be awarded USD 30,000.
 

How to Apply
To apply for the Ambassadorship program, applicants need to create an account on Submittable.  Once you have an account registered you will be able to find the open grant opportunities provided by the Interledger Foundation. The application for the Ambassadorship call for proposals is a two-phase process. Only phase one is an open grant opportunity. 

  • Phase one of the application includes registration and general project information. After submission, our reviewers will evaluate it, and if selected, the applicant will receive an invitation to participate in phase two. 
  • Phase two is an invitation-only stage. Applicants will receive this application only after being selected by the Interledger Foundation for successfully completing phase one.

The answers and documentation submitted by the applicant will be part of the dossier and will be assessed by our reviewers. Interledger Foundation will require a complete application via the Submittable platform; incomplete applications that do not include all of the required documentation or attachments specified will be returned to the applicant without further review.  At its discretion, the Interledger Foundation may request supplemental materials from applicants, and those must be received within 7 working days of the requested date.

Application window
The application window for this grant will be three months, giving interested applicants enough time to submit their proposals.  If rejected, applicants cannot resubmit their applications during the application window. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Shortlisted applicants will receive an invitation to continue to phase two of the application process.

Additional information on the submission,

  • Supporting documentation (Budget, Timeline, and, if required, a technical work plan)
  • Resume, upload a PDF, or submit a LinkedIn profile
  • Letter of recommendation (max 2) 
  • Any additional information you would like to share to strengthen the proposal


Tips for submitting your proposal

  • Avoid repetitions in the text.
  • Please structure your project plan and ensure that you do not add too many objectives. 
  • If you provide us with a link, ensure that these links are publicly accessible and are active (no WeTransfer)
  • Use the upload section to provide additional information. Please note there is a limit to the number of uploads. You can include research proposals, images, sketches, or links to videos or demos. Include anything that you feel is crucial to clarify your plans. You may also attach a link to a short video where you explain your project in greater detail.



We are looking forward to your participation in the Ambassador's Grant Program! 

#For more information, inquire about the Interledger Foundation’s website and community forum. Please review the Ambassadors Grant Guidebook for information on the current call for proposals' eligibility requirements, application forms, and other additional information. All are welcome to use Interledger Slack or contact us at programteam@interledger.org if you have any questions.

The ILP Digital Financial Services Grant supports ideas around Interledger-driven business models that seek to build equity and inclusion within a global interoperable payments network. This grant is designed to help the Interledger Foundation’s vision for a world where everyone can send a payment as easily as an email. 

Expanding digital financial inclusion through inclusive systems means advocating for the adoption of an open-source, currency-agnostic payment network powered by the Interledger Protocol (ILP). Through this grant, we want to see the development of digital financial services solutions and products, some of which will participate as Interledger network nodes; including digital wallets, mobile money providers, banks, savings coops, and neo-banks. 

While the grant's core focus remains on becoming a node in the Interledger Network, we are also keen to incorporate the interests of those with innovative ideas that can foster greater adoption and usage within the Network, even if they have no intent of becoming an actual node. This flexibility is reflected in the two tracks we are offering for consideration by applications, empowering you to shape your proposal according to your unique vision and goals.

  • Interledger | Enabled - This grant opportunity is for existing digital financial service entities to implement Rafiki into their working financial infrastructure, resulting in a new node on the Interledger Network.
  • Interledger | Unlocked - Do you need to expand your payment options in your web-based platform? Then you could use our Open Payment APIs and take advantage of this grant opportunity. A good example of an ideal candidate for this grant is an e-commerce site or donation platform.

For both tracks 1 and 2, each submission must highlight a clear plan for the following, where applicable:

  • Describe or showcase an existing financial services solution or product, and its readiness to use or integrate into the Interledger network or suite of Interledger technologies. It must outline, where applicable,                              
    • A proof-of-concept, demos, and architectural diagrams outlining plans to incorporate the Open Payments API, ILP, or any other elements of the Interledger tech stack. 
    • Understand how the proposed service will enable money to be transferred to the ILP network.
    • Plan for interoperability across systems or currencies.

      
     

  • Access to or involvement of an identified and engaged community ready to test, use, and benefit from the project. This can be indicative of the potential impact of a solution, and it shows the potential for a viable distribution channel for the solution. 

This grant will open on April 30, 3024 at noon (EDT) and will close on August 30, 2024 at 11:59 am (EDT). 

Through this grant, we want to ensure that emerging financial services, products, and innovative solutions come from and are created outside of the typical locales and demographics. To this end, we will increase the scoring of the following criteria in our judging process for this grant program:

  • Projects are located in and serve geographical locations outside North America and Western Europe.
  • Projects where a lead applicant is a person of color or the team represents a diverse group.
  • The output of the team benefits communities that have been historically underrepresented.
  • Funds are explicitly budgeted to address the increasing participation of historically marginalized and underrepresented communities.
  • The project displays an understanding and commitment to using open-source principles, including open-source software adoption.

This grant opportunity is ONLY available to registered entities such as companies (startup phase or already established), NGOs, Educational institutions, and Co-Operatives. 

Interested applicants can download a copy of the Application Guide for the ILP Digital Financial Services grant to access information on the grant process, requirements, resource list, and other details essential to applying for this opportunity. 

We invite you to connect with us via email at programteam@interledger.org or through our various communication channels: Community Forum, and Interledger Slack. Feel free to join the #cfp-financial-services group or utilize the grant inquiry request form to ask specific questions or get further details on this grant opportunity. 

The Interledger Foundation