Sandbox fees - Contribution back from projects

Hi community, as discussed on our weekly meeting at 11/07, we have Sandbox projects that are looking for funding and wondering about their contribution back to the community. From a benchmark research seems like the ODC model is between a incubator and a accelerator , so let’s dissect a little both of them:


  1. Time-limited programs: Accelerators typically run fixed-term programs, usually lasting a few months, during which selected startups receive intensive support and mentorship to accelerate their growth.

  2. Cohort-based: Accelerators work with a group or “cohort” of startups simultaneously, providing them with a structured curriculum and a collaborative environment.

  3. Equity investment: Accelerators often provide seed funding to startups in exchange for an equity stake in the company. The investment amount and equity percentage can vary depending on the accelerator.

  4. Focus on growth and scaling: Accelerators aim to rapidly propel the growth of startups by providing access to resources, mentorship, networking opportunities, and sometimes even office space. The focus is on achieving product-market fit and scaling the business.


  1. Long-term support: Incubators offer ongoing support to startups over an extended period, which can range from months to years. They provide a nurturing environment for startups to develop their business models and refine their products or services.

  2. Flexible structure: Incubators typically have a more flexible structure, allowing startups to progress at their own pace rather than following a fixed program timeline.

  3. Physical workspace: Incubators often provide physical office space and shared facilities, creating a community-like environment where startups can collaborate and learn from each other.

  4. Focus on early-stage startups: Incubators primarily support startups in their early stages, helping them refine their ideas, build prototypes, and establish a solid foundation for future growth.

  5. No equity investment: Incubators typically do not take equity stakes in the companies they support. Instead, they may charge a monthly fee or rent for office space and provide various support services.

From the benchmark it was possible to understand that accelerators invest money in exchange of normally 6% to 9% depending on the accelerator and amount invested. They normally settle on predetermined deals for amounts received on future investment rounds.

Incubators can invest or not on the projects incubated, normally they charge a monthly fee for the physical allocation.

With that said looks like ODC Sandbox is closer to the incubator model rather than the accelerator but with some keys differences:

  • Network with key stakeholders of public funding and web3 data sector
  • Connection with a community of data scientists and data analysts
  • Featuring in hackathons
  • No physical installation but access for tooling and future ETL and block chain node access.

Given the projects that join the sandbox are in an early stage they would not have ‘shares’ to be sold and ODC not having plans to operate as an accelerator I would suggest the community charging a fee on revenue or investment received, possibly 8%.

As the web3 word have its own particularities and the incipient projects not having a clear accountability I would suggest we specify what is known as ‘revenue’ and investments , like:

  • Is a prize for a hackathon considered revenue/ investment or neither of them?
  • What other type of funding can be specific to the web3 space and we should consider here?

For due diligence we would ask the projects to have a wallet ( probably safe) where the community can keep up with cash flow. Possible accounting flows will be discussed in another post.

Please review this proposal and give feedback, specially concerning what revenue streams should be considered here as ‘chargeable’ .


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Hi - thank you for the excellent write-up. Very clear IMO.

Yet another - related - model is one of our inspirations, the CNCF which is a project within the Linux Foundation. There the structure is along these lines:

  • the project has to pay to be included; it is a fixed fee, something like $5000 - $10000 per year
  • when a project joins the CNCF or Linux Foundation it also contributes the trademark of the name to the foundation; incidentally probably trademarking the name (along with picking the license) is something we should suggest to project founders if we don’t already

I prefer the percentage because, well, 7.5% for example of $0 is $0. So it better aligns us with early stage projects.

However it raises the question(s) you mentioned about x% of what? What if we did something along these lines:

  • %X of the most comprehensive definition possible - basically all money into the multisig; the way that the Aquaduct was suggested it is exactly this, and this could be done via code, on chain
  • the ODC in turn would commit to each Sandbox project something a little more formal as well. We can add to this list or edit it however a few ideas:
    • will be featured in hackathons - as one of the bounties funded by general sponsors
    • will be featured in outreach and marketing - at least weekly tweets
    • other strategic and tactical support and collaboration with the project

Something along those lines. I would suggest something like 7.5%.

Also a good practice to write this stuff down and make it as onchain and transparent as possible. Even though we are a small group working as volunteers today - I really appreciate you taking the time to write the post to get this all much more explicit.

Thank you for writing this proposal and opening the discussion Stefi.

I wonder if ODC as a non-commercial entity should receive anything back from the grants, or funding received by a sandbox project.

By asking projects to contribute part of what we could see as an income, sandbox projects are becoming a client to the ODC.

Sandbox projects are also bringing value to the ODC.
They showcase that the community is active in the development of public data goods.
They self-reinforce people having sandbox projects to participate in and contribute to the community.

On the other hand, the ODC provides many things to these projects as you both underlined. It provides support, visibility, connexions, and support in grant application and funding methods.

If sandbox projects don’t have to contribute part of their income or grants back to the ODC, we still have to think of methods that will allow to keep the ODC running and expanding as other projects and open data tools are built.

The CNCF is probably a non profit organisation and not a non-commercial entity.

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Hey @Poupou thanks for your thoughts. Some more thoughts:

  • I think that by charging a ‘fee’ back we are putting a number on the partnership. I don’t see the projects developing the ‘client’ relashionship with us because of that.

  • Maybe we could develop other type of valeu exchange in the future for example:

    • projects issuing Hypercerts for their impacts and part of these Hypercerts been given back to ODC . This could be like ‘paying’ back the collaboration with the impact tha ODC helped to create.

The thing is that Hypercerts are been developed yet and I dont see another way of tying a collaboration back to the community without been trought the flow of the wallet. I think its fair the community receive funds back as it dedicates time and energy to help the projects , prosperate. In the begginig projects have little to give back to the community copmaring with what community can offer.
About that , @epowell101 I think it can be scary to pre set the colaboration on the project Safe , like, Im ok with it for Mirall0x but I can see it becoming a thing for other projects, I think people can be scaried of been ‘stuck’ with us.
Another thought , what if a project start working on a businnes model with tight margins , 7.5% of everything into the multisign could become too much. I think we should have a pre determined process for revision of this value too.
And finally, how can projects ‘get out of the deal’? Should they pay us somekind of fix fee? A porportion of the project value? I think this is something we should discuss and settle too.