[Temperature Check] Reinstating UGP v0.2 with existing funds

tl;dr - Over the last 6 months, UGP has successfully deployed $1.75M to 52 grantees. While UGP was initially funded to deploy $750k per quarter, UNI price has appreciated and the multisig now custodies an additional $8.5m.

This proposal seeks approval for the following changes:

  • Extend the UNI Grants Program for an additional 6 months
  • Utilizing the remaining funds, scaling the grants program up to $8.5M in grants
  • All committee members to be compensated at $150USD/hr as needed for no more than 30 hours/week
  • Due to time constraints, Robert Leshner, Kain Warwick, and Ashleigh Schap are stepping down from the committee, to be replaced by John Palmer, Ariana Fowler, and Callil Capuozzo

Vote here: Snapshot

The six month experiment in creating the minimally viable UNI Grants Program v0.1 is now completed. UGP v0.1 was designed to empower the Uniswap community and highlight it’s most urgent needs. We believe that the program has successfully pursued this mandated, as evidenced by the vast talent pipeline and innovative projects funded already.

I. Current State - Setting Precedent with v0.1

It’s easy to make the claim that doing something is better than not having done anything at all, but UGP has hit fairly significant milestones for UNI, as well as for Ethereum, and even helping set the tone for other DeFi protocols’ own grant programs.

Examples of such with their respective goals and examples of grants are:

  • Pushing for innovation on decentralized governance tooling
    Goal: to increase number of successful governance proposals

    • Tally’s SafeGaurd to protect treasuries with multisig accountability measures
    • Fish.Vote made launching autonomous proposals easy and accessible, even launching the 4th governance proposal and reaching quorum successfully
    • BEN championing UNIversity governance committees and metadelegations
  • Collaborative community activations
    Goal: engage and activate members of other communities to UNI

    • Chainshot - UNI developer course
    • Flipside & Dune Analytics V3 dashboard bounty competition
    • UNIFest - collab with FWB with snapshot voting for artists and scheduling
    • Sponsoring global eSports leader, Team Secret
  • Supporting open source infrastructure for Ethereum
    Goal: Fund projects that would have otherwise not found funding

    • David Mihal’s Cryptofees inclusion of V3 subgraphs
    • Omar Bohsali - v3 developer libraries & toolkit, hardhat plugin
    • Polywrap Web3API - UNI.js SDK
    • Josh Stevens - easy UNI SDK
    • EIP-3074 audit

While most of these grants are still in progress, we have high hopes for the eventual impact of their work for the community. However, even if some grants ultimately do not produce their intended results, the open source nature enables others to pick up prior work and apply for their own grants. We believe that the last 6 months of funding and shared learnings show the potential that a community-led grants program can have in making significant impact.

The goal for all grants should be to establish tight feedback loops on successful outcomes so as to determine whether there should be continued/future support (not just funding).

II. UGP v0.1 Shortcomings

Over the 24 weeks during which the application was open, UGP received 400 submissions and awarded $1.75M to 52 grantees.

As to be expected with any pilot program, UGP v0.1 highlighted various areas for improvement.


While the original plan was to fund $750k per quarter, developer interest immediately exceeded our expectations and we quickly realized that a 3-month cadence was too infrequent to effectively support the ecosystem. Taking notes from the Compound Grants Program, we moved from quarterly, to monthly waves.


At the outset of its life cycle, UGP’s marketing was minimal. While grant allocations are roughly on par with those found through established incubators like YCombinator, the program lacked a sense of prestige around it’s reputation, which is a must for recruiting and maintaining talent long-term. We are taking steps to address this, both through a recent branding redesign and by proactively highlighting the work that grant recipients produce. In turn, many grantees reputation in delivering has led to increased UNI delegation and thus trusted stewards for governance.


The amount of time and insights shared across the UGP committee has been invaluable but all members are extremely busy in their own right. It’s important that committee members are not only values aligned, but also incentive aligned. The clearest path is by ensuring committee members are compensated in UNI for their time. Thus far, aside from the immediate application intake evaluations and interviews, the existing infrastructure for managing grantees, the human resources have not been sufficient enough. The ability to scale support for grantees, hackathon mentorship, event support, marketing, does not currently exist.

III. Future State - UGP v1.0

But we can do better. The UGP Multisig currently holds $8.5M (at the time of writing), meaning we could increase resource allocation over 5x with just the existing funds. With more resources, the goal is to prove that UGP deserves more sustained funding and for a longer time.

With an increased budget, more adventurous opportunities can be explored seriously. This includes but is not limited to: campus outreach programs, local community support, focused diversity & inclusion initiatives, academic research, base layer ethereum infrastructure support, and so much more.

In the immediate next iteration of UGP, some clear impactful growth metrics are:

  • More grants awarded
    • more grants, sponsorships, and all around allocations
  • Faster processing times
    • creating the best applicant experience, from intake to compliance and disbursement, down to grant completion
    • robust application improvements similar to how applying to YC is great pitch preparation
  • More proactive grants
    • UGP pipeline is reactive by nature but many high quality projects have been proactive
  • Greater percentage of completed RFPs/challenges
    • increased focus on identifying gaps and filling them more frequently
  • Creation of more resource allocators/subcommittees
    • recognizing the many community members more in the weeds in different parts of the vast protocol who often identify more precise needs and gaps in resources

IV. Next Steps & Open Call for Committee Members

Following the Uniswap community governance guidelines, the proposal will be up for comments and improvement over the next several days. If there are no major changes, this will move to snapshot to finalize the decision to extend the program for another 6 months and the approval to allocate the remaining UNI via UGP v0.2. Like the proposal in May to extend matching funds to the V3 Bug Bounty, the funds are already in the multisig therefore does not require an on-chain vote.

With the considerations above to scale the program and improve the process for applicants, our immediate plan that we’re hoping to receive community feedback on is the following:

Compensation changes

  • All members of the committee will be compensated for their time spent working on the program at $150 USD per hour with a 30 hour cap so as to prioritize their time (although based on v0.1, we don’t expect most committee members to get there)
  • Jesse will instead receive 1 UNI as compensation for all his time over the next 6 months
  • Instead of a set amount of UNI, we will reconcile USD prices in UNI at the end of each month as you would with a standard payroll

Committee Changes

  • We are extremely grateful for Robert Leshner, Kain Warwick, and Ashleigh Schap’s participation in getting UGP v0.1 off the ground but in order to properly scale the program, we would like to add committee members with the bandwidth to commit at least 5-10 hours a week
  • We propose that the seats be filled by:
    • John Palmer, who is not only a grantee, but has already been volunteering his time to help with evaluating applicants and refining the application
    • Ariana Fowler, The Audacious Project, formerly ConsenSys and UNICEF Innovation
    • Callil Capuozzo, Design Lead at Uniswap Labs
    • Jesse Walden, Ken Ng, & monetsupply remain over from the original UGP allocation committee multisig

We’ll keep the snapshot open for 7 days or until we receive 40M UNI delegated in favor of this proposal, as we would for a formal proposal. Excited to hear everyone’s thoughts in the forum!

Vote on the proposal here: Snapshot


this is awesome, great work! voted yes, lets onboard even more dope buidlers!

delegate to wijuwiju.eth


John and Callil on committee are great additions!


I’d be honored to join the UGP committee, and if this proposal passes, I plan to dedicate a significant amount of time to helping UGP grow and succeed. Since I’m one of the proposed new members, I’ll abstain from voting on this proposal.

Additionally, I wanted to add a little more about myself and why I think I could help a lot as part of UGP. Here’s a quick bullet point summary of recent relevant experience:

  • I’m a Uniswap Grant recipient, having built Fish.vote to enable anyone in the Uniswap community to create a crowd proposal to governance

  • I recently helped create a new brand for UGP with Timothy Luke, another UGP recipient. A summary of our work is here: Uniswap Grants Program Brand

  • I authored the 2nd successful proposal on Uniswap Governance, to lower the proposal threshold from 10M UNI to 2M UNI. This proposal was actually executed as a crowd proposal on Fish.vote

  • For the past 2 years, I’ve helped out with admissions part-time at Y Combinator, where I read and review applications. I believe this experience is extremely useful to assessing grant applications. I’m also a YC alumn that previously founded an Ethereum-focused startup.

  • I’ve helped design and build successful products in crypto, recently PM’ing for PartyDAO as we’ve built a product for collective bidding on NFT auctions.

  • For the past 2 years, I’ve done extensive product and strategy consulting for startups. I believe this experience will translate well to helping grant recipients with their needs.

I’d love to use this experience to help UGP in a more serious way. In the immediate term, I’d love to focus on improving the written application, reviewing grant submissions, and providing hands on support to grantees building as they build and ship software on top of Uniswap. I hope I have your support!


This is Toby, representing Other Internet.

This proposal bundles several initiatives into one:

  • Renew UGP for 6 months.
  • Expand budget.
  • Replace selection committee.
  • Enact compensation for work.

To address each of these in turn:

  • We think the existing UGP program has been a success, and we would like to see it renewed.
  • Grantsmaking will have to be ambitious to spend the target budget of 8.5 million, and we are excited to see that move forward.
  • We support replacing committee members who have severe time constraints with those who can commit more time, especially because the reviewer load will be heavier given the larger budget. Thank you to the outgoing committee members, you’ve done a great job.

On this last point, the nominated committee members are John Palmer and Callil Capuozzo. Because John and Callil are members of Other Internet, we will be abstaining from the Snapshot vote. However, we’d like to voice our encouragement and recommendation for their appointment to the committee.

John has been one of the most active governance participants in the last 2 quarters and has a long history of participating in and advising selection committees. Callil has been with Uniswap since before it was even a company; he knows better than anyone what’s valuable for the protocol and its community. Both of them have product design backgrounds and we think this expertise will be helpful in improving the application and selection process.

We are in support of this proposal!


Fantastic to see this structure continuing. As recipients of a grant (Flipside Crypto), we can say it’s been a pleasure working with the committee > very transparent, objective, thoughtful and considerate.

Also strong oversight of fund management which feels very important right now.

Huge fans, love the adds of Jesse and John to the committee.

Support this all the way.


Heyhey, really cool to see fresh capital available to fund the Uniswap ecosystem and beyond

  • Does the UGP plan to increase grant amounts as you have more capital at hand?
  • Does the UGP plan to follow up on past grants if some grantees prove they are delivering value to the ecosystem? Maybe its already been the case?

Thank you!


Thanks for this proposal. I am in favor of expanding the grants program using additional funds, but just want to clarify my understanding of the funding being requested for committee oversight. First, I will say that committee members should definitely be compensated for their time in reviewing and soliciting grant applications. I also think we need to work to keep such costs controlled and in alignment with the magnitude of funds being disbursed.

Some quick math:

I see 6 committee members, so 6 members * 30 hours * $150/hr = $27K per week if all used full allotment.

$27K * 25 weeks (~6 months) = $675K

This leaves $7.625M for grants, so $675K is about 8.8% overhead expenses for managing these funds.

Have I understood the proposal correctly, or are there any additional expenses for managing the grants program which may not be captured here?


I believe you are understanding correctly. I would just point out that that number is the upper bound. I’d personally say not to think about it as 6x30x150 every week, since the point is not to just do 30 hours of work no matter what. My best guess is that this ends up being less than 50% of that limit each week.

Additionally, I’d say part of voting in support of this proposal is trusting these particular committee members not to abuse that policy or do unnecessary work. I personally trust everyone on this committee to do good and honest work.

Perhaps it would be helpful to require committee members to get some kind of approval from Ken before doing a certain number of hours in a given week/month?


thanks for the support and feedback y’all!

  • With a larger budget we can increase the size of grants, but I don’t believe just giving larger grant amounts is neccessarily important. The better metric is to see where the larger allocations are going and why they require that much especially for those scoped in a 3-6 month time frame
  • Definitely would love to see follow-on grants! This has been and will continue to be a goal!

Absolutely in agreement here. As John said above, I doubt with so more hands on deck now and stated commitment to vetting and scaling the process, the upper bound is less probable. I believe most weeks, it will be 5-10 hours to ensure proper housekeeping is up to speed (pipeline up to date, funds disbursed, etc…). Additionally, Jesse has agreed to 1 UNI as comp for the next 6 months (proposal updated to reflect this).

If the community believes this is a good check to manage administrative costs, I’d be more than happy to do so.


Thanks for this. I mostly estimated the maximum costs because I think that this is a good best practice for any kind of fund disbursement, and is a practice we should try to formalize (e.g., estimate expected and maximum costs).

I think it’s reasonable, though would like to see some review of accrued hourly labor from Ken, with a tally of hours spent by participant ultimately published. The goal is not to find a “gotcha,” but to promote a culture of maximum transparency.

I plan to vote yes on the snapshot.


Absolutely agreed! I was updating the notion weekly of my tasks and larger initiatives but saw that no one was actually ever checking it out. One thing I was thinking about doing was a larger retrospective with the goal of getting best practices for a “Grants Program in a Box”


Awesome thanks for these answers. Would love to see that too. That’ll be a yes on my end as well

1 Like

For sure. I agree and think it’s a good best practice to outline estimated & maximum costs as well.


This is Ratan, President of Blockchain @ Berkeley.

We’re in full support of this proposal, the sheer impact that UGP has been able to have in the past six months is incredible, and we’re sure that by both extending UGP and increasing the fund size, even more innovation will be able to occur. From projects improving governance to initiatives that empower the Uniswap & broader Ethereum community, UGP’s impact is substantial and extremely worthwhile.

We’re fully in support of adding John, Ariana & Callil to the committee as well as the compensation mechanism to ensure incentive alignment for those on the committee.

The one area where we see room for improvement comes in the transparency of the decision making process on both whether to fund a project and how much funding that project should be given - I haven’t been able to easily locate a page that shows the reasoning behind UGP funding decisions for each of the grant applications. If these decisions could be made public (the explanation behind why/why not a proposal was funded), I believe it would go a long way towards demonstrating to every member of the Uniswap community the transparency of UGP v0.2.

Although I can see potential areas where it doesn’t make sense to share the reasoning behind funding decisions (ex. stealth products/inappropriate proposals), the reasoning behind the vast majority of funding decisions (especially for those that were rejected) should be made available to the public.


Blockchain@Columbia is a strong supporter of UGP and thinks it is one of the best uses of treasury funds.

John Palmer, Ariana Fowler, and Callil Capuozzo have been important contributors to the Uniswap and broader Ethereum ecosystem and are excited to have them join the committee. As recommended by @DCinvestor and supported by @kenneth, we think it’s important that the work done by committee members is as transparent as possible. As noted by @ratankaliani, we think that this transparency should be brought to as many parts of Uniswap Grants, especially in how funding decisions are made, dos/don’ts for applications, the decisions behind the size of grant allocations, and progress of grantees over time.

Marketing and building up prestige is imperative and is something that we think Uniswap is in a great position for. Perhaps one way to tackle this is to create a lot of good content around crypto startup best practices (tokenomics, how to pitch your protocol, build community, etc.) similarly to what YC has done over the years. This would be a great use of grant funds in the next 6 months.


Thanks a lot for this post. I think a clear, legible process for how decisions are made is a great idea. I’d be happy to lead / collaborate on this and publish something in the near-term if this proposal passes. I love to have well-documented, transparent processes for things like this.

Also, thank you @blockchaincolumbia for your post. I think a UGP blog would be a great idea. I know that many existing grant recipients have good thoughts to share (I certainly have my own learnings from fish.vote). This is another initiative I’d love to spend my time on if appointed to this committee.