Getting funding for an Awala service

You may be able to secure funding to build an Awala service. There are many funding opportunities to help people subject to severe censorship, and potentially many more for the specific problem you’re trying to solve, so our objective here is to give you some general guidance.

The Ford Foundation, NED, OTF and the US State Department are some funders in the freedom of speech space. Additionally, OTF maintains a long list of relevant funds.

You may also be eligible for funding opportunities specific to your vertical – such as MacArthur Foundation grants for (community) journalism, USAID funding for telehealth, USAID funding for education or Consensys grants for cryptocurrency payments.

If you’re building a commercial product, you may be eligible for social impact accelerators like Techstars or Mozilla Builders. You could consider crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Seedrs too.

If you’re making a third-party Internet service (e.g., a mainstream social network) work offline, the organisation operating it may be interested in helping you out.

Some funds will be specific to your country of residence, such as Horizon 2020 (European Union), the Prototype Fund (Germany) and Innovate UK (United Kingdom).

Finally, please note that even though Awala itself has received funding from some organisations above, your application wouldn’t receive any special treatment – it will be assessed on its own merits.

Build a proof of concept early on

We recommend that you build a proof of concept for your service before trying to get funding. This is a good exercise for you anyway, to make sure you really understand what building the service will entail, and can therefore get a better sense of the resources you’ll need.

The proof of concept simply has to be functional. It doesn’t have to be intuitive, feature complete or maintainable – you’re going to throw it away when you build the proper service anyway.

Learn how to build Awala apps and let us know if you need any help.